Windsor Locks, CT. – July 16, 1942

Windsor Locks, CT. – July 16, 1942

Bradley Airfield   

P-38 Lightning
U.S. Air Force photo

     On the morning of July 16, 1943, two P-38 Lightning fighter planes were taking off for a training flight at Bradley Field in Windsor Locks.  One of the aircraft, (Ser. No. 42-12588), was piloted by 2nd Lt. Albert R. Dawson, and his aircraft was positioned to the right and just behind  the flight leader’s P-38.  As the two planes sped down the runway, a fuel truck with two privates aboard drove onto the runway from a right side taxiway without authorization from the tower.   The passenger private saw what was happening and warned the driver to turn off.  As the fuel truck driver tried to turn away the other private jumped clear.  A moment later Dawson’s P-38 hit the fuel truck causing and a massive explosion followed.  The force of the impact due to the speed of the aircraft pushed the entangled wreckage for 200 feet. 

      The fuel truck driver was killed in the crash.  The private who jumped suffered minor injuries. Lt. Dawson died of his injuries on July 17, 1942.       


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

Bradley Field, CT. – April 19, 1944

Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut – April 19, 1944 


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

     On the evening of April 19, 1944, 2nd Lieutenant Horace W. Cotton was piloting a P-47D Thunderbolt, (Ser. No. 42-8021), from Bradly Army Air Field when he developed engine trouble and requested clearance for an emergency landing.  Clearance was granted, and as Lieutenant Cotton was attempting to make it to runway 33,  his aircraft crashed about 100 yards short of the tarmac, and he was killed.   

     Lieutenant Cotton is buried in Fairmont Cemetery, in Denver, Colorado.  To see a photo of Lt. Cotton, click here:


     U.S. Army Air Forces Report Of Aircraft Accident, #44-4-19-30

Bradley Field, CT. – August 4, 1944

Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut – August 4, 1944



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

     On August 4, 1944, a flight of four P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft took off from Bradley Field for a formation training flight.  Just after take off, one aircraft, a P-47D, (Ser. No. 42-22514), piloted by Lt. Sylvester F. Currier, began experiencing engine trouble.  After informing the flight leader of his situation Lt. Currier was ordered to return to Bradley Field.  As Currier was about 1.5 miles from the field black smoke began coming from the airplane’s exhaust.  The flight leader advised the lieutenant to land on the nearest runway as there was very little wind.  Unfortunately Lt. Currier’s aircraft didn’t make it to the runway, and crashed in a wooded area about a quarter of a mile from the end of Runway 6.  The engine and landing gear were torn away, and although Lt. Currier was strapped to his seat, the seat broke loose and the lieutenant was slammed against the instrument panel.  A small fire erupted, but was extinguished quickly by rescue crews.  The aircraft was a total wreck.    

     Lt. Currier was not seriously injured.  He’d received his pilot’s rating on April 15, 1944.


     U. S. Army Air Forces Aircraft Accident report #45-8-4-15    

Bradley Field, CT. – March 22, 1944

Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut

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

     At 1:30 p.m., on March 22, 1944, army 2nd Lt. Leeroy Halverson (Spelled with two e’s.) took off from Bradley Field for a routine training flight in a P-47D Thunderbolt, (Ser. No. 42-8264).  About an hour later, as he was making his approach for landing, his aircraft crashed at the beginning of the runway and he was killed.

     Lt. Halverson was assigned to the 1st Fighter Squadron, First Air Force.  He’d received his pilot’s rating on February 8, 1944.   

     Lt. Halverson is buried in Union Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  To see a photo of his grave go to, memorial #126963224. 


     U.S. Army Air Forces Report Of Aircraft Accident, #44-3-22-20 

Bradley Field, CT – April 4, 1942

Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut – April 4, 1942


P-40 Warhawk  U.S. Air Force Photo

P-40 Warhawk
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On April 4, 1942, 2nd Lt. Robert E. Gibson was landing at Bradley Field in a P-40E (Ser. No. 40-425) when a strong crosswind suddenly pushed the aircraft off the runway and into an obstruction wrecking the plane.  Fortunately Lt. Gibson only received minor injuries.

     Lt. Gibson received his pilot’s rating March 9, 1942.  He was assigned to the 66th Pursuit Squadron.   

     Source: Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #42-4-4-2

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