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)

 

 

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

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