Lincoln, MA. – July 10, 1945

Lincoln, Massachusetts – July 10, 1945


B-26G Bomber
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At about 11:15 a.m. on July 10, 1945, a U.S. Navy B-26 aircraft took off from Bedford Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, with five men aboard.  The B-26 aircraft was generally used by the Army Air Corps, however this particular airplane had been assigned to the navy.  The purpose of the flight was reported in the press to be “experimental”. 

     Shortly after take-off one of the engines caught fire causing the aircraft to rapidly loose altitude.  Witnesses on the ground reported seeing flames and smoke trailing from the plane as it went down.  The aircraft crashed and exploded on the Jensen Farm on Old Sudbury Road in the town of Lincoln.  All aboard perished.

     One witness to the accident was an unidentified Army veteran who’d flown 57 combat missions on a B-26.  He told a reporter, “I heard the plane take off from my home in Concord.  From the sound of the engine I knew immediately that the boys were in trouble.  It is a ‘hot’ ship, and very likely had a runaway prop.  When the engine in one of those babies cuts out you just have time to come down, unless you have plenty of space underneath.” 

     One of the flyers reportedly bailed out prior to the crash and was found, severely injured, by a group of boys who carried him to a nearby home where he died a short time later.     

     The navy flyers were identified as:

     Lt. William E. Ragsdale, of Artesia, New Mexico.

     Lt. James Thomas Hogan, 26, of Birmingham, Alabama.  He’s buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham.  See, memorial #185466812.

     AMM 1/c Edwin T. Luther, of Bristol, Rhode Island.

     AMM Howard T. Marshall, age 22 or 23.  He’s buried in Oakland Cemetery in Moberly Missouri.  See, memorial #70597092.

     AMM 3/c Charles P. Rogers, of Sudbury, Pennsylvania.    


     Concord Journal, “Plane From Army Air Base Crashes In Woods In South Lincoln Area”, July 12, 1945, page 1.  

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