Neil S. Hammond

Eau Claire Veteran of Fifty Bombing Missions Overseas Dies in Bomber Crash in U. S.
Capt. E. L. Hammond Killed with 10 Others
ALAMOGORDO, NM October 16 Eleven members of the crew were killed and three others escaped uninjured in the crash of a four-engine bomber a mile south of the Alamogordo Army Air Field yesterday.

Colonel R. C. Wriston, Field Commandant, said the dead included Captain Earl L. Hammond, husband of Mrs. Dorothy Hammond, Eau Claire, WI.

News of the accidental death of Captain Earl Lloyd Hammond was received Sunday night by his wife, Mrs. Dorothy Hammond, who was at her mother's home at Amery at the time. She notified the parents of Captain Hammond, Mr. and Mrs. Earl B. Hammond, town of Seymour. He was 22.

No details of the tragedy were contained in the telegram, and no word has been received as to the disposition of the body. No funeral arrangements, therefore, have been made.

Besides his widow and his parents, he is survived by two brothers, Martin Hammond in the Merchant Marine and Neil Hammond in the U. S. Navy; and two sisters, Betty and Vera, at home.

Captain Hammond was a distinguished veteran of the African, Sicilian, and Italian Campaigns and had distinguished himself in the Air Service as the pilot of a Fortress. He had received the Distinguished Flying Cross, had been awarded the Air Medal with nine Clusters, carried Campaign Stars, three Battle Stars on a European Theater Ribbon, and an American Theater Ribbon, North and South America.

He completed fifty bombing missions over North Africa, Sicily, and Italy and, last March, came home on leave, after which he was assigned to Alamogordo Army Air Field, NM, where, it was said, he was serving as a flying instructor at the time.

It was while he was here on leave, that he was married, on March 14, last, to Miss Dorothy Kinney of Amery, the wedding taking place at St. Patrick's Church here.

In the fifty missions which he piloted a "Fort," none of the crew members, including himself, was lost or wounded.

Captain Hammond went through the African Campaign, flying from desert stations, before taking part in the Sicilian and then Italian drives. He took part in numerous raids over southern Germany, France, and the Balkans, as well as hitting targets in Italy. Fortresses were also used in direct support of ground troops when the going was hard in Italy, he said, as at Salerno.

Captain Hammond was the 12th to die in World War II of the close to 600 listed on the honor roll of those in the Armed Services at St. Patrick's Church here.

Hammond Rites Slated Saturday
The body of Captain Earl Lloyd Hammond, Army Air Corps pilot killed in a bomber crash at Alamogordo, New Mexico last Sunday, will arrive here Friday evening on the "400." The body will be escorted by Lieutenant Lindsay C. Hamilton. 

Funeral services will be held Saturday morning at 8:15 from St. Patrick's Church, the Rt. Reverend Msgr. C. E. Dowd officiating.

Rosary devotions will be held at Golden's at 9 am Friday. 

Military honors will be accorded by the William C. Johnson Post, American Legion and Post No. 305, Veterans of Foreign Wars, of which. he was a member. The post colors will be draped in mourning and placed at the foot of the casket with the American flag at the head. 

Interment will be at Lake View Cemetery with police escort furnished by the Eau Claire Department. 

Captain Hammond was born in the town of Lucas, Dunn County on June 4, 1921. His parents moved to Eau Claire when he was eight months old, where he resided until entering the service. He was graduated with the Class of 1938 from Eau Claire High School and attended three years of teachers college before enlisting as an Aviation Cadet at Wausau on January 8, 1942. 

He received his wings at Lubbock, Texas on October 9, 1942, and was sent overseas on May 19, 1943, taking part in the African, Sicilian, and Italian Campaigns. He returned from overseas service on February 19, 1944. 

He was granted a rest period, returning home, where he married Miss Dorothy Kinney of Amery, WI at St. Patrick's on March 14. He was assigned to the Army Air Base at Alamogordo, New Mexico, where he was a pilot instructor of  B-29 Superfortresses.

Besides his wife, Dorothy, he is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Hammond; two sisters, Vera and Betty, at home; two brothers, Neil S. in the U. S. Navy and Marlin D. in the Merchant Marines; four grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Salter, 948 Fourth Street of this city, and Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Hammond of Knapp, WI. His great grandmother, Mrs. Valma Galusha, died October 12 of this year at the age of 91.