Otis Air Field – September 19, 1945

Otis Air Field – September 19, 1945


SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     On September 19, 1945, a pilot was making practice carrier landings at Otis Field when the Curtiss Helldiver aircraft he was piloting crash-landed during one of the landings.  The aircraft, (Bu. No. 60177), was damaged, but the pilot was not injured. 

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated September 19, 1945.   

Otis Field – November 1, 1948

Otis Field – November 1, 1948


TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On November 1, 1948, a navy TBM-3E Avenger, (Bu. No. 85811), was making practice touch-and-go landings when the landing gear collapsed and the aircraft skidded for 225 feet on its belly.  Although the aircraft sustained damage, there were no injuries.   

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated November 1, 1948

Otis Air Field, MA. – April 19, 1946

Otis Air Field, Massachusetts – April 19, 1946


TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On April 19, 1946, a flight of five navy TBM Avengers belonging to VT-82 were taking part in a practice carrier landing and take-off exercise at Otis Air Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  After making several successful landings and take offs, one aircraft, (Bu. No. 85682), had its landing gear collapse upon touchdown.  The aircraft then skidded on its belly for 125 yards before coming to rest.  The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft suffered significant damage. 

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated April 19, 1946


Otis Field – April 23, 1946

Otis Field, Massachusetts – April 23, 1946


SB2C Helldiver
U.S. Navy Photo

     At 4:36 p.m., on the afternoon of April 23, 1946, a navy SB2C Helldiver, (Bu. No. 85265), was coming in to land at Otis Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts, when the aircraft stalled on approach and crashed, ending up on its back and bursting into flames.  The pilot was rescued, but suffered severe burns and a lacerated scalp.   

     The pilot had come from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island and was assigned to Fighter Bomber Squadron 18, (VB-18).

     There was nobody else aboard the aircraft at the time of the accident.

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated April 23, 1946.   

Otis AFB – June 5, 1947

Otis Air Force Base – June 5, 1947

     On June 5, 1947, Ensign Orin William Ross, (24), was piloting a navy dive bomber making practice landings and take offs at Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  While making a practice landing, the aircraft suddenly stalled and crashed onto the runway and exploded, killing Ensign Ross.  Ensign Ross was assigned to Carrier Squadron VA-17A stationed at Quonset Naval Air station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. 

     The exact type of aircraft was not stated.

     Ensign Ross is buried in Bristow cemetery in Bristow, Oklahoma.  To see a photo of his grave go to www.findagrave.com, #25974219.

     Source: Cape Cod Standard Times, “Flyer Killed At Otis Field”, June 6, 1947, page 1

Sandwich, MA – August 11, 1951

Sandwich, Massachusetts – August 11, 1951 

     On August 11, 1951, Captain Frank C. Newell, 28, of Linden, N.J., was killed when his F-86 Sabre Jet crashed at Scorton Neck in Sandwich.  Newell was a veteran of WWII and Korea, and flew 182 combat missions during his career.  He was survived by his wife and one child.


Falmouth Enterprise, “Otis Pilot Killed” August 17, 1951

New York Times, “Third Pilot Loses His Life In Massachusetts” , August 12, 1951 

Boston, MA – January 23, 1958

Boston, Massachusetts – January 23, 1958 


T-33 Trainer Jet U.S. Air Force Photo

T-33 Trainer Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On January 23, 1958, two Air Force jets collided in mid-air 22,000 feet over Boston.  One was an F-94 Starfire out of Otis AFB, the other a T-33 out of Stewart AFB in Newburgh, New York.  Both were on routine training flights.

     The crew of the F-94 consisted of 1st Lt. Joseph G. Izzea, 23, and 1st Lt. John P. Horan, 21.  Both were killed either in the collision, or when their flaming jet crashed behind a home in Arlington, Massachusetts.  Witnesses felt Izzea may have been aiming for the Arlington Reservoir. 




F-94 Starfire U.S. Air Force Photo

F-94 Starfire
U.S. Air Force Photo

     The crew of the T-33, consisted of Captain William D. Bridges, 33, and Lt. Harold Woldmoe, 30.  Both got out safely, although Woldmoe said his ejection seat failed, and he got out as the plane was falling end-over-end.  Bridges came down in the icy waters of Quincy Bay about 15 miles away and was rescued by a helicopter twenty minutes later.  Woldmoe landed in the railroad freight yards near Boston’s South Station.  Both were treated at area hospitals.     


Falmouth Enterprise, “Two Otis Fliers Die As Jets Crash Above City”, January 24, 1958.

(Troy, N.Y.) Times Record, “Two Airmen Killed As Planes Crash”, January 24, 1958

New York Times, “Jets Collide, Two Die”, January 24, 1958

Off Nantucket – April 25, 1967

Off Nantucket – April 25, 1967

     At 6:30 p.m. on April 25, 1967, a “radar picket plane” with sixteen men aboard took off from Otis Air Force Base for patrol duty over the Atlantic.  “A half hour later,” it was reported, “eye witnesses heard the plane roaring over their homes at Madaket on the western end of Nantucket.”   

     The plane crashed into the sea off the western end of the island.  A commercial pilot flying in the area saw the plane go down, and said the Air Force pilot had made a deliberate effort to avoid crashing in the center of town.      

     The plane was piloted by Col. James P. Lyle Jr., 47, commander of the 551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing based at Otis.

     Of the sixteen men aboard, there was only one survivor: the navigator, Lieut. Joseph H. Guenet, 29, of Montreal.

     To learn more about this accident click here: http://www.dean-boys.com/extras/lost/ac549.htm

     This was the second radar plane out of Otis to be lost within two years.  The other went down in July, 1965, with sixteen lives lost.   


New York Times, “Plane with 16 Crashes Off Coast”, April 26, 1967

New York Times, “Air Force Seeks Survivors Of Crash Off Nantucket”, April 27, 1967

New York Times, “Hope Gone For 13 On Plane”, April 28, 1967

Otis Air Force Base – May 25, 1958

Otis Air Force Base – May 25, 1958


EC-121 Super Constellation U.S. Air Force Photo

EC-121 Super Constellation
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On May 25, 1958, an Air Force RC121 Super Constellation radar aircraft was destroyed by a series of explosions while sitting at Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  The crew of fourteen managed to escape with only minor injuries. 

     The plane was valued at $2,225,000. 

     The cause of the explosions was not apparent. 

     Source: New York Times, “Plane Explodes At Base”, May 26, 1958  


Off Sandwich, MA – June 24, 1956

Off Sandwich, Massachusetts – June 24, 1956


F-94 Fighter Jet U.S. Air Force Photo

F-94 Fighter Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the evening of June 24, 1956, a flight of three F-94 Starifre jets left Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, en-route to Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  When they arrived at Otis they encountered poor weather conditions, and Otis tower held off their landing.  As the F-94’s circled in a three-jet formation, two of the jets ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea. 

     The pilot and radar observer of one jet were rescued after they bailed out over the ocean.  The pilot of the second plane was not recovered.  (His aircraft did not have a radar observer aboard.)      

     A Coast Guard helicopter out of Boston taking part in the search and rescue operations crashed in Boston Harbor where it encountered thick fog upon its return.  Two crewmen were rescued, a third was lost.

     No names were listed in the source article.

     Source: New York Times, “Two Jet Planes Crash”, June 25, 1956  

From Otis Air Force Base – August 7, 1951

From Otis Air Force Base – August 7, 1951


T-33 Trainer Jet U.S. Air Force Photo

T-33 Trainer Jet
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On August 7, 1951, a T-33 trainer jet with two men aboard left Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts, for a training flight to Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York.  The pilot was Major C. H. Imschweiler, 34, of Schuylkill, Penn. The second man was Lieutenant John A. Carver Jr., 30, of Ann Arbor, Michigan.   

     When the plane reached Griffiss, they encountered bad weather, and made two unsuccessful attempts to land.  By this time the T-33 was low on fuel, and rather than risk another attempt at landing, the crew was advised to fly north and bail out of the plane.  At 6:03 p.m. Imschweiler radioed Griffiss that they were bailing out.  Nothing more was heard of the plane, and large-scale search and rescue operation was begun. 

     It took five days to locate the downed aircraft .  The crew was found to be still inside the wreck. 


Geneva Daily Times, “City CAP Joins Search For Missing Jet Pilots” August 10, 1951, Pg. 7

New York Times, “2 Missing Fliers Hunted”, August 11, 1951

New York Times, “2 Lost Jet Airmen Are Dead In Wreck”, August 12, 1951




Chatham, MA – July 11, 1949

Chatham, Massachusetts – July 11, 1949


Republic F-84C - U.S. Air Force Photo

Republic F-84C – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On July 12, 1949, 2nd Lt. William M. King, 25, of Kenmore, N.Y., was piloting an F-84 Thunderjet (Ser. No. 47-1475) on a gunnery practice mission over Cape Cod, Massachusetts, when he crashed on Monomy Point in the town of Chatham and was killed.   

     King was assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing at Otis Air Force Base.

     Source: New York Times, “Pilot Killed In Jet Crash”, July 12, 1949   

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