East Longmeadow, MA. – December 17, 1942

East Longmeadow, Massachusetts – December 17, 1942


P-47C Thunderbolt
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At about 11;30 a.m. on December 17, 1942, Lieutenant Raymond Murby, 23, of New York City, was piloting a P-47 Thunderbolt over central Massachusetts when the engine suddenly lost all power.  The aircraft was observed by a ground witness to go into a steep dive, with Lt. Murby fighting to regain control.  When he was almost to the ground, Murby was able to straighten the aircraft out on an even keel, and it was seen to sail overtop of a row of homes and a barn, barely missing the roof tops.  The aircraft then dropped to about 20-25 feet over the snow covered ground before it crashed into a stand of white pines at the edge of a field, shearing off both wings.  When the fuselage came to rest there was no fire, and Lt. Murby was able to extricate himself despite the fact he was seriously injured.  He attempted to walk toward some homes he could see through the trees, but discovered he couldn’t use his legs.  There he lay until rescuers found him about a half hour later.        

     Source: Unknown Newspaper, “Army Plane Crashes Near City – East Long Meadow Line; Pilot Rushed To Hospital”, December 17, 1942

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