Sanford, ME. – July 24, 1944

Sanford, Maine – July 24, 1944


F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the evening of July 24, 1944, an Ensign was sitting in the cockpit of an F6F-3 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 42459), preparing to take part in a scheduled night training flight.  After making several unsuccessful attempts to start the engine, the Plane Captain gave the Ensign a visual signal understood by the pilot and himself to mean “switches off”.   Unfortunately the Ensign failed to see the signal, and looked up just after it had been given, but this was unknown to the Plane Captain who stepped forward and believing the switches were off, began to pull the propeller through.  The engine suddenly fired and the propeller broke the plane captain’s right arm. 


     U. S. Navy accident report dated July 24, 1944.

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