Scituate, R. I. – October 30, 1942

Scituate, Rhode Island – October 30, 1942 


Curtiss P-40
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the afternoon of October 30, 1942, two U. S. Army P-40E Warhawks took off from Hillsgrove Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, for what was to be a routine training flight.  Both aircraft were assigned to the 317th Fighter Squadron at Hillsgrove.

     Both aircraft headed northeast towards the rural town of Scituate, where they began to engage in a mock “dog fight”.  At one point during the exercise, aircraft #41-36495 was trailing aircraft #40-498 in a left turn climb, when the first aircraft stalled.  When the second tried to break away to the right its wing struck the other planes fuselage.  The pilot of the second aircraft was forced to bail out.  As his plane crashed in a wooded area off Huntinghouse Road, the pilot landed safely. 

     Meanwhile, the other P-40, (41-36495) made it safely back to Hillsgrove.

     The accident was witnessed by a plane spotter in a fire tower in Scituate, who immediately called in the alarm.


     U. S. Army crash investigation report #43-10-30-6

     Woonsocket Call, “Mystery Shrouds Plane Crash Fire”, October 31, 1942   

     Pawtucket Times, “Two Army Planes Collide Over R. I.”, October 31, 1942, page 8. 

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