Second Lieutenant Lee Ervin Oman

World War II

US Army Air Forces
457th Bomb Squadron, 330th Bomb Group, 2nd Air Force
Service Number: O-739839
Born: December 26, 1917
Inducted: RCAF 1940?, AAF about Jan 1942
Died: July 28, 1943 in plane crash near Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas
Buried: Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose, California

Son of Mr. Walter E. and Laura Pearl Young Oman of San Jose, California (previously Lone Star). Brother of Loretta Mekelburg of Yuma.

Oak Hill Memorial Park
Oman Marker
Photo donated by Jay Dickson

Yuma Pioneer August 5, 1943

Brother of Mrs. Ted Mekelburg Killed in Texas
Lieutenant Lee H. Oman, Formerly of Lone Star, Loses Life in Plane Crash

Lieutenant Lee Oman, about 27 years old, a son of Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Oman former residents of the Lone Star community, was killed Tuesday of last week in the crash of an Army plane in Texas. No particulars of the tragedy were received here. The man's sister, Mrs. Ted Mekelburg, left Yuma Friday for Fresno, California, to attend the funeral which was held Tuesday.

Lieutenant Oman graduated from the Lone Star high school about eight years ago and served in the Canadian air forces before the United States entered the war. He was a pilot but meager reports received here did not reveal who was flying the ill-fated plane. Several others aboard the plane also lost their lives in the crash according to reports.

Sergeant Donald Oman, a younger brother of the dead flyer, is a mechanic in the Air Forces and is in England at the present time. He, his wife and his parents were Yuma visitors last summer. Lieutenant Oman was unmarried.

Washington County History - Volume I, Veterans Section

2nd Lieutenant Lee E. Oman graduated from Lone Star High School in 1936, moved to California and attended barber school in Fresno. He began a business in San Jose, but then decided to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. After Pearl Harbor he returned to the States and graduated from the West Coast Training Center of the Army Air Force at Stockton Field, Calif. He was sent to Biggs Field at El Paso, Texas as a training pilot for his squadron on a B-24 Liberator. On July 28, 1943, the plane he was pilot of crashed 10 miles north of Biggs Field as it was returning to base. The only survivor was the tail gunner. Lee is buried at San Jose, Calif.


Extract from Army Accident Report.

East Biggs Field, 1902, July 28, 1943. Single B-24, sn: 037 crashed 15 miles north of air field.

"Ship called five miles east of field at 8,000 feet. Reported one engine feathered. Gave instructions to land to the south.

"Observed smoke at low level north of the field. B-24 046 directed to investigate. 046 reported a brush fire and then after a low level pass reported it was an airplane."

Signed: Sgt Adam Rohing, Airdrome traffic controller.

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