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.  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3658094/milo-claude-johnson

     Major Kirkwood G. Myers, (35) of Roanoke, Va.  He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/49263393/kirkwood-coulter-myers

     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. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/49171027/leonard-michael-corsaro

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

     1st Lt. Robert E. Testerman, (25) of Aubrey, Texas. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/19006756/robert-e-testerman

     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. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/49558721/james-everett-thompson

     Sources:

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

     Aviation Safety Network, Wikibase #48396

     www.findagrave.com

     www.ejection-history,org

     togetherweserved.com https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=PersonAircraftExt&ID=63603

 

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          

     Sources:

     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.

     Source:

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

 

 

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