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Joe and Kate Keller had two sons, Chris and Larry. Keller owned a manufacturing plant with Steve Deever, and their families were close. Steve's daughter Ann was Larry's beau, and George was their friend. When the war came, both Keller boys and George were drafted.
During the war, Keller's and Deever's manufacturing plant had a very profitable contract with the U.S. Army, supplying airplane parts. One morning, a shipment of defective parts came in. Under pressure from the army to keep up the output, Steve Deever called Keller, who had not yet come into work that morning, to ask what he should do. Keller told Steve to weld the cracks in the airplane parts and ship them out. Steve was nervous about doing this alone, but Keller said that he had the flu and could not go into work. Steve shipped out the defective but possibly safe parts on his own.
Later, it was discovered that the defective parts caused twenty-one planes to crash and their pilots to die. Steve and Keller were arrested and convicted, but Keller managed to win an appeal and get his conviction overturned. He claimed that Steve did not call him and that he was completely unaware of the shipment. Keller went home free, while Steve remained in jail, shunned by his family.