5 April 2012, 04:50 AM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New Jersey
I took a quick look in the 27th Aero history and found Lt.Ruliff Vanderveer NEVIUS alternately reported as KIA or Killed in Accident. He was on a patrol with 9 other SPADs from 17h05 to 18h45 and did not return from that flight.
Oddly, I have found no narrative mention of his loss at all.
Henshaw's The Sky Their Battelfield does not mention him lending some weight to the Killed by Accident reference, but clearly he is mentioned as out on patrol and not returned. Might imply a forced landing in which he was killed, but I have no evidence of that. I'm really surprised the unit history has nothing on this save the date which he died.
I did find a reference in the First Pursuit Group War Diary (which I have found to be mostly, but not completely accurate), that he was killed in a take off accident 16 Aug at 17h15. The same source lists him as killed at Issoudun. I have the weekly casualty reports for Issoudun - he's not on them for that week, so I am not certain whwt to make of the "takeoff accident" citation.
Interestingly - at least to me in New Jersey - is that his family was in NJ in the 1800's at least and later relocated to California. In case this escaped us - born Feb 24, 1898 in Kansas City, MO to Cornelius V. Nevius and Carolina Olsen (suspect Olsen in maden family name). By WW I, Mrs. Nevius was deceased. His father resided at 801 S. Chapel Street in Alhambra, CA. where, byt 1923, he ran an upholstering business. He is listed in the city of Los Angeles directory of 1906 employed as a Carpenter.
His family was in NY and NJ for quite a while it seemd before relocating to California. I find record of Corneiuls Nevius (originally Neffius form the Netherlands) back to the 1600's. One of the many Cornelius' served in COmpany A of the 15th NJ Infantry Regt during the Civil War. I suspect there's a straight line on this family in NJ, but not sure it's relevant to your project.
There appears to be some interesting family history to mine here if you are interested in that background.
Not much traction on the exact (or maybe even accurate !) circumstances surrounding his death, but the lack of evidence that he was KIA probably points to an accident.