Quonset Point, R. I. – November 15, 1945

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – November 15, 1945

 

U.S. Navy PV-1 Ventura
U. S. Navy Photo

     On November 15, 1945, a U. S. Navy PV-1 Ventura, (Bu. No. 34793), was approaching to land at the Quonset Point Naval Air station when it was discovered that the landing gear would not come down.  The aircraft circled for the next two hours while the crew attempted to rectify the problem, but they were unable to do so.  The aircraft made an emergency wheels-up landing on a grass strip parallel to the runway.  The aircraft was damaged, but the six-man crew was uninjured.  

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #44-9716, dated November 15, 1945.

Quonset Point, R. I. – December 10, 1942

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – December 10, 1942

 

Lockheed PV-1 Ventura
U.S. Navy Photo

     On December 10, 1942, a U. S. Navy PV-3 Ventura aircraft, (Bu. No. 33951), was being used to demonstrate “wing-overs” and “flipper-turns” to student pilots when the tail section suddenly warped and became twisted.  The plane made an emergency landing and there were no injuries.  It was determined that the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and was scrapped.

     Source:

     U. S. navy accident report dated December 10, 1942.  

Quonset Point, R. I. – June 17, 1943

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – June 17, 1943

 

Lockheed PV-1 Ventura
U.S. Navy Photo

     On June 17, 1943, a U. S. Navy PV-1 Ventura, (Bu. No. 29860), was making a landing approach to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station after a six hour cross-country training flight.  About thirty other aircraft were in the vicinity at the time, all trying to land quickly because the Quonset control tower had announced that the field was about to close due to weather closing in.  The Ventura came in close behind another aircraft and struck the slipstream of the preceding plane.  The Ventura landed hard on the runway and bounced, but was traveling fast enough for the pilot to apply full throttle and remain airborne.  The Ventura circled the field for a second try, and upon touchdown the landing gear collapsed and the aircraft skidded along the runway to a stop. There was no fire, but the aircraft received major damage.  The six man crew was not injured.

     The aircraft was assigned to VB-126.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-7297, dated June 17, 1943.    

 

Quonset Point, R. I. – March 10, 1943

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – March 10, 1943

 

U.S. Navy PV-1 Ventura

     On the morning of March 10, 1943, a U. S. Navy PV-1 Ventura aircraft, (Bu. No. 29834), with five men aboard, was taking off from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station.  The pilot started a normal takeoff, and as the aircraft proceeded down the runway it began a gradual drift to the left.  The plane became airborne just before reaching the left edge of the runway at which time the left wing tip was observed to drop about 15 degrees and strike a snowbank.  At the moment of impact the wing burst into flames and the aircraft settled back down to the ground.  Both propellers hit the ground tearing the engines from their mountings.  The flaming fuselage skidded along the ground coming to rest 150 yards to the left of the runway.   The aircraft was completely consumed by fire.

     One crewman, Lieutenant, (Jg.) George L. Mawhinney, died in the accident.    

     The pilot and two other crewmen received first and second degree burns.  The fifth crewman escaped with minor bruises.  

     The aircraft was assigned to VB-125.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-6199, dated March 10, 1943. 

 

 

Quonset Point, R. I. – June 9, 1942

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – June 9, 1942

 

OS2U Kingfisher
U.S. Navy Photo

     On June 9, 1942, a U. S. Navy OS2U Kingfisher aircraft, (Bu. No. 5314), with two men aboard, was making a landing approach to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station.  Just before touchdown, a gust of wind caught the aircraft while it was low over Narragansett Bay causing the left wing to touch the water.  The aircraft spun around and hit the water and was then driven into the beach.  The aircraft sustained heavy damage but the crew was not hurt.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #4292, dated June 9, 1942.

Long Island Sound – December 3, 1953

Long Island Sound – December 3, 1953

     On the night of December 3, 1953, a Grumman Guardian with two crewmen aboard left the Quonset Point Naval Air Station for a routine training flight.  At about 7:30 p.m., while flying over Long Island Sound, the engine suddenly lost all power and the aircraft went down in the water.  Before it sank, the crew managed to set off emergency signal flares, don Mark IV survival suits, and get into a life raft.

     The flares were seen by two civil defense aircraft observers on duty in Branford, Connecticut.   Coast Guard and navy authorities were notified and a widespread search was begun.  

     The two crewmen were identified as Ensign James Shapiro and Aviation Mechanic First Class Donald Sockman. Both were rescued a few hours later by a Coast Guard plane and brought to Floyd Bennet Field on Long Island for treatment.           

     Source:

     Newsday, (Long Island, N.Y.), “Rescued From L.I. Sound, naval Fliers Both In Good Condition”, December 5, 1953 

Quonset Point, R. I. – August 15, 1944

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – August 15, 1944

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On August 15, 1944, a navy SNJ-3 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 7002), left Otis Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts, bound for Quonset Point Naval Air Station.  Upon landing at Quonset the plane’s landing gear collapsed causing heavy damage to the aircraft .  There were no injuries.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated August 15, 1944.  

Quonset Point, R. I. – October 20, 1943

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – October 20, 1943

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On October 20, 1943, an navy SNJ-4 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 27815), landed at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station and as it was taxiing off the runway to an airplane parking area it collided with a parked tractor causing significant damage to the aircraft requiring a major overhaul.  The pilot and instructor aboard were not injured.

     The aircraft was assigned to VS-33.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated October 20, 1943.

 

Quonset Point, R. I. – May 2, 1944

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – May 2, 1944

 

U.S. Navy Grumman Avenger
U.S. Navy Photo

     On May 2, 1944, a TBM-1D Avenger, (Bu. No. 25430), was due to take off from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station to participate in an aerial gunnery training flight.  The aircraft was designated to be the “target-tug”, meaning it was to tow a canvas target behind it which other aircraft would take turns firing at. 

     At 2:00 p.m. the aircraft began its take-off run with the target sleeve attached.  As soon as the aircraft became airborne the pilot raised the wheels.  At an altitude of 100 feet, the right wing stalled due to recent squadron modifications to it, causing a loss of altitude.  At the end of the runway was Narragansett Bay.  The target sleeve hadn’t yet become airborne, and began dragging in the water off the end of the runway.  Then the right wing stalled a second time and the plane went down in the bay.

     There were four men aboard the aircraft; the pilot, a gunner, and two radio-men.  (The Avenger generally carried a crew of three)  When the plane hit the water one crewman suffered a broken left arm, another a lacerated hand, and the other two were not injured.  All were rescued.

    The aircraft was a total loss, with its fuselage having broken in half.   

    The men were assigned to CASU-22 at Quonset Point.

    Source: U.S. Navy accident report #44-13795, dated May 2, 1944.

 

 

Quonset Point, R. I. – June 3, 1943

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – June 3, 1943 

 

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

     On June 3, 1943, Ensign Charles Howland Reinhard was taking off from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in a Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless aircraft, (Bu. No. 10940), for an authorized cross country training flight.  Almost immediately after becoming airborne, and with the landing gear retracted, the aircraft was observed by ground personnel to suddenly enter a left spin and crash.  Ensign Reinhard perished in the accident. 

     Ensign Reinhard was assigned to VB-15.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report #43-7131, dated June 3, 1943.  

Atlantic Ocean – November 2, 1948

Atlantic Ocean – November 2, 1948

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On November 2, 1948, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Leyte was operating in waters off the coast of New England.  On that day, an F8F-1 Bearcat, (Bu. No. 121542), took off from the Quonset Point Naval; Air Station and landed aboard the Leyte. 

     Later, when the pilot took off from the ship, he did so by going off the bow.  Immediately after take off the Bearcat began running roughly and emitting black smoke.  The aircraft lost altitude and dropped nearly to the water, but the pilot was able to recover and bring his plane up to about 1,000 feet of altitude, at which time he began to circle back toward and around the ship.  (The pilot later reported that the cockpit gauges indicated that fuel and oil pressure were normal, but the cylinder head temperature was 300 degrees.)  As the Bearcat was approaching the aircraft carrier from the rear, the engine lost all power and the pilot was forced to make a water landing.  The Bearcat sank within 90 seconds, but the pilot was able to escape unharmed, and was rescued within minutes. 

     The coordinates of the accident were 37 degrees, 19 north, 70 degrees, 14.5 west.   

     The pilot was assigned to VF-71.

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated November 2, 1948   

 

Quonset Point, R. I. – November 22,1949

Quonset Point, R. I. – November 22, 1949

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On November 22, 1949, a pilot was awaiting clearance for take off from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station.  As he sat waiting in his F8F-1 Bearcat, (Bu. No. 95355), the aircraft suddenly caught fire.  The pilot turned off the engine and exited the airplane unharmed, but the aircraft was damaged beyond all repair.  

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report date November 22, 1949.

Quonset Point, R. I. – January 28, 1948

Quonset Point, Rhode Island – January 28, 1948 

 

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On January 28, 1948, an F8F-1 Bearcat, (Bu. No. 95260), took off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Leyte, (CV-32), bound for the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island.  Thirty minutes later, as the aircraft approached the air station, the pilot noticed that the controls were not responding properly.  He was advised to climb to 2,000 feet where he went into a holding pattern to try to determine the cause.  No cause could be found, so he was cleared  land.  Unknown to the pilot was the fact that a thin layer of ice had formed on the runway and when the aircraft touched down it slid off the runway and into a snowbank where it cartwheeled before coming to rest.  The pilot was not seriously injured, but the aircraft sustained substantial damage. 

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated January 28, 1948    

Quonset Point, R. I. – September 9, 1950

Quonset Point, R. I. – September 9, 1950

 

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

     On September 9, 1950, an F6F Hellcat, (Bu. No. 78183), was approaching the Quonset Point Naval Air Station to land after a cross-country training flight.  The aircraft was cleared to land, but when the pilot lowered the landing gear, the dash indicator showed that the wheels were not completely down and locked, so he asked the tower to confirm.  As he flew slowly past the tower his suspicions were confirmed.  The pilot then climbed to altitude and began circling the area trying to get the landing gear down, but was unable to do so.  With fuel running low, he was then advised to make a wheels-up landing in the grass alongside of the runway which he did.  The aircraft was damaged, but the pilot was not injured.

     Investigation showed a mechanical failure with the landing system.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated September 9, 1950        

Quonset Point NAS – June 17, 1943

Quonset Point Naval Air Station – June 17, 1943

     On June 17, 1943, an Ensign pilot was in the cockpit of a navy NE-1 trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 26273), while Lt. (Jg.) Robert Allen Pierce stood at the nose and pulled the propeller thru to start the engine.  Once the engine started, Pierce turned to walkaway, and as he did so the aircraft suddenly lurched forward and struck him with the spinning propeller critically injuring him.     

     Source: U.S. Navy Accident Report #43-7295, dated June 17, 1943

Quonset Point NAS – January 31, 1944

Quonset Point Naval Air Station – January 31, 1944

 

Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo

     On January 31, 1944, Ensign A. G. King was piloting an SBD-5 Dauntless, (Bu. No. 29030), while practicing field carrier landings at Quonset Point.  As he was making a landing approach, he lowered the landing gear, but due to a mechanical failure with the aircraft, only one of the wheels came down.  The aircraft suffered heavy damage, but Ensign King was not hurt.

     Source; U.S. Navy Accident Report #44-11373 

 

Atlantic Ocean – September 8, 1949

Atlantic Ocean – September 8, 1949

Updated March 30, 2019 

5 Miles Off Sakonnet Point, Rhode Island

    

F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On September 8, 1949, two navy F8F Grumman Bearcat aircraft took off from the Quonset Point Naval Air station for what was to be a high altitude instrument training flight.  One of the aircraft, (Bu. No. 95332), was piloted by Ensign Henry J. Harling, 22, of Staten Island, N.Y.

     While at 10,000 feet both pilots went on oxygen and continued to climb to 32,000 feet.  At 28,000 feet Ensign Harling reported smoke in his cockpit, and both aircraft began to descend.  A short time later, while at an altitude of 25,000 feet, Harling radioed to the other pilot that he was going to bail out. 

     The other pilot later told investigators that he saw smoke coming from the area of the exhaust ports, and that the tail wheel on Ensign Harling’s aircraft was down.  He observed Ensign Harling open the cockpit canopy, and at that time saw that he was still wearing his oxygen mask.  Harling’s plane was then seen to roll on its back, nose down, and spin twice, before apparently recovering.  It then entered a cloud bank and the other pilot lost sight of it. 

     The other pilot followed Harling’s plane down through the cloud bank, and upon coming through it observed an explosion when Harling’s plane hit the water about five miles off Sakonnet Point.

     Witnesses on boats reported seeing Harling’s plane trailing smoke before it hit the water. No parachute was observed.

     Planes and rescue boats were immediately launched.  An oil slick was discovered, but after a two-day search it was concluded that Ensign Harling had been unable to escape from the cockpit and had remained in his aircraft when it hit the water.  The cause of the accident was speculated to be a failure in the aircraft’s hydraulic system, particularly with the aircraft’s tail wheel.   

     Ensign harling has been assigned to VF-73.

 

     Sources:

     New York Times, “Navy Pilot Dives In Sea” , September 9, 1949 

     U. S. Navy accident report dates September 8, 1949

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