Londonderry, NH – August 26, 1948

Londonderry, New Hampshire – August 26, 1948


P-51 Mustang
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the afternoon of August 26, 1948,  First Lieutenant Warren M. Loper, (25), was piloting an F-51 Mustang, (Ser. No. 44-75003), over Londonderry when the aircraft stalled, went into a spin, and crashed.  The plane went down in a thickly wooded section about one mile south of the intersection of Rt. 28, and Rt. 128.  When rescue workers reached the crash site they found Lt. Loper’s body. 

     Lt. Loper was a WWII veteran who’d served with the 15th Air Force in Italy, during which time he flew 37 combat missions and earned the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and five battle stars.  He survived being shot down in December of 1944, and managed to evade capture and return to his squadron eight days later.   

     Lt. Loper was survived by his wife and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville, Indiana.      

    The F-51 Mustang was previously known as the P-51, and was re-designated by the Air Force in 1947.   


     Nashua Telegraph, “Grenier Pilot Killed As Plane Plummets Down”, August 27, 1948, page 1.

     USAF Unit History  – 95th Fighter Squadron

     The 82nd Fighter Group, Strategic Air Command/15th Air Force/66th Combat Fighter Wing, Grenier Air Force Base, Manchester, New Hampshire, April 1947 to October 1949, A chronology of New England’s first SAC establishment, by Tom Hildreth


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