Wellfleet, MA. – July 18, 1943

Wellfleet, Massachusetts – July 18, 1943 


A U.S. Army RB-34
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On July 18, 1943, a twin-engine RB-34 “Target Tug”, (Ser. No. 41-38052), with four men aboard took off from Otis Field in Falmouth, Massachusetts, to participate in a tracking exercise with the anti-aircraft batteries at Camp Edwards.  The crew was part of the 1st Tow Target Squadron stationed at Otis. 

     At some point bad weather moved in and the crew found themselves surrounded by thick low-lying clouds, beginning at 1,500 feet and extending up to 10,000 feet.   The plane circled, with the pilot flying on instruments, trying to make radio contact with Otis, but the radio wasn’t working.  When the aircraft finally broke through the clouds it was very low on fuel, so the pilot decided to ditch in shallow water near the shore, and advised the crew to bail out, which they did.  One crewman landed in a tree, the other two came down in the water and were rescued by a Coast Guard boat. 

     Meanwhile, the pilot successfully let the plane down in Wellfleet Harbor, but was unable to extricate himself before it sank. 

     The pilot was identified as Flight Officer Clyde Rogers, (24), of Cleveland, Georgia. 


     The Falmouth Enterprise , “Camp Edwards” (News), July 23, 1943.   

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

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