Otis NAAF – June 30, 1947

Otis Navy Auxiliary Air Field – June 30, 1947

     On June 30, 1947, a navy Culver TD2C-1, target drone, (Bu. No. 120128), was scheduled to take off from Otis Field for a remote radio control test flight.  Aboard was a safety pilot assigned to VU-5.  

     The aircraft was to be controlled by a radio signal originating from a transmitting device on the ground, operated by a radio control officer.  The safety pilot was to take over if something should go wrong with the radio signals. 

     After a pre-flight inspection, the aircraft was cleared for take off, and the radio officer took control of the plane.  The aircraft started down the runway, and after covering about 1,500 feet it lifted from the ground in a slightly nose-high attitude.  When it reached an altitude of about 25 feet it suddenly began to wobble from side to side, and lose altitude.  The left wing struck the runway and the drone cartwheeled across a ravine and came to rest 75 feet from the initial point of impact. 

     Remarkably the safety pilot wasn’t injured, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.  

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated June 30, 1947

Otis Field – November 1, 1948

Otis Field – November 1, 1948

 

TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On November 1, 1948, a navy TBM-3E Avenger, (Bu. No. 85811), was making practice touch-and-go landings when the landing gear collapsed and the aircraft skidded for 225 feet on its belly.  Although the aircraft sustained damage, there were no injuries.   

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated November 1, 1948

Otis Air Field, MA. – April 19, 1946

Otis Air Field, Massachusetts – April 19, 1946

 

TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On April 19, 1946, a flight of five navy TBM Avengers belonging to VT-82 were taking part in a practice carrier landing and take-off exercise at Otis Air Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  After making several successful landings and take offs, one aircraft, (Bu. No. 85682), had its landing gear collapse upon touchdown.  The aircraft then skidded on its belly for 125 yards before coming to rest.  The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft suffered significant damage. 

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated April 19, 1946

 

Otis Air Field, MA. – September 13, 1946

Otis Air Field, Massachusetts – September 13, 1946

 

TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On September 13, 1946, a group of several navy TBM Avengers were participating in a practice carrier landing training exercise during which each aircraft was making touch-and-go landings and take offs.  At one point, (Bu. No. 91437), made a perfect approach and landing, but just after take off went into a near vertical climb.  At the top of the climb the aircraft stalled and as it began to fall the pilot bailed out.  The aircraft crashed and exploded.  The pilot’s parachute deployed, but he suffered non-life-threatening injuries upon hitting the ground.  There was nobody else aboard the plane at the time of the accident.    

     The aircraft was assigned to VT-42.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated September 13, 1946. 

Otis Filed, MA. – November 19, 1945

Otis Field, Massachusetts – November 19, 1945

 

TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On November 19, 1945, a TBM-3E Avenger, (Bu. No. 69004), with a lone pilot aboard, was was taking part in a training exercise making practice carrier landings and take-offs at Otis Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  While orbiting in a “traffic circle”, the pilot noted fluctuations in the fuel flow to the engine so he switched tanks.  The engine ran smoothly for a few seconds and then suddenly quit, forcing the pilot to make an emergency wheels-up landing.  The aircraft came down hard, crushing the bomb-bay doors and causing other serious damage to the plane.  There was no fire upon impact, and the pilot was not injured.     

     The aircraft was assigned to VT-43

     Source:  U. S. Navy accident report, dated November 19, 1945

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.   

Sandwich, MA – July 12, 1951

Sandwich, Massachusetts – July 12, 1951 

 

F-94 Starfire U.S. Air Force Photo

F-94 Starfire
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At 3:30 p.m. on July 12, 1951, an Air Force F-94B fighter jet (50-873A) was in flight over Cape Cod when the engine flamed out.  The plane crashed near Peters Pond in Sandwich, about a mile south of the Mid-Cape Highway, (Route 6).  Another source put the crash site near Spectacle Pond, “about 1 mile from Quaker Meeting House Road in the direction of West Barnstable, and near Mill Road, between Spectacle Pond and the Mid-Cape Highway.”

    The pilot, 1st Lt. Victor Clapp, 28, of Beverly, Massachusetts, was killed when he ejected but his chute failed to open.   He was survived by his wife, Dorothy, and two children.   

     The radar observer, 2nd Lt. Aaron M. Jones Jr., 27, of Newtonville, MA, ejected safely.  Jones landed in a wooded area south of the Mid-Cape Highway and made his way to the Rof-Mar Lodge.

     The crash ignited several large brush fires.  

     The jet belonged to the 33rd Fighter-Interceptor wing at Otis AFB. 

     Sources:

     Falmouth Enterprise, “Jet Pilot Is Killed As Plane Crashes Near Peters Pond”, July 13, 1951  

     Cape Cod Standard Times, “Otis Base Jet Pilot Is Killed, Companion Safe In Crash”, July 13, 1951, Pg. 1

     Updated March 21, 2016

     On the afternoon of July 12, 1951, Lieutenant’s Clapp and  Aaron took off from Otis Air Force Base for a training flight to practice “ground controlled approach” (GCA) landing procedures.  Their F-94 (#50-873A) carried a full load of fuel, but was not equipped with external wing tanks.

     After making two successful landings, the pilot attempted a third.  As the F-94 approached Otis AFB intending to land on runway 23, it “flamed out” and crashed in a wooded area about 150 yards to the east of Mill Road, and south of Route 6.  This location is gleaned from the official air force crash investigation report, and contradicts the vague locations given to the press, which was likely done for security reasons and to prevent souvenir hunters from converging on the site.  

     Lt. Clapp was a veteran of WWII and earned his pilot’s wings March 2, 1944.  At the time of his death he had recently been re-activated for active duty due to the Korean War.  He’s buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Acton, Massachusetts.

     Sources:

     Air Force Crash Investigation Report #51-7-12-1

     www.findagrave.com, Memorial #114039950

 

 

Otis Air Force Base – December 3, 1967

Otis Air Force Base – December 3, 1967 

Falmouth, Massachusetts

    

P2V Neptune U.S. Air Force Photo

P2V Neptune
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On December 3, 1967, a U.S. Navy P2V-Neptune with twelve crewmen aboard departed the Brunswick, Maine, Naval Air Station for a routine patrol flight.  At some point the aircraft developed mechanical problems and received clearance to land at Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  As the aircraft was making its final approach it crashed a half-mile short of the runway.  All twelve men aboard escaped; four of them suffered minor injuries.   

     Source: Nashua Telegraph, “Plane Crash At Otis base”, December 4, 1967 

Otis Air Force Base – May 8, 1957

Otis Air Force Base – May 8, 1957

Falmouth, Massachusetts

     On May 8, 1957, Lieutenant Donald J. Flower Jr., 26, of Yonkers, New York, was killed when the fighter jet he was piloting crashed and burned upon landing at Otis AFB.  He had flown to Otis from Shaw AFB in South Carolina. 

     The exact type of aircraft wasn’t stated.  

     Flower joined the Air Force in 1953 after graduating from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.  He was survived by his parents and four siblings.

     Source: New York Times, “Yonkers Pilot Killed”, May 10, 1957

Off Sandwich, MA – June 24, 1956

Off Sandwich, Massachusetts – June 24, 1956

     

F-94 Fighter Jet U.S. Air Force Photo

F-94 Fighter Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the evening of June 24, 1956, a flight of three F-94 Starifre jets left Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, en-route to Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  When they arrived at Otis they encountered poor weather conditions, and Otis tower held off their landing.  As the F-94’s circled in a three-jet formation, two of the jets ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea. 

     The pilot and radar observer of one jet were rescued after they bailed out over the ocean.  The pilot of the second plane was not recovered.  (His aircraft did not have a radar observer aboard.)      

     A Coast Guard helicopter out of Boston taking part in the search and rescue operations crashed in Boston Harbor where it encountered thick fog upon its return.  Two crewmen were rescued, a third was lost.

     No names were listed in the source article.

     Source: New York Times, “Two Jet Planes Crash”, June 25, 1956  

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