Londonderry, NH – August 26, 1948

Londonderry, New Hampshire – August 26, 1948


P-51 Mustang
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the afternoon of August 26, 1948,  First Lieutenant Warren M. Loper, (25), was piloting an F-51 Mustang, (Ser. No. 44-75003), over Londonderry when the aircraft stalled, went into a spin, and crashed.  The plane went down in a thickly wooded section about one mile south of the intersection of Rt. 28, and Rt. 128.  When rescue workers reached the crash site they found Lt. Loper’s body. 

     Lt. Loper was a WWII veteran who’d served with the 15th Air Force in Italy, during which time he flew 37 combat missions and earned the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and five battle stars.  He survived being shot down in December of 1944, and managed to evade capture and return to his squadron eight days later.   

     Lt. Loper was survived by his wife and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville, Indiana.      

    The F-51 Mustang was previously known as the P-51, and was re-designated by the Air Force in 1947.   


     Nashua Telegraph, “Grenier Pilot Killed As Plane Plummets Down”, August 27, 1948, page 1.

     USAF Unit History  – 95th Fighter Squadron

     The 82nd Fighter Group, Strategic Air Command/15th Air Force/66th Combat Fighter Wing, Grenier Air Force Base, Manchester, New Hampshire, April 1947 to October 1949, A chronology of New England’s first SAC establishment, by Tom Hildreth


Londonderry, N. H. – August 25, 1945

Londonderry, New Hampshire – August 25, 1945

Updated January 11, 2021

Updated February 4, 2022


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

     On the night of August 25, 1945, a U. S. Army B-17G “Flying Fortress” (Ser. No. 44-83577) crashed on approach to Grenier Army Air Field in Manchester, New Hampshire.  The plane impacted a wooded area about three miles short of the runway. 

       Prior to the crash the aircraft had been circling the area unable to land due to very low cloud cover.  As the pilot attempted to make an instrument approach the aircraft clipped some trees in an area known as Crowell’s Corner.  It then plowed onto wooded area west of Mammoth Road where it broke apart as it cleared a swath for nearly a quarter of a mile.    

     Three men aboard were killed, and two others were seriously injured. 

     Those killed in the crash were:

     The co-pilot, Flight Officer John E. Bafus, 22, of Newton, Kansas.  He’s buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Newton, Kansas. To see a photo of him, click here:  

     The navigator, Flight Officer Irwin J. Gingold  (No Info.)

     Sergeant Earl Kimball Allen, 33, of Glen Falls, New York.      He’s buried in Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire.

     Those seriously injured were Flight Officer Bill J. Andersen, and Sgt. Charles R. Jones.      


     New York Times, “New Hampshire Air Crash Kills 3”, August 27, 1945

     The Nashua Telegraph, “Three Die In Londonderry Crash”, August 27, 1945

     Larry Webster, Aviation Historian and Archeologist

     Book: ” Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States, 1941-1945″, by Anthony J. Mireles, C. 2006.


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