Augusta, ME. – July 25, 1942

     Augusta, Maine – July 25, 1942


P-38 Lightning
U.S. Air Force photo

     On July 25, 1942, a U. S. Army P-38 fighter, (Ser. No. 41-7647), was making a landing approach to the Augusta State Airport when the pilot overshot the runway and crash landed in a sand pit beyond and the plane caught fire.  The aircraft was loaded with gasoline and ammunition and the pilot was trapped inside.  Ignoring any danger to themselves, eight enlisted men of the Military Police from Camp Keyes ran to the plane and managed to rescue the pilot.  These men were later identified and received medals for their heroism.    

     The rescuers were identified as follows:

     Private George W. O’Connell of New York City.

     Sergeant Joseph E. Cote of Cranston, R. I. 

     Private Edward A. Singer of Boston, Mass. 

     Sergeant Charles J. Hoffman of Bridgeport, Conn.

     Sergeant Alfred H. Paddison of Worcester, Mass.

     Corporal Alfred H. Squires of Westfield, Mas.

     Sergeant Francis J. Curran of Jamaica Plain, Mass. 

     Private Joseph De Napoli of West Hartford, Conn. 

     Sergeants Hoffman and Paddison were severely burned during the rescue. 


     The Waterbury Evening Democrat, “Military Police Will Be Honored” September 17, 1942


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