Dayton, OH bomber crash, Jan 1947

Three Die as Army Bomber in Ohio Crashes and Burns

DAYTON, O., Jan. 14 - (AP) - Three Wright Field Army fliers were killed and another injured tonight when their Flying Fortress crashed through a swamp thicket, rammed a tree and burned three miles northwest of Patterson Field.

Officers at Wright Field said the dead were Maj. Walter L. Massengill of Dayton, the pilot; Master Sergt. Lee P. Hartman, engineer, and Warrant Oficer Benedict F. Jacquay. The injured crewman was Lieut. Marvin C. Rice, copilot. Other home addresses were not available.

The B-17 bomber, on a routine test flight from the flight test section at Wright Field, left this morning for Lawson Field, left this morning for Lawson Field at Fort Benning, Ga., and started back this afternoon, Wright Field reported.

The plane apparently intended landing at Patterson Field, but came down in a rain-soaked ravine three miles from the runway, cut a 500-yard swath through underbrush and piled up against a tree. The crash occurred at about 6:10 p. m.

Mrs. Chester Campbell, who lives near the scene, and she saw the bomber come down gradually, heard the motors slacken, then saw flames shoot upward from the woods and heard the roar of an explosion.

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH 15 Jan 1947