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 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. – September 26, 1945

Groton, Connecticut – September 26, 1945

     On September 26, 1945, an a pilot in a FG-1D Corsair, (Bu. No. 87930), was practicing flight-carrier-landings at the Groton NAAF.  After five successful landings, the pilot was attempting a sixth when a strong cross-wind caused the aircraft to veer off the runway just as it touched down.  The aircraft ground looped and flipped onto its back.  The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. 

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated September 26, 1945


Groton, CT- March 14, 1984

Groton, Connecticut – March 14, 1984

Groton – New London Airport

     At about 4:40 a.m. on the morning of March, 14, 1984, a single-engine Piper PA-28 with a lone pilot aboard was attempting to land at Groton-New London Airport in rain and fog conditions when it crashed in a marshy area about 700 feet before Runway 5.  When rescue workers reached the aircraft they found the pilot to be deceased.


     New York Times, “Physicist, 67, Dies In Crash Of His Plane In Connecticut”, March 15, 1984

     The Day, “Plane Crash Investigators Still Uncertain About Cause”, March 15, 1984, Pg. 6  

     The Sun, (Westerly, R.I.), “Man Dies In Groton Plane Crash”, March 14, 1984 with photograph of crash site.

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