Martha’s Vineyard – November 13, 1983

Martha’s Vineyard – November 13, 1983

    On November 13, 1983, a 59-year-old pilot left Martha’s Vineyard Airport bound for Rhode Island in a 31-year-old Beechcraft Bonanza.  Shortly after takeoff, while the aircraft was at about 850 feet, the engine suddenly quit.  Attempts to restart it were unsuccessful, and the pilot made an emergency landing in the water of the Vinyard’s Lagoon Pond about 100 yards from shore.  The pilot escaped without injury and was rescued shortly afterwards by a man fishing nearby in his boat.  The aircraft was later removed from the water.


     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Barrington Pilot Escapes Injury”, November 15, 1983    

Off Martha’s Vineyard – September 27, 1943

Off Martha’s Vineyard – September 27, 1943


Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of September 27, 1943, Ensign Thomas James Schmidt, (age 21 or 22), was piloting an SBD-5 Dauntless aircraft, (Bu. No. 28658), taking part in a gunnery practice flight off Martha’s Vineyard.  After making his fourth firing run at fixed water targets, he leveled off and made an emergency water landing.  The aircraft sank within thirty seconds taking Ensign Schmidt with it.  The gunner, ARM3c E. A. Hollomon, was able to escape, and was rescued by a Coast Guard Cutter and taken to Newport Naval Hospital in Rhode Island for treatment. 

     It was later determined that the synchronizing unit regulating the .50 caliber machine gun in the nose of the aircraft had malfunctioned, and that the propeller had been damaged to the point that the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in the water.    

     Both men were assigned to VC-32

     Source: U. S. Navy Accident Report, #44-8818, dated September 27, 1943    


Martha’s Vineyard, MA – February 7, 1945

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts – February 7, 1945


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

     On February 7, 1945, a navy pilot took off from Martha’s Vineyard Auxiliary Naval Air Station in an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 70333), for a routine training flight.  About 45 minutes later, the pilot reported that he had engine trouble and was given clearance to return to the naval station.  By the time the pilot returned to the field, a coating of snow and ice covered the runways.  The plane touched down and began to skid.  It then proceeded to crash through a stone wall and was wrecked.  The pilot was injured because the shear pin on his harness broke loose, but the extend of his injuries were not specified.     

     Source: U.S. Navy Accident Report, dated February 7, 1945

Martha’s Vineyard – January 6, 1945

Martha’s Vineyard – January 6, 1945


U.S. Navy TBM Avengers  National Archives Photo

U.S. Navy TBM Avengers
National Archives Photo

     Just after midnight on the morning of January 6, 1945, navy Lieutenant Robert L. deVeer was making a night training flight from Martha’s Vineyard to Otis Air Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts, when his plane, a TBM Avenger, went down in a wooded area near the Mayhew Memorial Chapel in North Tisbury, on Martha’s Vineyard.  Although seriously injured, deVeer was able to extricate himself from the burning wreckage.  He was transported to Chelsea Naval Hospital for treatment.  

     Source: Falmouth Enterprise, “Injured Flyer Has Home Here”, January 12, 1945


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