Stratford, Connecticut – March 26, 1942
Shortly before 10:30 a.m. on the morning of March 26, 1942, 2nd Lt. Edward G. Armstrong was flying a P-39 single-seat fighter aircraft (Ser. No. 40-36) on a training flight over the Stratford, Connecticut, area in which he was going through aerobatic maneuvers with the aircraft. According to witnesses, the aircraft’s engine suddenly quit while at 500 feet, and the plane went into a spin from which it did not recover. It crashed in St. Michael’s Cemetery, only a few feet from Bruce Brook, which boarders one side of the cemetery. There was no fire, but the plane was demolished, and Lt. Armstrong was killed instantly.
The cemetery is located at 2205 Stratford Ave., in Stratford. It is surrounded by a densely populated area, and it’s possible that Lt. Armstrong remained with his aircraft to avoid having it crash into nearby homes.
Lt. Armstrong was assigned to the 61st Pursuit Squadron in Bridgeport, Ct. He received his pilots rating December 12, 1941.
According to a newspaper article in the Bridgeport Herald, Lt. Armstrong was the second fatality in his squadron since it came to the Bridgeport area. On February 15, 1942, Lieutenant Harry L. Mathews, 24, of North Carolina, was killed when his P-39C (40-2972,) crashed near the Bridgeport Municipal Airport while on a training flight. For more information, see the page about Lt. Mathews on this website – New England Aviation History
U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #42-3-26-7
Bridgeport Herald, “Plane Crash In Stratford Kills Second Army Flyer”, March 26, 1942