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.

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