Dorman, John

Dorman, John            1918 June 28th           Lake

American Soldier Killed

Struck by an Aeroplane Propeller at Lake Down Camp

When starting the propeller of an aeroplane at Lake Down Camp on Friday of last week, Corporal John Henry Dorman was struck on the head by one of the blades and injured so severely that he died the same day.

The Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan) held an inquest on Monday at Fargo Military Hospital, at which Lieutenant Beaupre stated that Dorman was a corporal in the Aviation Section of the United States Army, stationed at Lake Down. He was 24 years of age and lived in East St Louis, Illinois.

Corporal J E Mattson said he was in the same squadron as Dorman. At about 11am on June 21st, at the aerodrome, he heard the crash of a propeller breaking and saw it in the air. He found Dorman lying in front of a DHC machine. On examining it he discovered the switch was off, but the earth wire was hanging loose from the magneto. This rendered the switch useless and the electric circuit complete.


Sergt D H Harris stated he saw the corporal start the machine, and on the second turn of the four-bladed propeller the engine started. One blade of the propeller struck Dorman on the head and knocked him down. He received medical attention at once and was taken to Fargo Hospital.

Captain T H Richmond, RAMC, said Dorman was admitted to hospital about midday on Friday, suffering from a compound fracture of the vault of the skull. He died at 7.30pm from the injuries.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.


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