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INDY 500 MEMORIAL - 1933
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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Fatalities - May 1933
Bob Hurst - mechanic
Mark Billman - driver
Lester Spangler - driver
G.L Gordon - mechanic
Changes for the 1933 race include:

The field increasing to 42 cars, the most ever.  The field would be limited to the current number, 33, the
following year.

Qualifying increased from 4 Laps to 10 laps.  

Cars had to come equipped with starters and fuel is limited to 15 gallons - previously cars held 40 gallons.  

This race was also the first time the winner drank milk in victory lane.

1933 proved to be the most dangerous month of May at the Speedway.
Denver's Indy Record
Lester Spangler & G.L. "Monk" Jordan
Year         Car No.      Car               Laps Completed                 Start     Finish
1933        15                Miller           132 - Wrecked T1, died        7            26
Lester Spangler, unmarried, was from Los Angeles,
where he had lived for the past two years; but his family
livedin Brook, Indiana where Lester was born.  He left
Brook and was reared in Canada and the Dakotas.

Spangler first raced in 1929 on the Roby track in Chicago.  
He had watched five Indy 500-mile races before this race
and this race was the first time he had entered.In 1932 he
finished second in the Pacific Cost Driving Championship.

G.L. Jordan, 27, had served as a mechanic in three
previous Indy races.  The owner of a paint shop in
Lafayette IN, he rode at Indy simply because he enjoyed
the excitement of auto racing.
Spangler's Miller Special was behind Malcomb Fox in his
race and had an excellent chance to finish in the money.  
Fox said he tried to avoid a skidding car in front of him in
the first turn by going toward the outside retaining wall.  
Spangler, in an effort to slip between Fox and the wall, hit
one of Fox's rear wheels, jumped over Fox's car, and
landed astride the outside wall.  Fox was unable to regain
control, spun several times, and dashed to the outside wall
where the car dangled on the wall until a wrecking crew
removed it.  Fox and his mechanic,
Bert Cook, suffered
only minor bruises.  Both Spangler and
G.L. Jordan were
thrown from their car and landed on the brick track.  They
were badly bruised and both had skull fractures.  Spangler
died right after the race was over, and Jordan died shortly

Lester Spangler was survived by his parents,two sisters and
a brother.
Bill Denver was a resident of Audubon PA and had
moved there from Akron Ohio.  He changed his name from
Eura Denver Orem and raced under the name Bill Denver
on the dirt tracks in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  
Denver was an experienced driver and competed in the
1930 Indy 500, which had 42 drivers start it.  He won the
1931 Independence Day races at Altoona PA.

Bob Hurst was from Indianapolis and had been racing for
three years.  His life had been filled with adventures ever
since he quit school at age 14 to join the Marines in WWI,
where he was cited for bravery in Argonne, France.  

He joined Denver as his riding mechanic for the 1933
Indy 500.  His wife
Happy Hurst refused to attend.

They went out to qualify on the last day of time trials.  They
were using the car that
Al Aspen had wrecked the
previous Monday.  The team worked all week and into the
weekend to repair the car for today.

After a warm-up lap, Denver began his first qualifying lap.
His speed was estimated at 105 mph as he exited the
third turn.  He lost control and the car spun and leaped the
wall, landing 20 feet below, smashing into a tree.  The two
were thrown clear as the car burst into flames, however
some gas spilled on them and their clothes were on fire.  
Some garage men quickly dragged them clear and
removed their burning clothing.  Neither of the two were
badly burned.

Denver died on the way to the hospital and Hurst died just
after being admitted.

Denver was 32, Hurst 31.  Each were married.
Bill Denver ~ Hugh "Bob" Hurst
Spangler's Indy Record
Year        Car No.   Car                             Laps Completed              Start      Finish
1930        44            Nardi                         41 - connecting rod           35          22
1931        42            Brady & Nardi          DNQ
1931        72            Alberti                       Relieved Al Aspen
1933        42            Brady & Nardi          died in qualifying T3
Mark Billman was from Indianapolis.  He attended St.
Anthony's Catholic School.  As soon as he finished the
eighth grade at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, he
went to work for the Ford Motor Company plant in

When he was 18 years old, he drove in his first race at the
old Hoosier Speedway, a 1/2 mile dirt track on Pendleton

After several years on dirt tracks, he raced the board track
in Altoona PA and the Oakland track in California.  He
won 10 races in 1932, for a total of more than 50 in his

His dream to race in the Indy 500 came true in 1933.

Two friends,
James Mannix and Jimmy Kemp obtained
a Duesenberg and chose Billman to drive it.   He qualifed
the Kemp-Mannix Special at 112.410 mph.

In the race, Billman drove 79 masterful laps.  But on the
80th lap, something went wrong.  He skidded in the 2nd
turn, hit the inside wall tail-first and then veered across to
strike the outer wall with terrific force.  The car ripped out
a V-shaped piece of the concrete wall and hurtled high in
the air.  

Billman's mechanic,
Elmer Lombard, fell into the grass
about 150 feet outside the track when the car turned
upside down.  Bill fell on the inside track and the car
bounced down on him and up again to straddle the wall.

For about 20 minutes. rescuers worked to free Billman,
pinned between the concrete wall and the left front wheel
of the car.  His mangled left arm was amputated and he
was given blood transfusions .  Bleeding profusely, he
lived less than an hour.

Lombard was treated for burns and lacerations and

Billman was a natural born driver and couldn't give up
racing if he'd wanted to.  Billman had been in many
crashes, but only one other serious one - when he broke
his hip in 1928 at Winchester.

Unmarried, Mark Billman , 27, was survived by his parents,
two brothers and three sisters.
Billman's Indy Record
Year     Car No.     Car                         Laps Completed         Start   Finish
1933     64             Kemp-Mannix        79 - T2 crash, died        22      30
Mark Billman
1930 Indy 500 - Bill Denver with riding mechanic Chuck Wise
Bill Denver (1901-1933)
Bob Hurst
Ravenswood Cemetery, Ravenswood, WV
Lester Spangler
Holy Cross and Saint Joseph Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN
Goodland Cemetery, Goodland IN