Waterford, CT. – November 19, 1943

Waterford, CT. – November 19, 1943


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

     On November 19, 1943, a flight of twelve P-47 fighter aircraft took off from Trumbull Field in Groton, Connecticut, for a cross-country formation training flight.  A few minutes after take off, one aircraft, (Ser. No. 42-8172), piloted by 2nd Lt. Willie S. Reed, Jr.,(25), began to have engine trouble.  Reed dropped out of formation to return to Groton, but then his engine caught fire and his plane began losing altitude.   Lt. Reed stayed with the plane, possibly to avoid a crash in a populated area.  His plane crashed and exploded in the town of Waterford.

     Lt. Reed was assigned to the 401st Fighter Squadron.  He’s buried in Utica Cemetery in Utica, Mississippi.  To see a photo of Lt. Reed, click here: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/44223290/willie-s-reed


     The Waterbury Democrat, “News Of Connecticut” – Waterbury – November 20, 1943, page 5. 

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




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