New Boston, New Hampshire – January 14, 1949
At 2:30 p.m. on January 14, 1949, a flight of five P-51 aircraft took off from Grenier Air Force Base in Manchester, N.H. for a scheduled dive bombing and rocket training mission. Each plane carried two 100 lb. bombs and six rockets.
The flight was led by Captain Elmer V. Kramer, 30, who was piloting a P-51D, (#44-74965).
After take off, the flight headed for the New Boston Bombing Range located about ten miles to the west of Grenier Field. Upon arrival at the range, the first four aircraft took positions at 7,800 feet in anticipation of making their respective “runs” while the fifth aircraft dropped to 4,000 feet to score the bombing results.
Captain Kramer decided to make a dry run over the range, and while doing so, while traveling at an approximate speed of 210 mph, the left wing suddenly tore loose at the fuselage sending the aircraft into an uncontrollable series of snap-rolls as it fell. The plane crashed and exploded into a wooded area near the range killing Captain Kramer.
Investigation revealed that the left wing had signs of an old crack in the metal which apparently had gone undetected, leading to a total structural failure during the flight.
Capt. Karmer was assigned to the 82nd Fighter Wing.
Army Air Force Accident Investigation Report #49-1-14-3