Lost a friend in a very freak accident...

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p51
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Lost a friend in a very freak accident...

Postby p51 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:09 am

I just found this out about 20 minutes ago...
A guy in my WW2 living history group and another local collector I knew somewhat well, were both killed in the second guy’s restored WW2 tank destroyer. They were firing live rounds out of the main gun: http://www.ktvz.com/news/explosion-in-tank-east-of-bend-injures-2-possible-fatality/36082806 The M-18 is one of the few that had a working main gun, so it'd been used in a few TV shows since Steve got the main gun restored. I'm a former Army Ordnance officer and can tell you I have no clue exactly what happened but several things could have caused this. I'll refrain from pontificating until the exact cause is known.
This is the vehicle it occurred in, I have seen it many times and ridden on it once or twice:
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Re: Lost a friend in a very freak accident...

Postby Steve27752 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:56 am

Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.
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Re: Lost a friend in a very freak accident...

Postby p51 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:56 pm

I'm not going to speculate at all as to what happened, even though I did talk with Steve soon after he'd started firing the main gun and have a little insight into how he did things. That said, I can think of about 3 different things that could have happened as it's come out that the projectile did leave the barrel during the explosion (which rules out dropping the round on the floor of the turret and setting it off). I'll be waiting for the results of the investigation.
The funeral for Austin will on November 8th. Oddly, the family requested anyone from my group to show up at the service in our WW2 class A uniforms as re-enacting was pretty much the most important thing in Austin’s life. You’d think the family wouldn’t want to be reminded of the hobby that killed their son, but if that’s what they want…
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Re: Lost a friend in a very freak accident...

Postby p51 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:04 am

I went to the Memorial service today. I'm not sure of numbers but way more showed up than the family expected, there was no parking less than 2-3 blocks away. I think it's safe to say that over 300 people were in the hall as it was SRO even when I walked in there.
So very sad, but th family was very happy to see the show of support, especially from the re-enacting community. I'd never seen that many WW2 uniforms being worn outside of a re-enactment.
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