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

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