Woodbridge, CT. – May 9, 1926

Woodbridge, Connecticut – May 9, 1926

     On May 9, 1926, two men took off from Mineola, Long Island, N.Y., in a small airplane bound for New Hampshire.  (The type or make of the airplane was not reported.) As the plane was passing over Connecticut it began loosing fuel pressure.  As the pilot was attempting to make an emergency landing the engine lost all power and the plane crashed into a copse of large trees in Woodbridge.  The plane broke through the trees and the nose came to rest on the ground.   The plane’s fuselage was heavily damaged, but neither of the occupants were injured. 

     The men initially refused to identify themselves fearing “undesirable publicity”, but their identities were subsequently learned.  The pilot was a “professional” aviator from New York, and the passenger was a recent graduate of the U. S. Army’s aviation school.   


     New Britain Herald, “Airplane Is Wrecked In Landing In New Haven”, May 10, 1926, pg. 13



Woodbridge, CT – July 23, 1938

Woodbridge, Connecticut – July 23, 1938

Updated Aug. 10, 2015


     On July 23, 1938, a U. S. Navy Douglas dive bomber attached to Torpedo Squadron 5 aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown, left Norfolk, Virginia, for a flight to Squantum, Massachusetts Naval Air Station.  At 2:25 p.m. the aircraft crashed in heavy rain on the farm of Chester H. Carpenter in Woodbridge, Connecticut. 

     The impact drove the nose of the plane eight feet into the ground, and wreckage was strewn about a wide area.  All three servicemen aboard were killed instantly.

     The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) Lieutenant James F. McDonough of Boston, Massachusetts. 

     Lieut. (j.g.) William J. Drumtra of Gloucester, Massachusetts.  

     Aviation Cadet John Richard Patch of Ipswitch, Massachusetts.

     A toy tricycle was found in the wreckage which McDonough was apparently bringing home to his child. 


     New York Times, “Three Navy Fliers Killed In Plunge”, July 24, 1938 

     New York Times, “Inquiry On Bomber Crash”, July 25, 1938

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