New Bedford, MA. – April 4, 1943

New Bedford, Massachusetts – April 4, 1943


P-47C Thunderbolt
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On April 4, 1943, 2nd Lieutenant Fred V. Bright, Jr. took off from Hillsgrove Army Airfield in Warwick, Rhode Island, for a routine training flight in a P-47C Thunderbolt, (Ser. No. 41-6562).   While over New Bedford, Massachusetts, Lt. Bright radioed the control tower at Hillsgrove that he was having problems with the aircraft and would be making an emergency landing at the New Bedford Airport which he happened to be passing over at the time.  As he was making his final approach his plane was seen to crash and burn about 100 yards from the end of the runway.   

     Lt. Bright was survived by his wife living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


     Book, “Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States, 1941-1945”, by Anthony J. Mireles, C. 2006.

     The Waterbury Democrat, “Pilot Identified”, April 5, 1943

New Bedford, MA. – December 11, 1944

New Bedford, Massachusetts – December 11, 1944


F4U Corsair
US Navy Photo

     On December 11, 1944, a navy F4U-1D Corsair, (Bu. No. 82206), made an accidental wheels-up landing at New Bedford NAAF.  The aircraft skidded to a stop and there was no fire.  The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft suffered substantial damage. 

     The aircraft was assigned to Fighter Squadron 10, (VF-10) 


     U. S. Navy accident report dated December 11, 1944.


New Bedford, MA. – December 7, 1944

New Bedford, Massachusetts – December 7, 1944 


F4U Corsair
US Navy Photo

     On December 7, 1944, a pilot was making carrier practice landings at New Bedford NAAF in an F4U-1D Corsair, (Bu. No. 82205).  After making several successful landings, he attempted to make another.  Just before touchdown a strong gust of wind caused the left wing to dip.  The pilot attempted to correct, but the aircraft went into a ditch. The pilot suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and the aircraft was seriously damaged. 

     The pilot was assigned to Fighter Squadron 10, (VF-10).


     U. S. Navy accident report dated December 7, 1944.     

New Bedford, MA. – April 18, 1944

New Bedford, Massachusetts – April 18, 1944

     On April 18, 1944, a U. S. Navy Howard NH-1 aircraft, (Bu. No. 44905), took off from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island, bound for New Bedford’s auxiliary air field.  Upon landing at New Bedford, the aircraft went off the runway and flipped onto its back.  The plane was badly damaged, and the three men aboard received non-life-threatening injuries.


     U. S. Navy accident report #44-13365, dated April 18, 1944.  

New Bedford, MA. – February 13, 1943

     New Bedford, Massachusetts – February 13, 1943 


U.S. Navy SBD Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo.

     On the morning of February 13, 1943, two U. S. Navy SBD-4 Dauntless dive-bombers were participating an a tactical exercise over the water off New Bedford. 

      One aircraft, (Bu. No. 06870), was occupied by the pilot; Ensign Herber (Not Herbert) S. Graham, 23, and his gunner/radioman AOM2/c Louis P. Michael.  

     The other Dauntless, (Bu. No. 06867), was occupied by the pilot; Ensign Robert M. J. Veith, and his radioman/gunner AMM3/c Joseph L. Wallace.   

     Shortly before noon, both aircraft made a practice dive on a simulated target, and pulled out at 1,300 feet.  As both planes were re-forming in the air they were involved in a mid-air collision.  After the accident both aircraft went out of control and crashed into the water.  The only crewman to survive was AMM3/c Wallace who was able to bail out and use his parachute.  He was rescued from the water by a small surface craft.  


     U. S. Navy accident report #43-5979, dated February 13, 1943.

New Bedford, MA. – September 9, 1974

New Bedford, Massachusetts – September 9, 1974

     At 6: 50 p.m. on the evening of September 9, 1974, a lone pilot took off from New Bedford Municipal Airport in a single-engine Piper Cherokee, (#N4088W).  Just after take-off the aircraft lost power and crashed in a field off Church Street about a mile north of the airport.   The pilot was transported to Union Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The cause of the crash was blamed on engine failure.  


     (Providence) Evening Bulletin, “Pilot Killed In Crash”, September 10, 1974, page B-5.

     Westerly Sun, “Pilot Killed In Plane Accident”, September 10, 1974, page 12.

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