Fort Devens, MA – April 21, 1942

Fort Devens – April 21, 1942

     At about 7:45 p.m. on April 21, 1942, a U.S. Army O-52 (40-4702) was returning from a training flight when it suddenly crashed near a small pond at Fort Devens killing both occupants. 

     The dead were identified as 1st Lt. Gerald Patrick Kennedy, 26, of Providence, R.I., and 2nd Lt. Robert Wright Hoeker, 24, of Illiopolia, Ill.   Later in the evening Kennedy was scheduled to attend a party in his honor due to his recent promotion to first lieutenant.  As a point of fact, Lt. Hoeker wasn’t scheduled to be on that flight, but he had taken the place of another officer.   

     The aircraft was part of the 152nd Observation Squadron, and it was reported that these were the first airplane related fatalities in the history of the 152nd.  The 152nd had been stationed at Hillsgrove Airport in Warwick, R.I. prior to being transferred in the summer of 1941 to  Fort Devens. 

     Today there is a hanger named for Lt. Kennedy  at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I. (Formerly Hillsgrove)


Woonsocket Call, “Army Probing Devens Plane Crash In Which 2 Met Death”, April 22, 1942, Pg. 1


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