New Cannan, CT. – October 12, 1942

New Cannan, Connecticut – October 12, 1942


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

     On October 12, 1942, four U. S. Army P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes were engaged in a simulated dogfight over New Cannan.  One of the aircraft, (Ser. No. 41-5991), was piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Richard M. Craghill, (23), of Corcoran, California.  While taking part in the aerial maneuvers, Craghill’s aircraft went into a spin and crashed into the front of a large private home on Valley Road. 

     Ruth Weeks, the owner of the home, was standing on the front lawn talking with two plumbers as the plane was coming down.  She and one of the men ran to the side of the house while the other man threw himself flat on the ground.  The plane crashed and exploded killing Lt. Craghill and setting the house ablaze.  Although the house was destroyed by the fire, all occupants inside at the time of the accident escaped without injury. 

     To see a photo and obituary of Lt. Craghill, click here:     


     The Waterbury Democrat, “New Cannan Had Plane Tragedy”, October 12, 1942, page 1. 

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

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