Hillsgrove Airport, RI – June 24, 1942

Hillsgrove Airport, Rhode Island – June 24, 1942 


Curtis P-40 Aircraft
U. S. Army Air Corps Photo

     At 7 p.m. on June 24, 1942, 2nd Lt. Herbert Chester Chamberlain, 23, was scheduled to take off from Hillsgrove Army Air Field in Warwick, Rhode Island, in a P-40E-1 aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-24990), for a routine training flight.  Just as the aircraft left the ground, the engine quit, and the plane crashed about fifty feet from a private home at 20 Earlham Way.   Lt. Chamberlain was transported to a hospital in Providence where he succumbed to his injuries.

     The accident was blamed on mechanical failure of the aircraft.

     Lt. Chamberlain received his pilot’s wings April 29, 1942, and at the time of the accident he was assigned to the 66th Fighter Squadron stationed at Hillsgrove.  He’s buried in Long Island National Cemetery, in East Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.  To see a photo of Lt. Chamberlain in uniform click here:  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/480983/herbert-chester-chamberlain

     Lt. Chamberlain had survived another aviation accident only a few days before his death.  On June, 16, 1942, he was piloting a P-40E, (Ser. No. 41-25161) over Norwood Massachusetts when the aircraft experienced engine trouble.  He attempted an emergency landing at Norwood Airport, but crash landed in a swampy area near the edge of the field.  He was uninjured in that accident.

     Norwood, Ma. – June 16, 1942


     U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident, #42-6-24-10, and # 42-6-16-37


     The Pawtucket Times, (R.I.), “Aviator Killed At Hillsgrove”, June 25, 1942, pg. 2.     

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