Trumbull Airport – August 19, 1950
On August 19, 1950, a Connecticut Air National Guard B-26 aircraft took off from Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts, bound for Trumbull Airport in Groton, Connecticut for a transport flight.
There were four men aboard; the pilot, 1st Lt. Martin E. Coleman, 32, of Hartford, Connecticut, and three passengers, Major William B. Duty, Capt. Paul E. Kimper, and Sgt. Kyle C. Thresher.
They arrived at Groton during a driving rainstorm which hampered visibility, and made for slick runway conditions. While attempting to land, the plane skidded off the end of the runway, over a seven foot embankment, and plunged into the Poquonoc River and flipped on its back and sank, leaving only the plane’s belly and landing gear protruding from the water.
Lt. Coleman drowned, but the other three men escaped with minor injuries.
Lt. Coleman was a member of the 118th Fighter Squadron, 103rd Fighter Group, then based at Bradley Field in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. He enlisted in the 118th Observation Squadron (Ct. Nat. Guard) after his high school graduation in 1936, and in the Army Air Corps in 1941. In 1943 he earned his pilots wings and flew a variety of aircraft while serving with the Air Transport Command. After his discharge in 1946, he re-joined the Air National Guard. He’s Buried in Northwood Cemetery, in Windsor, Connecticut. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #150775556.)
(New London, Ct.) The Day, “Air Force To Probe Fatal Crash At Trumbull Airport”, August 21, 1950