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.

 

 

Claremont, N.H. – October 10 1907

Sullivan County Fair Grounds Near Claremont, New Hampshire – October 10, 1907.

     A balloonist by the name of Professor Bonnette was giving an exhibition at the Sullivan County Fair grounds when his balloon suddenly tore open as he was 200 feet above a crowd of onlookers.  It had been his intention to jump from the balloon with a parachute, but when the accident occurred he hadn’t achieved sufficient altitude.  Bonnette fell from the balloon while it was still 100 feet in the air and landed amidst the crowd.  His back was broken in the fall, and he lapsed into unconsciousness.  He was transported to Claremont Cottage Hospital. 

Source: New York Times, “Aeronaut Falls 100 Feet”, October 11, 1907   

Temple Mountain, N.H. – October 26, 1973

Temple Mountain, New Hampshire – October 26, 1973

     On October 26, 1973, a 31-year-old pilot from Wilton, New Hampshire, took off alone from Norwood, Massachusetts, in an American Aviation AA-1, (N5700L), bound for Nashua, New Hampshire.   The weather over New Hampshire was foggy and rainy. When the aircraft failed to arrive at Nashua a search was instituted.  The aircraft and the pilot’s body were found two days later on the slope of 2,044 foot high Temple Mountain, which is located in the towns of Sharon and Temple, New Hampshire.

     Sources:

     Providence Journal, “Pilot Is killed In N. H. Crash”, October 28, 1973, page C-24

     National Transportation Safety Board brief# NYC74AN036

 

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.)  

 

Mount Kearsarge, N.H. – January 24, 1962

Mount Kearsarge, New Hampshire – January 24, 1962

Warner, New Hampshire

     On the night of January 24, 1962, a twin-engine Piper Apache aircraft crashed into the snow covered top of Mount Kearsarge, within the town of Warner, New Hampshire.   All three men aboard were killed. 

     The dead were identified as:

     Rod Rickard, 27, of Ottawa, Canada

     John Rhude, 37, of Ottawa, Canada.

     Jacob K. Frederick, Jr., 47.  He was well known for his position as head of the textile evaluation department at Lowell, Massachusetts, Technological Institute.    

     Source: New York Times, “Victims In New Hampshire” , January 27, 1962

     

Littleton, N.H. – July 19, 1931

Littleton, New Hampshire – July 19, 1931

     On Sunday, July 19, 1931, a small airplane carrying two men crashed in the town of Littleton.  The pilot, Ralph F. Arey, 21, of Concord, N.H., was severely injured and rendered unconsciousness.  He was transported to Littleton Hospital where he died the following night without ever regaining consciousness.  The other man, Joseph Bianthi, of Montpelier, Vermont, was also injured, but he recovered.

     Source: New York Times, “New Hampshire Air Crash Fatal”, July 22, 1931    

 

Portsmouth, N.H. – April 27, 1930

Portsmouth, New Hampshire – April 27, 1930 

     On April 27, 1930, pilot Clyde Robinson took Geneva Brackett, and Bruce Hessler, both 14, on their first plane ride over the Portsmouth area.  The youths enjoyed the flight so much that later in the day they wanted to fly again.  Later that same day the three took off from the Hessler farm in the neighboring town of Greenland, but at some point the aircraft developed mechanical trouble and the engine stalled, and Robinson couldn’t restart it. 

     He brought the plane down for an emergency landing on a roadway, but just before touch-down one of the wings clipped a tree sending the craft crashing into the ground where it erupted in flames.  Robinson was thrown clear by the impact, but the youths were trapped inside.  Robinson received severe burns on his face, arms, and upper body, during his unsuccessful attempt to rescue his passengers.      

     Source: New York Times, “Two Children Killed In New Hampshire When Plane Falls And Burns”, April 28, 1930

Randolph, N.H. – August 24, 1974

Randolph, New Hampshire – August 24, 1974

     On August 24, 1974, a Cessna 340 crashed into the north side of Mt. Adams killing both people aboard.  The dead were identified as Vernon Titcomb, 56, and his wife, Jean, 53. 

     The couple was from California, and had flown cross-country.  Before the accident, they had stopped at Whitefield Regional Airport a.k.a. Mt. Washington Regional Airport, to refuel before taking off again bound for Rockland, Maine.  Shortly after take off, the pilot radioed he would be returning to the airport due to bad weather. 

     Sources:

     New York Times, “2 Die In Plane Crash”, August 27, 1974       

     Stories From The White Mountains: Celebrating The Regions Historic Past, by Mike Dickerman, History Press, 2013

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. 

   

Hudson, N.H. – June 17, 1928

Hudson, New Hampshire – June 17, 1928

     On June 17, 1928, a small plane carrying three people took off from a dirt airfield in Hudson, New Hampshire, for what was to a sight-seeing flight.  The aircraft had barely reached an altitude of 50 to 100 feet during take-off when it suddenly fell to the ground and immediately burst into flames. 

     The two passengers, former New Hampshire state senator, Marcel Theriault, 43, and Katherine Thomas, 22, both of Nashua, N.H., were trapped in the wreckage and burned to death. 

     The pilot, George Lennox, managed to free himself, and tried desperately to rescue the passengers, suffering severe burns in the process.  He was later admitted to a hospital n critical condition, but survived his injuries.     

     The crash was witnessed by family and friends of both passengers, including Miss Thomas’ fiancé.

     Senator Theriault was initially buried on the Hayward farm off Broad St. in Nashua, N.H., but in 1965 he was re-interred in Pine Knoll Cemetery in Hanover, N.H.

     A photo of this crash can be found on the Hagley Digital Archives website at digital.hagley.org   Search text for “Former state senator and girl killed in plane crash”

     Source:

     Nashua Telegraph, “Body Of Prominent Man Killed In 1928 Air Crash Removed To Hanover From Secluded Grave Here”, September 9, 1965

 

      

Moose Mountain, NH – October 25, 1968

Moose Mountain, New Hampshire – October 25, 1968

      

     At 5:42 p.m. on October 25, 1968, Northeast Airlines Flight 946 left Boston for Lebanon, and Montpelier, New Hampshire. The aircraft was a Fairchild Hiller FH – 227C, (Registration # N380NE) with thirty-nine passengers and a crew of three aboard; pilot, co-pilot, and a stewardess.

     The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 4:55 p.m., but there had been a delay in getting the aircraft to the gate for passenger loading.

     At 6:08 p.m., the flight was cleared for approach to Lebanon Airport.

clouds

     At 6:11 p.m., the crew notified the Lebanon Flight Service Station that they were on a standard instrument approach, and requested a Lebanon weather report. They were advised of overcast conditions and calm winds. This was the last communication with the aircraft. Not long afterwards the plane crashed on the north side of Moose Mountain about 8.2 nautical miles northeast of Lebanon Airport. The impact occurred about 57 feet below the summit.

     In the NTSB Aircraft Accident Report, (NSTB-AAR-70-7) one unidentified surviving passenger described the final moments leading up to the crash.

     “…As we approached Lebanon, the cloud cover had been gradually thinning and before we began our descent, ground had been visible in patches between the clouds for several minutes. On the early part of the descent, the ground continued to be visible. After the turn to the final approach, with the wheels down, we were flying between two nearly vertical cloud banks in the gentle smooth descent which I described in my prior statement.   There was no cloud directly below us, and the level of the base of the clouds at this point was slightly below the level of the aircraft so that the ground was clearly visible under the cloud to a substantial distance ahead and to the side. I was looking out and observed a pond and that the terrain had very few roads and no houses.

     As we continued our descent, I continued to observe and watched the slope of the ground rising ahead of us at about twenty degrees in the direction of the flight. We were so near the ground at this time that I could clearly see the individual trees which appeared fist size and began to look ahead in the direction of the flight for airport approach lights as I assumed that we must be very near the touch down point. I observed the rising ground until I suddenly lost all visibility as we had entered a cloud.

     After a few seconds in the cloud, I felt the initial impact which was gentle and seemed no more severe than a normal touch down. I do not remember any severe impact.”

     According to the report, other survivors described the impact as “smooth”, “not a crash, but more of a settling”, and “a rough landing”.

     Upon hitting the mountain, the plane plowed its way through trees and immediately caught fire after coming to rest. All ten of the survivors were seated in the rear of the aircraft, and managed to escape through the rear service door or by squeezing through openings in the fuselage. In all, seventeen people managed to escape the flames, but seven were fatally injured and succumbed to their injuries before help arrived. The injuries to the remaining survivors ranged from lacerations to broken bones.  

     Darkness, the remote location of the crash, combined with rain and freezing temperatures hindered rescue efforts. Those who could, made their way down the mountain on their own, while the rest were air lifted off by helicopter. The helicopters landed on the green at Dartmouth College, and from there the survivors were transported to Mary Hitchcock Hospital.

   The crash site is located at longitude 72 degrees, 8’.7 west, and latitude 43 degrees 43’.3 north, at an elevation of approximately 2, 237 feet.

     Sources:

     NTSB Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB-AAR-70-7

     New York Times, “32 of 42 On Plane Killed In New Hampshire Crash”, October 26, 1968

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Walpole, N.H. – January 17, 1937

North Walpole, New Hampshire – January 17, 1937

     On January 17, 1937, a small plane with two men aboard made an emergency landing in a field in North Walpole, New Hampshire.  The pilot was identified as Walter B. Switzer, 35, of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, and his passenger was identified as Dr. Gustave Frank, of Springfield, Massachusetts.

     The day before, the pair had flown to Lyme, New Hampshire, where Mr. Switzer reportedly wanted to see a commercial landing field site.  On their way back they encountered foul weather and made the emergency landing. 

     At this point Mr. Frank got out of the plane and watched Mr. Switzer attempt to take off again, but the plane abruptly crashed into a clump of trees.  Mr. Switzer was pulled from the wreckage and taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.    

     Source: New York Times, “New Hampshire Crash Kills Jersey Airman”, January 18, 1937

 

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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