Narragansett Bay – August 9, 1948

Narragansett Bay – August 9, 1948


TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

      On August 9, 1948, a navy TBM-3E, (Bu. No. 63795), was engaged in making practice touch-and-go landings at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station, when the aircraft lost power and went down in Narragansett Bay.  The aircraft sank and was later determined to be damaged beyond repair.  The pilot escaped, and was rescued by a Quonset crash boat.  Nobody else was aboard the aircraft at the time of the accident.   

     The aircraft was assigned to VA-75.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated August 9, 1948.  

Quonset Point NAS – December 9, 1943

Quonset Point Naval Air Station – December 9, 1943


Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo

     On the night of December 9, 1943, an SBD-5 Dauntless aircraft, ( Bu. No. 28767), struck an unoccupied truck that was left parked along the side of the runway during take off.  The aircraft was damaged beyond repair, but the pilot and the gunner were unhurt. 

     Source: U. S. Navy Accident Report #44-19181

Atlantic Ocean – December 23, 1943

Atlantic Ocean – December 23, 1943


F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On December 23, 1943, Ensign Curtis L. Johnson was piloting an F6F-3 Hellcat aircraft, (#65933), off the coast of Westerly, Rhode Island, on a night training flight when his airplane developed engine trouble.  After reporting his situation, he was ordered to return to shore, and was following another aircraft in that direction when he evidently crashed into the sea and was killed.   The crash was not observed by the pilot of the other plane, but according to the navy accident report, a “civilian reported seeing a plane crash into (the) water but wreckage (was) never found.”  

     According to the navy accident report, Ensign Johnson was assigned to VF-51. 


     U.S. Navy Accident Report #44-10170


Hopkinton, R.I. – December 13, 1945

Hopkinton, Rhode Island – December 13, 1945

SB2C Helldiver U.S. Navy Photo

SB2C Helldiver

U.S. Navy Photo

     On December 13, 1945, an SB2C-4E Helldiver (Bu. No. 83080) took off from Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Charlestown, Rhode Island, for a gunnery training flight.  While making a tight turn in the air at 1,400 feet, the plane suddenly spun in and crashed in woodland off Panciera Road in the town of Hopkinton, Rhode Island.  (The area of the crash is approximately eight miles from the airfield.) 

     Both crewmen aboard were killed instantly.  They were:

     (Pilot) Ensign Kenneth Walter Barnes, 25, of Cincinnati, Ohio.  He’s buried in St. Joseph’s New Cemetery in Cincinnati. He was survived by his wife Dorothy.

    Aviation Ordnanceman 3cl Charles Otmar Henninger, 28, of Sumner, Iowa. He’s buried at St. Peter’s Evan. Cemetery in Bremer Co. Iowa.  He was survived by his wife Geneva.  For more information about the life of Charles Henninger see the website “Bremer County Veterans Affairs” at


     (book) BuNos! Dispostion of World War II USN, USMC, And USCG Aircraft Listed By Bureau Numbers, by Douglas E. Campbell, copyright 2012.

     North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records: 45-118, and 45-119. Charles Otmar Henninger, Memorial # 27384806 – Kenneth Walter Barnes, Memorial # 129069814

     Bremer County Veterans Affairs website – see above.

     U.S. Navy Crash Brief, 6-45 

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