East Boston Airport – June 22, 1942
On June 22, 1942, 2nd Lt. Malcolm A. McNall, Jr., was piloting a Curtiss P-40E, (Ser. No. 40-390) over Boston Harbor towing a gunnery target, as part of a target practice mission. At about 2:00 p.m. he was attempting to return to East Boston Airport when he discovered that he was unable to release the target.
After trying five times to do so, he radioed East Boston tower of his situation, and was advised to fly low over the water at the north end of the field so that the target would get caught in the water and tear away form the plane. Following instructions, Lt. McNall came in low over the water, but when the target dug in to the water, it didn’t tear free as expected. Instead, the target pulled the aircraft down into the water. Fortunately Lt. McNall wasn’t seriously injured.
The accident investigation committee blamed poor aircraft maintenance by maintenance personnel.
At the time of the accident Lt. McNall was assigned to the 64th Fighter Squadron.
Source: U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-22-18