Mansfield, MA – September 13, 1945

Mansfield, Massachusetts – September 13, 1945

Updated July 15, 2019


SB2C Helldiver U.S. Navy Photo

SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     On April 19, 1945, a flight of two navy SB2C Helldiver aircraft left Groton Field in Connecticut for a familiarization training flight.  One of the aircraft, (Bu. No. 83654), was piloted by Ensign Thomas Daniel Murphy, 21, of Chicago.  While at about 2,800 feet over the town of Mansfield, Massachusetts, Ensign Murphy’s aircraft entered a partial wingover and stalled, and then went into a progressive spin.  Murphy pulled out of the spin at about 500 feet, but then went into another and crashed.  The aircraft exploded on impact and Ensign Murphy did not get out. 

     Ensign Murphy was assigned to Bombing Squadron 4 (VB-4) based at Groton Field in Groton, Connecticut.  His body was brought to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, before being sent to Chicago for burial.  


     U. S. Navy accident report dated September 13, 1945.

     North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #45-87

     Naval History & Heritage Command – U.S. Navy,


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