Exeter, R. I. – July 11, 1948

Exeter, Rhode Island – July 11, 1948

     Shortly before noon on July 11, 1948, two Warwick men, both in their early 20s, were in a rented PT-23 trainer aircraft flying over Exeter.  When they reached Boon Lake the men decided to “buzz” the cottage occupied by the parents of one of them.  Witnesses related how the plane came in out of the north and dropped very low over the water.  At the end of the run the plane banked sharply just before the cottage at which time the left wing tip struck the water causing the plane to crash into some trees at the shoreline.  The aircraft was demolished but did not catch fire.

     It wasn’t until the two severely injured men were removed from the wreckage that the parents realized one of them was their son.  Both men were treated by a doctor at the scene and then transported to Westerly Hospital where they later succumbed to their injuries. 

     The trainer aircraft was equipped with dual controls, and it was uncertain which of the men had been in control at the time of the crash. 

     Source: The Rhode Island Pendulum, “Two Warwick Vets Die In Plane Crash”, July 15, 1948

Exeter, R. I. – April 29, 1946

Exeter, Rhode Island – April 29, 1946


F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On April 29, 1946, an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 79462), took off rom Quonset Point Naval Air Station for a familiarization training flight.  While flying at an altitude of 3,000 feet over central Rhode Island, the engine began to make a clattering noise and the cockpit began to fill with a light smoke.  The pilot radioed the Quonset Tower and was given clearance for an emergency landing.  As the pilot steered towards Quonset, the oil pressure continued to drop and then the engine seized.  The pilot made an emergency crash-landing in an open field in the town of Exeter.  Although the aircraft was damaged beyond repair, the pilot was not hurt.

     The aircraft was assigned to VF-18.   


     U.S. Navy accident report dated April 29, 1946

Exeter, R.I. – August 22, 1980

Exeter, Rhode Island – August 22, 1980

     On the evening of August 22, 1980, two men left Quonset State Airport in a single-engine Piper PA-18, (N9863D), bound for Griswold, Connecticut.  Shortly after taking off the engine began running erratically, and the pilot attempted to make an emergency landing in a field in the town of Exeter, about a half mile off Glen Rock Road.   The field was overgrown with brush, and the plane crashed, killing the pilot and seriously injuring the passenger.  The passenger spent the night huddled under one of the wings.  The following day searchers spotted the wreckage from the air, and rescuers transported the injured man to Kent County Hospital for treatment. 


     Westerly Sun, (R.I.), “Fatal Crash”, August 24, 1980, page 1. (With photo of crash scene.)   

     Aviation Safety Network

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