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

Wellfleet, MA. – August 7, 1959

Wellfleet, Massachusetts – August 7, 1959


Grumman S-2 Tracker
U. S. Navy Photo

     On August 7, 1959, a Grumman S-2F Tracker with three men aboard took off from the Quonset Point Naval Air station in Rhode Island to partake in a training exercise off the eastern shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  During the exercise, the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in the water.  Prior to doing so, the pilot gave the option to bail out, and Aviation Machinist’s Mate Chief Petty Officer Walter F. Palmer bailed out, but his parachute failed to open.  The pilot and co-pilot remained with the aircraft and rode it down to the water. 

     The airplane crashed about 100 feet off shore but the crew was able to extricate themselves before it sank, and swam to shore. 

     The aircraft and its crew were normally assigned to New Orleans, but were in New England for a two week training course at Quonset Point.  

     Chief Palmer’s remains were not recovered until August 31. 



     The Provincetown Advocate, “Coast Guard Look For Lost Flyer”, August 13, 1959

     The Provincetown Advocate, “Crash Victim Believed Found”, September 3, 1959


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