Charlestown, R.I. – August 9, 1948

Charlestown, Rhode Island – August 9, 1948

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On August 9, 1948, an F8F-1 Bearcat, (Bu. No. 94782), was taking off from the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Station when the engine lost power just after the plane had become airborne and the wheels had been retracted.  The aircraft came back down on the runway crushing its fully loaded belly tank which exploded and enveloped the aircraft in flames.  The aircraft skidded for 1,500 feet before coming to rest.  The pilot was able to extricate himself, but the aircraft was consumed by fire. 

     The aircraft was assigned to Fighter Squadron 10A, (VF-10A).

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 9, 1948         

Charlestown, R. I. – July 12, 1949

Charlestown, Rhode Island – July 12, 1949

 

Douglas Skyraider
U. S. Navy Photo

     On July 12, 1949, an AD-2 Skyraider, (Bu. No. 122320), was attempting to land on Runway 22 at the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field when the left wing suddenly dropped and struck the runway causing the aircraft to cartwheel.  As it cartwheeled the momentum tore the engine loose from the aircraft.  When the aircraft came to rest the pilot managed to extricate himself before the wreckage was consumed by flames.  Remarkably, the pilot was reportedly not injured.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated July 12, 1949   

Charlestown, R. I. – June 15, 1949

Charlestown, Rhode Island – June 15, 1949

 

Douglas Skyraider
U. S. Navy Photo

     On June 15, 1949, an AD-1 Skyraider, (Bu. No. 123322), was making a normal takeoff from the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Airfield when the engine lost all power just after the aircraft became airborne.  The aircraft went down in the water of Ninigret Pond beyond the runway.  The pilot escaped without injury, but the aircraft was significantly damaged.   

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated June 15, 1949

Charlestown, R. I. – December 30, 1948

Charlestown, R. I. – December 30, 1948

 

Douglas Skyraider
U. S. Navy Photo

     On December 30, 1948, an AD-2 Skyraider, (Bu. No. 122309), was making a normal takeoff from the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field.  Near the end of the runway, while the aircraft was at an altitude of about 150 feet, the engine suddenly stopped.  The aircraft went down in the water of Ninigrit Pond which was covered by about an inch of ice.  The aircraft struck the ice at about 80 knots, skipped once, and came back down in five feet of water.  The pilot was rescued without injury but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. 

     The accident was blamed on faulty maintenance of the carburetor.    

     The aircraft was assigned to VA-94. 

     Source:

     U.S. Navy accident report dated December 30, 1948     

Charlestown, R. I. – October 10, 1949

Charlestown, Rhode Island – October 10, 1949 

 

Douglas Skyraider
U. S. Navy Photo

     On October 10, 1949, an AD-1 Skyraider, (Bu. No. 122818), was making practice take offs and landings at the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field when the aircraft crashed and burned.  The pilot escaped, but suffered serious burns.    

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated October 10, 1949.

Charlestown, R. I. – September 4, 1947

Charlestown, Rhode Island – September 4, 1947

     On the night of September 4, 1947, Lieutenant Alfred George Elpern, (26), took off from the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field in an F8F-1 Bearcat, (Bu. No. 95208), for a night tactical training mission.   About 36 minutes into the flight the cockpit lighting system of his aircraft failed, and he was given clearance to return to base.  His first two attempts to land were aborted.   While making his third attempt, his aircraft was observed to go into a spin while at an altitude of 300 feet.  The airplane crashed and exploded on the field instantly killing Lieutenant Elpern.

     At the time of the crash, the horizon was partially obscured by haze.

     The cause of the crash could not be determined.

     Lieutenant Elpern is buried in Paradise Cemetery in Shannondale, Penn.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated September 4, 1947 

     www.findagrave.com Memorial #31314556

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