New Bedford, MA. – February 13, 1943

     New Bedford, Massachusetts – February 13, 1943 


U.S. Navy SBD Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo.

     On the morning of February 13, 1943, two U. S. Navy SBD-4 Dauntless dive-bombers were participating an a tactical exercise over the water off New Bedford. 

      One aircraft, (Bu. No. 06870), was occupied by the pilot; Ensign Herber (Not Herbert) S. Graham, 23, and his gunner/radioman AOM2/c Louis P. Michael.  

     The other Dauntless, (Bu. No. 06867), was occupied by the pilot; Ensign Robert M. J. Veith, and his radioman/gunner AMM3/c Joseph L. Wallace.   

     Shortly before noon, both aircraft made a practice dive on a simulated target, and pulled out at 1,300 feet.  As both planes were re-forming in the air they were involved in a mid-air collision.  After the accident both aircraft went out of control and crashed into the water.  The only crewman to survive was AMM3/c Wallace who was able to bail out and use his parachute.  He was rescued from the water by a small surface craft.  


     U. S. Navy accident report #43-5979, dated February 13, 1943.

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