Atlantic Ocean – April 25, 1945

Atlantic Ocean – April 25, 1945


U.S. Navy Grumman Avenger
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the night of April 25, 1945, a navy TBM-3E Avenger, (Bu. No. 68997), with three men aboard, was taking part in a night gunnery strafing exercise six miles south of Nantucket Island when it failed to come out of a dive and crashed in the water.  All aboard perished. 

     Pilot: Ensign Roy Bacon, Jr. – Missing.

     ARM3/c Forest Edward Schultz, 18.  He enlisted on his 17th birthday, January 13, 1944.  He’s buried in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Cemetery, in Kittery, Maine.

     ARM3/c Eugene A. Sands, 19, of Illinois – Missing

     The men were assigned to Night Torpedo Squadron 52, VT(n)-52, at Martha’s Vineyard Auxiliary Naval Air Station. 


     U. S. Navy Accident Report dated April 25, 1945

     The Waterbury Democrat, (Ct.), “Torpedo Bomber Mishap Kills 3”, April 25, 1945, pg. 1




Martha’s Vineyard – March 25, 1944

Martha’s Vineyard – March 25, 1944 


TBF-1 Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On the night of March 25, 1944, a navy TBF-1 Avenger, (Bu. No. 05880), was returning to the Martha’s Vineyard Naval Auxiliary Air Field after a night familiarization flight.   As the pilot was making his landing approach, he was waved off due to another aircraft which had just landed still being on the runway.  The Avenger circled around and came in for a second approach.  As it touched down it made a wheels up landing, and skidded on its belly for 900 feet before coming to rest.  The propeller, the bomb bay doors, and the starboard wing were heavily damaged, but there were no injuries.  

     The aircraft was assigned to VT-81.


     U. S. Navy accident report #44-12653, dated March 25, 1944.  

Martha’s Vineyard – October 9, 1943

Martha’s Vineyard – October 9, 1943


North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On October 9, 1943, an navy SNJ-4 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 27178), crashed while landing in a strong cross wind at Martha’s Vineyard Naval Auxiliary Air Field and flipped over onto its back.  The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and the two-man crew suffered non-life-threatening injuries. 

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report #44-9008, dated October 9, 1943.

Martha’s Vineyard – October 22, 1943

Martha’s Vineyard Naval Auxiliary Air Field – October 22, 1943 


Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo

     On October 22, 1943, an SBD-5 Dauntless aircraft, (Bu. No. 28700), crashed on takeoff from the Martha’s Vineyard NAAF.  The aircraft was demolished, but the pilot, Ensign Robert S. Rice, and the gunner, ARM3c Ronald Q. Hoffman, escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.   The men were assigned to VC-33. 

     Source: U.S. Navy Accident Report #44-9238, dated October 22, 1943  

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