Off Swampscott, Massachusetts – March 30, 1943
On March 30, 1943, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ranger was off the coast of Massachusetts en-route to the Boston Navy Yard for re-fitting. As such, the Ranger’s compliment of aircraft were to be sent inland, their final destination to be Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island.
One of those aircraft from the Ranger was an SBD-4 Dauntless, (#06826), piloted by Lieutenant Lykes M. Boykin. As Lt. Boykin neared shore, the engine began running rough due to ice build-up in the carburetor. After trying several measures to clear the ice, he was forced to ditch in the water off the town of Swampscott.
As the plane sank in 45 feet of water, Boykin and his radioman (2c) H. H. Reed escaped in an inflatable life raft, and were rescued a short time later by a Coast Guard boat from nearby Winter Island.
At the time of this accident, Lt. Boykin was assigned to VB-42 aboard the Ranger. Later in the war he would be promoted to commanding officer of Fighting Squadron 4 aboard the U.S.S. Essex.
U.S. Navy Crash Brief, #43-6399
Lynn Telegram, “Plane Falls Into Sea Off Swampscott Shore”, March 31, 1943
Lynn Telegram News, “Rescue Pair In Navy Plane After Crash, “March 31, 1943, page 11