Manchester, N.H. – May 20, 1979

Manchester, New Hampshire – May 20, 1979

 

Kaman Seasprite helicopter – built by Kaman Aircraft Corp, Bloomfield, Connecticut.

     On the morning of May 20, 1979, a U.S. Navy HH2-Delta Seasprite helicopter left Norfolk, Virginia, with five crewmen aboard, bound for the Brunswick, Maine, naval air station.  The crew was assigned to  Light Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 30, also known as HSL-30.  The purpose of the flight was for instrument training. 

     At about 9:30 a.m. the aircraft was passing over Manchester, New Hampshire, at an altitude of 5,000 feet when it suddenly went down and crashed near Manchester Airport.   The weather at the time was cloudy and raining.  

     All five crewmen were killed in the crash.  They were identified as:

     Lieutenant Commander Lynwood H. Duncan, 33, of Greensboro, North Carolina.  He’s buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Oxford, North Carolina.

     Lieutenant Commander James P. Hogan, 34, of Davenport, Iowa.    

     Lieutenant Paul L. Mellott, Jr., 31, of Chesapeake, Virginia.  He’s buried in Rest Haven Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland.  He was survived by a wife and two children.

     Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael J. Kennedy, 25, of Warminister, Penn.

     Airman Paul J. Dellas, 21, of San Jose, California.

     Sources:

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Investigators Probe Helicopter Wreckage”, May 21, 1979, page A-4

     New York Times, “5 Killed As Navy Copter Crashes In Drizzle Near Manchester, N.H.”, May 21, 1979

     www.findagrave.com

Near Colebrook, N.H. – December 7, 1975

Near Colebrook, New Hampshire – December 7, 1975

     On December 7, 1975, a flight of four U.S. Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk fighter jets left South Weymouth Naval Air Station in Massachusetts for a routine training flight. One of the aircraft, Bu. No. 150135, was piloted by Captain Andrew J. Ley, 30, a Marine Corps Reserve officer from Natick, Massachusetts.  While the flight was passing near Colebrook, New Hampshire, Captain Ley was forced to bail out of his aircraft.  The Skyhawk reportedly went down in a wilderness area near Colebrook.  Captain Ley parachuted safely, and was assisted by some local men who happened to see his chute deploy.  He was transported to the Pease Air Force Base hospital for treatment of minor injuries. 

     Sources:

     Boston Globe, “Natick Pilot Ejects Self From Plane”, December 8, 1975   

     Boston Herald American, “Weymouth Pilot Bails Out Safely In N.H.”, December 8, 1975  

     South Middlesex News, “Natick Man Bails Out As Fighter Jet Crashes”, December 8, 1975   

     The Patriot Ledger, “Bruised And Sore, Pilot Safe After Plane Failure”, December 8, 1975

Pease Air Force Base – July 21, 1965

Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire – July 21, 1965

 

RB-47E Stratojet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At 3: a.m. on the morning of July 21, 1965, an Air Force B-47 jet bomber was approaching Pease Air Force Base after an 11-hour training flight when it was discovered that the landing gear would not come down.  The aircraft then circled the base for the next five hours while the crew attempted to fix the problem, but they were unable to do so.  With fuel running low, there was no choice but to attempt a belly landing.  The runway was covered with foam and the pilot made a pass over the runway at 50 feet to check conditions.  He then brought the aircraft in and touched down without landing gear.  The crew deployed drogue chutes to slow the aircraft, and it skidded along the tarmac for 250 yards before coming to rest.  There was no fire and none of the four crewmen aboard were injured.

     The crew were identified as:

     Lt. Col. James B. Price, of Waco, Texas.

     Captain Yale R. Davis Jr., of Salina, Kansas.

     Captain Ronald E. Newton, of Hastings, Nebraska.

     Lieutenant Charles S. Franco, Brooklyn, New York.   

     Source:

     New London Day, “Crippled AF Jet In Safe Belly-Landing”, July, 22, 1965 – with photo of aircraft on runway.

Pease AFB – Dec. 8, 1964

Near Pease Air Force Base –  December 8, 1964

 

RB-47E Stratojet U.S. Air Force Photo

RB-47E Stratojet
U.S. Air Force Photo

    On December 8, 1964, a B-47E Stratojet bomber carrying four airmen crashed and burned shortly after takeoff from Pease Air Force Base.  When it reached an altitude of 1,000 feet it suddenly plunged into a wooded area about two miles from the end of the runway.  All aboard were killed.  The resulting fire burned two unoccupied cabins.

     The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) Major Daniel J. Campion Jr., 54.  

     (Co-pilot) Captain Truman A. Burch, 28.

     (Navigator) Major John R. North, 30.

     (Observer) Captain Bennie Ward Forrester, 27.   

       The plane was with the 351st Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Wing, assigned to Pease AFB.

Sources:

      The Morning Record, “Air Force Jet Carrying Four Crashes, Burns”, Dec. 8, 1964, pg. 1    (The same article also mentioned that on November 5, 1964, a KC-97 tanker plane crashed at the edge of a highway near the base killing all five crewmen aboard.)

     New York Times, “B-47 With Four Aboard Crashes In New Hampshire”, December 8, 1964

     Schenectady Gazette, December 9, 1964, Page 17.

 

 

Mt. Waternomee, NH – January 14, 1942

Mt. Waternomee, New Hampshire – January 14, 1942

Woodstock, New Hampshire

     

Douglas B-18 National Archives Photo

Douglas B-18
National Archives Photo

     At 1:04 p.m. on January 14, 1942, an Army Air Corps B-18A, (#37-619) took off from Westover Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts, for an anti-submarine patrol over the Atlantic.    

     There were seven crewmen aboard:

     (Pilot) 1st Lt. Anthony Benvenuto, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

     (Co-pilot) 2nd Lt. Woodrow A. Kantner, of Cranford, N.J.

     (Navigator) 2nd Lt. Fletcher Craig, of Gridler, California.

     (Engineer) Pfc. Richard G. Chubb, of Billerica, Mass.  

     (Radio Operator) Pfc. Noah W. Phillips, Jr., 20, from Fayetteville, Arkansas. He’s buried in Hester, Cemetery in Fayetteville.

     (Bombardier) Pfc. Raymond F. Lawrence, 21, of Worcester, Mass. He’s buried in Hope Cemetery in Worcester. 

     (Photographer) Robert P. Picard, of Springfield, Mass.   

     The press listed Pfc. Lawrence as the plane’s gunner, and Pfc. Phillips as the bombardier, however the Air Corps Accident Investigation Report, (#42-1-14-2), lists Pfc. Lawrence as bombardier, and Pfc. Phillips as the radio operator.  As a point of fact, Pfc. Phillips was the radio operator. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #41911453)

     When the plane left Westover, the weather over Massachusetts was clear with strong winds which caused some turbulence for the airplane.  After traveling 250 miles out to sea the pilot turned the aircraft around and began heading back towards land.  Then the plane got caught in a strong wind shift and drifted off course, and the oncoming darkness made visibility difficult.

     Once the plane reached land the crew tried to get their bearings by using the plane’s radio and radio compass, but couldn’t do so due to extreme static.  The sky was overcast and the night was very dark.  That, combined with wartime blackouts made it difficult for the crew to recognize any landmarks below. 

     The overcast grew thicker and after awhile the pilot was flying on instruments at 4,000 feet, while the co-pilot watched for any breaks in the clouds.  At 8:04 p.m. the co-pilot shouted a warning that there was a mountain ahead, and the pilot hade a sharp turn to the right just before the plane struck Mt. Waternomee at 160 miles per hour.  The aircraft broke apart on impact scattering wreckage over a wide area, and the subsequent fire set off the cargo of bombs.   

     Two crewmen, Pfc. Raymond F. Lawrence, and Pfc. Noah W. Phillips, were killed in the crash.  Miraculously, the other five crewmen survived.  

    Some sources, including the Air Corps crash investigation report, have put the location of this crash as being on Moosilauke Mountain, but this is incorrect.  The crash occurred on Mt. Waternomee.   

     The wreckage of the B-18 can still be seen today. (See www.hikenewengland.com, and www.logginginlincoln.com, to see photographs of the crash site and memorial.)   

     Sources:

     Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, # 42-1-14-2

     Boston Herald, “U.S. Probes N. H. Crash – Two dead Five Hurt As Bomber Hits Peak”, January 16, 1942 

     The Union-Leader, (Manchester N.H.) “Crash Survivors Due To Recover”, January 16, 1942

     The Union Leader, (Manchester N.H.) “Bodies of Bomber Victims To Go Home On Week-End”, Unknown Date. (Copy of article was attached to investigation report.)

     www.findagrave.com

    

    

    

    

      

      

Portsmouth, N.H. – January 17, 1917

Portsmouth, New Hampshire – January 17, 1917

     On January 17, 1917, a navy airplane, (Serial number 75-A), was flying over the Piscatagua River in Portsmouth, presumably near the Portsmouth Navy Yard.  As the pilot was making a turn, “wind (got) under the tail rudder”, and the plane fell into the water.  It was reported that “…neither the aviator or the machine was injured.”   The type of aircraft, and the pilot’s identity, were not stated.

     Source: The Washington Herald, (Washington, D.C.), “Navy Aeroplane Drops But Aviator Escapes”, January 18, 1917 

New Boston, NH – January 14, 1949

New Boston, New Hampshire – January 14, 1949 

    

P-51 Mustang U.S. Air Force Photo

P-51 Mustang
U.S. Air Force Photo

     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.   

     Source:

     Army Air Force Accident Investigation Report #49-1-14-3

Smart’s Mountain, N.H. – September 20, 1971

Smart’s Mountain, New Hampshire – September 20, 1971 

     This accident involved both military and civilian aircraft. 

     On Monday evening, September 20, 1971, a twin-engine Piper Apache took off from Portland, Maine, bound for Lebanon, New Hampshire.  The plane arrived near Lebanon shortly after 8:00 p.m., where thick fog shrouded the area.  As the aircraft was making its approach to Lebanon Airport, it crashed into the side of Smart’s Mountain.  The mountain is about 3,240 feet high, and the aircraft impacted about 1,500 feet from the summit.    

     There were three people aboard, Jeanne Bennett, 47, of Post Mills, Vermont, and Hans Klunder, 42, and Robert E. Stewart, 27.  Mrs. Benet was killed, and Klunder and Stewart were seriously injured.  The men managed to build a fire, the smoke of which attracted rescuers to their location. 

     It was reported that all three aboard the aircraft were pilots, and it was unclear as to who was flying the plane at the time of the crash.  

     A New Hampshire National Guard helicopter arrived at the scene and two guardsmen prepared to repel down a rope to assist the survivors.  The first guardsman landed safely, but the second, Specialist 6 Frederick Bartlett, 33, of Manchester, N.H., fell and was killed.    

     The survivors were brought down the mountain in a motorized vehicle and transferred to Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, N.H.

     Source:

     Nashua Telegraph, “Rescuer Killed In Fall At Airplane Crash Site.” September 22, 1971.

Andover, N.H. – July 22, 1959

Andover, New Hampshire – July 22, 1959

     In the early morning hours of July 22, 1959, two U.S. Air Force KC-97 tanker aircraft from Pease Air Force Base were on a night fueling mission over southern New Hampshire.  Shortly before 2:00 a.m., the two tankers were flying one ahead of the other, preparing to re-fuel a flight of jet aircraft at 15,000 feet, when the left wing of the lead aircraft, (#52-2703), suddenly erupted in flames and started going down.  The burning plane crashed in a hay field in the town of Andover and exploded, killing all seven crewmen aboard. 

     The men were identified as:

     (Pilot) Capt. James H. White.  

     Lt. Harold G. High, of Deluth, Minn. 

     Lt. Dean H. Holzworth, 24, of Worland, Wyoming.

     Sgt. Marion C. Akerman, of Vevay, Indiana.

     Sgt. Owen Q. Combs, 24, of Bloomfield, Indiana.

     Sgt. Jake Schmidt, of Riverton, Wyoming.

     Airman 3c Phillips K. Darst, of Norman, Oklahoma.

     The men were part of the 509th Air Refueling Squadron at Pease AFB.

     The cause of the accident was determined to be the mechanical failure of a turbocharger in the left wing which caused an ignition of fuel lines or fuel cells in the wing.

     Sources:

     (Utah) The Deseret News, “2 West Men Die In Air Tanker Crash”, July 22, 1959

     (Washington) Spokene Daily Chronicle, “7 Men Killed In KC-97 Crash”, July 22, 1959

     (Texas) The Victoria Advocate, “7 Tanker Airmen Die In Fiery Crash”, July 23, 1959 

     Aviation Safety Network

 

Pease Air Force Base – November 5, 1964

Pease Air Force Base – November 5, 1964

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

     On November 5, 1964, five U.S. Air Force KC-97 tanker planes were scheduled to take off from Pease Air Force Base as part of an airborne refueling training mission.  The first three took off successfully, however the forth aircraft crashed and exploded on take off, scattering debris across the Pease golf course, and nearby Route 101.  All five crewmen aboard were killed.

     They were identified as:

     (Pilot) Capt. Robert Louis Thompson, 33, of Vernon, Connecticut.

     (C0-Pilot) Capt. Michael Peter Valavon, 27, of Jersey City, New Jersey.

     (Navigator) 1st Lt. Larry C. Dennis, 25, of Richmond, Virginia.

     (Boom Operator) S/Sgt. Gerald William Schulz, 32, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

     (Flight Engineer) S/Sgt. Richard Earl Towle, 36, of Kittery, Maine.   

     The men were assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Squadron. 

     Two civilians, a mother and her daughter, were slightly burned when the accident occurred.  They had been sitting in a car on Route 101 watching the aircraft take off. 

     Sources:

     (Spokane, Washington) The Spokesman-Review, “5 U.S. Airmen Crash Victims”, November 6, 1964

     Unknown newspaper, “Five Killed In AF Tanker Crash, November 6, 1964

    

Pease Air Force Base – April 15, 1958

Pease Air Force Base – April 15, 1958

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    

RB-47E Stratojet U.S. Air Force Photo

RB-47E Stratojet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the night of April 15, 1958, a U.S. Air Force B-47E Stratojet, (#52-562), crashed on take off from Pease AFB in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  The aircraft had risen to about 700 feet before it suddenly plunged into a swamp near the end of the runway and burst into flames.  The smoke from the fire could be see for fifteen miles.

     One witness to the accident later told a reporter, “I could see the plane spilling fuel, then it just lit up, as though on fire, before it crashed.”

    

     All four crewmen aboard were killed in the crash.  They were identified as:

     (Aircraft Commander) Captain Richard D. Burns, 27, of Royal Oak, Michigan.  He’s buried in Gilgal Cemetery in Heltonville, Indiana.  To see a photograph of  Capt. Burns, go to www.findagrave.com, Memorial #63005578.  

     (Pilot) 1st Lt. Edward S. Starley, 25, of Delta, Utah. He’s buried in Delta City Cemetery in Delta, UT.  He was survived by his wife Helen.  (For more info see www.findagrave.com, Memorial #42217304.

     (Navigator) 1st Lt. Edward S. McKinney, 25, of Casper, Wyoming.  He’s buried in Highland Cemetery in Casper, WY.  (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #58413512.)

     (Crew Chief) S/Sgt. Jennings V. Ware, 23, of Webster, West Virginia.  He’s buried in Cool Spring Cemetery in Webster County, W.V.  To see more info go to www.findagrave.com, Memorial #93245519.

     All four men were assigned to the 830th Bomb Squadron, 509th Bomb Wing, stationed at Walker Air Force Base in New Mexico.  

     Sources:

     Nashua Telegraph, “Four Killed In Pease Jet Crash”, April 16, 1958

     www.findagrave.com  

Wolfboro, N.H. – April 2, 1985

Wolfboro, New Hampshire – April 2, 1985

 

     On April 2, 1985, two Air National Guard F-106 fighter jets were on a training flight 30,000 feet over the Lake Winnipesaukee region when they accidentally collided in mid-air.  One aircraft, piloted by Capt. Paul Worcester, was able to make it to Pease Air Force Base about fifty miles distant and land safely.  The other F-106, piloted by Col. John Anderson, crashed in a wooded area off Route 28 in the town of Wolfboro.  Col. Anderson was able to eject and land safely.

     Source: Nashua Telegraph, “Fighter Jets Collide, One Crashes; Pilots Safe”, April 3, 1985    

 

New Boston/Lyndeboro, N.H. – August 15, 1959

New Boston/Lyndeboro, New Hampshire, August 15, 1959

     On August 15, 1959, two air force jets en-route from England Air Force Base in Louisiana, to Westover AFB, in Chicopee, Massachusetts, each ran out of fuel and crashed in New Hampshire. 

     One plane, piloted by Capt. Russell Nelson, 27, of Big Spring, Texas, crashed in an isolated part of New Boston, a town west of Manchester.   Capt. Russell was seen ejecting from the aircraft, but according to witnesses his parachute didn’t open.  His body was found next to his ejection seat after a twelve hour search. 

     The other jet, piloted by Capt. James Howard, crashed and burned on a mountain in the neighboring town of Lyndeboro, about six miles from the New Boston crash site.  Capt. Howard parachuted safely.  

     Both men were assigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at George Air Force Base in California.   They type of aircraft they were flying wasn’t mentioned in the newspaper article, but they were likely F-100s, based on the operational history of the 31st Tac. Ftr. Wing.  (Wikipedia) (F-100)   

     Capt. Nelson is buried in Trinity Memorial Park Cemetery in Big Spring, Texas. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #48111436.)

     Source: Nashua Telegraph, “Two Jet Planes Crash In State; One Pilot Killed”, August 17, 1959 

    

Fremont, NH – August 10, 1959

Fremont, New Hampshire – August 10, 1959 

Spruce Swamp

  

     On August 10, 1959, a B-52C Stratofortress bomber aircraft, (#54-2682) left Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts, for a routine flight.  Approximately fifteen minutes into the flight, while at 21,000 feet and climbing, crew members heard a loud “thud”.  The noise was described in the Air Force investigation report as being “Like a water jug that had fallen from its rack and struck the floor”.     

     The aircraft commander, Captain George E. Kusch, made a check with the crew to see if anyone could identify the source of noise, but none could.  The aircraft continued its climb to 34,000 feet where it leveled off.  Then somewhere in the vicinity of the Boston-Concord area a series of sharp noises were heard believed to be related to the radar antenna, shortly before the radar system became inoperative.    

     A few minutes later there was a loud “bang”, followed by a rush of air.  The gunner notified the pilot that he’d seen parts of the aircraft fly past his position.  These parts were determined to be from the plane’s chin-radome.  At this time the altimeter indicated a change in altitude, and the air-speed indicator read zero, and a mild vibration set into the aircraft frame.  

     The pilot notified Westover of the situation and was directed to land at Goose Bay, Labrador.  As the plane was crossing Saddle Back Mountain, at an altitude of 29,000 feet, the vibration turned to buffeting.  The crew attempted several standard measures to compensate but none were successful.  The buffeting grew progressively worse while the aircraft began dropping at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500  feet per minute.    

     When the aircraft had dropped to 14,000 feet, the order was given for the crew to bail out, which they did.   Two minutes later, Capt. Kusch, who was still with the aircraft, advised that the buffeting had suddenly ceased, and that he thought he might be able to land safely.  However, less than three minutes later the buffeting suddenly returned, shaking the plane so violently that Capt. Kusch thought it was going to break apart, so he ejected.

     The B-52 crashed and exploded in Spruce Swamp, in the town of Fremont, New Hampshire, at 2:50 p.m.  (Some sources have placed the crash site in Epping, New Hampshire, and others in the town of Brentwood, but the site of the crash is in Fremont.)

     All eight men aboard the doomed B-52 landed safely.  They were identified as:

     (Pilot) Capt. George E. Kusch, of Westwood, New Jersey.

     (Co-pilot) 1st Lt. Joseph B. Hunt, 28, of Chicopee, Mass., and Catonsville, Maryland.

     (Navigator) Capt. Thaddeus J. Choate, Jr., of Ludlow, Mass., and Odessa, Texas.     

    (Radar Observer)  Capt. Donald C. Bell, 38, of Ludlow, Mass., and Odessa, Texas. 

     (3rd Pilot)  Capt. Joseph Biyins, of Owensboro, Kentucky.

     Capt. Wayne Vogt, 33, of Indianapolis, Ind.

     T/Sgt. Merrell R. Hethorn, 34, of Indian Orchard, Mass., and Kitsap, Washington.

     (Tail Gunner) T/Sgt. Arnold Newman, 27, of Holyoke, Mass. and Los Angeles.

     The aircraft was assigned to the Strategic Air Command, 57th Air Division, 99th Bomb Wing.     

     Sources:

     Air Force crash investigation report, #59-8-10-1

     Unknown Newspaper, “Quietest Ride Aloft: Chute 13 In A Drizzle”, (Officer of Crashed Westover B-52 Tells Of Experience; Plane Couldn’t Be Flown”) unknown Date.

     Unknown Newspaper, “All Eight Parachute Into Spruce Swamp”, unknown date.

    

    

    

      

    

    

      

Hampstead, NH – August 19, 1943

Hampstead, New Hampshire – August 19, 1943

          

     There is not a lot of information about this accident.

     At 4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of August 19, 1943, a U.S. military C-49J, (#43-1971), was seen circling Island Pond in Hampstead, New Hampshire, at altitude of between 1,000 and 1,500 feet with its wheels extended, when it suddenly went into a spin and crashed into a wooded area. 

      All five men aboard were killed. 

      The weather at the time was “broken to scattered, 3-4000 feet, visibility unrestricted.”

     According to the Air Corps crash investigation report, the pilot is listed as one R. T. Whidden, “commercial pilot”.  Under “pilot’s mission” in the report it stated “Army ATTF Transition training.”  

     Servicemen aboard included:

     2nd Lt. Charles Appier. He’s buried in Star of Hope Cemetery in Huntington, Indiana.

     2nd Lt. Robert W. Barron. He’s buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Escanaba, Michigan.

     Pfc. Robert A. Bell.  He’s buried in Union Cemetery in Flandreau, South Dakota.

     Pfc. Conroy Newcomb.  He’s buried in Wayne Cemetery in Lewis, Kansas.  To see a photo of Pfc. Newcomb, go to www.findagrave.com, Memorial #55021812.  

     Sources:

     Army Air Corps accident investigation report, #44-8-19-1

     www.findagrave.com     

 

Over Milford, NH – July 13, 1951

Over Milford, New Hampshire – July 13, 1951

    

T-33 Trainer Jet U.S. Air Force Photo

T-33 Trainer Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On July 13, 1951, a T-33A training jet (#49-943A), took off from Grenier Air Force base in Manchester, New Hampshire, for a training flight to Westover Air Force Base, in Chicopee, Massachusetts.  Twelve minutes into the flight, while the aircraft was at 15,000 feet over the town of Milford, the rear third section of the Plexiglass canopy exploded without warning.  Pieces of the canopy struck the wings and other portions of the aircraft causing substantial damage, however the pilot and instructor aboard weren’t injured. 

     The aircraft immediately returned to Grenier Field without further incident.  Investigators suspected the cause was due to a malfunction with the cockpit’s pressure regulator and relief valve. 

     The aircraft was repaired and put back into service.      

     Source: Air Force Aircraft Accident Investigation Report, #51-7-13-6

  

Troy, NH – July 15, 1951

Troy, New Hampshire – July 15, 1951

     

P-47 Thunderbolt - U.S. Air Force Photo

P-47 Thunderbolt – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the morning of July 15, 1951, 1st Lt. Alfred J. Tobias, and Captain Macsata, of the 101st Fighter Interceptor Group assigned to Grenier Air Force base in Manchester, New Hampshire, began their shift as alert pilots. 

     At 12:41 p.m., they were scrambled for an intercept flight, and took off in separate F-47 aircraft.  (Lt. Tobias was flying A.C. #44-8976A)   After intercepting “friendly” aircraft over the Newburyport, Massachusetts, area, they intercepted other aircraft over the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, vicinity. 

     (The F-47 was the Air Force designation of the P-47 Thunderbolt used by the Army Air Force during WWII.) 

     At approximately 1:25 p.m., while still in the air, the officers were directed to climb to 20,000 feet and intercept a training flight of P-51 Mustangs over southern New Hampshire.  Both Lt. Tobias and Capt. Macsata climbed to altitude, and at 1:45 p.m. reported they were at 19,500 feet.  Sighting the flight of P-51’s, Capt. Macsata directed Lt. Tobias to bring his position “line abreast” of the formation to which Lt. Tobias acknowledged.  Both aircraft then went through a series of short maneuvers after which Lt. Tobias’ aircraft began to dive towards the ground.  Capt. Macsata tried calling to the lieutenant but go no response.  Lt. Tobias’s plane continued downward in an estimated 80 to 85 degree angle before it crashed and exploded.

     The destruction of the aircraft was so catastrophic that investigators were unable to examine the wreckage for possible mechanical malfunctions.  It was theorized that there may have been a problem with the plane’s oxygen system. 

     Lt. Tobias was a veteran of WWII, and earned his pilot’s wings on August 4, 1944.  He’s buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Bound Brook, New Jersey.

     Sources:

     Air Force Aircraft Accident Investigation Report, #51-7-15-2   

     www.findagrave.com, Memorial #133058356

          

1 Mile So. of Grenier Field, NH – June 20, 1942

1 Mile South Of Grenier Field, New Hampshire – June 20, 1942

 

   

P-39 Aircobra - U.S. Air Force Photo

P-39 Aircobra – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On June 20, 1942, 2nd Lt. Clevio R. Rogo, 25, took off from Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire for a scheduled two hour training flight in a P-39D-1 aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-28317).  Twenty minutes later he was returning to the field due to what was later assumed by investigators to be engine trouble.  In the official accident investigation report it was stated, “No contact was made with the tower and it is the concensus of the committee that engine trouble may have been experienced which did not enable the pilot to maintain sufficient flying speed on his turn into the field to avoid going out of control.”   Lt. Rogo was killed when his plane crashed and burned about one mile south of the airfield.

     Lt. Rogo obtained his pilot’s rating on December 12, 1941.  He was assigned to the 5th Fighter Squadron stationed at Grenier Field in Manchester.

     Source: U.S. Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-20-6

Londonderry, N. H. – August 24, 1945

Londonderry, New Hampshire – August 24, 1945

    

B-17G "Flying Fortress" U.S. Air Force Photo

B-17G “Flying Fortress”
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On August 24,1945, a U. S. Army B-17G “Flying Fortress” (44-83577) crashed on approach to Grenier Army Air Field in Manchester, New Hampshire.  The plane impacted a wooded area about three miles short of the runway. 

     The aircraft was making a nighttime instrument approach at the tie of the crash, and officials stated the plane “apparently was flying too low.”

     Three men aboard were killed, and two others were seriously injured. Their names were not published.    

     Sources:

     New York Times, “New Hampshire Air Crash Kills 3”, August 27, 1945

     Larry Webster, Aviation Historian and Archeologist

 

Greenland, N.H. – October 2, 1941

Greenland, New Hampshire – October 2, 1941 

     At the time this incident occurred, the United States was not yet involved in World War II. 

     The specific type of aircraft involved in this incident is not mentioned.  

     Shortly after midnight on October 2, 1941, a squadron of Royal Canadian Air Force twin-engine bombers were dispatched out of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to search for a German submarine reportedly attacking shipping off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  During the mission, one aircraft became separated from the formation and had to return on its own.  As it neared the coast it veered off course and wound up over the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Area. 

     At this point the aircraft was low on fuel, and the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Peter H. Douglas, ordered flares dropped in an effort to see an open area to make an emergency landing.  A 100 acre field in the town of Greenland, New Hampshire, was selected, and Douglas made for it.

     Those aboard the aircraft held their breath, for two 250 pound live bombs still hung in the racks beneath the left wing.  Douglas opted not to jettison them because the plane was over a populated area, as well as another country, knowing full well they could explode during the crash landing.          

     As the plane approached, Douglas kept the landing gear up, the nose high, and “pancaked” down onto the field.  The momentum carried it a considerable distance all the while tearing up the earth as it slid and bounced across the land before finally coming to rest.  When it stopped, the crew quickly bailed out and ran for their lives fully expecting the bombs or any remaining fuel to set off a series of explosions, but thankfully none came.

     The other crew members included the co-pilot, Lloyd Fulton, flight mechanic Sgt. Alan M. Roy, and gunner John A. Boyd.   

     Everyone remained a safe distance from the aircraft until they were reasonably certain no danger of explosion existed.  When the bombs were examined, it was found they were still secure in their racks, but hung only a few inches from the ground.

     Arrangements were made for the aircraft to be dismantled and brought to an undisclosed location for repair.

     Sources:

     New York Times, “Canadian Bomber In New Hampshire” October 3, 1941  

     The Lewiston Daily Sun, “Canadian Bomber In New Hampshire”, October 3, 1941, Pg. 1    

     (Both newspapers had the same headline, but each contained different information.)  

 

Epsom, NH – April 24, 1944

Epsom, New Hampshire – April 24, 1944

    

B-24 Liberator  U.S. Air Force Photo

B-24 Liberator
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the morning of April 24, 1944, a B-24 bomber, (42-5111), with ten crewmen aboard, left Grenier Air Field in Manchester, New Hampshire, bound for overseas duty in Europe.  The weather that day was poor, with only a 1,300 foot cloud ceiling.  Less than ten minutes after take off, the aircraft crashed into the top of  a 1,400 ft. mountain in the town of Epsom, New Hampshire.  All aboard were killed.    

     The Portsmouth Herald news articles of the crash published in 1944 identified the crash site as being on Washtub Mountain. However, one modern source  identifies the mountain as Nats Mountain. 

     One witness to the accident was identified in the Portsmouth Herald as 25-year-old Joseph Bozek of Mountain Road, who ran out of his house after hearing the bomber pass very low overhead. He later told a reporter, “I thought the plane was going to crash into the barn, and then it when it cleared the roof I though the pilot intended to make an emergency landing in the field.  When I saw the plane rise I thought to myself that the crew would have to gain much more elevation than they had in order to clear the mountain.  A few seconds later I heard a terrible explosion”

     Bozek ran up the mountain to see if he could help, but when he reached the crash site he saw there was nothing he could do.       

      The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) 2nd Lt. Marvin M. Rupp, 26, of Winfield, Kansas.  He’s buried in Highland Cemetery in Winfield.  (For a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com Memorial #58978546.)  He was survived by his wife Maxine.

     (Co-pilot) 2nd Lt. James H. Jones, 21, of Alumbank, Pennsylvania.  He’s buried in Ligonier Valley Cemetery.  (For a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com Memorial #24357871) He was survived by his wife Virginia A.

     (Navigator) 2nd Lt. Ardeth K. Gannon, 26, of Rockwell City, Iowa.

     (Bombardier) 2nd Lt. William G. Hunold, 22, of 404 Sterling Place, Brooklyn, New York.

     (Radio Operator) Staff Sgt. Anthony L. Ferrone, 27, of New York, N.Y.

     (Flight Engineer) Staff Sgt. Marion L. Wolfgang, 23.  He’s buried in Seaman Cemetery in Casnovia, Michigan.  (For a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com  Memorial #45592673) 

     (Gunner) Sgt. John L. Eddins, 26, of Kingsville, Texas.  He’s buried in Chamberlain Cemetery in Kingsville.  (For a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com  Memorial #62693878) 

     (Radio Operator) Sgt. Joseph H. Negele, 23, of Newark, Ohio.  He’s buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark.  (For a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com  Memorial #61446219) 

     (Gunner) Sgt. Lloyd E. Utley, 25, of Mt. Vernon, Indiana.  

     (Flight Engineer) Sgt. Francis M. Weaver, 36, of Bryan, Texas.  He died just four days after his 36th birthday. He’s buried in Bryan City Cemetery, in Bryan, TX.  (For a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com  Memorial #90458409)  He was survived by his wife Hattie N. Weaver.    

     Sources:

     Larry Webster, Aviation Historian and Archeologist 

     Portsmouth Herald, “Nine Bodies Found After Army plane Falls On Mountain”, April 25, 1944, pg. 1

     Portsmouth Herald, “Mass Funeral In Manchester For 10 Fliers”, April 26, 1944, Pg. 1

     Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States 1941-1945, By Anthony J. Mireles, McFarland & Co. Publishers, 2006 

     Manchester New Hampshire Airport (Grenier Army Air Field) In WWII, by Tom Hildreth

     Concord Monitor, “Ray Duckler: Looking For A Piece Of History”, May 12, 2014

     Town of Epsom, New Hampshire, death records.

     Associated Press, (Unknown Paper) “Nine Bodies Are Found In Wrecked Army Plane”, date unknown.  Specifically mentions the pilot (Lt. Rupp) as being one of the nine.  No other names mentioned.  Posted on Findagrave.com, Memorial #58978546.

     www.findagrave.com

Grenier Field, NH – December 23, 1942

Grenier Field, Manchester, New Hampshire

    

P-40 Warhawk  U.S. Air Force Photo

P-40 Warhawk
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On December 23, 1942, a group of four P-40 aircraft were scheduled to fly a gunnery practice mission.  The first aircraft flown by Lt. Julian Adams took off without incident.  The second aircraft (41-13720) piloted by 2nd Lt. Herbert Lawler, 25, suddenly developed engine trouble during take off.  The engine was heard to misfire, and smoke was seen trailing as the aircraft became airborne.  Moments later Lawler crashed into a wooded area just beyond the air field.  

     The P-40 caught fire after impact, and Lt. Lawler suffered fatal burns. He succumbed to his injuries five days later on December 28. 

     Lt. Lawler was from Houston, Texas, and he’s buried at the Earthman Resthaven Cemetery in Houston.  A photo of his grave can be found at www.Findagrave.com  Memorial #47226508.

     Sources:

      Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States 1941 – 1945, By Anthony J. Mireles, McFarland & Co. Publishers, 2006

     Larry Webster, Aviation Historian and Archeologist

     Findagrave.com

Grenier Field, NH – March 24, 1943

Grenier Field, New Hampshire – March 24, 1943

    

B-25C Twin-Engine Bomber - U.S. Air Force Photo

B-25C Twin-Engine Bomber – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On March 24, 1943, First Lieutenant Alan J. Bamberger of the Quartermasters Corp was killed when he accidentally walked into a spinning propeller of a B-25C (42-32340) that he was scheduled to fly on as a passenger. 

     The aircraft was assigned to the 13th Anti Submarine Squadron then assigned to Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire.

     Sources:

     Larry Webster, Aviation Archeologist & Historian, Charlestown, R.I.

     Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States 1941-1945, by Anthony J. Mireles, McFarland & Co. 2006. 

   

Grenier Field, NH – April 2, 1942

Grenier Field, New Hampshire – April 2, 1942 

    

Douglas A-20 Havoc U.S. Air Force Photo

Douglas A-20 Havoc
U.S. Air Force Photo

      At 9:15 a.m., on April 2, 1942, a Douglas A-20 Havoc, (Ser. No. 40-108) with a crew of four aboard, took off from Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire, for a training flight.  Just after becoming airborne the pilot discovered that the landing gear would not retract.  He circled the airfield to land the plane, but aborted the attempt when he discovered further problems with the hydraulic pressure system.  After gaining sufficient altitude, the crew worked on fixing the problems. 

     After making temporary repairs, the pilot was cleared to land on runway 17, but upon touching down the brakes failed while the plane was halfway down the runway.  The pilot couldn’t retract the landing gear, and was unable ground loop the aircraft.  After avoiding some sandbag obstructions the aircraft plowed though a fence and was wrecked.  Fortunately the crew escaped with minor injuries.  

     The crew included:

     (Pilot)  1st Lt. Lloyd A. Walker  

     Lt. Col. Talma W. Inlay

     Corporal Charles B. Gannon, Jr.

     Pfc. Gaetano Pagliuco

     Source: U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #42-4-2-1

 

    

 

Grenier Field, NH – May 19, 1943

Grenier Field, New Hampshire – May 19, 1943

    

P-47D Thunderbolt - U.S. Air Force Photo

P-47D Thunderbolt – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On May 19, 1943, two U.S. Army P-47D airplanes attempted to land at the same time at Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire, and collided near the intersection of Runways 35 and 24.  Both planes became locked together and caught fire.  

     One of the pilots, Lieutenant Gilbert L. Jamison, was able to climb free of the wreck, but the other pilot, Lieutenant Russell C. Wilson was trapped inside his aircraft and burned to death before he could be rescued.

     The serial numbers of the aircraft involved were; Jamison (42-22344) and Wilson (42-8024)

     Lieutenant Jamison later became an ace with seven aerial victories.

     Lieutenant Wilson is buried in Grandview Cemetery, Bonners Ferry, Idaho.  For a photo of his grave go to Findagrave.com Memorial # 16415555.   

     Sources:

     Larry Webster, Aviation Archeologist & Historian, Charlestown, R.I.

     The Outer Circle – 359th Fighter group Association, WWII, January, 2005, Vol. 16, No. 1, Pg. 5.  

     Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States by Anthony J. Mireles, McFarland & Co., 2006    

     Findagrave.com

     WWII Victories of the Army Air Force, by Arthur Wyllie, Lulu.com, 2005

Grenier Field, N.H. – March 1, 1942

Grenier Field, New Hampshire – March 1, 1942

   

Martin B-10 Bomber U.S. Air Force Photo

Martin B-10 Bomber
U.S. Air Force Photo

    On March 1, 1942, a B-10 aircraft, (Ser. No. 34-83) made a normal landing at Grenier Field during which the landing gear collapsed causing damage to the propellers and fuselage. 

     None of the five crewmen aboard were injured. 

     The crew included:

     Major C. H. Hollidge (National Guard- Federalized)  

     S/Sgt. W. P. Sargent

     Sgt. W. P. Kenly

     Sgt. E. L. Rajotte

     Pvt. E. E. Rich    

     The aircraft was assigned to the Tow Target Detachment.  It was noted by the accident investigation committee that the suspected cause was faulty brakes, and that other B-10’s in other Tow Target Detachments had suffered similar accidents.

     Source: Army Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #42-3-1-9

Portsmouth, N.H. – January 30, 1981

Portsmouth, New Hampshire – January 30, 1981

    

FB-111 U.S. Air Force Photo

FB-111
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On January 30, 1981, the United States military was conducting a nationwide readiness exercise dubbed Global Shield ’81.  The aircraft involved in this accident was taking part in that exercise.

     At 2:55 p.m., an FB-111 fighter-bomber (No. 68-0263) assigned to Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, was returning to Pease when the aircraft began to violently roll and shake.  The pilot, Captain Peter Carellas, 33, struggled to maintain control, but when the jet fell below 4,000 feet he and the navigator, Major Ronald Reppe, 39, were forced to eject. 

     The aircraft came down in an apartment complex known as Sea Crest Village and exploded.  The burning fuel set one of the apartment buildings on fire.  Three people suffered minor injuries, and 13 families were left homeless.  (The families were given shelter at hotels at Air Force expense.)  

     The crew of the aircraft landed safely about a 1/4 mile away.

     The FB-111 was designed to carry nuclear weapons if necessary, however, at the time of the accident it wasn’t carrying any ordinance.   

     Sources:

     St. Petersburg Independent, “Air Force Plane Crashes Into Apartments”, January 31, 1981

     Nashua Telegraph, “Pilot And navigator Eject Safely; No One Killed Or Seriously Injured”, January 31, 1981

     Lewiston Daily Sun, “F111 Crash Report – Jet Out Of Control, Grew Bailed Out”, May 8, 1981

     Nashua Telegraph, “Pease Crew Lost Fight To Control Plane”, May 8, 1981, Pg. 44

Manchester, N.H. – November 8, 1944

Manchester, New Hampshire – November 8, 1944

    

U.S. Navy Avengers National Archives Photo

U.S. Navy Avengers
National Archives Photo

     On November 8, 1944, a TBM-1C Avenger, (Bu. No. 16890) crashed while flying a bombing practice mission over Manchester, New Hampshire.  The pilot and one crewman aboard were killed.

     (Pilot) Ensign William E. Ames.

     AEM2C Sherman Eugene Dietz Jr., age  24.  He’s buried at Assumption Cemetery in Syracuse, new York.    

 

Sources:

NAS Squantum: The First Naval Air Reserve Base, (pg. 218-219) by Marc Frattasio

Findagrave.com

Londonderry, N.H. – September 30, 1943

Londonderry, New Hampshire – September 30, 1943 

 

Beech At-10 U.S. Air Force Photo

Beech At-10
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On September 30, 1943, a Beech AT-10, (#42-43597) with two officers aboard crashed in a heavily wooded area of Londonderry near Scobie Pond.  The plane did not burn, but both were killed. It was discovered the following day.

     The dead were identified as 1st Lt. William C. Curtis, and 2nd Lt. Charles Wilson Jr.

     Source: Nashua Telegraph, “Grenier Field Airmen Dead In Plane Crash”, October 2, 1943.    

Pawtuckaway State Park – November 29, 1944

Pawtuckaway State Park – November 29, 1944 

    

B-24 Liberator  U.S. Air Force Photo

B-24 Liberator
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On November 29, 1944, a B-24 Liberator, (#44-49669) took off from Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire, en-route overseas.  When the plane was about 16 miles north-east of Manchester it suffered a structural failure in the rear rudder system causing the pilot to loose control.  The B-24 crashed and burned at the base of Middle Mountain in Pawtuckaway State Park in the town of Nottingham, N.H.  There were no survivors.

     As part of the investigation into this crash, military authorities spoke with three witnesses who stated the plane was flying low and even, and not trailing smoke of flame.  Two reported seeing an object or objects fall away from the aircraft just before the crash. 

     The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) 2nd Lt. Paul Lavern Hackstock, 24, of Fort Morgan, Colorado.  He’s buried in Riverside Cemetery in Fort Morgan.    (See www.Findagrave.com)

     (Co-pilot) 2nd Lt. Wilbur C. Stephenson, 23, of Cokesville, Penn. He’s buried in Blairsville Cemetery, Blairsville Penn.

     (Navigator) Warrant Officer Russell L. Jones, 20, of Grand Rapids, Mich.  He’s buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Mich.

     (Engineer/Gunner) Cpl. Calvin R. Rickenback, 19, of Ephrata, Penn. 

     (Radio Operator/Gunner) Thomas L. McDougall, 21, of Marydel, Maryland. He enlisted Jan. 22, 1943.

     (Gunner) Cpl. William L. Swarner Jr., 19, of Overland Park, KS. He’s buried n Highland Park Cemetery, Kansas City.

     (Gunner) Cpl. Preston K. Smith, 19, of Strawberry Plains, Tenn.  He’s buried in Thorngrove Cemetery, Thorngrove, Tenn.

     (Gunner) Cpl. Kenneth J. Young, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

     (Gunner) Cpl. Robert H. Wells, 24, of Hanover, N.H. Survived by his wife Myra.

Sources:

Nottingham Community Newsletter, Nov./Dec. 2013, Vol 15, Issue 6.

U.S. Army Air Force crash investigation report #45-11-29-19

www.findagrave.com

 

 

       

    

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