South Mountain, Vermont – October 24, 1945

South Mountain, Vermont – October 24, 1945

 

SB2C Helldiver U.S. Navy Photo

SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     On October 24, 1945, a U.S. Navy Helldiver left Burlington, Vt., headed for Quonset Naval Air Station in Rhode Island, when it crashed into South Mountain at the 2,300 foot level, cutting a wide path and scattering wreckage over a large area.  Both men aboard were killed.  

     150  searchers found the wreck site after two days.     

     The pilot was Ensign Walter G. Smith, Jr., 22, of Kansas City, Mo.   

     The passenger was 28-year-old Lt. Cmdr. Maurice M. Stone of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Stone was the executive officer of a squadron based at Quonset Point, and had arrived in Burlington with his squadron for Navy Day exercises.   At some point his hand became infected, and he was being flown to R.I. for treatment when the accident occurred.  

     Stone was a veteran of the first aircraft carrier based attack on Tokyo, Japan.  He was survived by his wife Maureen (Smith) Stone. He’s buried in Savannah, Georgia.

Sources:

Providence Journal, “Bodies of Two Quonset Aviators, Wrecked Plane Found In Vermont”,  October 27, 1945, Pg. 1    

North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #45-100 & 45-101

Quonset Point Naval Air Station Insignia

Quonset Point Naval Air Station insignia patch

Quonset Point Naval Air Station insignia patch

North Kingstown, R.I. – April 22, 1944

North Kingstown, Rhode Island – April 22, 1944

Updated July 7, 2017

    

Hellcat Fighters
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of Saturday, April 22, 1944, two F6F-3 Hellcats assigned to VF-7 at Quonset Point Naval Air Station, collided in mid-air over the Quonset Manor neighborhood of North Kingstown.  Both pilots were killed.

     One plane sheared the tail off the other while both planes were several hundred feet in the air. 

     One of the Hellcats, (Bu. No. 42706), piloted by Ensign Joseph Clyde Rust, 22, of Alliance, Nebraska, crashed on King Phillip Drive and exploded. 

     The other Hellcat, (Bu. No. 41965), piloted by Ensign Oswald Eugene Asplundh Jr., 21, of Glenview, Illinois, crashed and burned to the waterline in Sawmill Pond.    

     Update:  The accident occurred while a flight of three Hellcats was flying in a Vee formation at 4,000 feet.  The flight leader, flying at the point of the Vee, suddenly began to pull away from the formation, and Ensigns Rust and Asplundh attempted to follow, and that’s when the collision occurred.  

Source:

Providence Journal, “2 Planes Collide At Quonset Manor”, April 23, 1944, Pg. 1

The Standard, “Two Planes Crash At Quonset Manor”, April 27, 1944, Pg. 1

     U.S. Navy Accident Report 

    

 

 

Quonset Point Naval Air Station Vintage Images

Quonset Point Naval Air Station Vintage Images 

     The Quonset Point Naval Air Station was located on Narragansett Bay in the town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. 

     To see hundreds more vintage images of the Quonset Point Naval Air Station one can obtain two books published through Arcadia Press in their Images of America series titled: Quonset Point Naval Air Station, Volumes 1 & 2, by Seam Paul Milligan.  Both books are highly informative.    

 

Before the navy base, Quonset Point was a summer community.  This real estate ad is from July of 1930.

Before the navy base, Quonset Point was a summer community. This real estate ad is from July of 1930.

Vintage Post Card View Of The Former Entrance To Quonset Point, NAS.

Vintage Post Card View Of The Former Entrance To Quonset Point, NAS.

Quonset Point Naval Air Station Insignia patch

Quonset Point Naval Air Station Insignia patch

A Vintage Post Card View Of A Helicopter Over Quonset Point Naval Air Station

A Vintage Post Card View Of A Helicopter Over Quonset Point Naval Air Station

 

 

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