Caribou, ME. – June 26, 1943

Caribou, Maine – June 26, 1943


B-26G Bomber
U.S. Air Force Photo

     Shortly after 8:00 a.m. on the morning of June 26, 1943, an army B-26 bomber, (Ser. No. 41-31645), was en-route to cross the Atlantic  for overseas duty with a crew of five aboard.   

     Meanwhile, four adults and a 10-year-old boy were working in an open field on the farm of Carl Rasmussen in Caribou loading rocks on two horse-drawn wagons.  

     The B-26 came out of the sky and crashed right were the civilians were working, killing four of the five of them, as well as all members of the aircraft crew.  The momentum of the aircraft carried it onward into an adjoining field and the debris field stretched all the way to a wooded area.  

     The four civilians killed on the ground were identified as Alfred Winter, 37,  and his 9-year-old son, Alfred, Jr., Miss Ann Theriault, (25), and Miss Elouise M. Newton, (18).   Freeman Hitchcock, who was also working in the field suffered serious injuries.  

     The servicemen were identified as:

     (Pilot) 1st. Lt. Bertrand N. Robertson, (28) of Greenville Junction, Maine.  He’s buried in Greenridge Cemetery in Caribou, Me. 

     (Co-Pilot) 2nd Lt. Herbert F. Myers, 22, of South Portland, Maine.  To see a photo of Lt. Meyers, click here:

     (Navigator) 1st Lt. Edwin M Hankinson, (25 – 26) of Morrice, Michigan.  He was survived by his wife whom he’d married eight days earlier on June 18, 1943.  He’s buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Perry, Michigan.  To see a photo of him click here:

      S/Sgt. William H. Jochim, (20), of Louisville, Nebraska.  He’s buried in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Louisville, Nebraska.  To see a photo of him click here:

     T/Sgt. John M. Kuser, of New York City.  He’s buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx.  


     Fort Fairfield Review, (Me.), “Nine-Death Bomber Crash Sat. Was Third Airplane Accident In Green Ridge Section In Ten-Month Period”, June 30, 1943, page 1.  

     Unknown newspaper, “Nine Killed When Plane Hits Field”, June 26, 1943

     Imperial Valley Press, (Calif.), Army Plane Crashes, Kills Five Fliers, Four Workers”, June 27, 1943



Municipal Airport – Caribou, Maine

     Municipal Airport – Caribou, Maine  

Vintage Post Card View Of The Municipal Airport.  Caribou, Maine

Vintage Post Card View Of The Municipal Airport.
Caribou, Maine

     Caribou Airport was dedicated on August 20 – 21, 1930, and at the time it was the only municipal airport in Maine, and also the furthest north in the United States.  Source: Presque Isle Star – Herald, “Airport Will Be Dedicated Next Week”, August 14, 1930, page 8.  

     On the night of March 29, 1944, a fire broke out in a wooden hangar at the Caribou Airport when an oil heater overturned.  The building was filled with aircraft, and the flames spread rapidly from one to the next.  At the time of the fire, a 26-year-old woman who worked for the U. S. Weather Bureau was on the roof taking a weather reading.  She became trapped by the flames and perished.  

     Source: The Waterbury Democrat, (Conn.), “1 Dead In Big Hangar Fire”, March 30, 1944

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