East Lyme, CT. – June 3, 1967

East Lyme, Connecticut – June 3, 1967

     On the morning of June 3, 1967, a flight of four U.S. Navy/Marines A-4 Skyhawk fighter jets took off from the South Weymouth Naval Air Station in Massachusetts to take part in a training exercise in conjunction with National Guard units at Stone’s Military Ranch in the Flanders section of the town of East Lyme, Connecticut.  When the aircraft arrived over Flanders, they broke into two sections, consisting of two planes each.  Witnesses reported that the aircraft made a pass over the ranch and then climbed to about 1,500 feet before circling to make a second pass. As they came in for the second pass, one aircraft suddenly dropped out of formation and crashed into a thickly wooded hillside and exploded, throwing debris over a large area and starting several brush fires.  The pilot, 26-year-old Marine Reserve Captain James Perlin, of Kew Gardens, Queens, N.Y., was killed instantly.

     The scene of the crash was reported to be about one “mile off Flanders Road, and about a half-mile from the road leading into the military area”.  

     Sources:

      New London Day, “Pilot Crash – Hits Trees At Stone’s Ranch”, June 3, 1967, page 1. (With on photo of crash.)

     New London Day, “Pilot Warned He Was Flying Too Low, Officials Say Of East Lyme Jet Crash”, June 5, 1967, page 4. (With 2 photos of crash.)

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