Here is another death of a serviceman, 2nd Lt. Leland D. Jewell, whose death by propeller contact, occurred November 17, 1943, at Galveston Army Air Field.
Waiting in line for takeoff at Galveston Army Air Field, instructor pilot, 2nd Lt. Frank P. Hill and 2nd Lt. Lyle W. Scott, pilot, B-17F, 42-5270, were attempting to make radio contact with B-17F, 42-30599, the aircraft in front of them. This aircraft was holding up take-off of 42-5270 and others behind it. Not able to make radio contact, Lt. Hill asked Lt. Leland D. Jewell, co-pilot, who was standing behind the pilot seat, to go check on the problem with 42-30599. Following the suggestion, Lt. Jewell exited the aircraft through the bombardier’s escape hatch on the left front of the aircraft. In less than two or three minutes, they felt a vibration of Number 2 propeller. Looking out his window, Lt. Scott saw Lt. Jewell lying on the ramp. Lt. Hill, the instructor pilot, immediately cut the ignition, killing the engines and alerted the control tower of the accident. Exiting the aircraft, they found Lt. Jewell had been struck on the right side of his skull and was bleeding profusely from the major wound. The accident happened at approximately 0830 Central War Time.
The ambulance and flight surgeon, Major Leo J. Cogan, arrived quickly. Lt. Jewell had major head injuries requiring hospital service beyond that available at Fort Crockett Hospital, Galveston, where he was first taken. From there, he was rapidly transported to the Scott-White hospital in Temple, Texas where he died.
The Accident Investigation Committee speculated that the accident, based on information from the Flight Surgeon, probably happened thusly: “Lt. Jewell emerged from the hatch with his back toward the nose of the plane while all four engines were idling. While in a crouched position, he is presumed to have turned to the right and was struck on the right side of his head by the tip of one blade of Number 2 propeller. Due to the nature of the accident, no statement of responsibility or recommendation can be made.” Common sense indicates carelessness played a big part in the tragedy.