1942 - EXPLOSION, FIRE IN U.S. ARMY PLANT KILLS 11, INJURES NINE. MIDVALE MAN LISTED AMONG THOSE SERIOUSLY BURNED; INQUIRY BOARD TO STUDY CAUSE.
Stockton, Cal., June 4 (AP) - Fire, preceded by an explosion, swept quickly through an army building and left 11 dead and another nine severely burned Thursday.
The nature of the explosion remained undetermined.
The flames spread rapidly and those who died were trapped in the structure.
The blaze started about 11:30 o'clock Wednesday night and burned for 30 minutes. Lieutenant Colonel Floyd H. Tull, commanding officer, appointed a board of inquiry to determine what caused the explosion and fire.
The blast apparently did not originate in munition or ordnance stores.
Highway patrolmen raced from the San Francisco blood bank with flasks of plasma, and hospitals here sent serum to the army post, as doctors and nurses joined the army staff in caring for the injured men.
TOM SOUSA, Stockton, civilian fireman.
Corporal LLOYD WISBEY, 23, Winlock, Wash.
Sergeant ROBERT A. SMITH, 21, Davis, Cal.
Private ERVIN R. SCHUMACHER, 25, Antelope, Neb.
Private DWIGHT P. SCHEARER, 23, Merriman, Neb.
Private DONALD E. ENSIGN, 20, El Cerrito, Cal.
Private PORTER H. WHITAKER, JR., 22, San Francisco, Cal.
Private LOUIS BRASESCO, Stockton, Cal.
Private KENNETH A. BELLARS, Bartlett, Kan.
Private CHARLES G. MASSINGILL, Wilson, N.C.
Private LEROY FRACAS, 24, Conshohocken, Pa.
Soldiers who were burned seriously were:
Sergeant NELSON J. STOKE, 27, Spartansburg, Pa.
Sergeant GEORGE L. LEMICH, 28, Midvale, Utah.
Corporal QUENTIN B. ALTOMARE, 21, Oakland, Cal.
Corporal REUBEN A. HUFF, 24, Cottage Grove, Ore.
Corporal WILLIAM E. BEASLEY, JR., 21, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Corporal PARIS A. FOUCH, 20, Morehead, Ky.
Private RANDALL G. WANG, 28, Miller, Mo.
Private R. W. ADCOCK, 36, Henderson, N.C.
Sergeant George L. Lemich, 28, is a son of Louis S. Lemich of 208 South Main Street, Midvale. He was a graduate of the Jordan High School and attended Westminster College.
Sergeant Lemich joined the army a year ago. His father and two sisters left for Stockton, Cal., Thursday afternoon after hearing that George was "injured in an accident."
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake City, Utah
June 5, 1942
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