- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

PRESTON, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut town has dedicated a memorial bench to two Navy Reserve pilots who died in a midair crash while practicing aerial combat over the community during World War II.

The granite bench unveiled outside the Preston Public Library on Sunday honors George Kraus and Merle Longnecker, who died Oct. 19, 1944.

John Waggoner, of the Norwich Area Veterans Council, tells The Day (https://bit.ly/2f8Ujjm ) of New London that Kraus, of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and Longnecker, of New Rockford, North Dakota, were using only the radar in their Grumman F6F-5N Hellcats to chase each other around the pitch black night sky when they collided.

They were based in Rhode Island.

Some wreckage remains in a remote wooded area.

The council launched a fundraiser about a year go to raise $3,500 for the bench.


Information from: The Day, https://www.theday.com

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