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My Tribute to those affected by the...............

WWII Troop Train Wreck of July 6, 1944



Emails and letters

Newspaper & web reports

Those killed in the wreck

Survivors of the wreck

book: "she jumped the tracks"

Driving Directions






1,000 new Army recruits (many just boys) were traveling South on the L&N Railroad when tragedy struck.

This wreck was believed to be the second WORST Stateside Military Disaster of World War-II.

I would like photos of and information about these heroic veterans (and their rescuers).


Please send information, stories, pictures, etc... to me at: 

Click on the "Donate" button if you would like to help keep this
Tribute to those affected by the tragedy.
Thank you in advance.




Robert J. Funk


He recorded his touching story for me and his daughter-in-law sent it to me July 2007.
Click HERE to read the transcript.
Click HERE to see a youtube video with an audio recording by him of his experience of the train wreck!!!





to see Emails & Letters from 
Soldiers who were in the Troop Train Wreck, 
their families and others.



to see newspaper accounts and website posts
on the Troop Train Wreck


Photos Wanted 
of the Soldiers who survived the troop train wreck as well as those who died as a result of the 07-06-44 Troop Train Wreck near Jellico Tennessee: 

Russell J. Alquist (24)
1920 North 13th St.
Paducah, Kentucky

(husband of Della Alquist)
(son of Florence Alquist of 1630 S. 6th St.)

(died July 6, 1944)

Click HERE to read a 02-13-2006  email to me from his Great-Nephew


Pvt. Robert H. Baird (25)

902 Terrace Rd. NW
Canton, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Leonard J. Bettag
(Leonard J. Battag??)
Evansville, Indiana

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Charles B. Boswell (24)
2608 Kentucky Ave
Paducah, Kentucky
(husband of Mary Boswell)
(son of Mr & Mrs Ben Boswell of RFD 2 Hinkleville Rd)

(died July 6, 1944)

Charles Britzke
Charles Britzkw ?

RFD 1, Box 154
La Porte, Indiana

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Pvt. Jack C. Brown (25)
Louisville, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

James W. Buchanan
Huttonsville, West Virginia
(or Buttonsville, W.V. ?)

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

William Ralph Cathey
Paducah, Kentucky

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Charles T. Clapp (24)
634 Terrell
Paducah, Kentucky
(son of Mr & Mrs Elvis Clapp)

(died July 6, 1944)

Pvt. Donald J. Clark (24)
414 McKinley Ave.
North Canton, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

James Edward (Buddy) Clark
(also Listed as: James N. Clark ?)
Apt 36 Thomas Jefferson Place
 Paducah, Kentucky
(husband of Frances Givens Clark)
(son of Mr & Mrs Lex Clark of 229 Clark St.)

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Click HERE to see a 2007 letter from his grandson

Wayne E. Clemmens
Warren, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Robert C. Clingerman
(alt. spelling: Robert C. Clingeman)
929 S. Davis Ave.
Elkins, West Virginia

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Raymond Cole
Box 140
Brazil, Indiana

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

George E. Eves
Orwell, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Official records have his surname as "Eaves", but his grandson has written it should be spelled Eves.

William N. Gorey
RFD 3, Pataskala, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)


Claude Lyle Latham Monroeville ,Ohio * Don P. Masline
444 N. Main St.
N. Canton, Ohio

* NOTE: This man's name was in the July 9, 1944 edition of the Paducah Ky paper as Halsine and as "dead", but I had never heard of him. (I think his name was actually Masline, but misspelled)- Phil

Donald E. Hill
Canton, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Eugene L. Hilton
303 Logan St.
Menett, Missouri

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Pvt. Raymond B. Kiesling
54th St. at NW
Canton, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Raymond B. Lillie
433 Barth Place
Warren, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Pvt. Donald P.  Masline (25)
444 N. Main St.
North Canton, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)


Dale Mattix, Jr.
RFD 10 Sandy Beach Trailer Park
Akron, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

William E. McChesney (25)
RFD 3, East Akron, Ohio
Krumroy Rd

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Richard W. Miller
1823 Krieger Dr.
Toledo, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Ray W. (Billy) Parker, Jr.
Pvt. Ray William Parker, Jr.
Moreland addition near Waco
(Canton, Ohio area)

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)
Austin E. Paumier
Louisville, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)


Pvt. Robert G. (Bob) Prindle

11173 Borror Rd
Orient, Ohio

(Passed away Feb 2012 at 91)



Herbert Reichle
Bedford, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Richard Sailor

Click HERE for his story

Hargis Salyer
Salyersville, Kentucky

Click HERE for his story

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)


Pvt. Joseph G. Shipbaugh (24)
2240 Dover Ave., N.E.
Canton, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

John Ralph Wickline
Orient, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

His Senior picture

Click HERE to see more

John R. Wiseberger
Akron, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)

Ray Wood, Jr.
(or Roy Wood, Jr.)

Rt 3

Kevil, Kentucky
McCracken County
(son of Mr & Mrs
R T Wood)

(died July 6, 1944)


Pvt. Clarence M. Wright (22)
312 S. Market St. 
Minerva, Ohio

(died as a result of the troop train wreck)


Raymond Lewis Yopp
(alt spelling:

Raymond W. Yapp)
(son of Mrs. Clara Yopp)
McCracken County, Kentucky

(died July 6, 1944)



 Click HERE to see a list of the Survivors.  

This is an image of the Highcliff Narrows 
(I believe this picture was taken years before the wreck)
The train would be coming at you in the wreck.

Here is an image of the Highcliff TN L&N Depot from that era.
My dad was working at the depot and walked down to the wreck site after work. The wreck site was about 2 miles Southeast of the depot.







(Unfortunately, it is out of print.)

(I would like to thank John Ascher for writing this book. It has been a great reference for my website.)

Click on the "Donate" button if you would like to help keep this
Tribute to those affected by the tragedy.
Thank you in advance.

The Louisville & Nashville Railroad train had picked up speed through the mountains but wasn't running as smoothly as it had in flatter country. The men, sleeping or preparing for bed, knew the train was behind schedule. But they still thought it was going too fast. That's when they heard the crack.

And seconds later, the train was ripped in half. The engine, tender and four cars plunged 50 feet below. Twelve died instantly.

Many more died in the next few days.

It was the troop train wreck of July 6, 1944, the nation's second worse train disaster during World War II.

Think of the absolute worst place in the world for a train wreck, and you'll have a picture of the Jellico Narrows in Campbell County, Tennessee. (It looks like something out of a model train layout.)

The gorge cuts down 50 feet to the Clear Fork River, a rocky and shallow current capped in white. Limestone, peppered with trees and scrub and mud, line the descent. A road follows the gorge up above on one side, with the train tracks on the other side. The tracks occasionally dart through tunnels or veer off away from the gorge.

But where the wreck occurred, the tracks are right on top of the gorge.

It is reported that 1,006 fresh recruits were on the train headed to "points South" the destination was classified because of the war.

The recruits, having finished basic training, were on their way to their first assignment to an Army unit at Fort Benning in Georgia. The train stopped in Corbin, Ky. before starting through the mountains at Jellico, near the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

The relief engineer was supposed to take over at Corbin, but he never showed up. The first engineer, Lyle Rollins, was reportedly angry about having to continue with the train.

"He was very mad and possibly under the influence of alcohol," a witness was quoted. In addition to the engineer's condition, a steep grade before the Narrows gave trains a boost of speed. Thanks to the engineer and the grade, the train was speeding by the time it reached the Narrows first sharp curve.

Dave Harkness, then principal of Jellico High School, recalled that a soldier told him, "One of the fellows on the train said we could never make it, then we just went off and the cars piled up."

The river was a jumble of twisted metal, smoke, flames, steam and bodies.

When the locomotive plunged over the side of the gorge, it took with it its tender and four cars. The kitchen and baggage cars burned, and two coach cars turned over and burned at the gorges brink.

The engineer and others died because they were pinned underwater. Others burned to death from the steam. Some bodies were trapped under the cars, other bodies laid-out over the flat rocks. Some survivors had to cross the river barefoot and stood there shivering. Those pinned were screaming.

"When we got there it was just an awful mess," a local resident recalled years later. Leo Lobertini was one of the first on the scene. He and his brother took their truck to the wreck, picking up as many miners as would fit in the truck.

Dr. Ned C. Watts didn't know the wreck had occurred until "a young man wearing only underwear briefs who was shouting" flagged him down. Watts hospital had only one phone, so staff went to neighboring houses to call other doctors only to discover that Watts was the only doctor available. He spent several hours as the lone doctor at the wreck.

The rescue effort was a shoestring affair. Hundreds of Campbell County residents flocked to the scene to help. They made the first rescues, using block and tackle slings to hoist the wounded up the side of the gorge to the road. It often took up to ten men to hoist a body up to the road. Some brought welding torches to free the trapped soldiers.

A trucker who was passing through stopped to take a load of injured soldiers to the hospital. He came back and took several more loads. Volunteers continued to comb the river for dead and wounded.

Later in the night, doctors from nearby towns Corbin, Lafollette, Middlesboro and Williamsburg joined Watts. They went from car to car giving morphine injections to the trapped men. One soldier received plasma transfusions. Many soldiers, their faces bleeding and dirty, waited for their more seriously injured comrades to be taken away before they received care themselves.

The ambulances joined the rescue effort two hours after the train derailed. They waited at the road for the injured and took them to hospitals in five nearby towns.

Early the next morning, an Army major arrived to take over leading the rescue effort. But the county's work was just beginning. Most of the injured had been rescued by midnight, but there were still dead to be recovered and wounded to look after.

That morning, more organized efforts were put in place. Boy Scouts went door to door collecting shoes, clothes and sheets for the soldiers. Red Cross units served food on the Jellico hospitals lawn. A local restaurant closed in order to assist in preparing the food. Assembly lines were set up to make sandwiches, and local volunteers transported the food to the rescue site. Local groceries were emptied of bread.

Some help was not as organized. Many residents took in soldiers for the night, giving them food, a place to bathe and a place to sleep.

The volunteers who had worked all night carrying the bodies out of the gorge eventually built a makeshift dam to lower the water level to retrieve bodies. They continued to work through the next three days.

In all, 34 men died in the wreck and 75 were injured (some survivors went on to fight in North Africa, according to Watts). The wreck received scant national press at the time (the New York Times, for instance, ran three short stories). There used to be a historical marker at the wreck's site, but that has been stolen. In 1993, Jellico area residents paid for a monument in downtown Jellico. The unobtrusive granite block lists the names of all those who died in the wreck, along with Jellico's other losses from war.

But the people who really remember the wreck are those who saw it and heard it.

Jim Tidwell, chairman of the organization that built the monument and a participant in the rescue effort, wrote a letter to the editor of the Jellico newspaper in which he described what he would remember when he thinks of the wreck:

"I will see the troop train casualties stretched out on the rocks in the Clear Fork River and hear the ambulances once again as they wailed out screams, carrying the injured to the Jellico Hospital. I will see the engineer who was pinned under water with his hair waving at the surface. I will see a soldier who was finally freed from the wreck after several hours, sit down on a rock in the river, ask for a cigarette and then die. I will see the doctors working from coach to coach injecting morphine to ease the pain of those trapped."

(Tidwell has since passed away.)

Others who were personally involved in the wreck are dying, their memories dying with them. I want to tell their stories before they are all gone!

Kingsport Times Tennessee 1944-07-07

Jellico, Tenn, - AP - At least 17 persons, all but two of them soldiers, were killed last night when a troop train plunged into a 50-foot gorge of the Clear River 11 miles South of here.
DR. E. P. MUNCY, resident physician of Knoxville's General Hospital, said the death toll probably would exceed 40.
The locomotive and four cars were piled at the ravine's bottom, and a fifth hung over the precipitous edge, where it left the Louisville and Nashville railroad tracks.
One soldier, identified by Army Public Relations as Pvt. LEONARD BATTAG, of Evanston, Ill., was still pinned in the bottom of a wrecked car 12 hours after the crash, with four dead men piled on him. He regained consciousness and talked with rescuers as acetylene torches cut through twisted steel nearby. The youth, in the Army only 13 days, asked a doctor if he was in a plane.
"It sure looks like it," he said. "This is a lot better hole than on that train." He is the son of MR. And MRS. FRANK BATTAG of Evanston.
By noon six bodies had been brought to the government hospital at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and eight other bodies were reported on the way there. Army authorities at the hospital said that they had admitted 80 injury cases and had at least four more on the way and there were nine additional cases of soldiers given first aid treatment but not requiring hospitalization.
A partial death list released by the Army included the following enlisted men, with serial numbers but with home addresses still not known:
DONALD J. CLARK (35845018), WILLIAM M. GOREY (35845175), DALE MATTIX (35844937), W. H. McCHESNEY (35844928).
Among the injured were the following three railroad porters, all from Indianapolis: WILLIAM EUGENE McANULTY, SHERMAN COLLEY and THOMAS E. JONES, Extent of their injuries was not announced.
JOHN RUGGLES, in charge of the Knoxville office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said that possibilities of sabotage in connection with the wreck were being investigated.
Work of extricating the victims from the locomotive and five cars which tumbled down the steep 50-foot bank to the shallow stream was slow and unofficial estimate placed the casualties as high as 25 dead and 250 hurt.
The train was a special carrying only soldiers and the train crew.
An emergency train made up from the twelve cars which did not leave the track left this morning taking fifty of the injured to Lake City, Tenn., en route to the government hospital at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and at least thirty other injured service men were sent to Oak Ridge Hospital in ambulances.
State Guard Company C from Knoxville, commanded by Captain BEN SANDERS, joined military police in patroling the wreck scene this morning as acetelyne[sic] torches were used to cut away portions of the cars and slings and pulleys were used to move the injured men up the bank.
The kitchen and baggage cars of the southbound train, reported carrying more than 1,000 soldiers just out of basic training were burned.
Express Agent C. L. ALLEY of Jellico said first rescues were made by nearby mountainfolk who tediously hoisted the injured by block and tackle slings up the shrubbery-lined gorge. Waiting ambulances rushed the injured to hospitals in Lake City, LaFollette and Jellico, and Corbin and Williamsburg, Ky.

Rescue Work.
Rescuers worked doggedly early today to free two soldiers trapped in one of the smashed coaches. Doctors gave blood plasma transfusions to one of them, pinned down in the gorge wreckage. Two others who had been trapped were extricated, one of them dead.
The fireman, identified at a Jellico hospital as J. W. TUMMINS, of Etowah, died in the institution several hours after he was hurled free of the wreckage.
Capt. KILBURN BROWN, Army public relations officer, said identification of the dead was proceeding slowly. He explained most of the soldiers either had been in their berths at the time of the crash, or were in the wash rooms, preparing for bed. The crash tossed personal belongings together, and in some cases caused loss of identification tags.

A soldier, treated at Jellico Hospital, whose name was withheld, said the crash occurred "just after we finished chow," and said he thought the fire started in the train kitchen.
"I was in an upper berth," he said, “and was almost thrown out when we went around a curve. Just a moment later she banged off the track."
Jellico and LaFollette (Tenn.) Red Cross Chapters sent canteens to the wreck area to serve injured and rescue workers.
Reporter WILLARD YARBROUGH of the Knoxville Journal telephoned his paper what he counted seven dead when he climbed into the engine room and looked out. He said two more dead were lying in the stream, running two to four feet at the wreck scene.

Soldiers Hurt.
"One soldier pinned in the wreckage cried, 'Get me out of here or let me die right here'," YARBROUGH said. "Another soldier being carried across the stream on a stretcher asked his rescuers to let him die right there."
The engineer, identified by the railroad as JOHN C. ROLLINS, of Etowah, Tenn., was "somewhere beneath his engine," YARBROUGH said and the fireman was picked up from the spot to which he was hurled and brought to Jellico hospital.
Private WALLACE LEWIS of Canton, Ohio, a passenger on one of the cars hurled into the gorge, said, "I saw a big flash, and someone said, 'There's going to be a wreck.' There was. I crawled out of the car, fell into the shallow creek, and then stumbled out."
In this Cumberland Mountain section on the Kentucky-Tennessee line, the L. and N. tracks traverse numerous trestles over deep gorges and loop around hairpin turns.
Ten Army doctors and 12 Army ambulances were rushed to the scene from Clinton. They carried ample supplies of blood plasma.
Express Agent ALLEY, who said the train carried 1,000 soldiers, reported early today the cars remaining upright had been switched to another track and were proceeding to their destination.

Army Released Jellico Casualty List
July 6, 1944:
The dead:
RUSSELL J. ALQUIST, Paducah, Kentucky.
ROBERT H. BAIRD, Canton, Ohio.
LEONARD J. BETTAG, Evansville, Indiana.
CHARLES B. BOSWELL, Paducah, Kentucky.
CHARLES BRITZKE, LaPorte, Indiana.
JACK C. BROWN, Louisville, Ohio.
JAMES W. BUCHANAN, Buttonsville, West Virginia.
WILLIAM R. CATHEY, Paducah, Kentucky.
CHARLES T. CLAPP, Paducah, Kentucky.
DONALD J. CLARK, North Canton, Ohio.
JAMES N. CLARK, Paducah, Kentucky.
WAYNE E. CLEMMENS, Warren, Ohio.
ROBERT C. CLINGERMAN, Elkins, West Virginia.
RAYMOND COLE, Brazil, Indiana.
GEORGE E. EAVES, Orwell, Ohio.
WILLIAM N. GOREY, Pataskala, Ohio.
DONALD E. HILL, Canton, Ohio.
EUGENE L. HILTON, Menett, Missouri.
RAYMOND B. LILLIE, Warren, Ohio.
DON P. MASLINE, North Canton, Ohio.
DALE MATTIX, JR., Akron, Ohio.
RICHARD W. MILLER, Toledo, Ohio.
RAY W. PARKER, Trenton, Ohio.
AUSTIN E. PAUMIER, Louisville, Ohio.
JOHN R. WICKLINE, Orient, Ohio.
RAY WOOD, JR., Kevin, Kentucky.
CLARENCE M. WRIGHT, Minerva, Ohio.
RAYMOND W. YAPP, Paducah, Kentucky.
HARGIS SALYER, Balyersville, Kentucky.
JOHN (LYLE) C. ROLLINS, engineer of train.
JOHN WILLIAM TUMMINS, fireman of train.



Click on the "Donate" button if you would like to help keep this
Tribute to those affected by the tragedy.
Thank you in advance.



Army Releases Jellico Casualty List

Jellico Troop Train Accident

July 6, 1944

NAME                         HOME OF RECORD                    WAR DEPT. FILES INFO

ALQUIST, Russell J. of  Paducah, Kentucky - ID: 35844994, Branch of Service: U.S. Army, Status: DNB 
BAIRD, Robert H. of  Canton, Ohio - ID: 35845004, U.S. Army, Hometown: Stark County, OH, Status: DNB
BETTAG, Leonard J. of  Evansville, Indiana - ID: 35814845, U.S. Army, Vanderburgh County, IN, Status: DNB 
BOSWELL, Charles B. of  Paducah, Kentucky - ID: 35844993, U.S. Army, McCracken County, KY, Status: DNB
BRITZKE, Charles of  La Porte, Indiana - ID: 35903820, U.S. Army, La Porte County, IN, Status: DNB
BROWN, Jack C. of  Louisville, Ohio - ID: 35845014, U.S. Army,  Stark County, OH, Status: DNB
BUCHANAN, James W. of  Buttonsville, West Virginia - ID: 35845033,  Randolph County, WV, Status: DNB
CATHEY, William R. of  Paducah, Kentucky - ID: 35844988, US. Army, McCracken County, KY, Status: DNB
CLAPP, Charles T. of  Paducah, Kentucky -
CLARK, Donald J. of  North Canton, Ohio
CLARK, James N. of  Paducah, Kentucky
CLEMMENS, Wayne E. of  Warren, Ohio
CLINGERMAN, Robert C. of  Elkins, West Virginia
COLE, Raymond of  Brazil, Indiana
EAVES, George E. of  Orwell, Ohio
GOREY, William N. of  Pataskala, Ohio
HILL, Donald E. of  Canton, Ohio
HILTON, Eugene L. of  Menett, Missouri
KIESLING, Raymond B. of  Canton, Ohio
LILLIE, Raymond B. of  Warren, Ohio
MASLINE, Don P. of  N. Canton, Ohio
MATTIX, Dale Jr. of  Akron, Ohio
McCHESNEY, William E. of  Akron, Ohio
MILLER, Richard W. of  Toledo, Ohio
PARKER, Ray W. of  Trenton, Ohio
PAUMIER, Austin E. of  Louisville, Ohio
REICHLE, Herbert of  Bedford, Ohio
SHIPBAUGH, Joseph G. of  Canton, Ohio [ID: 35845027 , U.S. Army, Status: DNB]
WICKLINE, John R. of  Orient, Ohio
WISBERGER, John R. of  Akron, Ohio
WOOD, Ray Jr. of  Kevin, Kentucky
WRIGHT, Clarence M. of  Minerva, Ohio
YAPP , Raymond W. of  Paducah, Kentucky 

Engineer, John C. (Lyle) Rollins
(He drowned and it was said you could see his hair just under the water.)

Fireman, John Wm. Tummins
(Was scalded by the steam, and spoke the words: "She Jumped the Tracks" before he died)


to see Emails & Letters from 
Soldiers who were in the Troop Train Wreck, 
their families and others.



to see newspaper accounts and website posts
on the Troop Train Wreck

Front Row, left to right: 
Virgil Marshall (died 1999)
Virgil Eversole

Is is reported that all in this picture were on the train, but in different cars.  Virgil Eversole held his brother-in-law, Jimmy Lizer, by the hair of his head out of the water to keep him from drowning. This pulled all the muscles in his shoulder, causing him to be discharged from the Army and sent home.


Back Row, left to right: 
Emory George (Jimmy) Lizer (still living)
Bumgard (Baumgard Bomgard Bomguard) (spelling?)
Billy Parker (died in hospital)
Art Wilson

[NOTE: Are there any more pics of any of these brave, young men out there??????]


Click on the "Donate" button if you would like to help maintain this
Tribute to those affected by the tragedy.
Thank you in advance.

There is one book on this incident: 
She jumped the tracks: America's tragic stateside 20th century military disaster. 
by: John P. Ascher,   N.p., M.J.A., 1994. 220 pp.   


World War II Memorial Website: 

My dad, Edward (H. E.) Lea, was station agent/operator for the L&N at a nearby depot and walked down to the wreck site.

My dad: H. E. Lea / Ed Lea when he was Agent at the L&N Depot in Tennga Ga, 1967

Want to visit the area?

I would first go to downtown Jellico and see the monument.

Then I would drive to the site of the wreck 


  1. (Coming from North of the Tennessee / Kentucky line......) Take I-75 South

  2. Cross the Kentucky/Tennessee line

  3. Take the 25W Jellico Exit 160

  4. Turn North (West) on Hwy 25W and go approx. 2 miles to Jellico (the monument is in a parking lot downtown)

  5. (To go to the wreck site) Go back South (East) on Hwy 25W approx. 6-10 miles to where the river is narrow, close to the highway on your left (AND, the railroad tracks are just on the other side of the river) 

  6. Look for the plaque on the big rock down in the river. 

    (This road is narrow, curvy and there's not many places to pull over, so drive slowly and be careful.)

NOTE: If you want a SCENIC DRIVE, get on 25W as soon as you can!

MAP Of Jellico, Hwy 25W and the Troop Train Wreck site.
Jellico is at the red star on the left side of this map & the wreck site is on the right side.


(NOTE: If you're driving from South of the Kentucky/Tennessee line, Go North on I-75 and then follow directions #3 - 6 above)


Click HERE for online driving directions to Jellico. (fill in your address)



Monument in Jellico Tennessee to those who died in the Troop Train Wreck.




On July 6, 1944, L&N Train no. 47 carried a U.S. Army troop from Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, IN southward to an unknown destination during World War II. The train derailed at 9:05 p.m. at this location on R.R. marker 203.4, hurling the engine and four train cars into the Clearfork River 90 feet below. The disaster produced 135 casualties leaving 36 dead in the twisted mass of flesh and steel. The words denoted at the top of this sign, are the famous last words of the train fireman John Wm. Tummins, who was aboard the ill-fated train. Badly burned and severely injured, he was asked what caused the wreck. "She jumped the track", he said, "she just... jumped the tracks.". Soon after speaking these words, Tummins died. The actual cause of the accident remains a mystery to this day.

This sign has been dedicated November 11, 2001 by Boy Scout Troop 456 from Jellico, TN in honor and memory of those who tragically lost their lives in this horrible accident.

1944 Newspaper clipping on Luther Case


July 8, 1944 Newspaper clipping


to see Emails & Letters from 
Soldiers who were in the Troop Train Wreck, 
their families and others.



to see newspaper accounts and website posts
on the Troop Train Wreck


(There were almost 1,000 Survivors and I would like the names and photos of each one.)
  1. Pvt. Robert L. Andrew - Mercer County, Celina, OH
  2. Jack Arnett - Royalton, KY
  3. Cooper Balbridge - Akron Oh
  4. Paul Barlow - Kingwood, W Va
  5. Clarence Bates (no address listed)
  6. Bob Baynes - 7517 Quail Vista Lane, Citrus Heights, CA 95610, 916 723 8001 - (Click HERE to read his 09-13-2005 email to me.)
  7. Pvt. Homer Beavers -  Columbus, OH (surname correction according to his daughter) (alt spellings: Beacer, Beaver, Beever)
  8. Pvt. Lester Billings (injured) - R 2 Sidney, OH 
  9. Pvt. Harley Bernard "Bernie" Blakely - Sidney, OH 45365
  10. Pvt. Floyd E. Brehm - R.1, Celina, Ohio, (current: 419-942-1647, 1401 State Route 29, Celina, OH 45822)
  11. LeRoy Breitenstein (no address listed)
  12. Howard Broemsen - Louisville Ohio
  13. Bumgard / Bumguard (sp????)
  14. Arthur (Art) Burns - Minerva, Ohio
  15. Charles Carroll - Minerva Ohio
  16. Luther E. Case - Wilshire, Ohio - (click HERE to see a clipping)
  17. R. B. Casey -  Louisville, KY
  18. Robert Charles Chaney (address unknown)
  19. Dave Clay -  Greenfield, OH
  20. James Mitchell Cline - 1205 Hampton Ave, Paducah Ky (son of Mr & Mrs Henry Cline of 14th & Monroe Sts)
  21. Chester R. Collins - Huntington WV
  22. Lester A. Cobb - Rockford, Ill
  23. Raymond Combs - (Click HERE to read his story.)
  24. Roy Cooper (seriously injured)  (son of Mr & Mrs Roy H. Cooper) - 233 S. 31st St. Paducah, Ky
  25. Pvt. Ivan Corverston (injured)  (husband of: Virginia Howell Converston (sp?) -  RR 2  Sidney, OH
  26. Jay Creamer -  Orient, OH
  27. Pvt. Richard L. Crouch -  R. 1 Coldwater, Ohio
  28. Louis DeWitt - Wabash Ind
  29. Pvt. Walter W. Diller -  Coldwater, Ohio
  30. Pvt. Clarence E. Donovan -  Celina, Ohio
  31. Thomas Downs    (no address listed)
  32. Clarence L. Eckstein -  Mercer County, Ohio  (Click HERE for his story)
  33. Pvt. John W. Elliot - Minerva, Ohio
  34. Virgil Eversole - (husband of Beatrice, brother-in-law to Jimmy) Industry?/Lizer, Oh (Virgil passed away in 1999 - Click HERE to see his story)
  35. Chalmer E. Fields (husband of Virginia Schiff Fields) - S. Ohio Ave. Sidney, OH
  36. Forest Findley -  R. 3 Celina, Ohio
  37. Paul P. Fischer -  Massillon, OH
  38. James Fricker (no address listed)
  39. Robert J. Funk - Wood County, Ohio (Click HERE for email story)
  40. Robert Gabriel  (Click HERE for email story)
  41. Pvt. Daniel H. Goettemoeller -  R.1 St. Henry, Ohio
  42. Joe Preston Hackworth - Charleston Oh (Click HERE to see a photo of him in uniform)
  43. Marvin R. Hamm -  (no address listed)
  44. Alva Hanna - Columbia Ohio
  45. James C. Henke  (no address listed)
  46. Fred Hughes  (no address listed)
  47. Andrew W. Jenei - Canton Ohio (Click HERE for his story and photo)
  48. Everett Johnson - Chesapeake Ohio
  49. Fred W. Jones - Steanes? Valley Ky
  50. Houston Butler Kelley -  Ashland, Ky  (Click HERE for his story)
  51. Wesley Krantz - Gary , Ind
  52. Melvin Sylvester Kroeger - 23, Delphos Ohio  (Click HERE for his story)
  53. Robert Lewis / Robie Lewis / Robbie Lewis (sp?)  (no address listed)
  54. Pvt. Wallace Lewis - Canton Ohio
  55. John Lightfritz - Canton Oh
  56. Burnett Little - Middlesport, Ohio
  57. Emory George "Jimmy" Lizer -  Canton Ohio, (Brother-in-law to Virgil Eversole)  (Click HERE to see his story)
  58. Joe Malano  (no address listed)
  59. Elmer Marshall - Fullerton Ky
  60. Virgil Marshall - Parkersburg, WV
  61. Harold F. McCombs - Quincey, OH / Quincy Ohio (sp?) (Click HERE for his story)
  62. Junior A. McGirr - Alliance Ohio
  63. Charles McKay - Sylvania Oh
  64. Loran McKee - Alliance, Ohio
  65. Pvt. Paul J. Moeller - Rt 6  Celina, Ohio
  66. Thomas Moore -  Frener, KY
  67. Ray Murphy -  Sidney, OH
  68. Richard J. (Dick) Murtz -  Alliance, OH ,  (Sad news. Dick passed away 11-25-2005 at 4:32 PM)
  69. Pvt. James F. Nevergall -  Rt 1, Mendon, Ohio
  70. Harry N. Orihood - New Holland Ohio
  71. Orvin Oswald - Hartville OH (updated 02-27-2013) (Click HERE for email story)
  72. Corporal James C. Page - 12275 South Springboro Road, Battle Ground Indiana 47920 (Click HERE for his story)
  73. Ray Parker, Jr. - Trenton, Ohio
  74. Pvt. Oscar Paumier - Louisville, Ohio
  75. Stanley Pawlikowski (no address listed)
  76. Nevel F. Phelps  (no address listed)
  77. Robert Prindle -  Ashville, OH (Click HERE for email story)
  78. Paul Probst - Circleville, Ohio
  79. Thester Proctor - Lewtown Ky
  80. Norman Lee Ray (Click HERE for his story)
  81. Robert Reed - Alliance, Ohio
  82. Elvis H. Renfrow (no address listed)
  83. Frank Reynolds - Florence Ohio
  84. Charles Rhodes, Jr.,  son of Mr & Mrs Charles Rhode, Sr. -  Rt. 5 Paducah Ky
  85. Lt. Duncan Robertson - New York
  86. James S. Rosignola - Toledo Ohio (Click HERE for his story)
  87. Jack Ruff - Minerva Ohio (escaped injury)
  88. Joseph Scott - Covington Kentucky
  89. Golden Shaffer  (no address listed)
  90. Robert (Bob) Shaub - Johnston Ohio
  91. William E. Sherman - Pataskala, OH
  92. Lester Sickafosse - Canton, Ohio
  93. Edgar M. Smalley, 1919-1989 (son of Mr & Mrs D R Smalley) - Celina, Ohio (Click HERE for his story)

  94. Francis W. Smith (no address listed)

  95. Charles Spears - Proctorsville, OH (alt: Proctorville, Ohio)

  96. Earl C. Stewart - 123 Plantation Way, Hawthorne FL 32640, 1-532-481-3238 (Click HERE for his story)

  97. Dan Struble - Gary, Indiana

  98. Orville Swigart - Dayton Oh

  99. Charles Tangi - Alliance Oh

  100. Austin Taunier of Louisville (Ohio?) (critically injured)

  101. James Tucker, Jr. (seriously injured)  (son of James Tucker, Sr.) - Rt 6 Paducah, Ky

  102. William C. Vaughn - Huntington WV

  103. Pvt. Harold Vantilburg (son of Mr. & Mrs. Boyd Vantilburg) - Center Township, OH
  104. Pvt. Lewis C. Wallace - Canton, Ohio
  105. Franklin Wattere (no address listed)
  106. Anthony Weber (no address listed)

  107. James (Jim) Wesner - Alliance, OH (Click HERE for his story)
  108. Herbert Wheeler - Liberty, KY
  109. Arthur Leroy Wilson - Waynesburg, Ohio -  (Click HERE for his story)

  110. William Yellic (alt. spellings: Yelic & Yelle) - Massillon, OH  (Click HERE for his story)
  111. Pvt. Jerome H. Zehringer - Fort Recovery, OH. (Sep 16 1925 -Aug 4, 2003)
  112. George Zimmerman, husband of: Ruth Alice Zimmreman) (sp?) - Port Jefferson Rd., Sidney, OH
  113. Pvt. Leonard Zumberger, (son of: John Zumberger) - Ft. Loramie, OH





Jack Arnett
Royalton, KY

2006 contact info:

Jack Arnett
P.O. Box 4
Wheatfield, IN 46392

(1944 photo of Jack wanted)

Bob Baynes
7517 Quail Vista Lane
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
916 723 8001

Click HERE to read his 09-13-2005 email to me.


Pvt. Harley Bernard "Bernie" Blakely
Sidney, Ohio 45365

Click HERE to read his account of the wreck.

Pvt. Blakely was 25 and severely injured in the wreck, but survived.

He has since passed away.


Does anyone know this man??

Robert Charles Chaney


Clarence L. Eckstein

Mercer County, Ohio

Click HERE for his story


Injured Survivor: 
Virgil Eversole
Husband of Beatrice Eversole
Brother-in-law to Jimmy Lizer
(Virgil passed away in 1999)

Click HERE to see his story

(click to see larger image)
Chalmer Fields

Sidney, Ohio

(As of 8-23-2006 he was still living and still in Sidney OH)

Click HERE for his story


Robert J. Funk

originally from Wood County, Ohio

Click HERE for email story

Click HERE to see a transcription of a 2007 recording he made for me.


Andrew W. Jenei

Canton, Ohio

(As of 8-04-2019 he was still living)

Click HERE for his story

(click to see larger image)
Houston Butler Kelley

Ashland, Kentucky

Click HERE for his story

 Melvin Sylvester Kroeger
23 years old
Delphos, Ohio

(Melvin passed away in 1991)

Click HERE for his story

Emory George "Jimmy" Lizer
Canton, Ohio

Husband to Hazel Lizer
Brother-in-law to Virgil Eversole

Click HERE to see his story



Virgil Marshall

Richard J. (Dick) Murtz

Alliance, OH 

(Sad news. Dick passed away 11-25-2005 at 4:32 PM)

Click HERE to read his 02-24-2005 email to me.

Corporal James C. Page
12275 South Springboro Road
Battle Ground, Indiana 47920

Click HERE to read a 2008 letter about Corporal Page

James S. Rosignola
Toledo, Ohio

died 2003

Click HERE to read about him

Edgar M. Smalley

(son of Mr & Mrs D R Smalley)
Celina, Ohio
Click HERE for his story

Earl C. Stewart
123 Plantation Way
Hawthorne FL 32640

Click HERE for his story

Arthur Leroy Wilson

Click HERE for his story

William Yelic

Click HERE for his story

 to see a copy of a I.C.C. Report on the wreck






to see Emails & Letters from 
Soldiers who were in the Troop Train Wreck, 
their families and others.




to see newspaper accounts and website posts
on the Troop Train Wreck





(copies wanted)



1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe 2-door Sedan for sale by owner $29,999

Frame-off Restoration





Want your own Website?
Want your own Domain name?
No Skills? * No Idea of How? * NO PROBLEM !!!

Click to visit:

My 1995 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
Only 9,000 miles, Rare yellow & white paint, wide white-walls


Phil's LINKS below!

Ocoee Power

offers Sales & Installation of Standby Power Generators for your home & business


My DOLLAR-A-DAY Websites for YOU
My, domain for sale $5,000
My Model Train website
My DJ/KJ website
My website
My Internet Yard Sale website
My List of original audio, music discs
My List of Karaoke Disc CDGs for sale
My 1995 Harley Heritage Softail Classic w/10,000 miles
My Website The real story of the "Real Leroy Mercer"  (aka: John Bean) tribute
My tribute to Euchee / Yuchi Indians
My old photos of Cleveland TN website
My website the tells how I keep sweat bees from stinging me
My a search for MY LOST TOYS
My website
that pays tribute to the L&N WW-II train wreck near Jellico TN
My for more information on my 1966 Gibson J-45 Guitar
My for info on my Upright Stradivarius Bass "Fiddle" with Carved top
My website
My website for our Polk County High School graduating class of 1970
My website about 8-track tapes, 8-tracks, 8-track tape players
My website where we at Ocoee Power sell and install standby Power Generators
My 1984 Monte Carlo w/350 crate motor, automatic, A/C, Flowmasters, Holley & Headers




Domain for sale, $5,000


Check out my website



that features toys from my childhood



Check out my Dr. Shock website:  

Check out my tribute to Cleveland TN

      Ingrid                 Rebel and
Bob Brandy

Click HERE to see my Tribute To Bob Brandy

John Bean 
(the REAL, the one, the only true Leroy Mercer)

Click HERE to see my Tribute To the REAL Leroy Mercer








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