Lt. Charles Tillou Killed in Flight Collision


(Sept. 25, 1958) -- Details have reached Nutley of the air accident which cost the life of 1st Lt. Charles Tillou, 24 son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Wesley Tillou of Rutgers Place, who was one of six Air Force men known to have been killed in a collision between an American transport plane and a French fighter plane near Paris.

The two planes; an Air Force C139 transport plane and a Mystero Jet, collided at Polsey on Friday with Lt. Tillou's wife, the former Miss Elizabeth Vandenberg, who had joined him in France, first learning of the air tragedy. She returned to this country by an Air Force plane soon after the accident and is now in Nutley.

Tillou was a member of the 41st Troop Carrier Squadron operating out of France.

Memorial services were conducted yesterday afternoon at St. Paul's Congregational Church and Evreux Air Force Base in France.

Lt. Tillou's parents said they will initiate a memorial fund in his memory.

Lt. Tillou is the second Air Force officer from Nutley to be killed within a period of only three months.

In July, Lt. F. Paul Jannarone Jr., a pilot with the Strategic Air Command, was killed when a B-47 Stratojet bomber crashed into the side of a mountain in Vermont.

Lt. Tillou, a navigator, volunteered for the fatal mission. He was the navigator aboard the American transport plane on a flight from the air base at Evreux, France, to Spangdahlem, Germany.

Lt. Tillou entered the Air Force in January 1957, received his preliminary training at Lackland Air Force Base, in Texas, and received his navigator's wings at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, where he ranked second in the flight school graduating class.

He was sent overseas last April and his wife followed him to France two months later. The couple had been married only 14 months at the time of the fatal air crash.

Lt. Tillou was a life-long resident of Nutley and went through the public school system, having been graduated from Yanticaw elementary, and Nutley junior and senior high schools.

He was one of the most popular students in the Nutley High School class of 1952. Lt. Tillou was outstanding both as a student and as an athlete.

He started at third base on the Maroon baseball team and helped bulwark Nutley to the final round of the 1952 Greater Newark Tournament and Group 4 sectional honors.

Lt. Tillou was honored by being selected for the All-County baseball team and also served as captain of the Nutley basketball team. For his success in sports, Lt. Tillou was singled out by American Legion, Post 70, as the "Scholastic Athlete of the Year" for 1952.

Tillou went on to Colgate University and continued to combine his scholastic and athletic abilities. He was president of his senior class at Colgate, was president of the Senior Honor Society and as selected for "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities".

In sports, Tillou went on to star in soccer, an activity he had never played until going to college. He became one of the best players on the Colgate team and was named fullback on the All-East soccer team.

Lt. Tillou is also survived by a sister, Miss Carolyn Tillou, at home, and his paternal grandmother, Mrs. Charles W. Tillou. He was also the grandson of the late Mrs. and Mrs. Charles Caldwell and the late Dr. Charles W. Tillou.

The Nutley Sun


24-Year-Old Air Force Navigator Is Killed When Two Planes Collide In France.

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