Norwalk, CT. – April 4, 1931

Norwalk, Connecticut – April 4, 1931

     On April 5, 1931, a Massachusetts man flew a bi-plane from Quincy, Massachusetts, to Norwalk, Connecticut, to visit his mother-in-law.  Once over Norwalk, he began doing stunts with the airplane, which attracted the attention of large numbers of people on the ground, and caused automobile traffic to slow or stop.  When he was finished, he landed at Baxter Baseball Park, and dozens flocked to see the airplane up close.  As the man was speaking with the crowd a police officer appeared, and after some discussion, the man was told to take his airplane to the Norwalk Airport.  The officer then cleared a path through the crowd so the plane could take off.  As the plane was leaving the ground its wheels clipped across the roofs of three parked cars causing it to crash.  The aircraft suffered significant damage, but the pilot wasn’t seriously injured. 

     No automobile occupants were injured, but owners of the damaged cars swore out writs of attachment against the airplane. The plane was owned by the Denison Airport in North Quincy, Mass. 

     The pilot was subsequently charged with reckless operation of an airplane.  It was reported that such a charge had not been invoked since a man had attempted to fly under the Naugatuck Bridge in 1927.  His mother-in-law posted his bond of $800, and he was allowed to return to Massachusetts.   


     The Waterbury Democrat, “Spectacular Flight Ended In Wreck At Norwalk And The Arrest Of The crazy Pilot”, April 6, 1931

Long Island Sound, CT – January 25, 1942

Long Island Sound, Connecticut – January 25, 1942


P-39 Aircobra - U.S. Air Force Photo

P-39 Aircobra – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the evening of January 25, 1942, 2nd Lt. Robert H. Wetherbee left La Guardia Airport in New York in a Bell YP-39 (Ser. No. 40-38) bound for Bridgeport, Connecticut, on a ferry mission.  While flying at an altitude over Long Island Sound the engine began to cut out.  The fuel pressure would vary from 5 to 8 pounds, and occasionally rise to 12 and 14 pounds.  Lt. Wetherbee worked the “wobble pump” in an effort to stabilize the fuel pressure, but found that the pressure would not remain steady.  Then the engine began running extremely rough before finally quitting altogether. As the aircraft dropped to 600 feet,  Lt. Wetherbee had no choice but to make a forced landing in the Sound just off the coast of Norwalk, Connecticut. 

     The accident investigation committee noted that the same aircraft had been grounded after its previous flight for a similar problem with the engine, and found no fault with Lt. Wetherbee.  

     Lt. Wetherbee received his pilot’s rating on October 31, 1941.   He was assigned to the 61st Pursuit Squadron as a Flight Commander.

     Source: U.S. Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #42-1-25-3





was flying making his way from

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