“Unknown Planes Drop Six Bombs on Tarnov.” This was the headline from the Columbus Daily Telegram on August 16, 1943. The article states that, “Two unidentified planes dropped practice bombs on the village of Tarnov between 4 and 4:30 a.m. today. By noon authorities had accounted for six bombs.”
Luckily, there were no injuries, and the only damage was to the home of Joe Ciecior. The bomb that hit the Ciecior residence apparently tore through the back porch, ripped through a portion of the pantry and lodged in the ground beneath the house. Several other bombs fell near the school and the dance hall. The article states, “…two planes circled the village about 15 times in dropping the bombs. Closest bombing range to Tarnov is the one at Stanton. No official word has been released as to why the bombs were dropped at Tarnov.”
The missiles turned out to be practice bombs dropped from a U.S. Army Air Force bomber on a night training mission. The crew had mistaken the lights of Tarnov for a lighted bombing range a few miles south of Stanton. The newspaper article ends with, “The whole village was excited today and the incident was the talk of the town.” Hopefully you’re having a better morning than the residents of Tarnov, Nebraska did 67 years ago today!
- Tom Mooney, Curator of Manuscripts