Presque Isle, ME. – November 21, 1956

Presque Isle, Maine – November 21, 1956   

T-33 Trainer Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On November 21, 1956, Air Force Captain Billy Ray Ward, (33), was piloting a T-33 jet aircraft, (Ser. No. 53-6033), from Rome, New York, to Presque Isle, Maine, when the plane crashed in a wooded area about two miles north of the town center.   The cause of the accident is unknown.    

     Captain Ward was the Assistant Operations Officer for the 76th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, and a veteran of World War II.  He is survived by his wife and two children.  He’s buried in Maplewood Park Cemetery in Paducah, Kentucky.    

     To see a photo of Captain Ward, click on the link below.


     Paducah Sun Democrat, “Paducah Jet Pilot Dies In Crash”, November 22, 1956.

     Aviation Safety Network 

Presque Isle, ME. – May 12, 1944

Presque Isle, Maine – May 12, 1944 


North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

      On May 12, 1944, an AT-6C trainer aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-33064), with two men aboard took off from the Presque Isle Army Air Field for a local training flight.  For reasons never determined, the plane crashed at high speed six miles south of the airfield and both men, 1st Lt. Dennis S. Smyth, (24), and 1st Lt. Thomas R. Sheehy, (21), were killed. 

     It is unclear which man was flying the plane at the time of the accident.  

     To see a photo of 1st. Lt. Smyth click here: 

     Click here to learn more information about Lt. Sheehy 


     Book, “Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States, 1941-1945”, by Anthony J. Mireles, C. 2006.

Presque Isle, ME. – March 5, 1932

Presque Island, Maine – March 5, 1932

     On the evening of March 5, 1932, a “Commander” airplane took off from Edmundton, Maine, bound for Millinocket.  The aircraft was built to carry two people, but there were three adults aboard.  As the plane neared Presque Isle the pilot noticed it was low on fuel, and made a successful landing on river ice on the Aroostook River just above the Aroostook Bridge.  From there the pilot and passengers walked into town and arranged for some gasoline at Mckay’s gas station, and Mr. Mckay drove his customers back to their plane as helped with the refueling.  Meanwhile, someone had notified Presque Isle’s chief of police Earnest E. Lyons, who arrived at the plane as it was being fueled. 

     When the fueling was complete, the pilot and passengers climbed back in the plane and prepared to take off from the ice.  The plane seemed to have trouble getting airborne, and when it finally did it, it clipped the top of a large elm tree damaging the propeller.  The plane then continued onward bobbing up and down.  The pilot attempted to make an emergency landing in an open field but the plane crashed in a wooded area off Washburn Road. 

     One of the passengers had suffered a cut above the eye and was transported to a hospital by Chief Lyons.   After being treated, the three aviators spend the night at a rooming house on Main Street.  The aircraft was dismantled and transported to Presque Isle Airport where it would reportedly be repaired.  

     Source: Presque Isle Star, “Airplane In Distress Heard And seen By Residents Of Presque Isle Saturday” March 10, 1932, page 1


Presque Isle, ME – July 6, 1973

Presque Isle, Maine – July 6, 1973 

     On July 6, 1973, a crop duster aircraft took off from Presque Isle  Airport to spray a potato field about three miles from the airport.  The 31-year-0ld pilot was just beginning spraying operations when his plane suddenly plunged to the ground and he was killed.


     Providence Journal, “Crop Duster Dies In Maine Crash”, July 8, 1973.  

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲