Obit: Klay, Chris #2 (1923 - 1946)

Contact: Stan

Surnames: Waldhart, Klay, Marsh, Crosby, Mertens, Hemberger, Boxrucker, Weller, Schmidt

----Source: Abbotsford Tribune (Abbotsford, Clark County, Wis.) 10/17/1946

Klay, Chris (16 May 1923 - 10 Oct. 1946)

On Thursday afternoon, about 4:50, Galen Waldhart, 23, of Dorchester, pilot, and Chris Klay, Jr., 23, of Withee, mechanic, met death in a tragic airplane accident in a field just behind the Anselm Schmidt barn, west of Dorchester, Wis.

The young man had gone to St. Louis, Tuesday, to ferry home a Fairchild PT-23 army primary trainier for Norman Marsh, of Colby, Wis. Mr. Waldhart was flying over the Mertens home near Dorchester, with whom the Waldharts live. Mrs. Waldhart had waved to her husband as he circled the home to let her know of their return. The crash occurred shortly after and Mrs. Waldhart was among the first to reach the scene of the tragedy.

The bodies were badly mangled but the plane did not burn. The nose of the single engine plane was buried in the earth and the impact forced the engine backward into the cockpit of the plane. The craft was a twisted mass of pipes and splintered wood and remained on the field until Sunday afternoon.

Marsh had purchased the plane, army surplus, for $600 from the Robertson Aviation company in St. Louis, and the plane was being flown from Lambert Field in that city. It had a cruising speed of about 110 miles per hour.

Chris Klay and Galen Waldhart had been employed at the Colby-Abbotsford Airport and recently severed connections there. Mr, Waldhart had planned to start an air field at Owen.

Chris Klay was born May 16, 1923, at Glen Flora, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Klay, Withee, Route 1. He graduated from the Owen high school, where he had played football, in 1941.

During the war he was employed by the Boeing Aircraft corporation, Seattle, Wash., as an aircraft engine mechanic. He was unmarried.

He is survived by his parents, two brothers, John and Walter, and a sister.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at the Griebenow Funeral Home (Owen, Wisconsin) in Owen, with the Rev. Kenneth Crosby officiating. Burial was made in the Riverside cemetery at Withee.

Galen Waldhart was the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Waldhart, Stetsonville. He was born at Stetsonville July 18, 1923, attended the grade school there and graduated from the Medford high school in 1940.

He married Magdelen Mertens Sept. 8, 1942. He enlisted in the army Dec. 5, 1943, and took cadet ttaining, being discharged with the rank of second lieutenant late in December, 1945. The family made their home with Mrs. Waldhart’s parents at Dorchester, Wis.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, Kristen, two and one-half, and Gail, three months. His parents, his maternal grand mother, Mrs. Martha Hemberger, Abbotsford, a brother, Duane, and two sisters, Mrs. Clarence *** Note: The remainder of this article was missing.



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