Fort Fairfield, ME Bomber Crashes, June 1943



Fort Fairfield, Me. -- A low flying, twin-engined army bomber crashed in a potato field yesterday killing its five occupants and four field hands who were cut down by debris from the plane as it turned end-over-end and broke into bits.
A fifth farm hand escaped with severe injuries by leaping into a wagon and lashing a team of horses into a nearby woods, but another was destroyed by debris.
An army board of inquiry was immediately named to determine the cause of the crash which occured while the plane was on a training flight.
Observers said the plane dipped low over the field from which the five farm workers were clearing rocks. Suddenly, it was said, the plane plunged down and one wing struck the ground. The huge ship swung end-over-end in a cart-wheel and skidded across the ground. The workers were struck before they could flee to the shelter of nearby woods.
Sections of the wings, the tail, motor and fuselage hurtled over a half-acre area. It was flying parts of the plane that struck the workers.
The accident occurred on sections of two farms owned by O. B. GRIFFIN and CARL RASMUSEN, the latter, the father-in-law of LT. BERNARD N. ROBERTSON, pilot of the plane. RASMUSEN said that several of the soldiers bodies were scattered on the ground and that some were completely stripped of their clothing by the impact of the crash.
MRS. RASMUSEN said that her brother, a member of the ferry command, had been at the farm only two days ago and spent the day. His wife, she said, now is in Memphis, Tenn. In recent months, LT. ROBERTSON has ferried soldiers to India, North Africa and England. He was at one time attached to the Maine State Police.

The Coshocton Tribune Ohio 1943-06-27