Merrimack River – February 16, 1935

 Merrimack River between Nashua and Hudson, N. H.

     On February 16, 1935, an aircraft attached to the 101st Observation Squadron of the Massachusetts National Guard was flying over the Merrimack River between Nashua and Hudson, New Hampshire.  The pilot and his observer were making a survey of “flood prospect conditions” along the river.  The aircraft was flying at a low altitude when it struck powerlines that were strung across the river, and crashed into the cold water.  The pilot and observer escaped the sinking plane and swam towards shore on the Nashua side.  They were assisted by members of a railroad crew who had witnessed the crash.  The two airmen were then placed on a railroad hand car and brought to Union Station.  From there they were transported to a doctor’s office where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.    

     The severely damaged aircraft was salvaged from the river and brought to Boston.   

     Source: The Nashua Telegraph, “Wrecked Plane Moved From River”, February 18, 1935

Wareham, MA – August 14, 1941

Wareham, Massachusetts – August 14, 1941 

     On August 14, 1941, a U.S. Army O-46 aircraft (35-211) was taking part in training exercises in Wareham when the plane came in at a low altitude to drop a message to ground troops and struck electrical wires causing it to crash. 

     The pilot, 2nd Lt. Malcolm F. Nash was taken to the Camp Edwards hospital with serious injuries.  2nd Lt. Alden C. Cole, 25, the observer aboard, was killed.    

Source: Falmouth Enterprise, “Killed In Air Crash” August 15, 1941

     Update March 7, 2016

      On August 14, 1941, Lieutenants Nash and Cole were partaking in a message-dropping mission during training maneuvers (War games), being conducted by the 26th Division.  Their job was to observe “enemy” troop movements and drop bags containing written messages about those movements to the Command Post. 

     At about 1:15 p.m., the aircraft made two passes over the “designated drop zone” located near the Command Post; the first at an altitude of 200 feet, and the second at 150 feet, but each time the bag containing the message fell outside the designated area.  As the pilot made a third pass he came in lower, and Lt. Cole tossed the message out.  At the end of the zone were some high tension wires which were difficult to see from that air, and the aircraft struck those wires and crashed.  The high tension wires fell on the aircraft, and Lt. Cole was electrocuted.       

     The aircraft was an )-46A Observation aircraft, assigned to the 101st Observation Squadron based at Otis Field, Falmouth, Mass.  

     Source: U.A. Army Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, dated August 22, 1941

Boston Airport – August 9, 1932

Boston Airport – August 9, 1932

     At about 10:25 a.m. on August 9, 1932,  a 1st Lieutenant of the Massachusetts National Guard, taxied an O-38B observer type aircraft (Ser. No. 32-106) out of the hangar at Boston Airport and made his way to the end of the runway in preparation for take off.  Meanwhile, for some unknown reason, a Boston Parks Department truck that was in the area, began moving towards the lieutenant’s airplane, approaching the aircraft on the runway from straight ahead.  Due to the way the O-38 was sitting, with its nose up and tail down, the pilot couldn’t see the truck that was operating in his “blind spot”.  As the aircraft began to make its run for takeoff the truck and plane collided. 

     Both plane and truck were damaged, however no injuries were reported.  It was noted by the accident investigation committee that the O-38 was constructed in such a way that a blind spot was created while taxying.   

     The aircraft was assigned to the 101st Observation Squadron at Boston Airport.

     Source: Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, dated August 26, 1932.          

Mattapoisett, MA – May 12, 1942

Mattapoisett, Massachusetts – May 12, 1942

     On May 12, 1942, 2nd Lt. Clarence V. Jones was piloting an L-1 observation aircraft, (Ser. No. 40-276) on a patrol mission over the Buzzards Bay area of Cape Cod.  At  1:30 p.m., he turned inland over the town of Mattapoisett.  Shortly afterwards the plane’s engine began to run rough and the aircraft began to rapidly loose altitude.  The aircraft dropped so low that it was headed straight for a private home, so Lt. Jones banked to the left to avoid crashing into it.  He was hoping to make for an open area when the wing struck a telephone pole and wrecked the plane.  The plane landed upside down, but there was no fire.  Lt. Jones and his passenger, 2nd Lt. William E. Plumer escaped with minor injuries.   

     The men were assigned to the 101st Observation Squadron at Otis Field, In Falmouth, Massachusetts. 

     Source: U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-5-12-6    

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