Charlestown, R.I. – February 16, 1944

Charlestown, Rhode Island – February 16, 1944


F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     On February 16, 1944, Ensign James G. Canning, 23, took off from Charlestown Auxiliary Naval Air Station in Charlestown, Rhode Island, for a training flight in an F6F-3 Hellcat, (Bu. No. 41235).  The purpose of the flight was to practice take-offs and landings. 

     At approximately 3:40 p.m., as Ensign Canning was making a runway approach, his aircraft suddenly lost power and fell into a lagoon to the south-west of the field.  The aircraft hit the water and flipped over, trapping Canning inside, and then sank to the bottom in five feet of water.  By the time help arrived, Ensign Canning had drowned.  

     At the time of his death Ensign Canning had been assigned to VF(n)-78.  He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  (see, Memorial #49163354)


     U.S. Navy Crash Report #44-11788


Bradley Field, CT. – August 4, 1944

Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut – August 4, 1944



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

     On August 4, 1944, a flight of four P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft took off from Bradley Field for a formation training flight.  Just after take off, one aircraft, a P-47D, (Ser. No. 42-22514), piloted by Lt. Sylvester F. Currier, began experiencing engine trouble.  After informing the flight leader of his situation Lt. Currier was ordered to return to Bradley Field.  As Currier was about 1.5 miles from the field black smoke began coming from the airplane’s exhaust.  The flight leader advised the lieutenant to land on the nearest runway as there was very little wind.  Unfortunately Lt. Currier’s aircraft didn’t make it to the runway, and crashed in a wooded area about a quarter of a mile from the end of Runway 6.  The engine and landing gear were torn away, and although Lt. Currier was strapped to his seat, the seat broke loose and the lieutenant was slammed against the instrument panel.  A small fire erupted, but was extinguished quickly by rescue crews.  The aircraft was a total wreck.    

     Lt. Currier was not seriously injured.  He’d received his pilot’s rating on April 15, 1944.


     U. S. Army Air Forces Aircraft Accident report #45-8-4-15    

Otis Air Force Base – July 10, 1951

Otis Air Force Base – July 10, 1951

Falmouth, Massachusetts


U.S.A.F. F-86 Fighter Jet

U.S.A.F. F-86 Fighter Jet

     On the morning of July 10, 1951, two F-86A Sabre Jets were scheduled for take off from Otis Air Force Base for a routine training flight.  The first jet took off without incident, but the second jet, (#49-1112), was only airborne for a moment or two when it fell back to the runway while traveling at an estimated 120 knots.  The pilot attempted to apply brakes, and skidded into a runway light, which blew the front tire of the aircraft, and tore away the landing gear.  The plane finally skidded to a stop and caught fire.  The pilot escaped with minor injuries.

     The pilot later told investigators that the engine was making a rising and falling noise just before the accident.

     Source: U.S. Air Force Crash Investigation Report, #51-7-10-1  

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