North Stonington, CT. – May 13, 1943

North Stonington, Connecticut – May 13, 1943


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

     On May 13, 1943, a flight of five P-47 “Thunderbolt” aircraft took off from Bradley Field in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, bound for Trumbull Field in Groton, Connecticut.  The flight leader was 2nd Lt. Harry J. McElroy, Jr., (21), piloting a P-47D, (Ser. No. 42-8241).  While at an altitude of 31,000 feet Lt. McElroy’s aircraft was seen to go into a dive and the formation followed.  When it became apparent that something was wrong, the other aircraft began pulling out of the dive.  Lt. McElroy’s aircraft continued in its dive and crashed and exploded in North Stonington. 

     Lt. McElroy enlisted on January 26, 1942.  He was assigned to the 360th Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group, at that time stationed at Trumbull Field.  He’s Buried in Union Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.      


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

    The Day, (Conn.) “Army Flyer Killed In Plane Crash At North Stonington; Third Recent Air Fatality”, May 14, 1943     

    Hartford Courant, “Windsor Locks Crash Victim Is identified”, May 15, 1943. 

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