CHAPPELL -- On June 6, 1944, residents of the Chappell area closed their day like normal. Chores were done, supper was finished and everyone resigned to their homes and beds for the night.

That changed early June 7, 1944 as a B-24J Bomber flying west from Lincoln Army Air Base

Before dawn, all servicemen lost their lives on their way to their latest assignment in World War II in a field that now would be located between the village of Chappell and Interstate 80.

  At Pony Express Park, south of Chappell and almost at the I-80 exit, is a memorial of the crash.

"We're at Pony Express Park. The monuments are over there," Gordy Wilkins said Monday as he explains the monuments in the park.

The monuments commemorate the crashing of a B-24J Bomber crash that claimed the lives of all servicemen on board. The Bomber was en route from the Lincoln area to the West Coast and on to the Pacific Theater, according to Wilkins. Wilkins said in 1944 there was a farm near where the bomber went down. At about 4:30 a.m., the plane was seen descend and debris was found from near Chappell to into Sedgwick County. The bronze plaque at the park reads that the Bomber caught fire and began circling Chappell before the crash.

"The beginning of it was, one of the mothers of the pilots went out in a pasture and planted a tree. Well, from that, the people of Chappell and the organizations picked it up and started commemorating that crash site."

From that, the Chappell community came together to install memorial crosses with the pilots' names. The site is adorned with a flag flying above the crosses. The VFW and community at large maintains the site, including flags for each marker.