Mid-Air Collision

On July 12, 1942, Lt. George Preddy and Lt. Sauber had a mid-air collision while on a training flight. Two publications have gotten the facts of this collision wrong, but most have it right.

Below are some photos of the wreckage, as a preface, however, we quote a section of

Activities of the Ninth Pursuit Squadron

by Lt. Jesse C. Peaslee

JULY 12. During a training mission this afternoon there was an air collision. Lt. Sauber was making simulated attacks on Lt. Preddy when Sauber’s ship seemed to go out of control and struck Preddy’s ship in midair near the center of the fuselage. Lt. Preddy bailed out and is now in the hospital with serious injuries. Lt. Sauber is believed to have died immediately as he apparently made no attempt to jump.

Two publications that we know of have erroneously stated that Lt. Preddy’s P-40 was diving on Lt. Sauber when the two collided in mid-air near Darwin, Australia. In fact, it was just the opposite; Sauber was diving on Preddy who was simulating an enemy bomber flying straight and level. Sauber’s P-40 collided with Preddy’s killing Sauber and seriously injuring Preddy who bailed out of his crippled aircraft. Read the facts below.


The entire article written by Lucien Hubbard was published in Air Facts, November 1942. That article was condensed in the December 1942 issue of Reader’s Digest. The entire article appears in the web site: