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Look Back: St. Louis glider disaster
Date: 8/1/2011 Album ID: 807474
Photos by Post-Dispatch files
St. Louis Mayor William Becker and nine others were killed on Aug. 1, 1943, when a World War II glider they were riding in plunged and slammed nose first into the ground near the Lambert Airport runway.
Aug. 1943--Inside the glider just before it started rolling for the take-off. The occupants visible are, from left: Cunningham, Doyne, Lieutenant-Colonel Hazelton, Mayor Becker, Dysart, Major Robertson, Krueger and Judge Mueller. Post-Dispatch Archive photo
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Aug. 1943--From left: Captain Milton C. klugh, pilot of the glider; Charles L. Cunningham, Deputy City Comptroller;Lieutenant-Colonel Paul H. Hazelton, supervisor at St. Louis of the Army Air Forces Material Command-Midwestern Procurement Division: Max H. Doyne, Director of Public Utilities; Harold A. Krueger, vice-president and chief engineer of the Robertson Aircraft Corporation; Henry L. Mueller, Presiding Judge of the St. Louis Countty Court; Major William B. Robertson, president of the Robertson Aircraft Corporation, which made the Army glider; Thomas N, Dysart, president of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Becker THe other man killed was Private J.M. Davis co-pilot and glider mechanic
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March 10, 1941---William Dee Becker

Post-Dispatch staff photo
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Aug. 1943--The glider has left the ground, but the wheels of the towing plane, one of the Army Douglas C47-A transports, are still on the runway. Post-Dispatch staff photo
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Aug. 1943--About 2000 feet in the air, with the plane (left) still towing the glider. As soon as the tow line was cast off, disaster struck the glider. Post-Dispatch Archive photo
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Aug. 1,1943--The plunge earthward. The glider is falling, nose down, while above trail the fragments of the right wing, which broke offto start the crash.  Post-Dispatch Archive photo
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Aug. 1, 1943--The glider, which had passed its Army tests and had made an uneventful flight earlier in the day, has become a mass of wreckage near the center of the flying field, beside the northeast-southwest runway. Debris from it is still in the air. Post-Dispatch Archive photo
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Aug. 1, 1943--A crash truck and a number of Army and Navy men have reached the wreck. Others are hastening to the spot. A photographer is preparing to snap a picture of the scene. Post-Dispatch Archive photo
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Aug. 1943--The casket containing the body of Mayor William Dee Becker of St. Louis, who was killed in the airport glider disaster, is carried down the steps of Scottish Rite Catherdral, 3637 Lindell Boulevard, at the conclusion of funeral services. Post-Dispatch Archive photo
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Aug. 1943--The casket of Mayor William Dee Becker being carried from the Scottish Rite Cathedral between ranks of city firemen and policemen, following funeral services. Pallbearers, from the front, left to right around the casket clockwise, were: William H. Killoren, John C. Tobin, Leo Rassieur, C. Oscar Lamy, J. Fred Schlafly and Chapin S. Newhard. The man in white suits were from the under taking establishment. Ten other pallbearers formed an escort of honor. Post-Dispatch staff photo
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Aug. 1943--Surrounded with floral tributes, the casket containing the body of Mayor William Dee Becker lies in the auditorium of the Scottish Rite Cathedral where funeral services were held. Post-Dispatch staff photo
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