Mill Creek monument for fallen airmen unveiled

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite
Members of the MIll Creek schools class of 2025 unveil a memorial to victims of a 1944 training accident Saturday, June 5, 2021.

MILL CREEK - More than two years after first learning about a 1944 training accident that killed 10 airmen training at the former Ardmore Army Air Base, members of the Mill Creek graduating class of 2025 have completed a project to remember the fallen soldiers.

Rain showers tapered off just in time for a Saturday dedication and unveiling at the Mill Creek Community Building. Over 100 guests were on hand for the dedication that included a military band and family members of the victims, many to be from out of state.

The images of 11 airmen involved in a deadly 1944 training accident over Mill Creek are immortalized on a granite monument near the crash site Saturday, June 5, 2021.

Students started to research the crash in early 2019 and in the process collected photos of the 11 men on board a B-17 that was involved in a midair collision. Only one airman, Cpl. Jack McClanahan, survived the crash. He died in 2015.

More:Students to erect memorial for deadly 1944 training accident near Mill Creek

Teacher Julie Kirkpatrick told The Ardmoreite last month that students wanted to erect a monument to the men and raised almost $8,000 from fundraisers and donations. She said students not only wanted a large, 3-foot by 5-foot, granite monument in the town where the B-17 fell to the ground, but they also wanted to make sure that the men's images were included on the monument.