Valentin Tulla


Civil Engineering

Newman Club

Santurce, Puerto Rico

Wife: Betty Goodman of Clemson, SC

Army Air Force, First Lieutenant

501 Bomb Squadron, 21 Bomb Group

Sep 12, 1918

Mar 12, 1945

Non-Battle Death - Crashed at AAF Alexandria, Louisiana on a training flight.

He was originally buried in Old Stone Church in Clemson but was later reinterred in the Puerto Rico Memorial, Vault 3-B, 4225 Isla Verde Avenue, Carolina, PR


Personal Remembrances

The following extract and series of photos was gathered from Franscisco Silva-Tulla, Lt Tulla's nephew.
Lt. Valentín Tulla was my uncle, my mother’s brother.  My mother was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania at the time of Lt. Tulla’s death and she went to South Carolina to represent the family during his funeral.  His parents were in Puerto Rico and with the difficult travel conditions during the war years, they were unable to attend. Although he died before I was born, his memory was always around us since the family frequently mentioned him.  I have, or have access to, whatever information exists about him from my mother’s family side.  Our family maintained contact with his widow, Betty Goodman, for many years after his death.  I understand she remarried.  [Note: In April 1948 Betty Goodman Tulla married Alexander C. Page, the brother of Lewis A. Page, another honoree on the Clemson Scroll of Honor.]  Several years before my mother’s death in 2 February 2004, my parents visited Betty during one of their annual car trips between residences in Florida and Connecticut.  In our Lexington, MA home I have in a display case the U.S. flag used to drape his casket, along with one of his calling cards. 
Francisco Silva-Tulla, Sc.D., P.E. 

First Lt. Valentin Tulla, pilot in the Army Air Corps, and husband of the former Miss Betty Goodman of Clemson, was killed last Saturday at Alexandria, LA, in a plane crash which claimed the lives of ten persons.  Twenty-six years old, he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Tulla, of Puerto Rico.

Majoring in civil engineering, Lt. Tulla left Clemson in 1942 from the Junior class.  He was a pilot on a heavy bomber and his promotion to the rank of first lieutenant came through on Sunday, the day following his death.

At the time this was written, his body was expected to arrive on Thursday night under military escort.  Plans were underway for a military funeral, interment to be at the Old Stone Church cemetery.  Miss Haydee Tulla, sister of Lt. Tulla who is doing graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, attended the funeral.   [Note: 2Lt Tulla's body was later interred in the Puerto Rico Memorial, Carolina, PR.]

Extracted from The Tiger the Clemson student newspaper.

Note: 1Lt Tulla is listed on the Clemson Scroll of Honor as a member of the Class of '44.  However, I believe was in the Class of '43.  The 1942 Taps shows him as a Junior and the 1941 Taps shows him as a Sophomore.   J. David Lyle


Additional Information

Accident Report #45-3-10-4
Aircraft Model: B-29; S/N #42-53391        
Organization: Location: Harvard, Nebraska
Group: 501st Bomb (VH), Squadron: 21st Bomb (VH)
Place of Departure: HAAF Harvard, Nebraska
Target or Intended Destination: Local
Type of Mission: Navigation Fight
Date: 10 March 1945, Time: 2054 CWT
Location of Crash: Near Alexandria, LA
Reason aircraft was Lost: engine trouble, night vision, fatigue
List of Crew (Crew position, Name, Rank, Status):
Pilot-Tulla, Valentin 2nd Lt. – fatal
Co-pilot-Shambrook, Wayne R. 2nd Lt.-fatal     
Navigator-LeVord, Vincent L.1st Lt.-fatal
Bomber-Callahan, Herbert W. 1st officer-fatal
Engineer-Neely, Everett A. Staff Sgt.-fatal
Radio Operator-Cadwalladen, William H. Staff Sgt.-fatal
Gunner-Adams, William H. Cpl.-fatal
Gunner-Allison, Reed D.Cpl.-fatal
Gunner-Allen, J. L. Cpl.-fatal
V-Grano, H. H.1st Lt.-fatal
Narrative of eyewitness statements:
1. The aircraft departed Harvard AAF at 1025 CWT for a local navigation flight of about 14 hours.
2. Aircraft called Alexandria Tower at 2040 CWT stating that they were coming in for an emergency landing due to engine trouble.
3. Permission was granted, but the number one engine backfired and there were indications of fire in the induction system.
4. These complications caused the aircraft to veer to the left of the runway and drop steeply, resulting in cartwheeling, explosion, and fire.
5. Night vision and fatigue were also considered as contributing factors in this accident.

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