Westport, MA. – September 20, 1945

Westport, Massachusetts – September 20, 1945      

SNJ Trainer Aircraft
U. S. Navy Photo

     On September 20, 1945, a flight of eight U. S. Navy SNJ trainer aircraft left Buffalo, New York, for a routine ferry flight to the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Field in Charlestown, Rhode Island.  As the flight neared Rhode Island it encountered bad weather and once over Charlestown found themselves above the cloud cover. 

     The flight circled the area for about 20 minutes, after which one of the section leaders radioed that he was low on fuel and requested a vector to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in North Kingstown, R.I.  After receiving the information, the section leader set course for Quonset, and the two other planes of his section followed.  Unfortunately they discovered that the vector information was incorrect, and when they broke through the clouds they found themselves over the town of Westport, Massachusetts.   

     At this point all three planes were low on fuel, and due to the bad weather, and the uncertainty of locating the Quonset NAS, the section leader decided to make a wheels up landing on Horse Neck Beach.  The other two pilots did the same, and although the aircraft were damaged, none of the pilots were injured.

     The aircraft involved had Bu. Numbers of 91065, 91066, and 43890.  Aircraft 91005 was not repairable, for although there was only slight damage to the fuselage, the tide came in before salvage crews could reach the scene and the plane was submerged causing salt water damage to the engine and electronics.   


     U. S. Navy Accident Report dated September 20, 1945.  

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