Wakefield, R.I.- October 1, 1951

Wakefield, Rhode Island – October 1, 1951

South Kingstown, R.I.


TBM-3E Avenger
U. S. Navy Photo

     On October 1, 1951, a flight of five navy TBM-3 Avenger aircraft took off from the Quonset Point Naval Air Station for a glide angle calibration exercise.  Once airborne, the planes proceeded to Warden’s Pond located in the town of Charlestown, a few miles southwest of Quonset.  After completion of the exercise, four of the aircraft formed up and began heading eastward towards Narragansett Bay, at an altitude of 1,900 feet.  The fifth plane, (Bu. No. 86246), was late in joining the formation, and trailed behind.    While attempting to catch up the engine began to run rough, so the pilot switched fuel tanks and activated the emergency fuel pump, but to no avail.  The pilot radioed the flight leader of his situation and that he was quickly loosing altitude. 

     At this point the flight was over the area of Wakefield, a village within the town of South Kingstown.  The pilot of 86246 saw a plowed field on a farm below and aimed for it.    He made a successful wheels up crash-landing  barely missing a farm house.  

     The aircraft was damaged beyond repair, but the lone pilot aboard climbed out unhurt.  There was no fire.  

     The aircraft was assigned to VS-943

     Source: U. S. navy accident report dated October 1, 1951.

South Kingstown, R. I. – March 13, 1943

South Kingstown, Rhode Island – March 13, 1943


U.S. Navy SBD Dauntless
U.S. Navy Photo.

     On March 13, 1943, Ensign Charles W. Bradley, 22, was piloting a Douglas SBD-4 aircraft, (Bu. No. 01526), taking part in a gunnery practice training flight over southern Rhode Island.  The weather was clear, with a cloud ceiling at 5,00 feet, and visibility six miles. 

     After completing a gunnery run at 3,000 feet, the aircraft was observed to turn over and enter a vertical dive from which it did not recover.  Both Ensign Bradley and his gunner, ARM2/c Pat D. McDonough, 22, were killed. 

     Both men were assigned to squadron VB-23.


     U. S. Navy accident report #43-6221, dated March 3, 1943.   

South Kingstown, R.I. – May 28, 1984

South Kingstown, Rhode Island – May 28, 1984

     On the morning of May 28, 1984, a Cessna 190 with a pilot and woman passenger aboard left Martha’s Vineyard bound for Ansonia, Connecticut. While passing over southern Rhode Island they ran into poor weather and the pilot decided to land until it passed.  He was familiar with the area, and knew of a small private air strip on Green Hill, off Schoolhouse Road, in South Kingston.  The airstrip was primarily used by the owner for take-offs and landing his ultralight aircraft. 

     The pilot of the Cessna attempted to land but aborted the first two passes.  While attempting his third, the airplane overshot the runway and crashed nose-first into a swamp.  A witness to the accident was the first to reach the downed aircraft which was imbedded in soft marshy material, and discovered that both the pilot and his passenger were not injured.  

     The aircraft suffered significant damage.    


     Providence Evening Bulletin, “2 Escape Injury As Plane Misses Strip, Crashes”, May 30, 1984, page A-5 

     The Narragansett Times, ” Passengers, Pilot Unharmed When Plane Dips Into Swamp”, May 31, 1984, page 3

South Kingstown, RI – July 1, 1941

South Kingstown, Rhode Island – July 1, 1941 

Matunuck Beach

     At about 11:30 a.m., on July 1, 1941, a small airplane with a man and a woman aboard left Newport Airport bound for New York City.  The woman was Miss Eleanor Young, 23, and her companion was Nicholas S. Embirieos, 31.   Both were known in society circles.

     As the plane flew across Narragansett Bay it encountered fog conditions.  Embirieos, who was at the controls, circled the area of Matunuck Beach several times before the aircraft suddenly crashed into the water just off shore of Matunuck Beach, a popular swimming area in South Kingstown R.I.  Both occupants were pulled from the wreck by lifeguards, George Gilson, and David Smith, but died of their injuries. 

     A photograph of part of the plane wreckage can be found on page 53 of the book, “Images Of America – South Shore Rhode Island”, by Betty J. Cotter, 1999.


     New York Times, “Eleanor Young Dies In Air Crash; Was One Of First Glamor Girls”, July 2, 1941

    The Daily Times, “Socialite, Friend Killed In Plane”, July 2, 1941

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