East Greenwich, R. I. – May 16, 1944

East Greenwich, Rhode Island – May 16, 1944 

Near the Exeter town line, off Shippey Road

Updated December 8, 2018


F6F Hellcat U.S. Navy Photo

F6F Hellcat
U.S. Navy Photo

     At 10:50 a.m. on the morning of May 16, 1944, Lt. Cmdr. David Wooster Taylor, Jr., 32, took off from Quonset Point Naval Air Station in a F6F-3 Hellcat (Bu. No. 41944) for a routine training mission.  Fifteen minutes later his aircraft was observed by witnesses on the ground to be at about 3,000 feet and flying level when it suddenly went onto a spinning dive from which it did not recover.  Lt. Cmdr. Taylor was killed when his aircraft crashed and burned at the Sunset Valley Reservation in East Greenwich.  The cause of the crash was not stated in newspapers.

     Due to the complete destruction of the aircraft investigators were not able to determine an exact cause for the accident.   

     Lt. Cmdr. Taylor was reportedly survived by his wife Virginia, and two young children, Jean, 4, and David, 3.

     A housing development now stands on the site where this accident took place.

     Lt. Cmdr. Taylor was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) for his part in an attack against enemy shipping off Bodo, Norway, on October 4, 1943.   

     To learn more about Lt. Cmdr. Taylor, and to see a photo of him, go to https://usnamemorialhall.org/index.php/DAVID_W._TAYLOR,_JR.,_LCDR,_USN


Woonsocket Call, “Lt. Cmdr. D. W. Taylor Killed In Plane Crash”, May 17, 1944, Pg. 1

North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records

The Standard, “Quonset Pilot Falls To Death”, May 18, 1944

U. S. Navy Crash report, #44-14197


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