Atlantic Ocean – April 29, 1965

Atlantic Ocean – April 29, 1965

     On April 29, 1965, a U. S. Navy, Grumman C-2A Greyhound prototype aircraft, (Bu. No. 148147), took off from Long Island, New York, for a test flight over the Atlantic Ocean.  (News accounts did not state the airplane’s intended destination.)

     The pilot was Commander Murdoch M. McLeod, (40), of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the co-pilot was Lieutenant Commander Thomas A. Eades, (30), of Dallas, Texas.   

     Both men were assigned to the Patuxent River Naval Station in Maryland.

     At about 5:30 p.m. the pilot radioed that they were having engine trouble and that he was making an emergency landing in the water.  A search and rescue operation was instituted, during which an oil slick was sighted off the coast of Charlestown, Rhode Island, (One report states Block Island Sound.)  The oil was analyzed and found not to be the type used for aviation, and was presumed to have been from a fishing vessel. 

     At one point a navy helicopter from Quonset Point, Rhode Island, that was taking part in the search, was forced to make an emergency water landing in Peconic Bay, Long Island, due to lack of fuel.  There were no injuries, and the helicopter was towed to shore by a Coast Guard boat.  

     The search encompassed a huge area of open water ranging from Long Island, New York, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, but no wreckage of the aircraft was found.  One Coast guard vessel involved in the search was the 210-foot Vigilant. 

     On May 1st, the bodies of Commander McLeod and Lt. Cmdr. Eades were recovered from Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts, west of Cuttyhunk Island.  According to all newspaper reports, they were the only two crewmen aboard the aircraft.  

     Sources:

     Unknown Newspaper, Associated Press report,  “Test Plane, crew Sought In Sound”, April 30, 1965.

     The Berkshire Eagle, (Pittsfield, Mass.), (UPI report), “Search Goes On For Missing Navy Plane”,  April 30, 1965, page 30.

     Newport Daily News, (R.I.), “Planes Hunt Sound For Lost Fliers”, April 30, 1965, page 2.

     Sag Harbor Express, (N.Y.), “Bodies Were Recovered”, May 6, 1965.

     Biddeford-Saco Journal, (Biddeford, Maine), under “Personals”, May 11, 1965.  The funerals of Fireman Frederick R. Fredette, of Biddeford, and Electrician’s Mate 3/C Arthur J. Brown, of Old Orchard Beach, Me. were listed together.  It was stated that both had been serving aboard the Coast Guard cutter Vigilant during the search for the missing aircraft ten days earlier.  No details were given.       

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