Nomans Land Island – September 2, 1949

Nomans Land Island – September 2, 1949

     On September 2, 1949, a 35-foot New Bedford fishing boat with three men aboard tied up at a wharf on Noma’s Land Island and began cutting up sharks they had caught.  The island was (And still is.) off limits to all civilian personnel due to the fact it was utilized by the U.S. Navy for gunnery practice by ships and aircraft.   (The boat’s captain would later claim he was not aware that the dock was part of the restricted area.)

     As the men sat near their boat, a military fighter aircraft came zooming at them about 20 feet off the water and opened fire spraying the boat and surrounding area with machine gun bullets.  Twenty rounds pierced the boat while others spattered the nearby water and ground.  Fortunately none of the men were hit. 

     The fishing boat captain field a complaint which was investigated.  He stated that several other military planes were flying over the area at the time, but the one that shot at them had been flying alone. 

     Military officials for both the army and navy denied responsibility.  It was reported that several aircraft from Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island had been scheduled to fly to the island that day, but according to officials, when they arrived they found other “unscheduled” aircraft already there, and returned to Quonset without firing a shot.


     Lewiston Daily Sun, “Fishing Vessel Strafed By Mystery Plane off Mass; Navy Denies Responsibility”, September 3, 1949 




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