Presque Isle, ME. – March 11, 1944

Presque Isle, Maine – March 11, 1944


B-17G “Flying Fortress”
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On March 11, 1944, a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, (Ser. No. 42-97208), with ten crewmen aboard, was taxiing into position in preparation for takeoff when its brakes failed and it crashed into the number 3 hangar at Presque Isle Air Field.  The aircraft was bound for overseas duty at the time. 

      Co-pilot, 2nd Lt. Thomas Walker Gage, 24, of Stockport, Ohio, suffered fatal injuries in the accident.  He’s buried in Stockport Cemetery in Stockport, Ohio.  To see a photo of Lt. Gage click here:   

     The bombardier and navigator were seriously injured, while the rest of the crew received non-life threatening injuries.  


     The Evening Star, (Washington, D.C.), “One Killed, 9 Injured As Bomber Hits Hangar”, March 13, 1944, page B-6  


Mapleton, ME. – September 13, 1931

Mapleton, Maine – September 13, 1931

     On the morning of September 13, 1931, an instructor and student pilot took off from the Presque Isle Airport in a dual-control Waco 10 airplane.  The instructor sat in the front cockpit and his student in the back cockpit.  The pair then began practicing take-offs and landings.  After completing three successful landings, the plane took off for a forth time.  Witnesses saw the aircraft heading toward Creasey Ridge Road to the west of the airport at an altitude of about 100 feet.  At one point it appeared that the aircraft tilted back so as to begin climbing and then suddenly nosed over and dove to the ground.  The plane crashed in a potato field about 1,000 yards into the neighboring town of Mapleton.  Both student and instructor died as a result of the accident.      


    Presque Isle Star Herald, September 17, 1931, page 1.  

Presque Isle, ME – September 13, 1931

Presque Isle, Maine – September 13, 1931

Updated June 26, 2022.

     At about 8;00 a.m. on the morning of September 13, 1931, Ralph A. Merritt, 22, of Presque Isle, arrived at the newly opened Presque Isle airport to give flying lessons to Raymond A. Stone, 27, of Fort Fairfield, Me.  At about 9:30 a.m. the men took off in a two-seat Waco 10 bi-plane with dual controls to begin a practice flight.  The plane was observed by people at the airport to make three perfect touch-and-go landings.  While climbing away from the third take off, the aircraft was observed to dip its left wing.  As it did so it fell to the ground from an altitude of approximately 100 feet crashing in a potato about one thousand feet from the airfield.       

     Witnesses immediately rushed to the scene.  Merritt had been killed instantly, while Stone was transported to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.      

     Due to this accident, the airport dedication that was supposed to take place in the coming days was postponed.    


     Lewiston Daily Sun, “Two Are Killed In Plane Crash At Presque Isle”, September 14, 1931 

     The Evening Star, (Washington, D. C.), “Crash Kills Two Flyers”, September 14, 1931

     The Star Herald, (Presque Isle), “Local Air Navigation Claims First Victims”, September 17, 1931, pg. 1

     The Star Herald, (Presque Isle), “Airport Dedication Deferred Till Later”, September 17, 1931, Pg. 1

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