Nantucket, MA. – April 6, 1944

Nantucket, Massachusetts – April 6, 1944


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

     On April 6, 1944, a TBM-1C Avenger, (Bu. No. 25488) was returning to the Nantucket Naval Air Station from an anti-submarine flight when the engine failed.  The pilot made an emergency wheels down landing on rough terrain near the field which caused the plane to flip over onto its back, pinning the pilot inside.  He was rescued without further incident.  No injuries were reported. 

     The aircraft was assigned to VC-69.


     U. S. Navy accident report, dated April 6, 1944, #44-12983.  

Nantucket, MA. – October 18, 1943

Nantucket, Massachusetts – October 18, 1943


North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     On the morning of October 18, 1943, a navy SNJ-4 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 27276), was landing in a strong cross wind at the Nantucket Naval Air Station when the aircraft ground-looped just after touching down.  The pilot and his civilian passenger were not injured but the aircraft suffered significant damage.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report #44-9145, dated October 18, 1943. 

Off Nantucket, MA – December 10, 1944

Off Nantucket, MA – December 10, 1944


Hellcat Fighters
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the night of December 10, 1944, a flight of eleven F6F Hellcats were engaged in practicing night breakups and rendezvous off Nantucket Island.  Lieutenant John Ignatius Drew, piloting (Bu. No. 58164), was leading a division of four planes in which Ensign John Daniel Cassidy, piloting (Bu. No. 58277), was the second section wingman.  After the final rendezvous, Lieutenant Drew and Ensign Cassidy didn’t join up with the rest of the flight.  Due to the darkness their absence wasn’t noticed and the other nine aircraft began returning to Nantucket Naval Air Station.  Meanwhile, Drew and Cassidy had joined up together, but didn’t see the other aircraft.  Ensign Cassidy radioed the flight leader asking for their position and was told that the aircraft were nearing the navy base. This was the last communication from Ensign Cassidy.  Both Cassidy and Drew subsequently disappeared and were presumed to have crashed in the ocean. 

     As to the cause of the disappearance, it was stated in the navy accident report, “”Since the night was clear and the pilots were familiar with the area the likelihood of their having become lost is small.  Therefore it is assumed that the pilots may have been victims of vertigo or collision.” 

     Both men were assigned to VF-88

    Source: U. S. Navy Accident Report dated December 10, 1944.

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