Narragansett Bay – October 11, 1942

Narragansett Bay – October 11, 1942 

Updated March 7, 2019


Vought SB2U Vindicator
U.S. Navy Photo

     The details of this accident have been learned, and this post updated. 

     On the afternoon of October 11, 1942, a Vought SB2U-2 Vindicator, (Bu. No. 1342), with a pilot and radioman aboard, was participating in a dive-bombing exercise over Narragansett Bay.  Other aircraft were also participating.  The aircraft was seen to enter a steep dive on a maneuvering target boat from an altitude of 10,000 feet.   When the pilot attempted to pull out of the dive at 3,000 feet, two small unidentified parts of the aircraft were seen to break loose. The aircraft crashed into the water in an almost vertical dive north of Patience Island.  Both the pilot and radioman perished in the accident.

     The pilot was identified as Lieutenant Commander John Randall Spiers, 31, of Philadelphia, PA.  To see a photo of Lt. Cmdr. Spiers, go to,, Memorial #115359760, and 76036118.

     The radioman was identified as Aviation Radioman Stanley D. Overfelt, 25, of Clarence, Missouri.  He’s buried in Maple Hills Cemetery, in Kirksville, Missouri.  Source:, memorial #59737610 

     Both men were assigned to VS-42.       


     U. S. Navy accident report #43-5054, dated October 11, 1942

     North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #42-31



Off Conimicut Point, R.I. – August 3, 1916

Off Conimicut Point, Rhode Island – August 3, 1916 

Updated January 1, 2022.

     The information about this accident comes from a small news item that appeared in the Norwich Bulletin on August 5, 1916, Page 1, under the heading “Condensed Telegraphs”. 

     The new hydro-aeroplane of the Rhode Island Naval Militia struck a submerged oyster stake off Conimicut Point in Narragansett Bay.

     No further details were given. 

     Another news item found in The El Paso Herald, dated August 3, 1916, read as follows: “The hydroplane presented to the Rhode Island Naval Militia by Miss Lyra Brown Nickerson, struck a submerged oyster stake and partly sank off Conimicut.  Later it was drawn into shallow water to be repaired.”   

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