Sergeant Philip Madsen Doddridge

Sgt Doddridge

World War II

US Army Air Force
600th Bomb Sqdrn, 398th Bomb Group, 2nd Air Force, Rapid City, SD
Service Number: 38005912
Born: November 11, 1918
Inducted: January 21, 1941
Died: October 18, 1943 in B-17 crash west of Ft. Collins
Buried: Kirk Cemetery, block 3 lot 28

Son of William and Clara Madsen Doddridge of Kirk.

Kirk Cemetery

Denver Post October 20, 1943

Eight Are Killed In Bomber Crash Near Ft. Collins

Eight flyers from the army air base at Rapid City, S.D. were killed Monday night when a four-motored B-17 Flying Fortress crashed in a snowstorm on the east slope of the 11,700 foot Mummy range in Larimer county, forty miles west of Fort Collins. Five bodies have been found in the wreckage but there was no trace early Wednesday afternoon of the other three flyers known to have been aboard the giant ship.

The discovery of the wreckage of the plane was reported Tuesday night to Sheriff Ray M. Barger at Fort Collins by Vernon Spencer and Chris Hiatt, ranchers on Bennett creek, who reached the scene of the crash on horseback.

A Major Wood of the Rapid City air base in a long distance telephone conversation Wednesday with Deputy Sheriff Floyd F. Fine of Larimer county said eight men were aboard the ship. Major Wood in enroute by air to Fort Collins.

Spencer and Hiatt reported to Sheriff Barger that they had counted five bodies in the charred debris of the big bomber, which is spread over a wide area. The ranchers said the ship had struck in a rugged, heavily timbered section of the mountains in the vicinity of Signal peak.

Sheriff Barger, five officers from Lowry field and thirteen enlisted men; with ambulances, headed into the region at 5 a.m. Wednesday. Coroner L.E. Butler of Loveland was with them.

Lieut. Joseph Langenfeld, assistant operations officer at Lowry field and Master Sergt. Cecil Meyers, chief of the operations record section and the investigation board, were among the Lowry group. The other officers and men were from the hospital and the subdepot at Lowry.

Rescuers Heading For Scene In Snow

Deputy Sheriff Fine said the party did not expect to complete examination of the wreckage of the bomber and recover the bodies until late Wednesday or early Thursday. They established headquarters on the John Derby ranch.

Snow was falling on the Mummy range and temperatures were well below freezing as the rescue party headed into the hills. Weather conditions were expected to hinder the work of the rescue party.

The plane was on a routine flight from the Rapid City base when it crashed. First news that the ship had plunged into the mountain slope reached Sheriff Barger from Mrs. Albert Chandler, whose ranch is in the Signal peak region.

Mrs. Chandler reported hearing a low flying plane and shortly afterwards the report of a terrific explosion. Flames pierced the sky at the point where the ship crashed and Chief Forest Ranger J. Barton Hershier of the Rocky Mountain park lead a party to the mountain Monday night.

Mrs. Chandler and her husband rode horseback thru snow squalls Monday night in an effort to find the wrecked ship. They were unable to trace it and reported what they had seen to Sheriff Barger.

Yuma Pioneer October 28, 1943

Kirk Soldier Is Killed In Crash of Army Bomber

Military funeral services were conducted at the high school building at Kirk Tuesday afternoon by members of Pat Mowry Post No. 96, American Legion, for Sergeant Philip Doddridge, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. William Doddridge, who was one of a crew of Army airmen who were killed Monday night of last week in the crash of a four-motored B-17 Flying Fortress in the mountains 40 miles west of Fort Collins. Rev. Isaac Smith, pastor of the Missionary Baptist church preached the funeral sermon and burial was in the Kirk Cemetery. Morris Mortuary had charge of the funeral arrangements.

The crackup of the big bomber occurred during a snowstorm as the Fortress crashed into the east slope of the 11.700 foot Mummy range in Larimer county. Ranchers on Bennett creek on horseback were the first to reach the crash. The plane was on a routine flight from the Rapid City, South Dakota base. The wife of a rancher of the Signal peak region reported to the Larimer County sheriff that she heard the low flying plane and shortly afterwards the report of a terrific explosion, flames shot skyward at the point where the big ship crashed.

Sergeant Doddridge was born November 11, 1918 (Armistice Day) in the Kirk community. After graduating from Kirk High School, he attended business school before entering the Army Air Corps in January 1940. He was a gunner on the ill-fated plane. Besides his parents, he is survived by two brothers and a sister; Ernest of Kirk and Eugene and Violet who reside at home.


The Lockheed/Vega built B-17F-45-VE Fortress (Serial Number 42-6042) crashed on the north side of Stormy Peak, north of Rocky Mountain National Park, about 40 miles west of Fort Collins during a snowstorm. The plane was on a night navigation training flight from Rapid City to Denver when they apparently drifted off course and hit the mountain peak. A memorial plaque to honor the eight crewmen was placed in Pingree Park near the wreck site on July 19, 1997.

Crew Listing

Sn 42-6042
600th Bombardment Sqd, 398th BG, 2nd AF
Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota
Crashed 18 October 1943
North Side Stormy Peak, RMNP, CO


2nd Lt. Richard Nuhleman Creamer, 24
Lorain, OH

2nd Lt. Joseph Rex Arnold, 25
Berkeley, CA

2nd Lt. Warren Mead Dean, 22
Seattle, WA

2nd Lt. Andrew Harlan Christensen, 22
Luck, WI

Staff Sgt. William Noel Cook, 22
Ft. Worth, TX

Sgt. Robert J. Hopkins, 27
Brooklyn, NY

Sgt. Carl Everett Hamre, 21
Dunbar, IA

Sgt. Philip Madsen Doddridge, 24
Kirk, CO

Crew members not on board at time of crash
S/Sgt Newhouse - Radio Operator
S/Sgt Harris - Top Turret Gunner/Engineer
Sgt Golcomb - Ball Turret Gunner

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