Perham, ME. – August 20, 1947

Perham, Maine – August 20, 1947

     On the evening of August 20, 1947, an Aeronca airplane with two young men aboard lost power while approaching to land in an open field on a farm belonging to Harold Bragdon.  The aircraft nosed over and dove into the ground before flipping on its roof and skidding to a stop.   One of the men aboard died within a thirty minutes, the other later passed away at a hospital.  Both were from Fort Fairfield, Maine. 


     Forth Fairfield Review, (Me.), “2 Fort Fairfield Men Die After Plane Crash In Perham Last Wed.”, August 27, 1947, page 1.  

Perham, Maine – Sept. 22, 1942

Perham, Maine – September 22, 1942


B-25C Twin-Engine Bomber - U.S. Air Force Photo

B-25C Twin-Engine Bomber – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On September 22, 1942, a flight of B-25 Mitchel bombers left Presque Isle Army Air Field bound for overseas duty.  Shortly after take off the planes were recalled to the base due to poor weather/visibility conditions.  One of the planes, (41-13049), crashed in a wooded area about six miles west of Perham Village, Maine, and exploded.  Local residents stated the blast was heard for miles around, and the site was marked by a large crater. 

      The tail section was discovered about a quarter of a mile away, which would seem to indicate a structural failure with the aircraft.   Two Nazi sympathizers were later arrested for tampering with an aircraft at Presque Isle leading to speculation that the B-25 had gone down due to sabotage.

     The B-25 was attached to the 310th Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Squadron, then based in Greenville, South Carolina.   

     All seven crew members were killed. 

     The dead were identified as:

Pilot: 2lt. John F. Watson  Entered service from New York, (O-790435) Burial location unknown.

Co-Pilot: 2lt. John W. Rieves Jr. , 22.  He’s buried in Asbury Cemetery, McKenney, Virginia. For a photo of his grave go to and see memorial #138056088.

S/Sgt. John S. Delano  He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

S/Sgt. James A. Kviz, 26.

S/Sgt. Eugene J. Crozier He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

S/Sgt. Frederick W. Rowbottom, 23.  He’s buried in Calvary Cemetery in Virginia, Minnesota.  For a photo of his grave go to and see memorial #123323580.

S/Sgt. Richard K. Riddle, 27.  He’s buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware, Ohio.  For a photo of his grave go to  memorial#47394120.

     Later in the day another B-25 (41-13098) belonging to the 379th Bomb Squadron took off from Presque Isle also bound for overseas duty, but it crashed shortly after take off in the neighboring town of Fort Fairfield, Maine.  For more information, see Fort Fairfield, ME – September 22, 1942  under “Maine Military Aviation Accidents” on this website.  


New York Times, “Plane Falls On Wooded Hill”, Sept 23, 1942

57th Bomb Wing Association website




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