Brunswick Naval Air Station – April 14, 1952
On April 14, 1952, a U.S. Navy, twin-engine, P2V Neptune, (Bu. No. 124255), took off from Brunswick Naval Air Station with a crew of ten men aboard. Shortly after take off one engine failed, and the pilot made an attempt to return to the base. Heavy fog shrouded the area, and the aircraft missed its first approach and circled around for a second try. As the pilot was making his second approach the other engine began running erratically and the Neptune crashed into some trees near the end of the runway. Five men in the tail section were killed when it ripped away during the crash. The seriously injured co-pilot was trapped in his seat as the plane caught fire, and was rescued by the pilot, who received burns to his arms and face. Three others escaped.
The dead were identified as:
AO1 Walter N. Polen, Jr., 26, of Alden, New York. He’s buried in Lancaster Rural Cemetery in Lancaster, Penn. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #20695271.)
ALC Sherman L. Moore, Jr., 36, of Oakland, California. He’s buried in Santa Rose Odd Fellows Cemetery in Santa Rosa, California. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #75725570.)
AL3 Oscar Krampf, 25, of New York. He’s buried in Greenwich Cemetery in Greenwich, New York. He died 12 days shy of his 26th birthday. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #50634823.)
AOAN George W. Thompson, Jr., 26, of Stevenson, Alabama. He’s buried in Price Cemetery in Hollywood, Alabama. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #24417218.)
AO3 Robert L. Schafer of Berlin Center, Ohio. (No further info.)
The co-pilot, Lt. Jg. Frederick C. Sachse, Jr., 39, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, died of his injuries eleven days later on April 25, 1952. He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial#91460650.)
Those who survived were identified as:
(Pilot) Lt. Jg. Thomas N. Pole of Hackettstown, New Jersey.
(Navigator) Lt. Jg. Edward G. Buck of Miskogee, Oklahoma.
ADC Raymond R. Fussell of Auburn, Maine, and Pineapple, Alabama.
AT3 Jacob G. Karl of New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The Brunswick Naval Air Station was in operation from 1943 to 1946, and from 1951 to 2010.
New York Times, “5 In Navy Plane Die In Crash In Maine”, April 15, 1952
(Utah) The Deseret News, “Navy Pilot Hero Of Plane Crash At Maine Base”, April 15, 1952
VPNAVY – VP-11 Mishaps Summary Page, www.vpnavy.com
Wikipedia – Brunswick Naval Air Station