Atlantic Ocean – March 1, 1945

Atlantic Ocean – March 1, 1945

Updated April 29, 2016

     On March 29, 1945, the body of Richard Parr Harper, 19, (United States Navy) was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean eight miles north of Race Point Lighthouse located in Provincetown, Massachusetts.   He had been aboard a navy airplane that was lost at sea on March 1, 1945.  No further details of the accident are known. 

     Harper was born in Lincoln Park, Michigan.  His body was brought to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, before being sent to Detroit for burial.    

     Source: North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #45-27 

     Updated Information   

U.S. Navy Grumman Avenger National Archives Photo

U.S. Navy Grumman Avenger

National Archives Photo

     The United States destroyer U.S.S. Schenck (DD-159) was launched in 1919, and served various duties during its career including service in World War II.  In September of 1944 she was re-designated AG-82, and served the remainder of the war as a surface vessel that provided target practice for student pilots.  

     On the night of March 1, 1945, the Schenck was ten miles off Provincetown, Massachusetts, serving in her role as a target vessel, when a navy TBM-3D, (Bu. No. 22955), crashed into her superstructure and plunged into the ocean taking both crewmen to the bottom with her.

     Those aboard the Avenger included the pilot, Ensign Chapman W. Lucas, Jr., (20), and ADM 3/c Richard P. Harper, (19).  The body of Ensign Lucas was recovered on August 17, and the body of ADM 3/c Harper was recovered on March 29. 

     To see a photo of ADM 3/c Harper click here:    

     A crewman aboard the Schenck was also killed in this incident, but he was not identified in the newspaper articles.

    Updated Information, January 26, 2022

     The Crewman aboard the Schenck who was killed in this accident was Seaman 2d Class Richard A. Hewat, 24, of North Adams, Massachusetts.  To learn more info about Seaman Hewat click here:


     Lewiston Evening Journal, (ME.) “Navy Plane Collides With Surface Craft; Two Fliers Missing And Seaman Dead”, March 2, 1945  

     Norwalk Hour,(CT.) “2 navy Filers Lost In target Practice”, March 2, 1945

     The Provincetown Advocate, “Three Lose Lives In Harbor Crash”, March 8, 1945

     Wikipedia – U.S.S. Schenck

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