East Hartford, CT. – February 28, 1960

East Hartford, Connecticut – February 28, 1960

     On February 28, 1960, 1st Lt. John K. Rude, Jr., 24, was piloting a National Guard helicopter over the East Hartford area when the aircraft suddenly developed engine trouble.  With little time to react, Lt. Rude set the helicopter down in a cemetery located in a crowded residential area.  Upon making the emergency landing the rotor blades were seriously damaged when they lopped off the top of a tall monument.  There were no injuries, and Lt. Rude was praised for his handling of the emergency situation and avoiding nearby homes.

     The helicopter had been in the air for a couple of hours on a routine training flight out of Brainard Field when the trouble developed.  Damage was estimated to be $15,000.

     Source:

     New London Day, “Waterford Pilot Safely Lands Disabled ‘Copter”, February 29, 1960 

 

Rentschler Field – May 3, 1944

Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Connecticut – May 3, 1944

 

B-24 Liberator
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the night of May 3, 1944, a B-24 Liberator with a crew of eleven men aboard, took off from Westover Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts, for a night training flight.  While over the Hartford, Connecticut, area the aircraft developed engine trouble and the pilot, 2nd Lt. John W. Garrett, age 19, attempted to make an emergency landing at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.  The B-24 crashed upon landing, killing Lt. Garrett, and injuring four members of the crew.  The other six escaped without injury. 

     Lt. Garrett is buried in Green Mountain Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. To see a photograph of Lt. Garrett, as well as a photo of his grave, see  www.findagrave.com, Memorial #114672261.   

     Sources:

     Springfield Union, “Westover Pilot Is Killed In East Hartford Crash”, May 4, 1944   

     www.findagrave.com

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