Greenland, N.H. – October 2, 1941

Greenland, New Hampshire – October 2, 1941 

Updated May 21, 2023

     At the time this incident occurred, the United States was not yet involved in World War II. 

     Shortly after midnight on October 2, 1941, a squadron of Royal Canadian Air Force twin-engine bombers were dispatched out of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to search for a German submarine reportedly attacking shipping off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  During the mission, one of the aircraft became separated from the formation and had to return on its own.  As it neared the coast it veered off course and wound up over the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Area. 

     At this point the aircraft was low on fuel, and the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Peter H. Douglas, ordered flares dropped in an effort to see an open area to make an emergency landing.  A 100 acre field in the town of Greenland, New Hampshire, was selected, and Douglas made for it.

     Those aboard the aircraft held their breath, for two 250 pound live bombs still hung in the racks beneath the left wing, and the aircraft also reportedly carried seven 25-pound bombs, presumably in its belly. Douglas opted not to jettison the ordinance because the plane was over a populated area, as well as another country, while knowing full well they could explode during the crash landing.          

     As the plane approached the field, Douglas kept the landing gear up, the nose high, and “pancaked” down onto the ground.  The momentum carried the plane a considerable distance all the while tearing up the earth as it slid and bounced across the land before finally coming to rest.  When it stopped, the crew quickly bailed out and ran for their lives fully expecting the bombs or any remaining fuel to set off a series of explosions, but thankfully none came.

     The other crew members included the co-pilot, Sgt. Lloyd C. Fulton; the flight mechanic Sgt. Alan H. Roy, and gunner John A. Bond.   

     Everyone remained a safe distance from the aircraft until they were reasonably certain no danger of explosion existed.  When the bombs were examined, it was found they were still secure in their racks, but hung only a few inches from the ground.

     Arrangements were made for the aircraft to be dismantled and brought to an undisclosed location for repair.


     New York Times, “Canadian Bomber In New Hampshire” October 3, 1941  

     The Lewiston Daily Sun, “Canadian Bomber In New Hampshire”, October 3, 1941, Pg. 1    

     (Both newspapers had the same headline, but each contained different information.)  

     The Evening Star, (Washington, D. C.), “Army Will Help Repair Downed Canadian Bomber”, October 3, 1941, pg. A-8 


Mount Kearsarge, N.H. – January 24, 1962

Mount Kearsarge, New Hampshire – January 24, 1962

Warner, New Hampshire

     On the night of January 24, 1962, a twin-engine Piper Apache aircraft crashed into the snow covered top of Mount Kearsarge, within the town of Warner, New Hampshire.   All three men aboard were killed. 

     The dead were identified as:

     Rod Rickard, 27, of Ottawa, Canada

     John Rhude, 37, of Ottawa, Canada.

     Jacob K. Frederick, Jr., 47.  He was well known for his position as head of the textile evaluation department at Lowell, Massachusetts, Technological Institute.    

     Source: New York Times, “Victims In New Hampshire” , January 27, 1962


Littleton, N.H. – July 19, 1931

Littleton, New Hampshire – July 19, 1931

     On Sunday, July 19, 1931, a small airplane carrying two men crashed in the town of Littleton.  The pilot, Ralph F. Arey, 21, of Concord, N.H., was severely injured and rendered unconsciousness.  He was transported to Littleton Hospital where he died the following night without ever regaining consciousness.  The other man, Joseph Bianthi, of Montpelier, Vermont, was also injured, but he recovered.

     Source: New York Times, “New Hampshire Air Crash Fatal”, July 22, 1931    


Portsmouth, N.H. – April 27, 1930

Portsmouth, New Hampshire – April 27, 1930 

     On April 27, 1930, pilot Clyde Robinson took Geneva Brackett, and Bruce Hessler, both 14, on their first plane ride over the Portsmouth area.  The youths enjoyed the flight so much that later in the day they wanted to fly again.  Later that same day the three took off from the Hessler farm in the neighboring town of Greenland, but at some point the aircraft developed mechanical trouble and the engine stalled, and Robinson couldn’t restart it. 

     He brought the plane down for an emergency landing on a roadway, but just before touch-down one of the wings clipped a tree sending the craft crashing into the ground where it erupted in flames.  Robinson was thrown clear by the impact, but the youths were trapped inside.  Robinson received severe burns on his face, arms, and upper body, during his unsuccessful attempt to rescue his passengers.      

     Source: New York Times, “Two Children Killed In New Hampshire When Plane Falls And Burns”, April 28, 1930

Epsom, NH – April 24, 1944

Epsom, New Hampshire – April 24, 1944


B-24 Liberator  U.S. Air Force Photo

B-24 Liberator
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the morning of April 24, 1944, a B-24 Liberator bomber, (42-5111), with ten crewmen aboard, left Grenier Air Field in Manchester, New Hampshire, bound for overseas duty in Europe.  The weather that day was poor, with only a 1,300 foot cloud ceiling.  Less than ten minutes after take off, the aircraft crashed into the top of  1,400 ft. mountain in the town of Epsom, New Hampshire.  All aboard were killed.    

     The Portsmouth Herald news articles of the crash published in 1944 identified the crash site as being on Washtub Mountain.  The Nashua Telegraph newspaper identified the crash site a Delight Mountain.  And one modern source  identifies the mountain as Nats Mountain. 

     One witness to the accident was identified in the Portsmouth Herald as 25-year-old Joseph Bozek of Mountain Road, who ran out of his house after hearing the bomber pass very low overhead. He later told a reporter, “I thought the plane was going to crash into the barn, and then it when it cleared the roof I though the pilot intended to make an emergency landing in the field.  When I saw the plane rise I thought to myself that the crew would have to gain much more elevation than they had in order to clear the mountain.  A few seconds later I heard a terrible explosion”

     Bozek ran up the mountain to see if he could help, but when he reached the crash site he saw there was nothing he could do.       

      The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) 2nd Lt. Marvin M. Rupp, 26, of Winfield, Kansas.  He’s buried in Highland Cemetery in Winfield.  (For a photo of his grave go to Memorial #58978546.)  He was survived by his wife Maxine.

     (Co-pilot) 2nd Lt. James H. Jones, 21, of Alumbank, Pennsylvania.  He’s buried in Ligonier Valley Cemetery.  (For a photo of his grave go to Memorial #24357871) He was survived by his wife Virginia A.

     (Navigator) 2nd Lt. Ardeth K. Gannon, 26, of Rockwell City, Iowa.

     (Bombardier) 2nd Lt. William G. Hunold, 22, of 404 Sterling Place, Brooklyn, New York.

     (Radio Operator) Staff Sgt. Anthony L. Ferrone, 27, of New York, N.Y.

     (Flight Engineer) Staff Sgt. Marion L. Wolfgang, 23.  He’s buried in Seaman Cemetery in Casnovia, Michigan.  (For a photo of his grave go to  Memorial #45592673) 

     (Gunner) Sgt. John L. Eddins, 26, of Kingsville, Texas.  He’s buried in Chamberlain Cemetery in Kingsville.  (For a photo of his grave go to  Memorial #62693878) 

     (Radio Operator) Sgt. Joseph H. Negele, 23, of Newark, Ohio.  He’s buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark.  (For a photo of his grave go to  Memorial #61446219) 

     (Gunner) Sgt. Lloyd E. Utley, 25, of Mt. Vernon, Indiana.  

     (Flight Engineer) Sgt. Francis M. Weaver, 36, of Bryan, Texas.  He died just four days after his 36th birthday. He’s buried in Bryan City Cemetery, in Bryan, TX.  (For a photo of his grave go to  Memorial #90458409)  He was survived by his wife Hattie N. Weaver.    


     Larry Webster, Aviation Historian and Archeologist 

     Portsmouth Herald, “Nine Bodies Found After Army plane Falls On Mountain”, April 25, 1944, pg. 1

     Portsmouth Herald, “Mass Funeral In Manchester For 10 Fliers”, April 26, 1944, Pg. 1

     Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States 1941-1945, By Anthony J. Mireles, McFarland & Co. Publishers, 2006 

     Manchester New Hampshire Airport (Grenier Army Air Field) In WWII, by Tom Hildreth

     Concord Monitor, “Ray Duckler: Looking For A Piece Of History”, May 12, 2014

     Town of Epsom, New Hampshire, death records.

     The Nashua Telegraph, “Report 9 to 12 Killed In Plane Crash At Epsom”, April 24, 1944. 

     Associated Press, (Unknown Paper) “Nine Bodies Are Found In Wrecked Army Plane”, date unknown.  Specifically mentions the pilot (Lt. Rupp) as being one of the nine.  No other names mentioned.  Posted on, Memorial #58978546.

Manchester, N.H. – November 8, 1944

Manchester, New Hampshire – November 8, 1944


U.S. Navy Avengers National Archives Photo

U.S. Navy Avengers
National Archives Photo

     On November 8, 1944, a TBM-1C Avenger, (Bu. No. 16890) crashed while flying a bombing practice mission over Manchester, New Hampshire.  The pilot and one crewman aboard were killed.

     (Pilot) Ensign William E. Ames.

     AEM2C Sherman Eugene Dietz Jr., age  24.  He’s buried at Assumption Cemetery in Syracuse, new York.    



NAS Squantum: The First Naval Air Reserve Base, (pg. 218-219) by Marc Frattasio

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