Charlestown, R. I. – June 26, 1947

Charlestown, Rhode Island – June 26, 1947

 

TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On June 26, 1947, the pilot of a navy TBM-3E Avenger, (Bu. No. 53878), was engaged in a glide angle calibration test over the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Field.  The dive was begun at 6,500 feet, and the pilot pulled out at 3,000 feet, at which time the landing gear dropped on its own when it should have remained in the “up” position.   The pilot notified the control tower and, and was cleared to make an emergency landing.  The plane made a normal landing, but after covering 450 feet of the runway the landing gear suddenly collapsed, and the aircraft skidded on its belly to a stop.  Although the aircraft was significantly damaged, the pilot and radio operator were not hurt.    

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated June 26, 1947.

Charlestown, R. I. – December 2, 1946

Charlestown, Rhode Island – December 2, 1946 

 

TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On December 2, 1946, a navy TBM-3E Avenger, (Bu. No. 91648), left the Quonset Point Naval Air Station bound for the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Field.  Upon landing at Charlestown, a landing gear strut snapped causing the aircraft to veer off the runway, at which time the entire landing gear assembly collapsed causing the aircraft to skid to a stop on its belly.  Despite significant damage to the airplane, the pilot and radio operator were not injured. 

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated December 2, 1946.    

Charlestown, R. I. – August 30, 1949

Charlestown, Rhode Island – August 30, 1949

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On August 30, 1949, a navy F8F-1 Bearcat, (Bu. No. 121560), was making practice touch-and-go landings at the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Field.  During the training exercise, the right landing gear collapsed upon touchdown, and the right wing, belly, and fuselage were damaged, but the pilot was not hurt. 

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 30, 1949.

 

Charlestown, R. I. – September 22, 1944

Charlestown, Rhode Island – September 22, 1944

 

U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy photo

     On the afternoon of September 22, 1944, a navy F6F-3 Hellcat fighter, (Bu. No. 26052), was taking off from the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field when the engine suddenly lost all power just after the plane became airborne.  The aircraft fell back to the runway and the fuselage broke in half, but there was no fire.  The pilot suffered serious injuries and the aircraft was a total loss.  

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated September 22, 1944.

 

Charlestown, R. I. – August 24, 1944

Charlestown, Rhode Island – August 24, 1944 

 

U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy photo

     On the afternoon of August 24, 1944, a flight of F6F Hellcat navy fighters was practicing mock daylight carrier landings on Runway 35 at the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field.  One Hellcat, (Bu. No. 42287), came in to land with the landing gear still up.  The aircraft crash-landed on the runway and skied to a stop.  There was no fire, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.  The pilot was not injured.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 24, 1944.

Charlestown, R. I. – August 1, 1944

Charlestown, Rhode Island – August 1, 1944

 

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the night of August 1, 1944, several aircraft from Night Fighter Squadron 104, (VFN-104), were taking part in a simulated night carrier landing exercise at the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Field.  During the exercise, one of the aircraft, an F6F-3N Hellcat, (Bu. No. 42994), crashed into the water just off shore from the air field.  The pilot escaped before the plane sank, and wasn’t injured.  The aircraft was later salvaged.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 1, 1944.

Charlestown, R. I. – April 27, 1944

Charlestown, Rhode Island – April 27, 1944

 

U.S. Navy SBD Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo.

     On the afternoon of April 27, 1944, a Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless, (Bu. No. 09747), overshot the runway while landing at the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field.  The aircraft was on a ferry mission with a Marine Corp 1st lieutenant aboard.   The aircraft first touched down at the approximate midpoint of the 1,400 foot runway.  To the right of the runway was a parked twin-engine PBM Mariner with a bomb truck parked alongside.   When the pilot of the Dauntless applied full brakes the aircraft swerved to the right, and its right wing struck the bomb truck causing the aircraft to pivot and crash into the fuselage of the Mariner. The pilot was not injured but the passenger suffered a cut lip.  No other injuries were reported concerning the truck or the Mariner.  Both aircraft were damaged beyond repair. 

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-15665, dated April 27, 1944.   

Charlestown, R. I. – March 3, 1943

Charlestown, Rhode Island – March 3, 1943

 

U.S. Navy SBD Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo.

     On March 3, 1943, a Douglass SBD-4 Dauntless, (Bu. No. 10448), was taking off from the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field when the engine lost power and the aircraft crashed.  The aircraft was damaged beyond repair, but the crew was not injured.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated March 3, 1943.

Charlestown, R. I. – February 12, 1943

Charlestown, Rhode Island – February 12, 1943

 

U.S. Navy SBD Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo.

     On February 12, 1943, a pilot was making practice landings and take-offs at the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Air Field in a Douglas SBD-4 Dauntless, (Bu. No. 06850), when he crash-landed due to cross winds.  The aircraft sustained heavy damage, but the pilot and his gunner were not injured.   

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-5790, dated February 12, 1943   

Charlestown, R. I. – September 15, 1943

Charlestown, R. I. – September 15, 1943

 

Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the night of September 15, 1943, a pilot was making practice carrier landings at the Charlestown Navy Auxiliary Field in a Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless, (Bu. No. 11057).  On his third approach he was given a “high out” and due to darkness, made a hold-off landing.  The plane stalled and came down on the port landing gear causing it to collapse and break off causing damage to the port wing.  As the plane settled the propeller was also damaged.  The pilot was not hurt.      

     The pilot was assigned to VC-32.

     Source:

     U.S. Navy accident report dated September 15, 1943, #44-8014

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

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     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 was assigned to VF-10A.

     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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