Off Scituate, Massachusetts – February 24, 1942
On February 24, 1942, 2nd Lt. Dennis J. Dowling, 22, was on a formation flying training flight when his P-40E (Ser. No. 41-5692) inexplicably crashed into the water two-and-a-half miles off the coast of Scituate, Massachusetts, from an altitude of 2,000 feet.
Lt. Dowling did not survive, and a search for his body was instituted. It’s unknown as of this posting if he was recovered.
The accident investigation committee was unable to determine a cause for the crash, but mechanical failure was suspected based on two witnesses who stated they saw intermittent smoke trailing from the airplane shortly before the accident.
Lt. Dowling had recently been married only two weeks earlier in Revere, Massachusetts. He’d received his pilots wings December 12, 1941, at Turner Field, in Alabama. At the time of the crash he was assigned to the 64th Pursuit Squadron (I), stationed in Boston, Mass.
U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #42-2-24-1.
Daily Record, “Bridegroom Dies In Plane Plunge”, February 25, 1942
Boston Herald, “Plane Plunge Kills Army Bridegroom”, February 25, 1942
Boston Evening Globe, “Army Flyer, Wed 10 Days, Killed; Body Still In Sea”, February 25, 1942