Groton, CT. – August 3, 1928

Groton, Connecticut – August 3, 1928

     On the morning of August 3, 1928, famous performer Fred Stone flew a private biplane from his summer residence in Lyme, Connecticut, to the newly opened airport in Groton.  With him was his daughter Paula, and his flight instructor.  Stone held a student flyers license and needed to practice solo flying to obtain his pilot certification.  After arriving in Groton, Stone took off alone for a short solo flight.  About ten minutes later, as he was returning to the airfield, the motor suddenly stopped and the plane went into a nose dive and crashed.  Stone was trapped in the wreckage  with serious injuries and after his extrication, was transported to a hospital in New London. 


     The Evening Star, (Washington, D. C.), “Fred Stone Injured In Crash Flying For Pilots License”, August 3, 1928.  

     New York Times, “Injuries May Keep Fred Stone Off Stage”, August 5, 1928 

     Nashua Telegraph, “Fred Stone Has Even Chance To Dance Again” (with photo of wrecked plane), August 7, 1928, page 6

     To learn more about Fred Stone, click here:    


Groton, CT. – June 12, 1945

Groton, Connecticut – June 12, 1945


SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     On June 12, 1945, a navy SB2C Helldiver, (Bu. No. 20916), was landing at Groton Field in strong gusty winds when the aircraft ground-looped at high speed, causing major damage to the aircraft.  Neither the pilot or the gunner aboard were injured.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated June 12, 1945    

Trumbull Field, CT – April 26, 1941

Trumbull Field, Groton, Connecticut – April 26, 1941


Curtiss P-40
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At 7:35 a.m., on April 26, 1941, a Curtiss P-40 aircraft, (Ser. No. 39-183), piloted by 2nd Lt. William A. Webber, took off for a gunnery training flight from Trumbull Field, but crashed shortly after takeoff.   Lt. Webber did not survive.

      The cause of the crash was determined to be a rag blocking the intake manifold which caused a “power plant failure”. 

     The accident investigation committee praised the pilot, and wrote in part, “The judgment of the pilot in attempting to continue  flight is believed to have been excellent in view of the fact that at the time of his engine failure he was only a few hundred feet above houses, wires, and other obstructions.”   

     In short, the pilot elected to stay with his plane to protect civilians on the ground. 

     As to the rag, the committee wrote the following, “It is not believed that it is within the jurisdiction of this committee to investigate further the circumstances surrounding the presence of the rag in the intake manifold screen.” 

     Lt. Webber was assigned to the 33rd Pursuit Squadron at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York.  He received his pilot’s rating on May 11, 1940. 


     U.S. Army Aircraft Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #41-4-26-2


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