Boston, MA – January 23, 1958

Boston, Massachusetts – January 23, 1958 


T-33 Trainer Jet U.S. Air Force Photo

T-33 Trainer Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On January 23, 1958, two Air Force jets collided in mid-air 22,000 feet over Boston.  One was an F-94 Starfire out of Otis AFB, the other a T-33 out of Stewart AFB in Newburgh, New York.  Both were on routine training flights.

     The crew of the F-94 consisted of 1st Lt. Joseph G. Izzea, 23, and 1st Lt. John P. Horan, 21.  Both were killed either in the collision, or when their flaming jet crashed behind a home in Arlington, Massachusetts.  Witnesses felt Izzea may have been aiming for the Arlington Reservoir. 




F-94 Starfire U.S. Air Force Photo

F-94 Starfire
U.S. Air Force Photo

     The crew of the T-33, consisted of Captain William D. Bridges, 33, and Lt. Harold Woldmoe, 30.  Both got out safely, although Woldmoe said his ejection seat failed, and he got out as the plane was falling end-over-end.  Bridges came down in the icy waters of Quincy Bay about 15 miles away and was rescued by a helicopter twenty minutes later.  Woldmoe landed in the railroad freight yards near Boston’s South Station.  Both were treated at area hospitals.     


Falmouth Enterprise, “Two Otis Fliers Die As Jets Crash Above City”, January 24, 1958.

(Troy, N.Y.) Times Record, “Two Airmen Killed As Planes Crash”, January 24, 1958

New York Times, “Jets Collide, Two Die”, January 24, 1958

Gardner, MA. – July 29, 1966

Gardner, Massachusetts – July 29, 1966


F-84 Thunderjet – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On July 29, 1966, a Massachusetts Air National Guard F-84 fighter jet left Barnes Air Force Base in Westfield, Massachusetts, for a routine training flight.  The pilot was Captain Daniel Palucca, assigned to the 104th Tactical Fighter Group based at Barnes.  Shortly before noon, while flying over the town of Gardner, the aircraft began experiencing mechanical difficulties to the extent that maintaining control became impossible.  Captain Palucca aimed the aircraft away from the densely populated area of town and ejected. 

     The F-84 crashed into a wooded area where Jackson Hill Road and Kendall Street meet.  It broke into numerous pieces and burned. Captain Palucca landed safely several yards off Route 2A near the Skorko junkyard not far from the Westminster town line with only minor injuries.    


    The Gardner News, (Gardner, Mass.), “Plane Crashes, Explodes On Jackson Hill Rd. – Pilot Parachutes To Safety Shortly Before Impact, Avoids Homes In Area”, July 29, 1966  

Revere, MA – January 1, 1912

Revere, Massachusetts – January 1, 1912


Aviator Harry Atwood

     On January 1, 1912, well known early aviator, Harry N. Atwood, was attempting to fly his Burgess-Wright hydro-aeroplane from Point of Pines in Revere, Massachusetts, to Portland, Maine, when the aircraft developed engine trouble just after take-off.  The engine quit just after Atwood was over Lynn Bay, but Atwood managed to re-start it in short order.  Atwood had taken off into a strong wind in order to gain lift, but when his engine stopped the wind  turned the plane about.  When he got the engine started again the wind was now behind him, which hindered his attempts to gain altitude.  When the engine quit a second time he was forced down into the water. 

     The plane landed upright on its two pontoons, but somehow one of the pontoons developed a leak, possibly due to the hard landing, and the plane began to list to one side.  Atwood was wearing two sets of clothes to keep warm during his flight to Maine, one of which he managed to strip away in anticipation of going into the water.  He then climbed out onto the one good pontoon, but his weight forced it beneath the surface drenching him in the icy water.  He would likely have drowned had it not been for two men in a boat who saw his plight and raced to his rescue.   

     He was taken ashore to the home of Hiram Carter where he was treated for exposure and hypothermia.

     Source: New York Times, “Atwood Near Death By Fall In Water”, January 2, 1912  


Atlantic Ocean – October 10, 1958

Atlantic Ocean – October 10, 1958


C-123K Cargo Plane U. S. Air Force Photo

C-123K Cargo Plane
U. S. Air Force Photo

     On October 10, 1958, a C-123 cargo plane based out of Otis Air Force  Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts, was returning to Otis from Miami, Florida, when a fire erupted on board while the plane was off the coast of Virginia.  There was a crew of three aboard: the pilot, Captain Frederick W. Meyer, 29, the co-pilot, Captain Warren W. Swenson, 37, and Staff Sergeant Paul F. D’Entremont. 

     Captain Meyer gave the order to bail out, and the three men parachuted into the ocean.  Meyer and Swenson were rescued by a navy helicopter, and D’Entremont was pulled from the water by the crew of a Coast Guard boat.

     D’Entremont had suffered unspecified injuries, and was transported to the Portsmouth, Virginia, Naval Hospital, where he passed away.  He had been assigned to the 551st Periodic Maintenance Squadron.


     Falmouth Enterprise, “Sergeant Dies After Plane Crash”, October 14, 1958      

Cape Cod Bay – March 25, 1954

Cape Cod Bay – March 25, 1954


F-94 Starfire U.S. Air Force Photo

F-94 Starfire
U.S. Air Force Photo

     At 12:45 p.m., on March 25, 1954, 2nd Lt. Boyd L. Erickson, 24, was killed when the F-94 Starfire jet he was piloting crashed in Cape Cod Bay near Orient during a routine training flight.

     The newspaper account mentioned that there was a radar observer aboard who was “missing”.  He was not identified.  

     Lieutenant Erickson was from Grand Forks, North Dakota, and he’s buried there in Memorial Park Cemetery.  He was survived by his wife Dona Mae Erickson.

     Lieutenant Erickson entered the U.S. Air Force in early 1951, and began his pilot training in August of 1952.  He received his wings and officer’s commission August 1, 1953, and had been assigned to Otis Air Force Base at the time of the accident.


     Falmouth Enterprise, “Pocasset Pilot Dies In Crash Of Aircraft”, March 26, 1954       Memorial # 24523991

Logan Airport – November 3, 1973

Logan Airport – November 3, 1973

Updated July 28, 2017

     On the morning of November 3, 1973, Pan American World Airways Flight 160 departed J.F. K. International Airport in New York bound for Scotland.

     The aircraft was a Boeing 707-321C (N458PA).  It was a scheduled cargo flight, with a crew of three aboard; the captain, John J. Zammett, 53, the first officer, Gene W. Ritter, 34, and the flight engineer, Davis Melvin, 37.  There were not passengers.

     The aircraft was carrying 16,000 pounds of chemicals including cylinders of nitric acid, and other types of acids.  The manifest also included 5,000 pounds of mail, 16,000 pounds of electrical components, and another 16,000 pounds of “miscellaneous items”.      

     At 9:04 a.m. Flight 160 advised Pan American Operations that they had a smoke condition on board and were diverting to Boston. 

     At 9:10 a.m. Flight 160 advised the smoke was getting thicker. A minute later they requested emergency equipment to be on hand when they landed. 

     As the plane approached Boston it was given “preferential air traffic control treatment” even though no emergency had been declared by the flight crew.

     At 9:31 a.m. Captain Zammett was asked if he was declaring an emergency, to which he replied, “Negative on the emergency, and may we have Runway 33 left?”   The request was granted.

     By 9:38 a.m. the aircraft was about four miles from the airport, but its transponder had evidently stopped working.  One minute later Flight 160 crashed 262 feet from the edge of Runway 33L. 

     Witnesses later reported that just before the crash they saw the left cockpit window open with smoke streaming out, and the plane was doing yaw and roll maneuvers before the left wing and nose slammed into the ground at a nearly vertical angle.  The plane was destroyed and all three men aboard were killed.

     The cause of the crash was determined to be excessive smoke in the cockpit which hampered the crew’s ability to control the aircraft.  As to the cause of the smoke, the NTSB investigation report, in Section 16 of the Technical Report Standard Title Page, stated in part, “Although the source of the smoke could not be established conclusively, the Safety Board believes that the spontaneous chemical reaction between leaking nitric acid , improperly packaged and stowed, and the improper sawdust packing surrounding the acid’s package initiated the accident sequence.”


     National Transportation Safety Board Accident Investigation Report, #NTSB-AAR-74-16, File #1-0026, Adopted December 2, 1974.

     Providence Journal, “Jet Crash At Logan Kills 3”, November 4, 1973 page 1, (photo of accident scene)

     Providence Journal, “Perilous Chemicals Fished From Boston Harbor”, November 5, 1973, page 24

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Boston Cargo Jet Crash Probed; Smoke May Have hampered Crew”, November 5, 1973, page 23


Mansfield, MA – September 13, 1945

Mansfield, Massachusetts – September 13, 1945

Updated July 15, 2019


SB2C Helldiver U.S. Navy Photo

SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     On April 19, 1945, a flight of two navy SB2C Helldiver aircraft left Groton Field in Connecticut for a familiarization training flight.  One of the aircraft, (Bu. No. 83654), was piloted by Ensign Thomas Daniel Murphy, 21, of Chicago.  While at about 2,800 feet over the town of Mansfield, Massachusetts, Ensign Murphy’s aircraft entered a partial wingover and stalled, and then went into a progressive spin.  Murphy pulled out of the spin at about 500 feet, but then went into another and crashed.  The aircraft exploded on impact and Ensign Murphy did not get out. 

     Ensign Murphy was assigned to Bombing Squadron 4 (VB-4) based at Groton Field in Groton, Connecticut.  His body was brought to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, before being sent to Chicago for burial.  


     U. S. Navy accident report dated September 13, 1945.

     North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #45-87

     Naval History & Heritage Command – U.S. Navy,


Douglas, MA – September 12, 1944

Douglas, Massachusetts – September 12, 1944 

Updated February 15, 2018


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

      At 1:50 p.m. on the afternoon of September, 12, 1944, a flight of F6F Hellcat aircraft took off from the naval auxiliary air field at Westerly, Rhode Island, for a high-altitude oxygen training flight.   One of those assigned to the flight was Ensign Arthur Joseph Stockus, 23, piloting an F6F-3 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 42800).

     When the planes had reached an altitude of about 13,000 feet, the flight leader lead the squadron in a northerly direction towards Massachusetts, all the while continuing to gain altitude.  The goal was to reach 30,000 feet.      

     At approximately 2:50 p.m. while the flight was at 28,000 feet, Ensign Stockus’s aircraft was seen to suddenly break away from formation, go into a slow roll, and then disappear into an alto cumulus cloud.  Efforts to contact him via radio were unsuccessful.

     Ensign Stockus was killed when his Hellcat crashed and exploded in a wooded area about two miles west of the center of Douglas, Massachusetts.    

     Navy investigators later speculated that his oxygen system had failed, which could lead to disorientation or unconsciousness.  

     Ensign Stockus was from Monessen, Penn., and had been assigned to CASU-27.  He entered the navy on October 15, 1942, at Washington, D.C.  He died just two days after his 23rd birthday.

     Ensign Stockus had a brother Robert who was also serving as a naval officer.

     To see a photo of Ensign Stockus’s grave, click here:


     U.S. Navy Investigation Report

     North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #44-72   

     The Daily Republican, (Penn.), “Plane Crash Kills Monessen Ensign”, September 18, 1944

     Newport Mercury, (R.I.), “Dead Flyer Identified”, September 22, 1944, page 6.

     Copy – Application for World War II Compensation Form – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Salisbury Beach, MA – July 10, 1920

Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts – July 10, 1920

Town of Salisbury, Mass.

Updated January 18, 2017

     On July 10, 1920, a small aircraft with three people aboard was on a sightseeing flight over Hampton and Salisbury beaches.  The pilot, Lieutenant Gordon L. Groah, of Lynn, Mass., routinely used this route for his sightseeing and exhibition flights.  The two passengers included Mrs. Richard H. Long, of Framingham, the wife of a prominent Massachusetts politician, and an aircraft mechanic from Pittsfield, Mass., who’s first name was Gaston, but there seems to be some confusion as to his last name.  Sources have spelled it Gornet, Cornet, Corrinet, and Gornorinett.  

     As the aircraft was at an altitude of several hundred feet over Salisbury Beach, it suddenly went into a dive and crashed on the beach in view of hundreds of beachgoers.  The mechanic leaped from the plane a second before it hit the ground, thus receiving minor injuries and saving his life.  Mrs. Long and Lieutenant Groah were pulled from the wreckage and rushed to Anna Jacques Hospital in nearby Newburyport, Mass., where they succumbed to their injuries.

     Richard H. Long, had been a Democratic candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, in 1919.   

     The following item was found in February 5, 1920 edition of The Iron Trade Review on page 450.

    “Boston – The Massachusetts Aircraft Corp. has been incorporated to build airplanes with $25,000 capital by Gordon L. Groah, Lynn, Mass.: John J. Hayes, Somerville, Mass., and M. G. McCarthy.”   


     Burlington Weekly Free Press, “Mrs. R.H. Long Killed In Plane Accident”, July 15, 1920, pg. 7

     New York Tribune, “Two Killed When Plane Falls At Salisbury Beach”, July 11, 1920

     Evening Star, (Washington, DC), “Two Die In Air Crash”, July 11, 1920

     Washington Herald, (Wash. DC), “Politicians Wife Killed In Crash”, July 11, 1920 

Otis Air Force Base – May 8, 1957

Otis Air Force Base – May 8, 1957

Falmouth, Massachusetts

     On May 8, 1957, Lieutenant Donald J. Flower Jr., 26, of Yonkers, New York, was killed when the fighter jet he was piloting crashed and burned upon landing at Otis AFB.  He had flown to Otis from Shaw AFB in South Carolina. 

     The exact type of aircraft wasn’t stated.  

     Flower joined the Air Force in 1953 after graduating from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.  He was survived by his parents and four siblings.

     Source: New York Times, “Yonkers Pilot Killed”, May 10, 1957

Off Sandwich, MA – June 24, 1956

Off Sandwich, Massachusetts – June 24, 1956


F-94 Fighter Jet U.S. Air Force Photo

F-94 Fighter Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the evening of June 24, 1956, a flight of three F-94 Starifre jets left Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, en-route to Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  When they arrived at Otis they encountered poor weather conditions, and Otis tower held off their landing.  As the F-94’s circled in a three-jet formation, two of the jets ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea. 

     The pilot and radar observer of one jet were rescued after they bailed out over the ocean.  The pilot of the second plane was not recovered.  (His aircraft did not have a radar observer aboard.)      

     A Coast Guard helicopter out of Boston taking part in the search and rescue operations crashed in Boston Harbor where it encountered thick fog upon its return.  Two crewmen were rescued, a third was lost.

     No names were listed in the source article.

     Source: New York Times, “Two Jet Planes Crash”, June 25, 1956  

Seekonk, MA – August 14, 1932

Seekonk, MA – August 14, 1932

Green Farm – Seekonk

     On August 14, 1932, a Fairchild monoplane took off from Hillsgrove Airport in Warwick, R. I. with two men aboard for a sight seeing flight.  The pilot, Edward Abrams, 35, of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, had rented the airplane and was considering buying it.  Abrams had been giving rides in the airplane, and on this particular flight he was carrying Roland Holmes, 30, also of Rehoboth.

     As the plane passed over Seekonk, Massachusetts, according to the newspaper account, the pilot “attempted to execute a left spiral movement, and in doing so lost flying speed and sent the plane into a left spin at an altitude of less than 300 feet.”  The plane crashed on the Green Farm in Seekonk, about a quarter mile from the “Providence Airport” which is believed to be the What Cheer Airport in Pawtucket, as Providence didn’t have an airport.

     Roland Holmes was killed in the crash, and Edward Abrams suffered a fractured skull, and it was reported that he may not recover.

Source: Woonsocket Call, “Plane Passenger Killed In Crash; Pilot Is Injured”, August 15, 1932



Northampton, MA – April 20, 1965

Northampton, Massachusetts – April 20, 1965 

     On the evening of April 20, 1965, a helicopter was taking off from La Fleur Airport in Northampton, when the driveshaft to the tail rotor suddenly snapped while the craft was 40 feet in the air.  The helicopter crashed, but all of the four men aboard escaped injury.   

     Those aboard included the pilot, David W. Graham, Massachusetts State Senator Charles A. Bisbie Jr., Massachusetts Governor John A. Volpe, and his aide, George Luciano. 

     The helicopter was en-route to Boston when the accident happened.   


    New York Times, “Volpe Is Uninjured In A Copter Crash”, April 21, 1965 

Falmouth, MA – November 26, 1936

Falmouth, Massachusetts – November 26, 1936

     On November 26, 1936, Bernarr Macfadden, a well known physical fitness advocate, author, and magazine publisher, left New York in an airplane with three friends to fly to Falmouth, Massachusetts , to celebrate Thanksgiving at the home of Fulton Oursler, an author and magazine editor.    Also aboard the plane was Doctor Dana Coman, Helen Coman, (daughter of the doctor), Fern Matson, and the pilot.

     As the plane was landing at Coonamessett Airport in Falmouth, something caused it to turn over upside-down on the runway.  All aboard were wearing seatbelts which saved them from any injuries. 

     Coonamessett Airport was located in the Hatchville section of Falmouth, and was in operation between 1933 and 1968. 


     New York Times, “Macfadded In Air Crash”, November 27, 1936   

     Wikiedia – Coonamessett Airport

     Wikipedia – Bernarr Macfadden

Falmouth, MA – May 26, 1960

Falmouth, Massachusetts – May 26, 1960

Coonamessett Airport

     On the morning of May 26, 1960, Carl D. Jeschke, was practicing a landing approach at Coonamessett Airport in Falmouth, when the Aeronca Champ he was piloting suddenly lost power and crashed behind “the Knollwood” on Boxberry Hill Road.  Although the plane was heavily damaged, Jeschke was unhurt.

     Source: Falmouth Enterprise, “Pilot Unhurt As Light Plane Crashes”, May 27, 1960



Douglas, MA – August 31, 1990

Douglas, Massachusetts – August 31, 1990

     At 2:30 p.m., a single-engine Piper Cub left Danielson Airport in Connecticut for a sight seeing trip over Connecticut and Massachusetts.  The flight went well until the plane developed engine trouble shortly after 4 p.m. while over Douglas, Mass.  The pilot attempted to make an emergency landing in a field, but clipped some tree tops and crashed near the Whitins Reservoir in an area known as Cottage Colony.    

     The plane suffered extensive damage, but the occupants, John Bouchard and Donald Hoeing were not injured. 

     Source: Woonsocket Call, “2 Men Labeled ‘Lucky’ For Walking Away From Douglas Plane Crash”, September 1, 1990, Pg. 1


Brookfield Airport – March 25, 1961

Brookfield Airport – March 25, 1961

Brookfield, Massachusetts

     On March 25, 1961, a single-engine Bonanza with four people aboard was attempting to land at Brookfield Airport when a wing suddenly broke free sending the plane crashing to the ground.  All aboard were killed.

     The dead were identified as:

     Albert L. Ball Sr., 67, of Framingham, Mass.

     Albert Ball Jr., 34,, of Torrington, Conn.

     Sebastian L. Gianni, 40, of Torrington, Conn.

     Donald H. McMahon, 34, of Winsted, Conn.      

     Source: New York Times, “Plane Crash Kills 4”, March 26, 1961

Lynn, MA – October 21, 1915

Lynn, Massachusetts – October 21, 1915

     On October 21, 1921, two men took off in a bi-plane for an experimental flight from Lynn and flew out over nearby marshland where one of the wings suddenly folded.  The aircraft plunged from an altitude of  750 feet embedding itself deep into the soft mud of the marshes.   Both men were killed.   

     The dead were identified as J. Chauncey Redding of Melrose, Mass., and Phillip Bulman of Malden, Mass.      


     (Woonsocket) Evening Call, “Biplane Collapses, Two Aviators Dead”, October 22, 1915, Pg. 7

     Hartford Courant, (Conn.) “Two Men Killed By Fall Of Biplane”, October 22, 1915

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲