Simsbury, CT. – October 4, 1944

Simsbury, Connecticut – October 4, 1944


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

     On October 4, 1944, two army P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft took off from Bradley Field in Winsor Locks for a “routine combat training flight”.  One aircraft, (Ser. No. 42-22595), was piloted by First Lieutenant Junior L. Birdsong.   The other aircraft, (Ser. No. 42-8305), was piloted by an unnamed officer. 

     While conducting a combat training exercise over the town of Simsbury the two aircraft collided in mid-air.  Lieutenant Birdsong was unable to escape from his plane and was killed when it crashed.  The other pilot parachuted safely in a wooded area on Avon Mountain.  Both aircraft went down in thick woods within three-quarters of a mile of each other, and within a mile of the nearest main road.  They reportedly “burned fiercely” until firefighters from Simsbury and Bradley Filed could reach them.   

     Lt. Birdsong is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, in Pittsburg, Texas.  To see a photo of him go to


     Hartford Courant, “One Dies, Another Safe In Simsbury Air Crash”, October 5, 1944.   

     The Pittsburg Gazette, (Texas), “Military Funeral For Lt. J. L. Birdsong”, October 13, 1944.


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