Melrose, MA. – September 24, 1945

Melrose, Massachusetts – September 24, 1945

 

B-25 Mitchel bomber
USAF Museum photo

     On September 24, 1945, a U. S. Army B-25J, (Ser. No. 43-36088), took off from Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire, for a training flight to Boston.  There were six men aboard. 

    The airplane made it safely to Boston, and later took off to return to Manchester.  On the return trip, while approaching the area of Saugas, Massachusetts, the plane developed engine trouble, and before long one of the engines caught fire.  The pilot, Major Deak A. Weston, (30), of Colorado, gave the order to bail out, and all five crewmen did so and landed safely.  Because the airplane was over a populated area, Major Weston opted to stay with the aircraft hoping to find a safe place to land.  As the plane dropped lower he circled over the towns of Melrose, Malden, Saugus, and Wakefield.  Then he saw the Mount Hood Golf Course in Melrose and aimed for it.   

     The aircraft was now to low for major Weston to bail out.  As the plane neared the ground witnesses reported seeing a flaming wing drop away.   The B-25 crashed and exploded at the 8th green of the gold course, killing Major Weston instantly.   A portion of the burning plane came through the wall of a nearby private home setting it on fire, but firemen were able to extinguish it before too much damage was done to the structure. 

      There were no injuries on the ground.    

     Source: The Nashua Telegraph, “Grenier Field Plane Goes Up In Flames On Way To Saugus”, September 24, 1945

 

 

Grenier Air Force Base – August 16, 1956

Grenier Air Force Base – August 16, 1956

 

F-80C Shooting Star
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On August 16, 1956, Air Force Reserve pilot Captain Samuel B. Bellevue, (33), was killed when the F-80 fighter jet he was piloting crashed on takeoff from Grenier Air Force Base in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Capt. Bellevue was from Saco, Maine, assigned to the 89th Fighter Bomber Wing.  He was at Grenier AFB for two-weeks of training.   

     Source: Sanford Tribune, no headline, August 23, 1956, page 14, col. 2. 

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