Groton, CT. – May 2, 1929

Groton, Connecticut – May 2, 1929 

     This accident occurred at the Groton Airport. 

     At about 4 o’clock on the afternoon of May 2, 1929, a man connected with the Red Wing Flying Circus, was attempting to crank over an aircraft’s propeller while the pilot sat in the cockpit at the controls.  On the first try the engine appeared as if it had failed to start, so the man stepped forward for another try.  As he did so the engine suddenly came to life, and the propeller struck him in the right leg and hurled him through the air a considerable distance. 

     The man suffered a fractured leg and internal injuries.  He was transported to a hospital in New London.       

     The injured man had only been with the “circus” for a week. 


     The New Britain Herald, “Plane Propeller Breaks Man’s Leg”, May 3, 1929


Groton, CT. – July 4, 1945

Groton, Connecticut – July 4, 1945


U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy photo

     On the night of July 4, 1945, a group of navy aircraft were making a series of landings and takeoffs at the Groton Naval Auxiliary Air Field as part of a training exercise.   One of the aircraft taking part was an F6F-5 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 70879).  Another aircraft was an F4U Corsair, (Bu. No. 81612).



F4U Corsair
US Navy Photo

  Shortly before 11:00 p.m., the Corsair made a normal landing and taxied towards the end of the runway while the Hellcat made its approach and landed.  The Hellcat landed at a normal speed and proper interval from the Corsair however, due to excessive darkness, what the pilot of the Hellcat didn’t realize was that the Corsair hadn’t completely cleared the end of the runway.  At 170 feet before the end of the runway the Hellcat drove into the rear of the Corsair completely demolishing the Corsair, and causing substantial damage to the Hellcat.  Fortunately neither pilot was seriously hurt.    

     Source: U.S. Navy Accident report dated July 4, 1945.


Groton, CT. – July 20, 1944

Groton, Connecticut – July 20, 1944


U.S. Navy F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy photo

     On the night of July 20, 1944, a flight of F6F Hellcat aircraft were returning to Groton Field after a night training flight.  The pilot of one Hellcat forgot to lower the landing gear and belly landed on the runway.  The aircraft suffered heavy damage, but the pilot was unhurt.

     The aircraft involved in the accident was assigned to Fighter Squadron 46, (VF-46)

     Source: U. S. Navy Accident Report, dated July 20, 1944

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