Lake Champlain, VT. – June 23, 1957

Lake Champlain, Vermont – June 23, 1957   

P2V Neptune
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On June 23, 1957, a U.S. Navy P2V Neptune was on a reserve training flight from Grosse Isle Naval Air Station, to Plattsburgh Air Force Base in Plattsburgh, New York.  It landed at Plattsburgh, at 2:30 p.m. and departed for Virginia thirty minutes later. 

     At 3:30 p.m., the pilot, Lt. (Jg.) Richard Schwaller, radioed Plattsburgh tower that he was having engine trouble and was returning to the base.  

     At 3: 37 p.m., one engine lost all power, and Lt. Schwaller was forced to make an emergency landing in Lake Champlain.  The aircraft hit the water about a half mile off shore from Shoreham, Vermont, where it struck a submerged sandbar and flipped onto its back snapping off the tail section.     

     The water on the lake was rough due to storm activity in the area, but fortunately all nine men aboard were able to escape the wreckage without injury before the fuselage sank in 12 to  18 feet of water.  

     The men were soon rescued by a passing yacht belonging to John L. Cooney, who owned a car dealership in Rutland, Vt.  Once ashore at Chipman Point, Vermont, the crew was brought by helicopter to Ethan Allen Air Force base in Burlington, Vermont.  


     Unknown Newspaper, “Pilot Ditches Big Plane In Lake; Nine Are Saved”, June 24, 1957

     Unknown Newspaper, “Navy Probing Bomber Crash”, Unknown Date.

     Unknown Newspaper, “Navy Will Try To Raise Bomber From Champlain” Unknown Date.


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