Quincy Bay, Massachusetts – July 27, 1917
Little information exists about this early military aviation incident.
On July 24, 1917, a severe electrical storm formed over the Boston metropolitan area causing heavy winds and widespread damage. At the time of its arrival, two military aircraft from the Squantum air training station were airborne on a routine training flight and were caught in the squall and blown out to sea. The types of aircraft and the pilot’s names were not released by the military.
Immediately after the storm, navy boats were ordered to search for the missing airmen in the Dorchester Bay, Quincy Bay, and Hough’s Neck areas. The search was called off after two hours after both men were found to be safe, however the details of their recovery were also withheld by the military.
It was stated in the Meriden Morning Record: “One of the patrol boats were reported to have rescued an aviator from the water of Quincy Bay and another boat was said to have on board a portion of a wrecked machine”
The rest of the news article focused on three persons killed by the storm.
One of those killed was Pvt. James F. Broderick, of the Massachusetts 2nd Field Artillery who was struck by lightning in his tent where the unit was camping in Boxford, Massachusetts.
Two women were killed when the unfinished building they’d sought shelter in collapsed.
Source: Meriden Morning Record, “Aviators Caught In Thunderstorm”, July 28, 1917