Jamestown, R. I. – August 21, 1944

Jamestown, Rhode Island – August 21, 1944


TBF-1 Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of August 21, 1944, two TBF-1 Avengers, (Bu. No. 23967), and (Bu. No. 06104), left Quonset Point Naval Air Station as part of a flight of several planes that were to take part in a routine training mission.   The two Avengers were flying in a two-plane formation over Narragansett Bay along the western side of Jamestown Island while they waited for other aircraft in the flight to join up with them.  Bu. No. 23967, piloted by Ensign Walter L. Miller, Jr., 21, of Texas, was in the lead position.  The other aircraft, Bu. No. 06104 was piloted by another Ensign, and was flying in the number two position. 

    While both aircraft were about two miles southwest of the Jamestown Bridge, and at an altitude of 1,500 feet, they began to make a ten degree bank to the left.  The air was turbulent, and while the bank was being executed, the right wing of the number two aircraft collided with the elevator of the lead plane.  Immediately after the collision, Ensign Miller’s aircraft went down and crashed into a house and exploded, killing all aboard.  

     Those aboard Ensign Miller’s aircraft included:

     ARM3c Jacob C. Beam,  and AMM3c D. J. Finkler. 

     To see a photograph of Ensign Miller, go to www.findagrave.com, see memorial #38854830.

     The other aircraft was able to make it safely back to Quonset Point without injury to the crew.

     Both aircraft were assigned to CASU-22.


     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 21, 1944 


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