Norwich, CT. – September 26, 1970

Norwich, Connecticut – September 26, 1970

     At about 7:00 p.m. on the evening of September 26, 1970, a young couple from Montville, Connecticut, were flying in a single-engine aircraft over Norwich when the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on the Shetucket River.  The pilot landed the aircraft so skillfully that there was very little structural damage. 

     The area of the river where the plane came down is reportedly very deep, and 500 to 600 feet wide.  As the aircraft gradually began to sink, the couple climbed on the roof.  By chance, they were rescued by two teenaged boys who lived along the river, and happened to be paddling by on a homemade raft.  


     Providence Journal, “N. Y. Couple Killed – 5 Survive 2 Plane Accidents In Conn.”, September 28, 1970  (This article refers to another accident which occurred in Windham, Connecticut, on the same day.)  

Norwich, CT – September 3, 1913

Norwich, Connecticut – September 3, 1913

Maplewood Cemetery

     The 1913 New London County Fair was held in Norwich, Connecticut, on September 1st, 2nd, & 3rd.  On the last day of the fair, a young aviator identified as Knox Martin was giving demonstration flights of his Curtis bi-plane.  During the course of the day he made four successful flights, taking off from the fair grounds, circling the city, and landing back at the fair.  At 3:00 p.m. he took off on his fifth flight and headed in a southerly direction, but before long his motor started skipping so he turned back towards the fair grounds.  As he was making his approach at an altitude of 700 feet the motor quit and Martin began looking for a clear area to land.  Seeing the Maplewood Cemetery below, he made for it, but as he neared the ground he saw that he was going to collide with a large tree, so he made a sharp turn to avoid it.  While doing so he was pitched from the plane and fell to the ground.  Meanwhile the airplane continued on and wrecked in the cemetery. 

     Surprisingly, Martin only received bumps and burses.  By 3:45 p.m. he was back at the fair grounds waving to cheering crowds.  


     The Day, “Airship Smashed At Norwich Fair”, September 4, 1913.     

Preston, CT – October 19, 1944

Preston, Connecticut – October 19, 1944


F6F Hellcat U.S. Navy Photo

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

      On October 19, 1944, Ensign George Kenneth Krause, 22, and Ensign Merle Henry Longnecker, 20, were piloting F6F Hellcats over the Norwich State Hospital area conducting mock interceptions for training purposes when the two planes collided in mid-air and crashed to the ground about one mile north-east of the hospital.  Both men were killed.

     Both men were assigned to Carrier Air Service Unit (CASU) 25 at Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Field in Rhode Island. 

     Krause is buried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.     

     Longnecker was survived by his wife Blanche.  He’s buried in New Rockford, North Dakota.


     Rhode Island Department Of Health death certificates

     The Norwich Bulletin, “Veterans Group Plans 70th Anniversary Tribute To Pilots killed In Preston Crash”, October 17, 2014 


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