Anderson, Charles

Anderson, Charles        1918 November 8th         Lake

Struck by a Propellor

An American Soldier Killed

The story of how an American soldier named Charles Emar Anderson, in swinging the propellor to start the engine of an aeroplane, was struck on the head, was related to the South Wilts Coroner (Mr F H Trethowan) at Fargo Military Hospital on Friday. He was a native of Sweden, aged 22 years, and attached to an American Aero Squadron, his home address being in Stockholm. Another private in the same squadron, William Ward Wages, also had a narrow escape from serious injury, he having just stepped on one side to enable Anderson to pull down his blade of the propellor.

Captain E Huntley, RAMC, stationed at Fargo Military Hospital, said Anderson was admitted to the hospital suffering from a fractured skull. Both arms were also broken. He was just breathing on admission, and he died about half an hour later, death being due to the injuries mentioned.

Private W W Wages, of the Aero Squadron of the United States Army, stationed at Lake Down, stated that on Wednesday in last week, about eight o’clock, he and Anderson were engaged in helping to start an engine of an aeroplane by swinging the propellor. It was considered to be safe, as the circuit was supposed to be switched off, but the engine started and Anderson was struck in the head by the propellor. The usual precaution had been given by word of mouth, and the pilot had actually stated that the switch was off. An ambulance was sent for immediately after the accident, and Anderson was taken to Fargo Hospital. Witness added that he subsequently satisfied himself that the switches were off.

Second-Lieutenant H C Mitchell, Royal Air Force, Lake Down, said he was the pilot of the aeroplane in question. The switches were off when the engine started.

The Coroner returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”

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