Plaque honors victims of 1964 military plane collision over Wilmington, Ohio
At 91, Bill Zugelder, the only remaining survivor, clearly remembers when two military planes collided over Clinton County 54 years ago. “I landed by a pig pen. I could hear the pigs rooting in the feeders. I could look over and see the burning wreckage of the other airplane,” Zugelder said Sunday at a ceremony to dedicate a plaque at Denver Williams Park. It was April 18, 1964. Weather conditions were rough, Zugelder said. “We were lead ship in a 9-ship formation - 3, 3, and 3,” Zugelder said “He said, ‘Don’t lose sight of that light.’ At that point, we should’ve just peeled off,” Zugelder said. But they didn’t. And his plane – a C-119 Flying Boxcar - collided with another in mid-air. Just like that , 17 lives – 11 officers and six enlisted men – were lost.