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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Crone, Frank (P1, C2 L7)

Private Frank Crone, of Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky, a member of the Kentucky National Guard, was on duty as a guard at the Newport Rolling Mill was being relieved from duty by John Yates of Newport; he was accidentally killed on 13 March 1922. A revolver slipped from Yates' pocket and fell to the ground, discharging and mortally wounding Crone. The following article concerning Crone’s death appeared on page 13 of the 14 March edition of the Cincinnati Post:

    Fatal Accident at Newport Is Probed by Military

    The Cincinnati Post 14 March 1922 page 13

    Second accidental death among Kentucky Guardsmen stationed in Newport was under investigation Tuesday. Private Frank Crone, 17, of 426 Philadelphia St., Covington, member of 38th Tank Company, was killed instantly late Monday when an automatic pistol dropped by a companion struck a stove and was discharged. The bullet struck Crone above the left eye.

    Private John Yates, Brighton St., Newport, also a member of the tank corps and Crone’s “buddy,” is said to have dropped the pistol while twirling it on a finger.

    The weapon, it is said, is the one with which Corporal Robert Deaton of Barbourville, Ky., was killed last December. In this case the pistol was discharged accidentally when Sergeant Charles Black, also of Barbourville, fell.

    Gun Kills Second Guard In Accident At Newport

    State Guard Killed When Gun Which Had Killed Another Guard Fell From Hand of Comrade

    Public Ledger [Maysville, Ky], 14 March 1922, p. 1

    Frank Crone, 20 years old, 509 Russell Street, Covington, a private in the Thirty-eighth Tank Company, Kentucky National Guards, stationed at the Newport Rolling Mills, was shot accidentally and instantly killed early Monday night when one of his comrades dropped his automatic pistol on a stove and the weapon exploded.  The bullet entered Crone’s head just above the left eye and the man was pronounced dead upon arrival at Speers Hospital.

    The accident took place in the guardhouse at the mill.

    According to witnesses, the shot which killed Crone came from a weapon belonging to John Yates, 20 years old, Brighton Street, Newport, a private in the same company with Crone..  Yates was coming off guard duty and Crone was about to go on.  Yates was twirling his pistol about his finger by means of the trigger guard when suddenly the weapon fell out of his hand and dropped on the guardhouse stove.

    The report followed and Crone fell to the ground.

    A peculiar feature of the accident is that the gun which killed Crone is the same that figured in a similar accident at the Newport Rolling Mill on Christmas Eve.  At that time Sergeant Charles Black, Barbourville, Ky., knocked the weapon out of his own holster so that it fell on the ground and was discharged, the ball entering the abdomen of Corporal Robert Deaton, 19 years old, also of Barbourville.  Deaton died a few hours later.

    "Accident," Is Verdict

    The Cincinnati Post 15 March 1922 page 6

    Dr. Walter B. Hughes, Campbell co coroner, returned a verdict Wednesday of accidental death in the fatal wounding of Private Frank Crone, 20, of 426 Philadelphia st. Covington, Kentucky guardsman on duty in Newport. He was killed when a gun dropped by Private John Yates, Brighton st. Newport, was discharged accidentally.

The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273

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