Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bunker Hill Tornado - 67th Anniversary

Thursday, March 19, will mark the 67th Anniversary of the Tornado which hit Bunker Hill

March 25, 1948: A terrific disaster descended on Bunker Hill at 6:45 a.m., Friday morning (March 19), when a tornado ripped through this 112 year old city, taking a toll of 19 dead and 126 injured, and left a bumbled mass of wreckage in its wake.  The storm, which rolled over the business and residential areas like a steamroller, smashed brick and frame structures like paper houses, laying 80 percent of the city to waste, and caused damage estimated at one and a half million dollars.

The destructive windstorm also hit North Alton, practically wiped out Fosterburg, a village of 200 inhabitants about 15 miles southwest of Bunker Hill, struck south Gillespie, causing great damage, and wrecked many farm homes along the entire entire article reprint at

From the Bunker Hill Gazette News, April 23, 2015:

Ironically, this was taken after the tornado in 1948.  The man on the left is my late father, Reno "Blackie" DalPozzo, who worked at Bahn's in Bunker Hill.  The morning of the tornado, my dad told the story that he had the truck at home and it was raining.  He forgot his umbrella and raincoat and went back in the house to get them, may have actually saved his life.  The truck stalled out in the bottoms on Bunker Hill Road and he saw the tornado go overhead.  When he got to Bunker Hill and saw the damage, he realized how lucky he was.  Having spent his time in the Army during World War II as a medic, he volunteered to help with the injured.  He never gave any details about that day other than the fact that someone was looking out for him that morning.

He couldn't seem to remember who the man on the right is.  Perhaps your readers will help with that question.  
 ---Photo compliments of Cindy (DalPozzo) Leonard, Staunton.

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, March 12, 2015, April 23, 2015

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