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

     (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.


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

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





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