Camp Edwards, MA.- December 22, 1942

Camp Edwards, Massachusetts – December 22, 1942 


Curtis P-40 Aircraft
U. S. Army Air Corps Photo

     On December 22, 1942, a flight of three U. S. Army P-40 fighter planes took off from the Hillsgrove Army Air Field in Warwick, Rhode Island, for a tactics-training flight.   All aircraft were part of the 317th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Group, then stationed at Hillsgrove. 

     While over Cape Cod, and practicing mock attack and evasion maneuvers, one of the aircraft, (41-36510), piloted by 1st Lt. Bartholemew  J. Judge, Jr., (24), went missing.  Attempts to make contact by the other two aircraft were unsuccessful, and both were ordered to return to Hillsgrove. 

     When Lt. Judge failed to return he was declared missing.  A search was instituted but nothing was found. 

     Three months later, on March 22, 1943, Lt. Judge’s remains were found near the wreckage of this aircraft in a wooded area of Camp Edwards, about five miles north of Otis Filed.  There was evidence that he’d tried to bail out but his parachute didn’t open. 

     The wreckage was found by Chief Clarence Gibbs, a member of the Camp Edwards fire department, when he saw a glint of sunlight reflect off a piece of metal in a wooded area in a remote portion of the artillery range.  

     Lt. Judge is buried in Saint Catherine’s Cemetery, in Moscow, Pennsylvania.

     Lt. Judge had survived an earlier plane crash in Stafford Springs, Connecticut on August 7, 1942.  In that instance, he and an instructor were in a BT-14 trainer aircraft, (Ser. No. 40-1209). 


      The Waterbury Democrat, “Pilots Injured”, August 8, 1942, page 2.

      The Evening Star, (Washington, DC), “Lt. Judge, Former G.W.U. Student, Reported Missing”, December 26, 1942,page A-8

     Fall River Herald, “Two Aviators Still Sought”, February 8, 1943, page 2.

     The Falmouth Enterprise, “Dead Flyer Found”, March 26, 1943 

     Aviation Safety Network, Wikibase 102913, #174721141


Otis Field – September 10, 1944

Otis Field, Falmouth, Massachusetts – September 10, 1944


U.S. Navy SBD Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo.

     Just after 2 p.m. on September 10, 1944, a U. S. Navy SBD-5 Dauntless aircraft, (Bu. No. 54180), with two men aboard, took off from Otis Filed.  The pilot was a navy ensign.  The second man was Army Sergeant James Edwin Senter, (21 or 22). 

     The aircraft was seen to climb several hundred feet before it suddenly went into a downward spin to the left.  The pilot managed to jump clear of from an altitude of 500 feet, and his parachute opened just before he hit the ground.  Although injured, he would survive.

     Meanwhile the aircraft crashed just twenty feet away killing Sergeant Senter.

     Sergeant Senter is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  He enlisted in the army in 1940 at the age of 18.  To see a photo of his grave go to, Memorial #173920812.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated September 10, 1944.

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

Camp Edwards, MA – September 2, 1943

Camp Edwards, Massachusetts – September 2, 1943 

     On September 2, 1943, a Curtis A-25A, (42-79670) (Army version of the Navy Helldiver) was taking part in a mock strafing exercise at Camp Edwards on Cape Cod when the aircraft crashed killing both men on board.

     The pilot was identified as Lt. Robert Ruthlein, 23, of Jersey City, New Jersey.  Also aboard was Major Francis M. Reigel, 35, of Dayton, Ohio.  Major Reigel was attached to the AAATC gunnery branch, and was observing the reaction of ground troops from the air.  

     Source: Falmouth Enterprise, “Camp Edwards” (notes), September 10, 1943  

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