Mt. Washington, N.H. – November 29, 1969

Mt. Washington, New Hampshire – November 29, 1969

     At 7 a.m. on November 29, 1969, a green and white Cessna 172 with three men aboard took off from Portland, Maine, bound for Burlington, Vermont.  Two of the men aboard were dressed in Santa Claus suits, for the purpose of the flight was to have them drop by parachute over two malls in the Burlington area.     

     The aircraft disappeared in a snow storm while n-route, and a search and rescue operation was begun.  Dense woods, snow cover, and the Cessna’s green and white paint scheme made seeing the plane from the air difficult. The wreckage was finally spotted on December 2, on Boott Spur, at the 5,500 foot level of Mt. Washington.  When rescuers reached the area they found all three men had been killed in the crash.   

     The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) Kenneth Ward, Jr., 20, of Augusta, Maine.

     Paul Ross, of South Portland, Maine.

     Cliff Phillips, of Island Pond, Vermont.


     Lewiston Daily Sun, “Plane Carrying Three, Piloted By Monmouth Man, Is Sought In N.H.”, December 1, 1969 

     Lewiston Daily Sun, (Photograph with caption.) “Arrow Points To Where Plane Crashed on Mt. Washington”, December 3, 1969  

     (Fla.) St. Petersburg Times, “Santa Claus Parachutists Die In Crash”, December 3, 1969

Mt. Washington, N.H. – March 21, 1971

Mt. Washington, New Hampshire – March 21, 1971

     On March 21, 1971, a husband and wife were killed when their small private aircraft crashed near the summit of Mt. Washington after encountering fog conditions.  The aircraft came down in a flat area where it sheared its wings before flipping over.    

     The couple were identified as Thomas Hennessy Jr., 54, and his wife Irehne (Irene), 47, both of Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Mrs. Hennessy was a model and television personality, best known for being the “Hi neighbor” girl for the then Rhode Island based Narragansett Beer company. 

     It was also reported that three other persons lost their lives in another plane crash which happened in the same area in December, 1969.


     Nashua Telegraph, “Bodies Of Wellesley Couple Found In Airplane Wreckage”, March 23, 1971 

     Nashua Telegraph, “Authorities Seek Cause Of Plane Crash”, March 24,1971 

     Nashua Telegraph, “Adverse Weather Ruled In 1971 Light Plane Crash”, August 24, 1972


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