Off Scituate, MA. – February 6, 1940

Off Scituate, Massachusetts – February 6, 1940 

     On February 6, 1940, an army BT-9 trainer aircraft, (Ser. No. 38-251), with two men aboard, took off from Hyannis, Massachusetts, bound for Boston.  As the plane was making its way to Boston ice began to quickly form on the wings.  As the plane was passing off the coast of Scituate, Massachusetts, the pilot was forced to make an emergency water landing about a half-mile from shore.  Both the pilot, Lt. Arthur Tappan, (27), and his mechanic, William Andrews, 23, escaped before the plane sank in 50 feet of water.  Both men swam to a nearby rock and were rescued by a Coast Guard boat.   Neither had suffered any serious injury. 


     Record-Journal, “Army Plane Forced Down In Bay, Occupants Rescued”, February 7, 1940, pg.9.   (Article submitted by Eric Wiberg, author and historian.)   

Scituate, MA. – August 27, 1967

Scituate, Massachusetts – August 27, 1967 

     On the evening of August 27, 1967, a Provincetown-Boston Airways twin-engine Lockheed Electra took off from Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, bound for Boston – a trip of about forty miles.  There was a pilot and thirteen passengers aboard.  While in-route the right engine began to malfunction, and the aircraft began to lose altitude.  The pilot made repeated attempts to gain altitude, but was unsuccessful, and was forced to make an emergency water landing about 200 yards off the shore of Humarock Beach in Scituate, Massachusetts.    

     The landing was smooth, and there was no panic aboard the aircraft, which remained afloat for about eight minutes before sinking.  Nearby pleasure boats raced to the scene to assist survivors.  Five passengers who couldn’t swim were rescued from the wing of the airplane.  Five others were rescued from the water, and four others swam to shore on their own.   There were no fatalities, and only one passenger required medical treatment.


     New London Day, “All 14 Aboard Are Safe After Plane Is Ditched”, August 28, 1967 

     The Provincetown Advocate, “PBA Pilot Praised In Crash Landing”, August 31, 1967

Off Scituate, MA – August 28, 1934

Off Scituate Massachusetts – August 28, 1934 

     Updated January 16, 2021

     At 7: 30 a.m. on the morning of August 28, 1934, First Lieutenant Maurice J. Connell, of the U.S. Army Reserve, left Marston Mills Airport in Barnstable flying an O1-E army bi-plane.  He was headed for Boston where he was to take on a photographer for an aerial photo mission.  As he neared the city he encountered heavy fog conditions and found himself over the town of Scituate which is to the south of Boston.  He tried to land three times: once on a golf course, again on a plowed field, and a third time on a sand bar, but for reasons not stated in the press, was unsuccessful. 

     After his third attempt his plane made a loud noise as if an explosion had occurred, although it could have been the engine backfiring.  The sound was heard by navy personnel stationed at the Fourth Cliff radio station, and immediately afterwards the roar of the plane’s motor stopped.  At the time Connell’s aircraft was over the water off Scituate, about 200 yards off shore. 

     The Coast Guard was notified and a search was begun.   Wreckage of the aircraft, along with the pilot’s log book were recovered, however, Lt. Connell’s body was not.      

     1st Lt. Connell was highly regarded by his peers.  He graduated from the School of Aeronautics at Princeton University on July 13, 1918, and from the Army Primary School at Souther Field, Americus, Georgia, November 6, 1918.  He served in World War I and was honorably discharged in 1919.  He later joined the Reserve Corps, and had a total of 15 years service in the Army Air Corps and Reserve.   


New York Times, “Flier Falls In Sea Off Scituate In Fog”, August 29, 1934

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