Long Island Sound – May 18, 1943

Long Island Sound – May 18, 1943     


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

     On the afternoon of May 18, 1943, two U. S. Army P-47 aircraft took off from Trumbull Field in Groton, Connecticut, for a training mission over Long Island Sound.  One aircraft, (Ser. No. 42-6561), was piloted by 2nd Lt. Edward E. Woolery, and the other, (Ser. No. 42-6636), was piloted by 2nd Lt. Alexander S. Koczak.  

     While engaged in a simulated “dog fight” over the water the aircraft were involved in a mid-air collision with one plane shearing the tail off the other.  Both aircraft crashed into the Sound, one hitting the water about 2,000 yards west of Great Gull Island, and the other about 1,000 yards northeast of the island.    

     2nd Lt. Woolery attempted to bail out of his plane but his parachute didn’t open and he was killed.  Lt. Koczak was rescued from the water off the east end of Great Gull Island.    

     Both men were assigned to the 360th Fighter Squadron. 


     Book: “Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States, 1941-1945”, by Anthony J. Mireles, C. 2006 

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