Wreckchasing Message Board
Sign up  |   |   |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
SixbyFire

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 435
 #1 

On March 18th, 1942 at 10:44 a.m. four P-39F’s took off from Wayne County Airport (now Detroit Metropolitan Airport) on a ferry flight to Louisville, Kentucky. The pilots were all 2nd Lieutenants in the Army Air Corps Reserve. Armel Kennedy, Eugene Anderson, and Earl Houser were being led by their flight leader, Edward Saunders. He was the most experienced pilot with 50 hours more flight time than the others, however, all had less than six months experience.

Exact details about the accident were not known, however, approximately 35 minutes after take off the aircraft encountered deteriorating weather conditions, quoted in the crash reports as a “blinding blizzard type snow storm”, around Lima, Ohio. It is believed the flight leader, in an effort to lead his flight out of the blizzard took up a course heading in a northeasterly direction and eventually flew into gradually rising terrain.

Regardless of how it happened, we do know that at around 11:21 a.m. all four aircraft crashed into the ground and all four pilots died. All four crashes happened about 6.5 miles east of downtown Lima, Ohio and all four were within about a 1/2 mile radius of each other. One of the planes went nose first into a farmer’s field, two others possibly collided in mid air before crashing into two separate farm fields on opposite sides of a road, while the fourth plane crashed into a wooded area south of other three.

On June 24th, 2017 my son Paxton and I searched the location where 2nd Lt. Kennedy's plane crashed with the permission of the property owner. He was aware of the crash and of the other three crashes, in fact he's done a lot of research on his own about all four crashes due to his affiliation with the Allen County Veterans Memorial Foundation. Interestingly the property owner's name is David Paxton, his last name is my son's first name! You can see the results of our search here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sixbyfire/albums/72157685510858345

The crash site location of one of the remaining three aircraft is known but was not searchable this time of year due to it being a planted, muddy wheat field. We hope to do more research to nail down the location of the other two aircraft, however, casual research shows that the sites may have been partially built over by new developments.

Jeff

DaveTrojan

Avatar / Picture

Moderators
Registered:
Posts: 2,575
 #2 
Good work! Very nice historical sign at the site. 
DaveT
Dennis

Registered:
Posts: 1,277
 #3 
yeah, that was a really nice memorial plaque.  Wish I could get the county to come off some money (like they promised to) for a plaque like that for the B-26 crew of the site we found a few years back (41-17631).
Thought a lot about this 4 plane crash, as I have been to Ohio a few times.  Glad you found it.  Dennis
CrashSiteOwner

Registered:
Posts: 1
 #4 
I know this is an old thread so I hope this post brings it back to the forefront.

We are the owners of the property referred to in this thread posted by SixbyFire. 

We continue to do research, trying to find photos that were taken by locals before the G-Men got here. 

Several cameras were confiscated as there was concern at the time that the crash was caused by sabotage.

The property belonged to a family member but must have been in the middle of transfer to him at the time as the reports list the owner as "Blankenship" it actually belonged to Merl McClure at the time who helped carry the wreckage off of the property.

The Historical marker incorrectly states that all of the planes crashed within a quarter mile. Kennedy's plane crashed about one mile from the marker.

We created a memorial page on facebook for the 4 pilots you can see here.
https://www.facebook.com/p39memorial/ and will be doing so on our website at https://allencountyveterans.org

If anyone finds any photos of the pilots please share them with SixbyFire and on the forum.

__________________

They are not gone until they are forgotten.
DaveTrojan

Avatar / Picture

Moderators
Registered:
Posts: 2,575
 #5 
Find a grave info with photos and addition info about the men involved

Lieut Edward Harding Saunders
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/109554331/edward-harding-saunders

Lieut Armel J Kennedy
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/53992903/armel-j-kennedy

Lieut Eugene H. Anderson
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/91720407/eugene-h_-anderson

LT Earl A. Houser
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/141349877/earl-a_-houser

 

SixbyFire

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 435
 #6 

I am working with the property owner to maybe do another search this year in late June or early July. Ideally a group search might be helpful if anyone is going to be free around that time and might be in the area? We found enough to confirm the site, but for sure there is more out there.

I only recently bought a photo on eBay from the newspapers which I added to the already mentioned album. The photo is a reprint or copy used by newspapers for their publication purposes. It clearly shows the crash in the woods in the daytime, whereas the military photos were all taken at night.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sixbyfire/47281464902/in/dateposted/

Jeff

Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.