Ledyard, CT. – May 6, 1945

Ledyard, Connecticut – May 6, 1945


F4U Corsair
US Navy Photo

     On the afternoon of May 6, 1945, a flight of seven navy Corsair fighter airplanes took off from Groton Naval Air Station in Groton, Connecticut, for a training flight.  About eight miles north of the air base the pilots began practicing a series of various maneuvers and formation flying.  At one point the flight leader initiated a “follow the leader” exercise.  One of the pilots, Lt. (jg.) David Lee Johnson, 23, of Jamaica, Long Island, N.Y., was the last man in the first flight division.  As the line of planes were going through a series of rolls at 3,000 feet, Johnson’s aircraft, an F4U-4 Corsair, (Bu. No. 81395), suddenly nosed over and crashed.  The aircraft exploded on impact and Johnson was killed. The aircraft came down on a farm in Ledyard, impacting just fifty feet in from the roadway.      

     Lt. (jg.) Johnson was assigned to VBF-152.

     Source: National Archives, TD450506CT, via Larry Webster, Aviation Historian, Charlestown, R.I.    

Ledyard, CT. – April 27, 1973

Ledyard, Connecticut – April 27, 1973


     On April 27, 1972, a New York doctor left Tweed-New Haven Airport in a single-engine Mooney MU-2 airplane bound for Fishers Island, New York.  He was alone at the time. Fishers Island is located in Long Island Sound, off the northern fork of Long Island, N.Y., not far from the Connecticut shore.   

     When the plane reached Fishers Island it was unable to land due to poor weather conditions, and was re-directed to Trumbull Airport in Groton, Connecticut.  The cloud ceiling was at 400 feet, and it was raining as the doctor made his way towards Groton.  Sometime around 7:00 p.m. radio contact with the plane was lost and it disappeared from radar screens.      

     A woman reportedly witnessed the plane crash and explode near her home in Ledyard around 7:00 p.m., but didn’t report it.  The following day she told her son about it and he notified police.  Troopers found the wreckage of the plane about 2:30 p.m. on April 28th, in a wooded area off Gallup Hill Road. 

     The Providence Journal, “Doctor Is Killed In Conn. Crash Of Light Plane”, April 29, 1973, page A-8 

     Westerly Sun, (R.I.), “Doctor Killed In Ledyard Plane Crash”, April 29, 1973, page 17.


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