West Greenwich, R.I. – July 23, 1979

West Greenwich, Rhode Island – July 23, 1979  

     On July 23, 1979, a 26-year-old pilot, and his 60-year-old female passenger, took off from Richmond, Rhode Island, bound for Westerly,  R.I., to refuel the airplane as there were no fuel facilities at Richmond Airport.   While passing over the town of West Greenwich, R.I., the aircraft crash-landed on an unused portion of St. Joseph’s Cemetery.  After striking an open area of the cemetery, the plane bounded into some trees about 100 yards from the chapel, and 30 yards from Nooseneck Hill Rd., a.k.a., Route 3.   

     Both the pilot and his passenger suffered serious injuries, and the aircraft was heavily damaged.  The aircraft came to rest upside down with its tail up against a tree, and with one of its wings sheared off.

      West Greenwich’s chief of police was quoted as saying, “That plane is really a mess.  They’re lucky to be alive.”    

    It was further reported that the pilot had obtained his flying license the week before the accident. 

     The aircraft was described as a 1973 single-engine Grumman AA1B.  


     Westerly Sun, “Couple In plane Crash ‘Lucky To Be Alive'”, July 24, 1979, page 9.

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Airplane Pilot Likely Was Lost And Out Of Fuel”, July 24, 1979, page A8, (With 2 photos of the crash.)

     Providence Journal, “2 Hurt As Plane falls Near Rt. 3”, July 24, 1979, page 1.

West Greenwich, R.I. – April 24, 1946

West Greenwich, Rhode Island – April 24, 1946 

     On April 24, 1946, two navy F4U Corsairs on a training flight out of Quonset Point NAS were involved in a mid-air collision over West Greenwich.  Moments later, the pilot of one plane bailed out.  His Corsair, (81416), came down onto a house and exploded, killing a mother and her 2-year-old son.   

     Despite a damaged wing, the pilot of the other Corsair, (81312), managed to make it back to the Quonset Naval Air Station. 

     Both planes were assigned to VBF-82.

     The dead were identified as Mrs. Eva Parenteau, 30, and her son Raymond.   Mrs. Parenteau’s other two children, Phillip, 9, and Joseph, 8, were playing in a nearby yard at the time and weren’t injured.   

Source: Woonsocket Call, “Mother, Baby Killed, Plane Crash Probed”, April 25, 1946, Pg. 1 

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