Narragansett Bay, R. I. – August 3, 1943

Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island – August 3, 1943

Updated February 9, 2022

TBF-1 Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of August 3, 1943, a TBF-1 Avenger, (Bu. No. 24028), with a crew of three aboard, left Quonset Point Naval Air Station on a navigational training flight.  When the aircraft was about fifty miles southeast of Quonset Point, and over the Atlantic Ocean, an oil line broke causing the pilot to turn back towards the air station. When the aircraft was about two miles from the base, and at an altitude of 1,000 feet, the engine suddenly stopped running.  The pilot made an emergency water landing, but the impact with the water tore away the bomb bay doors causing the plane to rapidly fill with water and sink within 45 seconds.  The pilot and turret gunner escaped, but the radioman, ARM3/c Paul Eugene McCarthy, 22, of Meriden, Connecticut, went down with the plane and was drowned.

     The aircraft and the radioman were recovered the following day.  

     The aircraft was assigned to VT-2.


     U. S. Navy crash report #44-7931       

     The Waterbury Democrat, “Meriden Youth Dies In Crash”, August 4, 1943, page 15. 

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