Westerly, R.I. – August 17, 1966

Westerly, Rhode Island – August 17, 1966

     On August 17, 1966, a Cessna 206 took off from Black Island bound for Westerly Airport.  Aboard the aircraft was the 28-year-old pilot and a 30-year-old woman passenger from New York.  As the plane approached the shore of Westerly, the engine lost power, and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in the water about 1,600 yards off shore from Weekapaug Beach.  Both escaped the aircraft before it sank, and were rescued a few minutes later by the crew of a two-masted sailboat named Camelot.  A short time later they were transferred to a Coast Guard boat and ultimately transported to South County Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

     Source:  New London Day, “Plane Ditches In Ocean; Pilot, Passenger Saved”, August 18, 1966, page 6     

Westerly Airport – June 19, 1965

Westerly Airport – June 19, 1965

Westerly, Rhode Island

     On June 19, 1965, a small plane with two men aboard crashed while attempting an emergency landing at Westerly Airport.  Both men were killed.

     The dead were identified as (pilot) Robert White, 25, of Stratford, Ct., and Herman Stephens of Moosup, Ct.. 

     Witnesses said the planes engine could be heard “sputtering” on approach.  In May of 1966, the Civil Aeronautics Board released the finding of its investigation.  “An inspection revealed low compression of the No. 3 cylinder with appreciable leakage of the No. 3 intake valve…From the overall evidence it was concluded that a power failure did occur.”    

Source: Woonsocket Call, “Power Failure Blamed For RI Plane Crash”, May 9, 1966, Pg. 1  

Quonset Point NAS – April 6, 1945

Quonset Point Naval Air Station – April 6, 1945

North Kingstown, Rhode Island


U.S. Navy TBM Avengers  National Archives Photo

U.S. Navy TBM Avengers
National Archives Photo

     On April 6, 1945, two TBM Avengers assigned to Night Torpedo Squadron 55 at Quonset Point, were taking off at the same time for a night training mission when they collided at the intersection of runways 19 and 28. 

     Lt. Jg. John Frederick Kalb, 25, of West Helena, Arkansas, in aircraft #46123, was killed.

     Lt. Jg. W. F. Leeker in aircraft #16885, was seriously injured, but survived.  

     Night Torpedo Squadron 55 was commissioned at Quonset Point NAS on March 1, 1945.  The squadron’s first fatal accident occurred not long afterwards on March 9, 1945, when Lt. Jg. Harold Boren was killed when his plane crashed in Westerly, Rhode Island, during an instrument training flight. 

     For more information about Night Torpedo Squadron 55 see the website;  vtn55.org 


     North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #45-30 

     Night Torpedo Squadron 55 history        

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