Off Block Island, R. I. – June 7, 1943

Off Block Island, Rhode Island – June 7, 1943


U.S. Navy Wildcat Fighter
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of June 7, 1943, a flight of F4F Wildcat aircraft took off from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station for a formation training flight.  The flight headed southward towards Block Island, which is three miles off the coast of Rhode Island.  At about 5 p.m., the flight leader led the formation into the edge of a cloud formation.  As the aircraft entered the clouds, the Wildcat being piloted by Ensign James Wilson Davis was observed by his wingman to suddenly roll over violently and go into a steep dive.  The wingman followed downward, but pulled out of the dive at about 300 feet.  Ensign Davis’s aircraft crashed into the sea and disappeared about a half-mile east of Block Island. 

     The navy serial number of Ensign Davis’s Wildcat was 12208.        

     The members of the flight were assigned to VF-16. 

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report, no. 43-7180, dated June 7, 1943.  

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