Off Watch Hill, Rhode Island – October 26, 1944
At 6:52 p.m., on October 26, 1944, Ensign Norman Francis Day, 20, piloting an F6F-5N Hellcat, (Bu. No. 70895), and Ensign W. D. Cochran, piloting another F6F Hellcat, took off from Charlestown Aux. Naval Air Station in Charlestown, Rhode Island, for a night training mission.
The pair flew to Fisher’s Island, New York, (Off the eastern end of Long Island) and engaged in simulated strafing maneuvers on searchlight positions. After about 40 minutes, Ensign Cochran attempted to call Ensign Day by radio and got no response.
A fisherman on a boat reported a plane apparently experiencing engine trouble had crashed into the water about 2 miles due south of Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Watch Hill is in the town of Westerly, Rhode Island.
The crash was not witnessed by Ensign Cochran.
At the time of his death, Ensign Day was assigned to Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 27, (CASU-27), assigned to the Naval Air Station at Charlestown, Rhode Island. He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Larry Webster, Aviation Historian, Rhode Island.
U.S. navy Aircraft trouble report 48-44