Westover Field – January 14, 1943

Westover Field, Chicopee, Massachusetts – January 14, 1943

 

P-47B Thunderbolt
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On January 14, 1943, two P-47B fighter aircraft were over Westover Filed when they were involved in a mid-air collision.  One aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-6005), piloted by 1st Lieutenant Joseph H. Freeman, Jr., of Weatherford, Texas, crashed and burned, killing Lt. Freeman.  The other aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-6002), suffered little damage and landed safely. 

     Both aircraft were part of the 340th Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, then stationed at Westover.   

     Lt. Freeman is buried in City Greenwood Cemetery in Weatherford, Texas.  To see a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com.  One will note that he was born on January 14, 1920, and died on his 23rd birthday.  

     The aircraft involved in this accident which landed safely, (41-6002), crashed and burned in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, on March 24, 1943.  The pilot did not survive.  The details of that accident are posted elsewhere on this website.

     Sources:

     Unknown Newspaper, “Plane Collision Kills One Pilot At Westover”, January 15, 1943

     www.findagrave.com

 

Westhampton, MA. – December 1, 1942

Westhampton, Massachusetts – December 1, 1942

 

P-47B Thunderbolt
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On December 1, 1942, a flight of three P-47 aircraft left Westover Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts, for a formation training flight.  While passing over the Westhampton area, the flight encountered thick cloud conditions and became separated.  The cloud cover extended low to the ground, and one of the aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-5924), piloted by 2nd Lt. Charles C. Hay, crashed and exploded into the side of Tob Hill behind the Congregational Church.  Lt. Hay was killed instantly. 

     Lt. Hay, of Lauder, Michigan, was 21-years-old, assigned to the 340th Fighter Squadron.  He’s buried in Grandlawn Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.  

     Another aircraft assigned to this flight, a P-47B, (Ser. No. 41-6011), crashed in the town of Cummington, Massachusetts, after the pilot was forced to bail out.  The pilot, 2nd Lt. Jack Lastor, landed safely. 

     Sources: 

     Springfield Republican, “Planes Crash In Westhampton, Cummington”, December 2, 1942  

     www.findagrave.com

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲