Manchester, N. H. – May 16, 1945

Manchester, New Hampshire – May 16, 1945

Grenier U. S. Army Air Field   

B-17G “Flying Fortress”
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the morning of May 16, 1945, a Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress”  (Ser. No. 42-5463) with a partial crew aboard was on the runway at Grenier Army Air Field in Manchester.   The engines were in operation at the time, warming up, and the wheels were “chocked”.  An army station wagon containing four officers of the bomber’s crew and a civilian driver drove out to the B-17.  When it did so the the B-17 reportedly jumped its wheel-chocks and lurched forward into the station wagon, killing one man and injuring the rest.  

     2nd Lieutenant Bernard W. Schutter, Jr., (20) of Ames, New York, was killed in the accident.

     2nd Lieutenant James H. Wagner, (22) of Los Gatos, California, was seriously injured. 

     2nd Lieutenant George Hermestroff (22) of Chicago, and 2nd Lieutenant Donald C. Maler, (21) of Fairfax, California, and the driver of the station wagon all received non-life-threatening injuries. 


     The Manchester Union, “Army Board Presses Probe Of Bomber Mishap At Base”, May 18, 1945. 

     The Wilmington Morning Star, (North Carolina) “Car Collides With B-17”, May 30, 1945, pg. 2

     B-17 serial number supplied by Larry Webster, Aviation Historian, Charlestown, R. I.  



Manchester, N. H. – June 7, 1949

Manchester, New Hampshire – June 7, 1949


P-51 Mustang
U.S. Air Force Photo

      On June 7, 1949, 1st Lieutenant William Arthur Primm, (26), of Farmingdale, New York, was killed when the F-51 Mustang he was piloting crashed shortly after take off from Grenier Field in Manchester.  (The serial number of his airplane was  44-74791A.) 

     The cause of the accident wasn’t stated. 

     Lt. Primm entered the service in 1942 and served with the Army Air Corps.  At the time of his death he was the communications officer of the 97th Fighter Squadron at Grenier Field.  He’s buried at Long Island National Cemetery in East Farmingdale, N.Y.

     The F-51 Mustang was formerly known as the P-51.  The designation was changed in 1947. 


     Nashua Telegraph, “Pilot Killed In Grenier Crash NY State Man”, June 8, 1949

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.

Grenier Air Force Base – August 16, 1956

Grenier Air Force Base – August 16, 1956


F-80C Shooting Star
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On August 16, 1956, Air Force Reserve pilot Captain Samuel B. Bellevue, (33), was killed when the F-80 fighter jet he was piloting crashed on takeoff from Grenier Air Force Base in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Capt. Bellevue was from Saco, Maine, assigned to the 89th Fighter Bomber Wing.  He was at Grenier AFB for two-weeks of training.   

     Source: Sanford Tribune, no headline, August 23, 1956, page 14, col. 2. 

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