Otis Field – April 23, 1946

Otis Field, Massachusetts – April 23, 1946

 

SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     At 4:36 p.m., on the afternoon of April 23, 1946, a navy SB2C Helldiver, (Bu. No. 85265), was coming in to land at Otis Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts, when the aircraft stalled on approach and crashed, ending up on its back and bursting into flames.  The pilot was rescued, but suffered severe burns and a lacerated scalp.   

     The pilot had come from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island and was assigned to Fighter Bomber Squadron 18, (VB-18).

     There was nobody else aboard the aircraft at the time of the accident.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated April 23, 1946.   

Martha’s Vineyard, MA. – February 19, 1946

Martha’s Vineyard – February 19, 1946

Cape Poge – Chappaquiddick

 

SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     At 10:48 a.m. on the morning of February 19, 1946, Ensign Cecil M. Richards, 21, and his gunner, Arm2c William Robert Garrett, 20, were in a U. S. Navy  SB2C-4E Helldiver, (Bu. No. 21083), participating in an aerial bombing exercise over Cape Poge, Chappaquiddick Island, at Martha’s Vineyard.  Ensign Richards began his dive at 6,750 feet.   After releasing the training bombs on a designated target area, the aircraft was seen to continue in its dive, then roll over and crash into the water at high speed.  Both Richards and Garret were killed instantly.  

     The cause of the accident is unknown.

     Both men were assigned to Fighter Bomber Squadron 18, (VB-18), at Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island.  

     In 2016, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began removing potentially dangerous ordinance from the Cape Poge area and discovered the propeller, one machinegun, and other pieces from Ensign Richards’ aircraft. 

     Sources:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated February 19, 1946.

     (Martha’s) Vineyard Gazette, “Two Fliers Lost – First Fatality Since War, Off Cape Pogue”, February 22, 1946.

     Vineyard Gazette, “World War II Bomber Found Buried At Cape Pogue”, by Noah Asimov, May 2, 2019  

New Bedford, MA. – December 11, 1944

New Bedford, Massachusetts – December 11, 1944

 

F4U Corsair
US Navy Photo

     On December 11, 1944, a navy F4U-1D Corsair, (Bu. No. 82206), made an accidental wheels-up landing at New Bedford NAAF.  The aircraft skidded to a stop and there was no fire.  The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft suffered substantial damage. 

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

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated December 11, 1944.

 

New Bedford, MA. – December 7, 1944

New Bedford, Massachusetts – December 7, 1944 

 

F4U Corsair
US Navy Photo

     On December 7, 1944, a pilot was making carrier practice landings at New Bedford NAAF in an F4U-1D Corsair, (Bu. No. 82205).  After making several successful landings, he attempted to make another.  Just before touchdown a strong gust of wind caused the left wing to dip.  The pilot attempted to correct, but the aircraft went into a ditch. The pilot suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and the aircraft was seriously damaged. 

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

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated December 7, 1944.     

Haverhill, MA. – November 4, 1944

Haverhill, Massachusetts – November 4, 1944

 

F4U Corsair
US Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of November 4, 1944, Ensign Robert E. McLoughlin, (22), was piloting an F4U-1D Corsair, (Bu. No. 50636), over the town of Haverhill when the aircraft was observed to go into a roll and then dive into the ground at high speed and explode. 

     Ensign McLoughlin was assigned to Carrier Air Service Unit 22, (CASU-22).

     Ensign Mcloughlin is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Haverhill.

     Sources:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated November 4, 1944.  

     www.findagrave.com   

 

Martha’s Vineyard – March 25, 1944

Martha’s Vineyard – March 25, 1944 

 

TBF-1 Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On the night of March 25, 1944, a navy TBF-1 Avenger, (Bu. No. 05880), was returning to the Martha’s Vineyard Naval Auxiliary Air Field after a night familiarization flight.   As the pilot was making his landing approach, he was waved off due to another aircraft which had just landed still being on the runway.  The Avenger circled around and came in for a second approach.  As it touched down it made a wheels up landing, and skidded on its belly for 900 feet before coming to rest.  The propeller, the bomb bay doors, and the starboard wing were heavily damaged, but there were no injuries.  

     The aircraft was assigned to VT-81.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-12653, dated March 25, 1944.  

Beverly, MA. – August 31, 1945

Beverly, Massachusetts – August 31, 1945

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On August 31, 1945, a navy SNJ-4 trainer aircraft, (BU. No. 90667), crashed while landing at the Beverly Naval Auxiliary Air Field.  The two men aboard received non-life-threatening-injuries, and the plane was a total loss.  

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 31, 1945. 

Squantum NAS – May 25, 1945

Squantum Naval Air Station – May 25, 1945

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On May 25, 1945, a navy SNJ-4 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 27007), landed at the Squantum Naval Air Station in a strong cross-wind and ground looped at high speed causing damage to the left wing, left aileron, propeller, and both landing wheels.  The pilot was not injured.    

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated May 25, 1945.

Squantum NAS – March 12, 1949

Squantum Naval Air Station – March 12, 1949 

     On March 12, 1949, a navy FG-1D Corsair, (Bu. No. 92326), was returning to the Squantum Naval Air Station after a training flight when the aircraft landed half-way down the runway and was unable to stop before going off the end and nosing over.  The plane was damaged but the pilot wasn’t hurt.

     Source:

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

 

Hyannis, MA. – January 22, 1949

Hyannis, Massachusetts – January 22, 1949 

     On January 22, 1949, a navy FG-1D Corsair , (Bu. No. 92700), was returning to the Squantum Naval Air Station after a bomb training flight when the engine began to run roughly, and then began trailing black smoke.  The pilot was directed to land at the Hyannis Airport.  As he approached the airport the motor froze, and the pilot glided the aircraft down and made a successful wheels up landing.  The aircraft was extensively damaged but the pilot was unhurt.  

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated January 22, 1949

Ayer, MA. – July 12, 1945

Ayer, Massachusetts – July 12, 1945

 

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On July 12, 1945, an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 68260), was approaching the Ayer Naval Auxiliary Air Field to land.  The pilot didn’t touch down until he was half-way down the 2,000 foot runway, after which time he was unable to stop the aircraft before it went off the end of the runway and flipped over onto its back.  There was substantial damage to the aircraft, and the pilot sustained non-life-threatening injuries.       

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated July 12, 1945. 

 

Norwood, MA. – August 5, 1944

Norwood, Massachusetts – August 5, 1944

 

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the morning of August 5, 1944, the pilot of a navy F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 58931), was practicing glide-angle training runs over the Norwood, Massachusetts, area when a sudden “jolt” occurred in the engine compartment followed by sections of cowling falling away, and oil spraying the windshield.  Immediately afterwards the aircraft began trailing smoke.  The pilot nursed the aircraft up from 1,500 feet to 2,500 feet where he bailed out.  The plane came down and was destroyed.  The pilot landed safely with a lacerated hand.     

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 5, 1944

 

Ayer, MA.- July 10, 1944

Ayer, Massachusetts – July 10, 1944

 

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On July 10, 1944, an F6F-3 hellcat, (Bu. No. 26333), was taking off at Ayer Navy Auxiliary Air Field when the aircraft lost power just after becoming airborne and fell back onto the runway.  The aircraft was damaged beyond repair, but the pilot survived, receiving non-life-threatening injuries. 

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated July 10, 1944

Ayer, MA. – August 8, 1944

Ayer, Massachusetts – August 8, 1944 

 

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of August 8, 1944, Ensign Henry Clayton Youngdoff took off in an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 58125), from the Ayer Naval Auxiliary Air Field in Ayer, Mass.  The purpose of the flight was to participate in rocket firing dive exercises.   After completing a practice dive over the airfield, Ensign Youngdoff climbed to 6,000 feet where he joined up with the division flight leader.  Just after doing so, Youngdoff’s aircraft began trailing blue smoke and loosing power.  After declaring an emergency, he was granted permission by Ayer tower to make an emergency landing.  Ensign Youngdoff turned towards the field but due to the loss of power his aircraft began loosing altitude.  When he was about three miles from the field he was only at 1,000 feet and still dropping, so he turned the aircraft towards a small lake.  The terrain below was rugged and hilly.  As he headed towards the lake the engine froze, and realizing he wouldn’t make it to the lake he bailed out.  Unfortunately his parachute didn’t fully deploy and he was killed.  The aircraft crashed and burned about a mile away.  Nobody on the ground was injured.  

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 8, 1944

Squantum NAS – August 3, 1944

Squantum NAS – August 3, 1944 

 

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

     On August 3, 1944, a U. S. Navy SBD-5 Dauntless aircraft, (Bu. No. 54546), made a normal landing at the Squantum Naval Air Station.  Just after touchdown, while the aircraft was still rolling at high speed, the landing gear suddenly collapsed dropping the plane onto the runway where it skidded on its belly to a stop.  The two-man crew was not injured, but the aircraft required a major overhaul.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 3, 1944. 

Otis Field – September 10, 1944

Otis Field, Falmouth, Massachusetts – September 10, 1944

 

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

     Just after 2 p.m. on September 10, 1944, a U. S. Navy SBD-5 Dauntless aircraft, (Bu. No. 54180), with two men aboard, took off from Otis Filed.  The pilot was a navy ensign.  The second man was Army Sergeant James Edwin Senter, (21 or 22). 

     The aircraft was seen to climb several hundred feet before it suddenly went into a downward spin to the left.  The pilot managed to jump clear of from an altitude of 500 feet, and his parachute opened just before he hit the ground.  Although injured, he would survive.

     Meanwhile the aircraft crashed just twenty feet away killing Sergeant Senter.

     Sergeant Senter is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  He enlisted in the army in 1940 at the age of 18.  To see a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com, Memorial #173920812.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated September 10, 1944.

Cape Cod Bay – October 3, 1944

Cape Cod Bay  – October 3, 1944

 

OS2U Kingfisher
U. S. Navy Photo

     On October 3, 1944, a U. S. Navy OS2U Kingfisher aircraft was flying 700 feet over Cape Cod Bay when a muffled thud was heard from the motor followed by an immediate loss of power.  The pilot made an emergency landing in the water and awaited rescue from a nearby Coast Guard boat.  The aircraft was towed to shore by the Coast Guard.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated October 3, 1944.     

 

Squantum NAS – January 15, 1944

Squantum Naval Air Station – January 15, 1944 

 

OS2U Kingfisher without float
U. S. Navy Photo

     On January 15, 1944, a flight of U. S. Navy OS2U Kingfisher aircraft were returning to the Squantum Naval Air Station after an anti-submarine patrol.  The pilot of one of the aircraft, (Bu. No. 5564), was allowed to make a touch-and-go landing at an auxiliary air field located near the tip of Cape Cod so as to familiarize himself with the field. When the aircraft touched down, the left wheel hit a rut which damaged the left wheel strut of the landing gear.   The pilot was able to keep the aircraft airborne and advised his flight leader of the situation.  The flight leader then flew near #5564 and viewed the damage from his aircraft, and advised the pilot to jettison his bombs. (This was done three miles off Brant Rock.)  Afterwards the damaged aircraft continued to the Squantum NAS where preparations were made for an emergency landing.  When the pilot landed at Squantum the left landing gear collapsed and the plane ground-looped.  The aircraft required extensive repairs, but the pilot was not hurt.   

     This same aircraft had been involved in another accident a year earlier.  On January 10, 1943, the aircraft’s landing gear collapsed after a hard landing.  There were no injuries.    

     Sources:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-10990, dated January 15, 1944.

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-5635, dated January 10, 1943.

Salem Harbor, MA. – December 21, 1943

Salem Harbor, Massachusetts – December 21, 1943

 

OS2U Kingfisher
U. S. Navy Photo

     On December 21, 1943, a U. S. Navy OS2U-3 Kingfisher aircraft, (Bu. No. 5769), was landing in Salem Harbor when a sudden gust of wind tipped the plane causing the left wing and float to strike the water.  The aircraft came to an abrupt stop with the left side partially submerged.  The aircraft failed to right itself, so the pilot and his radioman climbed out onto the fuselage where they waited the arrival of a nearby crash boat.  After being tossed a line, the pilot secured it around the engine hub.   After this was done, the pilot and his radioman were taken aboard the boat, and the boat began to tow the aircraft towards shore.  However, the line snapped while in-route, and the current quickly carried the aircraft away and dashed it into some rocks.  Once recovered, the aircraft required a major overhaul.  There were no injuries.    

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated December 21, 1943

Squantum NAS – January 31, 1944

Squantum Naval Air Station  – January 31, 1944

 

OS2U Kingfisher without float
U. S. Navy Photo

     On January 31, 1944, an OS2U-3 Kingfisher aircraft, (Bu. No. 5369), was landing at the Squantum Naval Air Station when the landing gear collapsed just after touchdown causing major damage to the aircraft.  The crew was not injured.  The caused of the accident was determined to be mechanical failure.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-11356, dated January 31, 1944.   

New Bedford, MA. – April 18, 1944

New Bedford, Massachusetts – April 18, 1944

     On April 18, 1944, a U. S. Navy Howard NH-1 aircraft, (Bu. No. 44905), took off from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island, bound for New Bedford’s auxiliary air field.  Upon landing at New Bedford, the aircraft went off the runway and flipped onto its back.  The plane was badly damaged, and the three men aboard received non-life-threatening injuries.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-13365, dated April 18, 1944.  

Otis Field – May 5, 1944

Otis Field, Massachusetts – May 5, 1944

     On May 5, 1944, a U. S. Navy Howard NH-1 aircraft, (Bu. No. 29446), was landing in a strong crosswind at Otis Army Air Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts, when the plane ground looped after touchdown.   The left wing and aileron were damaged, but the three men aboard were not injured.  

     This aircraft had been involved in a previous accident on September 25, 1943 when it crash-landed in a cross-wind at Westerly, Rhode Island.  There were no injuries.

     Sources:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-43906, dated May 5, 1944

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-8786, dated September 25, 1943

Bourne, MA. – October 9, 1942

Bourne, Massachusetts – October 9, 1942

Cape Cod Canal

 

OS2U Kingfisher
U.S. Navy Photo

     On October 9, 1942, a U.S. Navy OS2U Kingfisher aircraft, (Bu. No. 09413), flew under the Sagamore Bridge which crosses the Cape Cod Canal in Borne, and just after doing so struck a high-voltage electric cable strung 350 feet above and across the Cape Cod Canal.  The impact sent the aircraft into a stall and caused it to hit the water near the southern shore of the canal.  The aircraft would require a major overhaul, but neither of the two-man crew was reported to be injured.   

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-5038, dated October 9, 1942

Squantum NAS – January 10, 1943

Squantum Naval Air Station – January 10, 1943

 

OS2U Kingfisher without float
U. S. Navy Photo

     On January 10, 1943, a flight of U. S. Navy OS2U Kingfisher aircraft were returning to the Squantum Naval Air station after an anti-submarine patrol flight over the Atlantic.  One of the aircraft, (Bu. No. 5564), landed too close behind the flight leader’s plane, and was caught in its slipstream.  The slipstream caused 5564’s left wing to drop and hit the runway with enough force to dislodge two depth charges, but they did not explode.  5564 was still traveling fast enough for the pilot to give full throttle and remain airborne.  The aircraft circled the field and came in for another landing attempt with flaps 1/3 down.  The aircraft hit the tarmac 4/5 of the way down the runway during which point the left landing gear gave way and the aircraft skidded to a stop.  The aircraft suffered substantial damage, but the two-man crew was not hurt.     

     This aircraft was repaired and put back into service.  It was later involved in another accident on January 15, 1944 when the left landing gear collapsed while making an emergency landing at the Squantum Naval Air Station.  There were no injuries.

     Sources:

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-5635, dated January 10, 1943.

     U. S. Navy accident report $44-10990, dated January 15, 1944.

Hyannis, MA. – November 19, 1944

Hyannis, Massachusetts – November 19, 1944

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On November 19, 1944, a navy SNJ-4 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 26865), was landing at Hyannis Airport in a strong cross-wind, when the aircraft ground looped just after touchdown.  The right wing and aileron were damaged, as well as the right landing gear being torn away, and the left landing gear bent.  The propeller was also bent.  There were no injuries.

     Source:  U. S. Navy accident report dated November 19, 1944. 

Beverly, MA. – February 7, 1945

Beverly, Massachusetts – February 7, 1945

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On February 7, 1945, a navy SNJ-5 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 90667), was landing at Beverly, Massachusetts, when the aircraft went off the runway and into a snowbank and nosed over.  The aircraft was damaged but there were no injuries.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated February 7, 1945

Squantum NAS – May 20, 1944

Squantum Naval Air Station – May 20, 1944

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On May 20, 1944, an SNJ-4 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 5660), was in the process of taking off from the Squantum Naval Air Station when the pilot suddenly aborted the takeoff and applied the brakes.  The aircraft nosed over and was damaged.  The undercarriage broke loose, and the left wing, propeller, engine cowling, were all damaged, as well as the engine due to the sudden stoppage.  The pilot and his instructor were not hurt.  

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-14365), dated May 20, 1944. 

Martha’s Vineyard – October 9, 1943

Martha’s Vineyard – October 9, 1943

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On October 9, 1943, an navy SNJ-4 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 27178), crashed while landing in a strong cross wind at Martha’s Vineyard Naval Auxiliary Air Field and flipped over onto its back.  The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and the two-man crew suffered non-life-threatening injuries. 

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report #44-9008, dated October 9, 1943.

Squantum, NAS – May 13, 1943

Squantum Naval Air Station – May 13, 1943

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On May 13, 1943, a U. S. Navy SNJ-4 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 26862), ground-looped upon landing at the Squantum Naval Air Station in Salem, Mass. The left landing gear was buckled, the left wing was warped, and the aileron and landing flaps were damaged.  The pilot and instructor aboard were not injured.

     The aircraft was assigned to VC-31.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-6880, dated May 13, 1943.    

 

Fall River, MA.- September 9, 1943

Fall River, Massachusetts – September 9, 1943

     On the morning of September 9, 1943, a U. S. Navy SNJ-4C Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 27022), was on a training flight over the Fall River area with a pilot and instructor aboard.  Shortly before 10:00 a.m. the aircraft went into a practice spin from an altitude of 6,000 feet from which it recovered at 5,000 feet.  However, at that time the pilot discovered that the throttle was jammed in the closed position.  Repeated attempts to rectify the problem were unsuccessful, and the pilot selected an open field in which to make an emergency landing.  As the plane descended, the pilot continued to work on the throttle, which suddenly opened, but the engine didn’t respond with increased power.   As the aircraft lowered to 2,000 feet the cockpit suddenly began filling with smoke, and flames appeared from the engine cowling.   The decision was made to bail out, and the pilot rolled the aircraft onto its back.  After the instructor had successfully left the aircraft the plane rolled into a vertical position and the pilot was unsure of he could successfully jump clear of the plane so he remained at the controls and aimed for a small cove at the Fall River shoreline.  There he made a successful emergency landing in shallow water about 30 feet from shore.  The pilot and the instructor were not injured, but the aircraft was a total loss.   

     Source:  U. S. Navy accident report #41-8538, dated September 9, 1943.

Squantum NAS – April 6, 1944

Squantum Naval Air Station – April 6, 1944

 

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

     On April 6, 1944, an SBD-5 Dauntless, (Bu. No. 28761), made a wheels-up landing at the Squantum Naval Air Station and skidded 300 feet to a stop.  The aircraft suffered heavy damage, but the crew was not injured.

     The aircraft was assigned to VS-31.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report #44-12971, dated April 6, 1944. 

New Bedford, MA. – February 13, 1943

     New Bedford, Massachusetts – February 13, 1943 

 

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

     On the morning of February 13, 1943, two U. S. Navy SBD-4 Dauntless dive-bombers were participating an a tactical exercise over the water off New Bedford. 

      One aircraft, (Bu. No. 06870), was occupied by the pilot; Ensign Herber (Not Herbert) S. Graham, 23, and his gunner/radioman AOM2/c Louis P. Michael.  

     The other Dauntless, (Bu. No. 06867), was occupied by the pilot; Ensign Robert M. J. Veith, and his radioman/gunner AMM3/c Joseph L. Wallace.   

     Shortly before noon, both aircraft made a practice dive on a simulated target, and pulled out at 1,300 feet.  As both planes were re-forming in the air they were involved in a mid-air collision.  After the accident both aircraft went out of control and crashed into the water.  The only crewman to survive was AMM3/c Wallace who was able to bail out and use his parachute.  He was rescued from the water by a small surface craft.  

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-5979, dated February 13, 1943.

Squantum NAS – January 24, 1944

Squantum Naval Air Station – January 24, 1944

 

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

     At 7:45 p.m. on the night of January 24, 1944, an SBD-5 Dauntless, was returning to the Squantum Naval Air Station after a night training flight.  As the Dauntless came in to land, a British TBF Avenger also landed on the same runway, but ahead of the Dauntless.  Neither pilot was aware of the other aircraft’s presence until it was too late.  The Dauntless landed directly behind the Avenger, and quickly overtook it, crashing into the back of it.   Both aircraft were damaged. There were no reported injuries aboard the Dauntless.  It’s unknown about the crew of the Avenger.

     The accident was due to miscommunication between aircraft and control tower.

     Source:

     U. S. navy accident report #44-11151, dated January 24, 1944.    

Squantum, NAS – January 24, 1944

Squantum Naval Air Station – January 24, 1944

 

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

     On January 24, 1944, a SBD-5 Dauntless, (Bu. No. 28952), was returning to the Squantum Naval Air Station after a training flight.  As the aircraft approached the runway the pilot noted that the right landing gear had failed to come down.  The pilot began to circle the field and attempted to fix the problem but was unable to do so.  When his fuel ran low he was advised to make an emergency landing on one wheel, which he did.  The aircraft was damaged in the landing, but the crew was not injured.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-11150, dated January 24,1944.    

Martha’s Vineyard, – January 2, 1945

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts – January 2, 1945

 

TBF-1 Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On January 2, 1945, a TBF-1C Avenger, (Bu. No. 24395), was landing at the Martha’s Vineyard Naval Air Station when the aircraft was hit with a strong crosswind while five feet from the ground.  The right wing fell and struck the runway causing the aircraft to crash-land.  The aircraft suffered significant damage, but the crew was not injured.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated January 2, 1945 

Nantucket, MA. – November 20, 1943

Nantucket, Massachusetts – November 20, 1943

 

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

     On the morning of November 20, 1943, a Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless aircraft, (Bu. No. 29034), was approaching the Nantucket Naval Auxiliary Air Field in heavy haze.  Ground fog conditions were also present.  Due to poor visibility, the plane landed half-way down the runway.  The pilot applied the brakes but was unable to prevent the aircraft from running off the runway and into a ditch. The aircraft suffered heavy damage, but the two-man crew was not injured.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-9838, dated November 20, 1943.     

Martha’s Vineyard – September 10, 1943

Martha’s Vineyard – September 10,1943

 

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

     On September 10, 1943, a pilot was practicing take-offs and landings  in a Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless, (Bu. No. 28216),  at the Martha’s Vineyard Navy Auxiliary Air Field.  While making an approach in cross winds, the aircraft crash-landed.  The aircraft was badly damaged but the pilot was not injured.

     The pilot was assigned to VC-43.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy report #44-8549, dated September 10, 1943.   

Taunton, MA. – April 16, 1949

Taunton, Massachusetts – April 16, 1949

 

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

     On April 16, 1949, an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 72664), took off from the Squantum Naval Air Station for a training flight.  While over the area of Taunton, Massachusetts, the engine began to run erratically, so the pilot looked for an open area to make an emergency landing.  Sighting one, he headed for it, but as he was making his approach the engine suddenly stopped running and the aircraft crashed into a wooded area.   The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and the pilot was seriously injured. 

     Source:

     U. S. Navy Hellcat accident report dated April 16, 1949.  

Otis Air Force Base – October 17, 1947

Otis Air Force Base – October 17, 1947

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On October 17, 1947, an F8F-1 Bearcat, (Bu. No. 95331), left the Quonset Naval Air Station in Rhode Island bound for Otis AFB in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  As the pilot was coming into to land at Otis, the engine suddenly lost all power.  Realizing he couldn’t make it to the service runway, the pilot decided to make an emergency wheels-up landing in the grass nearby.  The aircraft received considerable damage as it skidded for about 600 feet before coming to rest.  The pilot was not injured.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated October 17, 1947 

Beverly, MA. – October 29, 1944

Beverly, Massachusetts – October 29, 1944

 

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

     On October 29, 1944, a F6F-5, Hellcat, (Bu. No. 58128), was taking off from the Beverly Navy Auxiliary Air Field for a training flight.  As the aircraft began to climb the engine began sputtering and then quit.  The plane came down and was damaged beyond all repair, and the pilot received non-life-threatening injuries.  The pilot reported that when the engine failed all instruments were reading normal.  The cause of the crash is unknown.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated October 29, 1944.

Off Harwich, Ma. – May 19, 1946

Off Harwich Massachusetts – May 19, 1946

 

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On May 19, 1946, Lt. (Jg.) Richard M. Kimball took off from the Squantum Naval Air Station in an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 70556), for a routine training flight.  His flight path took him over the water off the coast of Harwich, Massachusetts.  There he encountered a fog bank lying three to five miles off shore, with a low cloud ceiling of 50 to 100 feet covering the entire area.  As he was approaching the shoreline, he began attempting to drop below the cloud ceiling to obtain a visual reference with the ground and while doing so crashed into the water about one-quarter mile from shore.  The aircraft broke apart on impact and Lt. (Jg.) Kimball was killed.    

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated May 19, 1946 

Off Martha’s Vineyard – December 22, 1943

Off Martha’s Vineyard – December 22, 1943

 

U.S. Navy FM-2 Wildcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of December 22, 1943, a flight of seven airplanes from the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, (CV-4), were taking part in a  gunnery practice flight over the ocean in the vicinity of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.  As one aircraft served as a “target tug”, towing a canvas target behind, the other six aircraft would take turns making firing runs at the target.  All six of those planes were FM-2 Wildcats assigned to VF-4. 

     The tow plane leveled off at 6,000 feet and the Wildcats began their firing runs from 7,500 feet.  After all planes had made approximately eight runs, one Wildcat, (Bu. No. 46760), piloted by Lt. (Jg.) Lloyd Henry Launder, Jr., (22), was seen making another run when the left wing suddenly separated from the fuselage, and the aircraft went into a uncontrolled spin and crashed into the sea and disappeared.   A rescue boat and two OS2U water aircraft were dispatched to the scene, but only a small patch of discolored water from a dye marker was found. 

     Source:

     U.S. Navy accident report #44-40488 (or possibly 44-40438)

 

 

Hyannis, MA. – May 11, 1944

Hyannis, Massachusetts – May 11, 1944 

Updated July 8, 2019

 

F4U Corsair
US Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of May 11, 1944, navy Lieutenant (Jg.) George E. Orenge was piloting an F4U Corsair, Bu. No. 02665, over Cape Cod, Massachusetts, when the aircraft suddenly caught fire while in flight.  Being over a populated area, Lieutenant Orenge opted to stay with the plane, but was unable to direct it towards an open area, or to make it to Hyannis Airport.  The plane crashed on Barnstable Road about 200 yards from Main Street in the town of Hyannis.  In the process it struck an elm tree and broke in two, pitching Lieutenant Orenge, still strapped to his seat, from the cockpit.  As the aircraft came to rest and was consumed by flames, Lieutenant Orenge landed on the sidewalk in front of 62 Barnstable Road.   

     The homeowner of 62 Barnstable Road, Vernon Coleman, happened to be outside and witnessed the crash.  He later told a reporter from the Cape Cod Standard Times, “I looked up and saw the plane sort of wavering with the motor on fire.” 

     Lieutenant Orenge was transported to Cape Cod Hospital, but remarkably, he’d only suffered some minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises. 

     The cause of the accident could not be determined due to total destruction of the aircraft.  

     It was also reported that he flew another aircraft later in the day.   

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     This crash wasn’t the only one of Lieutenant (Jg.) Orenge’s  naval career.  On November 5, 1943, he was piloting an F6F-3 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 65895), when a tire blew out on landing at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island.  The aircraft went off the runway and struck a truck.  The aircraft needed extensive repairs, but Lieutenant (Jg.) Orenge suffered only minor injuries.

     Sources:

     Cape Cod Standard Times, “Pilot Who Survives Hyannis crash, Goes Aloft Again”, May 12, 1944      

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-14042 dated May 11, 1944

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-9523, dated November 5, 1943.             

Ayer, MA. – July 14, 1944

Ayer, Massachusetts – July 14, 1944

Ten miles north-west

 

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

     On the morning of July 14, 1944, Ensign Beeman Fallwell took off from the Naval Auxiliary Air Field in Ayer in a F6F-3 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 40748), for a training flight.  When he was about ten miles north-west of the field, at an altitude of 6,000 feet, he began to experience a loss of power to the engine.  As the airplane began loosing altitude, the pilot began looking for a place to make an emergency landing.  Then a fire erupted in the engine, and the pilot knew he would have to jump.  He noted he was still over a populated area, so he decided to stay with the aircraft until it was over woodlands.  At the time he left the aircraft he was at the minimum level to jump and still have an expectation that the parachute would successfully open.  The parachute had just billowed open when the pilot landed in some trees sustaining injuries in the process.

     The aircraft crashed in a wooded are and was demolished.

     Source: U. S. Navy Accident Report dated July 14, 1944

Chatham, MA – January 15, 1945

Chatham, Massachusetts – January 15, 1945

 

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

     On January 15, 1945, Ensign Robert C. Baker, piloting an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 70161), took part in a gunnery training flight off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  At about 1:15 p.m. as he was returning to base and passing over the town of Chatham,  the engine stopped working.  Baker dropped the landing gear and aimed for an open field.  As he came closer to the field he saw that there was a trench running across the middle of where he intended to set down so he intentionally overshot the area but wound up crashing into some trees lining the edge of the field.  

     Although the aircraft suffered significant damage, Ensign Baker was not hurt.  Investigators believed the engine failure was due to loss of oil pressure.  

     Ensign baker was assigned to VF-88.

     Source: U. S. Navy Accident Report dated January 15, 1945

Mansfield, MA – September 13, 1945

Mansfield, Massachusetts – September 13, 1945

Updated July 15, 2019

    

SB2C Helldiver U.S. Navy Photo

SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     On April 19, 1945, a flight of two navy SB2C Helldiver aircraft left Groton Field in Connecticut for a familiarization training flight.  One of the aircraft, (Bu. No. 83654), was piloted by Ensign Thomas Daniel Murphy, 21, of Chicago.  While at about 2,800 feet over the town of Mansfield, Massachusetts, Ensign Murphy’s aircraft entered a partial wingover and stalled, and then went into a progressive spin.  Murphy pulled out of the spin at about 500 feet, but then went into another and crashed.  The aircraft exploded on impact and Ensign Murphy did not get out. 

     Ensign Murphy was assigned to Bombing Squadron 4 (VB-4) based at Groton Field in Groton, Connecticut.  His body was brought to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, before being sent to Chicago for burial.  

     Sources:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated September 13, 1945.

     North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #45-87

     Naval History & Heritage Command – U.S. Navy, www.history.navy.mil

    

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲