Atlantic Ocean – December 3, 1944

Atlantic Ocean – December 3, 1944


F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the night of December 3, 1944, a flight of U. S. Navy F6F Hellcats took off from the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Field in Charlestown, Rhode Island, for a “practice night interception” training flight off the Rhode Island coast.  At about 7: 30 p.m., the lead aircraft, (Bu. No. 70632), piloted by Ensign Maynard F. Lednum, (21), was last seen making a “steep diving turn” while descending into a cloud bank at 6,000 feet.   Although not witnessed, he presumably crashed into the ocean and was lost.  Neither the pilot nor the aircraft were recovered.

     Ensign Lednum earned his wings at Pensacola Florida on April 11, 1944, and arrived in Rhode Island on October 7, 1944. 

     To see a photo of Ensign Lednum go to, see memorial #173204555.

     Ensign Lednum was assigned to squadron VF(N)-91.


     U. S. Navy accident report dated December 3, 1944.

Charlestown, R. I. – November 30, 1948

Charlestown, Rhode Island – November 30, 1948


F8F Bearcat
U. S. Navy Photo

     On November 30, 1948, an F8F-1B Bearcat, (Bu. No. 121470), left Quonset Point Naval Air Station bound for the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Station to conduct simulated aircraft carrier practice landings.  While the pilot was making his first landing attempt, the aircraft crashed and skidded 231 feet, causing the belly tank to rupture and set the plane ablaze.  The pilot was able to extricate himself and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  The aircraft was consumed by fire.    

     The aircraft was assigned to VF-173.


     U. S. Navy accident report dated November 30, 1948.


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