Otis Air Force Base – May 31, 1949

Otis Air Force Base – May 31, 1949

Falmouth, Massachusetts

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On the morning of May 31, 1949, Lt.(jg.) Roland G. Wittig, (25), was making a landing approach to Otis Air Force Base in a F8F-1B Bearcat, (Bu. No. 121522).  While at an altitude of 500 feet the engine suddenly began to loose power.  The pilot continued his descent with wheels and flaps down and the canopy locked open.  At approximately 60 feet of altitude, the aircraft was seen to stall and crash into the ground where it exploded, killing the pilot instantly.

     Lt.(jg.) Wittig was assigned to Fighter Squadron 32, (VF-32), at Quonset Point, R.I.  He’s buried in George Washington Memorial park in Paramus, New Jersey.  He was survived by his wife.    

     Sources:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated May 31, 1949

     www.findagrave.com, memorial #102167281 

Otis Air Force Base – June 12, 1947

Otis Air Force Base – June 12, 1947

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

    On June 12, 1947, an F8F-1 Bearcat, (Bu. No. 95125), left Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island bound for Otis AFB in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Upon landing at Otis, the right wing dropped and struck the runway causing the aircraft to flip onto its back and skid for approximately 500 feet before it came to rest.  The aircraft was badly damaged, but the pilot was not seriously injured.  

     The aircraft was assigned to VF-17A at Quonset.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated June 12, 1947

Otis Air Force Base – June 27, 1947

Otis Air Force Base – June 27, 1947

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On June 27, 1947, a flight of F8F Bearcats left the Quonset Naval Air Station bound for Otis Air Force base in Falmouth, Massachusetts, to conduct practice carrier landings and takeoffs The aircraft were assigned to VF-8A at Quonset.

     Once at Otis the aircraft commenced the takeoff and landing exercise.  As one aircraft, (Bu. No. 95227), was making its approach for its sixth landing, in came in too close behind the aircraft ahead of it.  After landing, the pilot applied the brakes to avoid a rear-end collision with the plane ahead, but at that moment the left brake failed which caused the aircraft to swerve off the runway and onto a grassy area.  On the grassy area was a parked truck, which the pilot would have struck had he not intentionally ground-looped the aircraft.  After missing the truck, the aircraft went into a small ravine and nosed over onto its back.  The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot was not seriously hurt.   

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated June 27, 1947

Otis AFB – June 5, 1947

Otis Air Force Base – June 5, 1947

     On June 5, 1947, Ensign Orin William Ross, (24), was piloting a navy dive bomber making practice landings and take offs at Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  While making a practice landing, the aircraft suddenly stalled and crashed onto the runway and exploded, killing Ensign Ross.  Ensign Ross was assigned to Carrier Squadron VA-17A stationed at Quonset Naval Air station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. 

     The exact type of aircraft was not stated.

     Ensign Ross is buried in Bristow cemetery in Bristow, Oklahoma.  To see a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com, #25974219.

     Source: Cape Cod Standard Times, “Flyer Killed At Otis Field”, June 6, 1947, page 1

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