Presque Isle, ME. – November 21, 1956

Presque Isle, Maine – November 21, 1956   

T-33 Trainer Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On November 21, 1956, Air Force Captain Billy Ray Ward, (33), was piloting a T-33 jet aircraft, (Ser. No. 53-6033), from Rome, New York, to Presque Isle, Maine, when the plane crashed in a wooded area about two miles north of the town center.   The cause of the accident is unknown.    

     Captain Ward was the Assistant Operations Officer for the 76th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, and a veteran of World War II.  He is survived by his wife and two children.  He’s buried in Maplewood Park Cemetery in Paducah, Kentucky.    

     To see a photo of Captain Ward, click on the link below.


     Paducah Sun Democrat, “Paducah Jet Pilot Dies In Crash”, November 22, 1956.

     Aviation Safety Network 

Belchetown, MA. – May 3, 1962

Belchertown, Massachusetts – May 3, 1962

Near Quabbin Reservoir    

F-102A Delta Dart – U.S. Air Force Photo

      At 9:00 p.m. on the night of May 3, 1962, Major William B. Howell took off from Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts, for a routine training flight in an F-102 Delta Dart fighter aircraft.  At 10:32 p.m., as he was passing over the area of the Quabbin Reservoir, the aircraft abruptly disappeared from radar.  The weather at the time was rainy with flashes of lightning.

     A search was instituted, and the aircraft was located the following day in a thickly wooded area of Belchertown near the Pelham town line, to the west of Rt. 202, about a half mile from the nearest home.  The fuselage was demolished and it was apparent that Major Howell had been killed instantly.  The cause to the accident wasn’t stated.  

     Major Howell was assigned to the 76th Fighter Interceptor Squadron based at Westover AFB.


     Springfield Union, “100 Men Searching For Westover F-102 In Quabbin District”, May 4, 1962, page 1

     Springfield Union, “Board Set Up To Investigate Plunge Fatal To Maj. W. B. Howell”, May 5, 1962, page 1 




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