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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