Westover Air Force Base – August 12, 1953
On August 12,1953, a U.S. Navy R6D-1 (#131586) crashed on take-off from Westover Air Force Base, for what was to be a routine train1ng flight. According to witnesses, the plane had just lifted off, and while at an altitude of about 200 feet, it suddenly banked sharply to the right, and dropped low enough for the right wing to strike the ground. The plane then cart-wheeled, broke apart, and burst into flames. All four navy men aboard were killed.
The dead were identified as:
(Pilot) Lieutenant Frank A. McGinnis, 34, of Haledon, New Jersey. He served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. He was survived by his wife and three children.
(Co-pilot) Lieut. Commander Chester Earl Perkins, 35, of Corpus Christi, Texas. He was a veteran of WWII, having served as a ferry service pilot. He’s buried in Sunset Memorial Park in South Charleston, and was survived by his wife, Catherine. To see other photographs of Lt. Cmdr. Perkins, and learn more info, see www.findagrave.com, Memorial #128688567
(Flight Mechanic) Aviation Machinist’s Mate, J. T. Carew, 24, of Maynard, Massachusetts. (Carew was only identified by his first initials, and attempts to learn his first name were unsuccessful.)
Aviation Machinist’s Mate William A. Holmes, 23, of Merrian, Kansas. He joined the navy in 1948, and had been stationed at Westover since 1949. In 1950 he married a girl from Holyoke, Massachusetts, and they had two sons. He’s buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas, Block #20. (See www.findagrave.com, Memorial #147995382)
The Douglas R6D-1 was a four-engine cargo-transport aircraft that was also known as a DC-6.
Unknown Newspaper, “Probe Crash OF Navy Plane That Killed 4 At Westover”, August, 13 or 14, 1953.