Garland Claude Van Meter


M-Sgt. Garland Claude Van Meter, formerly of Bartlesville, was killed when an Air Force transport crashed in a muddy field near Belton, Mo. Tuesday after its takeoff from Richards Gebaur Air Force Base. 

Van Meter along with six other crewman on the C-124 Globemaster was killed.  The plane broke apart on impact.  The plane was en route to Charlestown, SC., to deliver an engine.  Three minutes after the plane took off the pilot radioed that one of his four engines had failed and he was operating under emergency conditions. 

The huge craft plowed into the field five minutes after the radio message as it was making it final approach for landing at the base. 

It barely missed homes at Belton, 42 miles south of the base and 25 miles south of Kansas City.  Van Meter and his wife, Lorene, lived at Belton. 

The craft hit the ground nose first and was headed directly for a group of homes when it plowed into the mud.  There was no fire and all seven bodies were found inside the wreckage. 

Van Meter is a graduate of College High School, his brother-in-law, Joe Poling, 102 S. Adaline, said the body is being returned to Bartlesville and funeral service arrangements will be announced by the Arnold Moore Funeral Home. 

Survivors include his wife, Lorene; two brothers, Donald Dean Van Meter, of Texas and Billy Van Meter of Norman and his mother living in Fairfax.  His father, Claude, died several years ago.

From Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise - December 20, 1961.


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