Oak Mountain, ME. – November 15, 1941

Oak Mountain, Hancock Co. Maine. 

Douglas B-18
U. S. Army Air Corps Photo

     On the night of November 15, 1941, a U. S. Army B-18A bomber, (Ser. No. 37-521), with a crew of four aboard, left Langley Field in Virginia, bound for Bangor Air Field in Maine.   As they entered the New England area they encountered thick clouds and heavy fog conditions.  The aircraft missed Bangor, and crashed into the side of Oak Mountain, located in a rural part of Hancock County, about 40 miles from Bangor. 

      Three hunters witnessed the crash from a distance.  They later reported seeing the aircraft’s wing lights as it circled briefly and then saw the plane impact the mountain and explode.  The men made an attempt to reach the crash site but were unsuccessful due to darkness and the remoteness of the area. 

     The wreckage was seen the following day by the crew of a Coast Guard plane taking part in the search.   The B-18 had crashed in an extremely hard to reach area and authorities didn’t reach the site until November 17th.  They didn’t find any survivors. 

     The crew were identified as:

     Pilot: Lieutenant Payton W. Beckham, of Houston, Texas. 

     2nd Lieutenant Wyman O. Thompson, 21, of Underwood, North Dakota. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/21814620/wyman-o-thompson

     Corporal Jacob L. Parsons, 23, of Holbrook, Penn.

     Private Lee Rothermel, 20, of Valley View, Penn. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/115379304/lee-ernest-rothermel

     The men were assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 63rd Bombardment Squadron.


     The Ypsilanti Daily Press, (Ypslanti, Michigan), “Hunt Wreckage”, November 17, 1941.   


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