Black Rock Harbor, Bridgeport, Connecticut – June 12, 1942
On June 12, 1942, 2nd Lt. Edward S. Almgren, 23, was piloting a P-47B Thunderbolt, (#41-6930), over the Bridgeport, Connecticut, area on an aircraft familiarization flight. When it came time to land at Bridgeport Airport, he lowered the wheels, and discovered the aircraft was loosing power. At first he wasn’t concerned, for it was his first time flying a P-47, and with no previous experience for comparison, he assumed the loss of power was due to the lowering of the landing gear. (At the time all instruments were reading normal.) As he was beginning to circle the field at 1,400 feet and contacting the tower for instructions, the engine abruptly quit without any prior warning. As the plane rapidly lost air speed and altitude, Lt. Almgren retracted the wheels and aimed for Black Rock Harbor on Long Island Sound. When the P-47 hit the water it skimmed the surface for about 100 yards before it nosed over and sank. Lt. Almgren had to hold his breath as he freed himself and swam for the surface. He was quickly rescued by two men in a passing boat and brought ashore.
Once on land, he went directly to his home at 2445 Fairfield Avenue which was only a short distance from the harbor, and called his superiors at the airport to let them know he was safe.
The aircraft was recovered from the water. The cause of the accident was found to be material failure with the engine.
At the time of the accident Lt. Algren was assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron.
U.S. Army Air Corps Technical report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-12-3
Unknown Newspaper, “Flier Is Saved In Harbor Crash”, Unknown Date. (Newspaper article was included with army crash investigation report.