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Plane Bound for Israel Crashes at Rome Airport, Killing Two Fliers; One Was Famous Hero

May 21, 1948
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A plane reportedly owned by an American citizen which took off from here today en route to Israel crashed in flames at Rome airport minutes after it ascended, resulting in the death of two fliers who were said to have beer planning to join the Israeli air force.

One of those killed was a famous Canadian air ace, George Buerling, who shot down 31 enemy planes during the war. The other occupant of the plane was Leonard Cohen, of Liverpool. Reports circulating here said that the two men were part of a squadron of fliers en route to the Jewish state from Western Europe to aid in the defense of Israel.

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