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


Grenier Air Force Base – August 16, 1956

Grenier Air Force Base – August 16, 1956


F-80C Shooting Star
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On August 16, 1956, Air Force Reserve pilot Captain Samuel B. Bellevue, (33), was killed when the F-80 fighter jet he was piloting crashed on takeoff from Grenier Air Force Base in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Capt. Bellevue was from Saco, Maine, assigned to the 89th Fighter Bomber Wing.  He was at Grenier AFB for two-weeks of training.   

     Source: Sanford Tribune, no headline, August 23, 1956, page 14, col. 2. 

Freedom, N. H. – November 5, 1966

Freedom, New Hampshire – November 5, 1966


Republic F-84C – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On November 5, 1966, Massachusetts Air National Guard Captain Edward S. Mansfield was piloting an F-84 fighter jet in the vicinity of Freedom, New Hampshire, when mechanical failure forced him to abandon the aircraft.  The F-84 crashed and exploded in Freedom.  Meanwhile Capt. Mansfield came down safely in the neighboring town of Porter, Maine.  

     Captain Mansfield was assigned to the 102nd Tactical Fighter Group then stationed at Boston’s Logan International Airport. 

     Source: Sanford Tribune, (Me.), “Plane Destroyed, Pilot Unhurt In Freedom Crash”, November 10, 1966, page 11. 

New Boston, NH – January 14, 1949

New Boston, New Hampshire – January 14, 1949 


P-51 Mustang U.S. Air Force Photo

P-51 Mustang
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At 2:30 p.m. on January 14, 1949, a flight of five P-51 aircraft took off from Grenier Air Force Base in Manchester, N.H. for a scheduled dive bombing and rocket training mission. Each plane carried two 100 lb. bombs and six rockets.

     The flight was led by Captain Elmer V. Kramer, 30, who was piloting a P-51D,  (#44-74965).

     After take off, the flight headed for the New Boston Bombing Range located about ten miles to the west of Grenier Field.  Upon arrival at the range, the first four aircraft took positions at 7,800 feet in anticipation of making their respective “runs” while the fifth aircraft dropped to 4,000 feet to score the bombing results.     

     Captain Kramer decided to make a dry run over the range, and while doing so, while traveling at an approximate speed of 210 mph, the left wing suddenly tore loose at the fuselage sending the aircraft into an uncontrollable series of snap-rolls as it fell.  The plane crashed and exploded into a wooded area near the range killing Captain Kramer.

     Investigation revealed that the left wing had signs of an old crack in the metal which apparently had gone undetected, leading to a total structural failure during the flight.     

     Capt. Karmer was assigned to the 82nd Fighter Wing.   


     Army Air Force Accident Investigation Report #49-1-14-3

Troy, NH – July 15, 1951

Troy, New Hampshire – July 15, 1951


P-47 Thunderbolt - U.S. Air Force Photo

P-47 Thunderbolt – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the morning of July 15, 1951, 1st Lt. Alfred J. Tobias, and Captain Macsata, of the 101st Fighter Interceptor Group assigned to Grenier Air Force base in Manchester, New Hampshire, began their shift as alert pilots. 

     At 12:41 p.m., they were scrambled for an intercept flight, and took off in separate F-47 aircraft.  (Lt. Tobias was flying A.C. #44-8976A)   After intercepting “friendly” aircraft over the Newburyport, Massachusetts, area, they intercepted other aircraft over the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, vicinity. 

     (The F-47 was the Air Force designation of the P-47 Thunderbolt used by the Army Air Force during WWII.) 

     At approximately 1:25 p.m., while still in the air, the officers were directed to climb to 20,000 feet and intercept a training flight of P-51 Mustangs over southern New Hampshire.  Both Lt. Tobias and Capt. Macsata climbed to altitude, and at 1:45 p.m. reported they were at 19,500 feet.  Sighting the flight of P-51’s, Capt. Macsata directed Lt. Tobias to bring his position “line abreast” of the formation to which Lt. Tobias acknowledged.  Both aircraft then went through a series of short maneuvers after which Lt. Tobias’ aircraft began to dive towards the ground.  Capt. Macsata tried calling to the lieutenant but go no response.  Lt. Tobias’s plane continued downward in an estimated 80 to 85 degree angle before it crashed and exploded.

     The destruction of the aircraft was so catastrophic that investigators were unable to examine the wreckage for possible mechanical malfunctions.  It was theorized that there may have been a problem with the plane’s oxygen system. 

     Lt. Tobias was a veteran of WWII, and earned his pilot’s wings on August 4, 1944.  He’s buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Bound Brook, New Jersey.


     Air Force Aircraft Accident Investigation Report, #51-7-15-2, Memorial #133058356


1 Mile So. of Grenier Field, NH – June 20, 1942

1 Mile South Of Grenier Field, New Hampshire – June 20, 1942



P-39 Aircobra - U.S. Air Force Photo

P-39 Aircobra – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On June 20, 1942, 2nd Lt. Clevio R. Rogo, 25, took off from Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire for a scheduled two hour training flight in a P-39D-1 aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-28317).  Twenty minutes later he was returning to the field due to what was later assumed by investigators to be engine trouble.  In the official accident investigation report it was stated, “No contact was made with the tower and it is the concensus of the committee that engine trouble may have been experienced which did not enable the pilot to maintain sufficient flying speed on his turn into the field to avoid going out of control.”   Lt. Rogo was killed when his plane crashed and burned about one mile south of the airfield.

     Lt. Rogo obtained his pilot’s rating on December 12, 1941.  He was assigned to the 5th Fighter Squadron stationed at Grenier Field in Manchester.

     Source: U.S. Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-20-6

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