Groton, CT. – July 20, 1928

Groton, Connecticut – July 20, 1928

     On July 20, 1928, Connecticut’s Governor, John H. Trumbull, was piloting a National Guard O-17 bi-plane over Southern Connecticut.  As he was landing the plane at the Groton Airfield it was involved in a collision with another plane.  The collision occurred on the ground, and the Governor’s plane flipped over onto its back, slightly injuring the Governor, and seriously injuring his passenger, Lieutenant Colonel James W. Gilson, assistant adjutant general of the Connecticut National Guard.  A third man, Private Stephen J. Sabotka was injured while rescuing the the Governor and colonel. 

     Lt. Col. Gilson was released from the hospital on August 1st. 


     The New Britain Herald, “To Make Formal Complaint”, July 21, 1928, page 11.   

     The New Britain Herald, “Col. Gilson Is Better”, July 23, 1928 

     The New Britain Herald, “Col. Gilson Released From The Hospital”, August 1, 1928 

Groton, CT. – August 2, 1935

Groton, Connecticut – August 2, 1935

     On August 2, 1935, two Connecticut National Guardsmen took off from Trumbull Airport at Groton in a Douglas O-38E, (Ser. No. 34-3), biplane.  As the aircraft was making a wide circling climb the motor stalled and the plane went down and crashed into a shallow brook near the edge of the airport.  Both men aboard perished in the crash.  

     The men were identified as Lieutenant William H. Laughlin, and Staff Sergeant Russell E. Clark, (27).


     Evening Star, (Wash. D. C.), “Guard Plane Crashes”, August 3, 1935, page B-4.

     The Waterbury Democrat, “Stalled Motor Caused Crash”, August 5, 1935, page 8

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