Narragansett Bay – June 5, 1942

Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island – June 5, 1942

Windsor Locks, Connecticut – June 5, 1942

 

P-40 Warhawk  U.S. Air Force Photo

P-40 Warhawk
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On June 5, 1942, 2nd Lt. Martin Taub of Newark, New Jersey, was piloting a P-40E (41-24782) over Rhode Island when his aircraft crashed in Narragansett Bay, killing him. 

     It was reported that he was the second serviceman from New Jersey to loose his life in an aviation accident over southern New England that day.  The other pilot was Lt. Richard M. Stafford, of Summit, N.J. who was killed in a crash at Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Stafford’s plane was a P-40F, (41-13765). 

     Source: New York Times, “New Jersey Pilot Killed”, June 7, 1942

     Updated March 12, 2016    

P-40E-1   #41-24782 Quonset Point NAS June 5, 1942 U.S. Army Photo

P-40E-1 #41-24782
Quonset Point NAS
June 5, 1942
U.S. Army Photo

     According to the Army Air Corps crash investigation report relating to Lt. Taub’s accident, his airplane crashed on land at Quonset Point Naval Air Station, and not in Narragansett Bay.  (Quonset Point NAS was situated on Narragansett Bay.)

     On June 5, 1942, Lt. Taub was part of a three aircraft formation flight over Narragansett Bay when he radioed the flight leader that his P-40 was having mechanical difficulties.  The Flight leader advised that the formation would return to Quonset Point, and that Lt. Taub would land first.   Taub’s aircraft was also having problems with the electrical system, which affected the radio and lowering of the landing gear.  (Lt. Taub had to lower the landing gear manually.)          

     As he came in to land the plane, he overshot the runway, and then turned sharply towards the hangars and flew over them.  Witnesses said the engine was running smoothly, but laboring at low RPMs.  Suddenly the engine started popping, and without sufficient speed to land on a runway, the aircraft craft fell from the sky and landed upright before catching fire.  

     At the time of his accident, Lt. Taub was assigned to the 66th Fighter Squadron. 

     Source: U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-3-11    

Narragansett Bay – June 11, 1942

Narragansett Bay – June 11, 1942

     

P-40 Warhawk  U.S. Air Force Photo

P-40 Warhawk
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On June 11, 1942, 2nd Lt. William K. Liggett was piloting a P-40E aircraft (Ser. No. 41-25019) as part of a formation training flight with other P-40 aircraft over the Narragansett Bay area.   At about 1:45 p.m. his aircraft developed engine trouble and he was forced to look for a place to set down.  He chose what he thought to be an open area of beach about one mile northeast of the town of Portsmouth, but as he got closer he realized there were civilians on the beach.  Witnesses later told investigators that at the last moment Lt. Liggett abruptly turned towards the water and was killed when the plane crashed into the bay. 

     The crash was blamed on a problem with the aircraft’s fuel system. 

     Lt. Liggett obtained his pilot’s rating on April 29, 1942, and at the time of his death he was assigned to the 66th Fighter Squadron based at Hillsgrove Army Air Field, In Warwick, Rhode Island. 

     Source:  Army Air Corps Technical report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-11-8    

Norwood, MA – June 16, 1942

Norwood, Massachusetts – June 16, 1942

    

P-40 Warhawk  U.S. Air Force Photo

P-40 Warhawk
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On June 16, 1942, 2nd Lt. Herbert C. Chamberlain was piloting a Curtiss P-40E (Ser. No. 41-25161) over Norwood, Mass., when the aircraft experienced engine trouble.  Lt. Chamberlain attempted an emergency landing at Norwood Airport, but went down in a swampy area near the edge of the field.  The plane was damaged by Lt. Chamberlain was unhurt.     

     Lt. Chamberlain was killed a few days later in another P-40 crash at Hillsgrove Air Field in Warwick, Rhode Island, on June 24, 1942.  For more information, see that posting on this website under “Rhode Island Aviation Accidents”.

     Source: U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-16-37  

Hillsgrove Airport, RI – June 24, 1942

Hillsgrove Airport, Rhode Island – June 24, 1942 

    

P-40 Warhawk  U.S. Air Force Photo

P-40 Warhawk
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At 7 p.m. on June 24, 1942, 2nd Lt. Herbert Chester Chamberlain, 23, was scheduled to take off from Hillsgrove Army Air Field in Warwick, Rhode Island, in a P-40E-1 aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-24990), for a routine training flight.  Just as the aircraft left the ground, the engine quit, and the plane crashed into some woods near the edge of the field. Lt. Chamberlain was transported to a hospital in Providence where he succumbed to his injuries.

     The accident was blamed on mechanical failure of the aircraft.

     Lt. Chamberlain received his pilot’s wings April 29, 1942, and at the time of the accident he was assigned to the 66th Fighter Squadron stationed at Hillsgrove.  He’s buried in Long Island National Cemetery, in East Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.  To see a photo of Lt. Chamberlain in uniform, see www.findagrave.com, Memorial # 480983.

     Lt. Chamberlain had survived another aviation accident only a few days before his death.  On June, 16, 1942, he was piloting a P-40E, (Ser. No. 41-25161) over Norwood Massachusetts when the aircraft experienced engine trouble.  He attempted an emergency landing at Norwood Airport, but crash landed in a swampy area near the edge of the field.  He was uninjured in that accident.

     Sources:

     U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-24-10, and # 42-6-16-37

     www.findagrave.com          

Bradley Field, CT – May 25, 1942

Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut – May 25, 1942 

    

P-40 Warhawk  U.S. Air Force Photo

P-40 Warhawk
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At 4:30 p.m., on May 25, 1942, 2nd Lt. Thomas J. Beasley had just taken off  from Bradley Field in a P-40E,  (Ser. No. 40-392), when he discovered a problem with the aircraft’s oil pressure system and attempted to return to base for an emergency landing.  After receiving instructions from Bradley tower, he was attempting to land when he suddenly saw another aircraft making for the same runway.  At that time he made a skidding turn to the left in attempt to get into the wind, but his left wing dropped in a stall.  Lt. Beasley was able to regain control of the plane, but due to his now diminished air speed the aircraft dropped flat onto the runway from an altitude of 30 feet and proceeded to skid for 75 yards before coming to rest and catching fire.   Although the aircraft was a total loss, Lt Beasley escaped with minor injuries. 

     The aircraft was assigned to the 66th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group. 

     Source: U. S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #42-5-25-9    

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