Atlantic Ocean – March 5, 1942

Atlantic Ocean – March 5, 1942

(Grenier Field)


Douglas A-20 Havoc
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On March 5, 1942, a U. S. Army Douglas DB-7B, (Ser. No. AL-301), (better known as the Douglas A-20 Havoc), took off from Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire, bound for Langley Field in Hampton, Virginia.   The plane carried a crew of three. 

     There was the pilot, 2nd Lt. David Soutbard, (23), of Orlando, Florida; the bombardier, Private 1st Class Jack C. Maxey, Jr., (21), of Ada, Oklahoma; and Private George T. Oswerk, (21), of Walsenburg, Colorado.   

     The aircraft arrived safely and Langley and later took off for a trip back to Manchester.  While in route the aircraft crashed into the ocean off Barnegat Light, New Jersey.  (The reason for the accident was not stated in the press.)

     The pilot and bombardier were killed in the crash, but Private Oswerk was thrown clear and survived.  He was rescued by a passing ship, but unfortunately passed away of his injuries on March 7th. 

     The Nashua Telegraph newspaper reported that this was the “first fatal accident to (a) Grenier Field plane.         

     Lieutenant Southbard’s body was reportedly not recovered. 

     Pvt. 1c Maxey is buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Ada, Oklahoma. 

     Pvt. Oswerk is buried in St. Mary’s North Cemetery in Walsenburg, Colorado. 

     The men were assigned to the 79th Bombardment Squadron at Grenier Field. 


     The Nashua Telegraph, “Grenier Field Plane Crashes Off NJ Shore – Two Members of 3-Man Crew Are Killed”, March 6, 1942, page 1.

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