Chatham, MA – January 15, 1945

Chatham, Massachusetts – January 15, 1945


U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy photo

     On January 15, 1945, Ensign Robert C. Baker, piloting an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 70161), took part in a gunnery training flight off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  At about 1:15 p.m. as he was returning to base and passing over the town of Chatham,  the engine stopped working.  Baker dropped the landing gear and aimed for an open field.  As he came closer to the field he saw that there was a trench running across the middle of where he intended to set down so he intentionally overshot the area but wound up crashing into some trees lining the edge of the field.  

     Although the aircraft suffered significant damage, Ensign Baker was not hurt.  Investigators believed the engine failure was due to loss of oil pressure.  

     Ensign baker was assigned to VF-88.

     Source: U. S. Navy Accident Report dated January 15, 1945

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