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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