Andover, New Brunswick – January 10, 1957

Andover, New Brunswick, Canada – January 10, 1957   

B-52 Stratofortress
U.S. Air Force Photo

     The following accident occurred in Canada, but the aircraft was out of Loring Air Force Base in Maine.

     On January 10, 1957, a U. S. Air Force Boeing B-52 bomber, (Ser. No. 55-0082), based at Loring Air Force Base, took off for a training flight with nine men aboard.  The purpose of the flight was to test the pilot’s reflexes while undergoing certain test conditions, which included partially covering the pilot’s eyes while the plane was “put into an unusual position”.  While the test was being conducted, the aircraft, according to an Air Force spokesman, would be placed in either a steep climb, or a steep dive.  The spokesman stated that apparently the aircraft had been “placed in a position beyond its capability”.     

     In either case, the B-52 exploded without warning while over the area of Andover, New Brunswick.  One crewman, 1st Lieutenant Joseph L. Church, of Charlotte, North Carolina, managed to bail out safely and survived.  The other eight men perished in the accident. 

     Pilot: Major Richard Allan Jenkins, (34), of Huron, Ohio.  He was a veteran of WWII and Korea. 

     Captain William C. Davidson, (39), of Stockton, California.

    Captain John E. McCune, (30), of Hayward, California.

     Captain Marquid H. D. Myers, (35) of Tracy, California.

     1st Lieutenant Charles S. Cole, (27), Basin, Wyoming.

     1st Lieutenant Anders P. Larson, Jr., (26), of Wichita, Kansas. His body was not located until January 13th. 

     T/Sergeant Raymond A. Miller, (27), of Racine, Wisconsin.

     It was reported that this was the fourth B-52 lost by the Air Force on a training flight since February, 1956. 


     The Evening Star, (Washington, D.C.), “B-52 Crash kills 7 men; 1 Missing and 1 Survives”, January 11, 1957, p. A-4.

     The Nome Nugget, (Alaska), “Death Toll Reaches 8 In Crash Of Superfortress”, January 14, 1957.   


Loring Air Force Base, ME. – November 18, 1960

Loring AFB, Maine – November 18, 1960

     On November 18, 1960, a U. S. Air Force KC-135 jet tanker, (Ser. No. 56-3605), was returning to Loring Air Force Base after a six-and-a-half hour refueling mission with a crew of four and 13 passengers aboard.  (The reason for the passengers was not stated.)  As the plane touched down it veered off the left side of the runway and caught fire as it careened 3,000 feet along the ground.  When the plane came to rest all but one man was able to escape.  His body was later recovered from the wreckage.

     The deceased crewman was Captain Homer G. Bonin, 27, of Massachusetts. 

     Others aboard suffered minor injuries.


     Evening Star, (Washington, D. C.), “Tanker Plane Crashes, 1 Killed”, November 18, 1960.

     Maine Wreck Chasers website


Loring Air Force Base, ME. – May 9, 1962

Loring AFB,  Maine – May 9, 1962

     In the early morning hours of May 9, 1962, a U. S. Air Force KC-135A jet tanker, (Ser. No. 56-1546), with six men aboard, crashed on takeoff  from Loring Air Force Base.  The plane came down in a wooded area about 1,500 feet north of the end of the runway scattering wreckage for over 300 yards and setting fire to the woods.  There were no survivors. 

     The dead were identified as:

     Pilot: Captain Robert M. Predmesky, 31, of Detroit, Michigan.

     Co-pilot: Captain James S. Tewart, 30, of Hamilton, Ohio. 

     Navigator: Captain Ronald L. Cantrell, 29, of Kewanee, Ill.

     Boom Operator: Staff Sergeant Wallace R. Adams, 27, of Benson, North Carolina.

     Crew Chief: Master Sergeant George T. Edmiston, 33, of Golden Bridge, New York.

     Crew Chief: Tec. Sergeant Raymond J. Brugioni, 43, of Granger, Iowa.

     Normally there would have been only four crewmen aboard the airplane, but T/Sgt. Brugioni and M/Sgt. Edmiston were aboard this flight to fulfill requirements qualifying them to participate in tactical aerial flights.  

     The aircraft was attached to the 42nd Air Refueling Squadron at Loring AFB.  


     The Evening Star, (Washington, D.C.), Jet Tanker Plane Crashes, Killing 6″, May 9, 1962, pg. B-6

Loring Air Force Base, ME. – December 22, 1958

Loring AFB, Maine – December 22, 1958


RB-47E Stratojet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On December 22, 1958, a U. S. Air Force B-47 Stratojet left McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, bound for Loring Air Force Base in Maine.  The flight was uneventful until the plane landed at Loring.  Upon touchdown the landing gear collapsed and the plane skidded to a stop on its belly.  Although the aircraft was seriously damaged, the four man crew walked away without injury.  


     The Nome Nugget, (Alaska), “B-47 Jet Crashes At Maine Base”, December 24, 1958, pg. 3

Limestone, ME. – July 29, 1958

Limestone, Maine – July 29, 1958   

B-52 Stratofortress
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On July 28, 1958, a B-52D Stratofortress, (Ser. No. 55-0093), with nine men aboard, crashed about three miles south of Loring Air Force Base while on a training flight.  According to a newspaper account of the incident, the aircraft had approached the air base from the south for “a low level run across the base”.  After completing the run, it turned and made a second pass.  After the second pass the aircraft began to gain altitude.  This had been witnessed by the newspaper editor of the Fairfield Review, who later told investigators that as the plane was climbing he heard the sound of an explosion. 

     The plane came down in a field on Noyes Road in Limestone, about a quarter-mile from a grange hall.  One of those aboard, Major Moody E. Denton managed to escape the aircraft and parachute safely.  The other eight men aboard perished.   

     The men were identified as:

     Major Milo Claude Johnson, (36), of Leavenworth, Kansas.   He’s buried in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery in Kansas.

     Major Kirkwood G. Myers, (35) of Roanoke, Va.  He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

     Lt. Lane L. Kittle, (24) of Oaklawn, Ill.

     1st Lt. Leonard M. Corsaro, (24), of Niagara Falls, N. Y.  He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

     Sgt. Oran C. Reily, (32), of Corpus Christi, Texas. 

     1st Lt. Robert E. Testerman, (25) of Aubrey, Texas.

     1st Lt. Leslie N. Martin, Jr. (27), of Montgomery, Alabama. 

     2nd Lt. James F. Thompson, (23), of Hardy, Maine.  He’s buried in Sunrise Cemetery in Wahoo, Nebraska.


     Fort Fairfield Review, no headline, photo of air craft – July 30, 1958, page 1. 

     Aviation Safety Network, Wikibase #48396



Loring Air Force Base – November 22, 1958

Loring Air Force Base – November 22, 1958


RB-47E Stratojet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On November 22, 1958, a U. S. Air Force B-47 Stratojet, (Ser. No. 51-2199), crashed and burned during takeoff from Loring Air Force Base, killing all four crewmen aboard.  The aircraft was assigned to the 321st Bomb Wing stationed at McCory AFB in Florida.  The aircraft and its crew had been at Loring for a few days as part of a training exercise.   

     As the B-47 appeared to be making a normal takeoff, but when it reached an altitude of about 40-50 feet it was seen to veer to the right and go down in a swamp area about 1,000 feet off the end of the runway and explode on impact. 

     The crew was identified as:

     (Pilot) Captain Robert L. Shaffer, (37)

     (Co-Pilot) 1st Lt. Melvin H. Shira

     (Navigator) Captain Bernard McDermott, Jr. (34)

     (Crew Chief) T/Sgt. Samuel A. Harwell          


     Fort Fairfield Review, (Me.), “4 Died In This Loring B-47 Explosion Sat.”, November 25, 1958, page 1.  (Three photos with article.)

     Aviation Safety Network

Limestone, ME. – January 4, 1965

Limestone, Maine – January 4, 1965

     On January 4, 1965, a U.S. Air Force four-engine KC-135 aerial refueling tanker, (Ser. No. 61-0265), crashed during taking off from Loring Air Force Base in Limestone.  The airplane came down about three miles off the end of the runway and exploded.  All four crewmen aboard were killed instantly.

     The dead were identified as:

     Pilot: Captain Kenneth D. Gomes, 33, of Honolulu, Hawaii. 

     Co-pilot: Captain Mathew J. Ramisch, 34, of Kensington, Maryland.

     Navigator: 1st Lieutenant John F. McCarron III, 23, of Wellesly, Massachusetts.

     Boom Operator: Staff Sergeant James Tardie, 33, of Crouseville, Maine.

      At the time of this accident, the only other Loring KC-135 accident occurred in 1962.


     Unknown Newspaper, “AF Tanker Crashes, killing Four”, January 5, 1965 



New Brusnwick, Canada – October 4, 1989

Updated July 5, 2020

New Brunswick, Canada – October 4, 1989

     At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 4, 1989, a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Strato-Tanker based at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine, was returning to base after a six hour refueling operation over Canada when the aircraft suddenly exploded in a massive fireball.  Debris was scattered over a wide area, but the main portion of the plane came down about two miles northwest of Perth-Andover, just to the east of the U.S./Canadian Boarder.  All four crewmen aboard were killed.

     The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) Lt. Col. Wiliam H. Northcutt, 42, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

     (Co-Pilot) Captain Robert D. Weinman, 27, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

     (Navigator)  2nd Lt. Albert H. Taft, 25, of Urbana, New York.

     (Boom Operator) Airman 1st Class Jack D. Cupp, 24, of Athens, Tenn.        

     Investigators determined that the reason for the explosion was an overheated fuel pump which reached 1,435 degrees Fahrenheit, but  they were unable to pinpoint the exact cause.


     Bangor Daily News, “Loring Tanker Explodes In Air”, October 5, 1989, pg. 1

     Fort Fairfield Review, “KC-135A Crash Blamed On Refueling Pump”, February 28, 1990, page 1.

Loring Air Force Base – November 25, 1958

Loring Air Force Base – November 25, 1958 

Limestone, Maine

     On November 25, 1958, a U. S. Air Force KC-135 stratojet tanker crashed and burned on approach to Loring Air Force Base.  Two crewmen, Captain Herman J. Dosenbach, and T/Sgt. Charles A. Holsclaw, managed to escape the flaming wreck with non-life threatening injuries.  The other five members of the crew perished.

     The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) Captain John P. Eifolla, 41.

     (C0-pilot) Major John B. Brown, 39, of San Benito, Texas.

     Captain Bernard Morgan, 40, of Hope, Kansas.  He was survived by his wife Maxine and four children.

     1st Lt. Donald R. Gladdings, 29, of Shreveport, La. He was survived by his wife Patricia, and a daughter.

     (Boom Operator) T/Sgt. Ronald L. Champion, 26.  He was survived by his wife Joan, and a son.   

     The KC-135 happened to crash 100 yards from the wreck of a B-47 bomber that had crashed three days earlier on November 22.  The men guarding the wreck dove for cover as the plane approached.

     All four men aboard the B-47 had been killed in the crash.


     New York Times, “5 Die At Maine Base In Air Tanker Crash”, November 26, 1958  

     Rome (N.Y.) Daily Sentinel, “Jet Tanker Crash Kills Five Airmen”, November 26, 1958



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