MISHAPs: 02 FEB 38 A/C: PBY-2 Location: Point Loma, San Diego, California Strike: Yes BUNO: 0462 and BUNO: 0463 CAUSE: Tactical Exercise Flight Mid-Air Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [30MAR98]
"...I ran across this account in my family letters. It is a large family, each of whom contributed a monthly letter to the round robin..." Contributed by Tom Harper email@example.com [20OCT2015]
My father, AMM1C Tom A. Harper, was a crew member in BUNO: 0455 LT Lewis Pilot, during that operation. The attachment is quoted from his April 1938 letter. I hope his description will be of interest. Also, in his log book there is reference to: "Bad crash at night #2 plane flew into #10 plane 14 deaths. I was not involved." That entry is for a 10 hour flight in 0455 on 16 Dec 1937.
11 Feb 1938
Our maneuvers were marred by a terrible disaster-two of our planes, 11-P-3 and 11-P-4 flew together at night and crashed, killing eleven of my Shipmates that I have worked with every day for almost two years. I'll tell my idea of how the disaster occurred:
We were flying a fairly close twelve-plane formation dropping parachute flares on the battle ships, a low altitude night bombing attack. Starting to drop our flares, we ran into a bit of black cloud causing very poor visibility for quite a distance.The rest of us in the formation could see the gasoline burning on the water and knew there was a crash, but didn't know who it was. Then the call came from CDR Pope in 11-P-1 for all planes to report their call and they started in. 11-P-2 reports O.K. Silence. We were all listening in on the voice set and could hear CDR saying, "Answer Number Three, Answer Number Three." Only silence., then came, "Report Number Four, Report Number Four," only silence. That was the first we knew there were two planes in trouble. The rest reported in order.
Number Three must have come up under Number Four, and when they hit, the collision tore holes in Number Three's gas tanks causing it to catch fire and dive into the ocean a flaming coffin for seven men. Number Four's tail was probably damaged or torn off, causing it to get out of control and spin some three thousand feet into the water.
Soon after this we were still circling the fleet when we ran into a spot of disturbed air. Number one went into a spin at five thousand feet and was out of control at eight hundred feet, miraculously being straightened out just short of death for seven more men. We were all in a bit of trouble but made it out all right.
In the meantime the ships put out life boats and picked up four survivors from 11-P-4 who were injured, one with a fractured leg, one with both legs fractured, one a fractured arm but still suffering from shock, the last one fatally injured. He died soon after on the hospital ship, USS Relief (AH-1).
We got in about 11:30 P.M., and I'll say for myself the beach looked good to me. I came home to tell Pat because the Navy is slow about giving out names after crashes and I wanted to see her before she read the newspaper. I went back and was in the air before day-light the next morning, also all of the following day.
The name of the pilot was in last year's book of Harper Family Letters-"Lieutenant Cooper". He was my pilot on the long hop to Honolulu and I am sure I listed the crew's names in my letter last spring.
There was considerable dissention here toward the "Brains" because we were ordered out in such bad weather. The morning of the crash we took off in heavy rain-zero visibility-storm warnings hanging from all government buildings and airports. The crews take it more or less as fate. It seems to me an aviator is similar to a bank robber. He bets his life against a thrill and a little extra money.
"...I noticed that the VP-11 mishaps area lists the above two aircraft being lost in an unknown location. The two planes were involved in a mid-air collision with each other during the night of February 2-3, 1938, while involved in a night fleet training operation about twenty miles off Point Loma, San Diego, California. The pilot of one of the planes, LT Carlton Hutchins, was awarded the Medal of Honor, as noted in the VP-11 History Summary Page. However, while he was flying BUNO: 0463, the aircraft was not 11-P-3. Independent research of Consolidated records indicates that BUNO: 0463 was 11-P-4 while BUNO: 0642 was 11-P-3...." Contributed by Mark Aldrich firstname.lastname@example.org [07JUL2001]
"...BUNO: 0462: PILOT LT E. G. Cooper (Killed), AVCAD E. J. Koch (Killed), ACMM2 J. E. Walton (Killed), ACMM M. J. Fitzmaurice (Killed), RM2 J. Rawles (Killed), AMM1 G. G. Griffin (Killed) and AMM2 W. P. Vandgrebe (Killed)..." Contributed by Terry email@example.com [22OCT2000]
"...BUNO: 0463: PILOT LT C. B. Hutchins (Killed), ACMM M. W. Woodruff (Killed), ACMM V. O. Hatfield (Seriously Injured), ACMM D. B. McKay (Seriously Injured), RM1 J. H. Hestor (Killed), AMM1 J. G. Niedzwiecki (Killed) and AMM2 L. S. Carpenter (Seriously Injured)..." Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [22OCT2000]
MISHAPs: 16 DEC 41 A/C: PBY-1 Location: PEARL HARBOR Strike: Yes BUNO: 2426 CAUSE: Crashed at sea. Contributed by Terry email@example.com [16JUN2001]
Contributed by Colin K. Perry firstname.lastname@example.org - A Director - Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society http://hiavps.com/ [29OCT2005]
MISHAPs: 07 DEC 41 A/C: PBY-1 Location: PEARL HARBOR Strike: Yes BUNO: 2420, 2421, 2423, 2429, 2430, 2431 CAUSE: DESTROYED BY FIRE & BOMBS Contributed by Terry email@example.com [30MAR98]
MISHAPs: 12 JAN 42 A/C: PBY-5 Location: HI KANEOHE BAY Strike: Yes BUNO: 2432 Cause: Cause: Crashed due to faulty night landing. The contributory cause is believed to be topography of the Kaneohe Bay area which is such not as to permit a normal landing approach. Strike recommended. Crew: Pilot: LCDR Francis R. Jones (bruises & abrasions), Co-Pilot: ACMM Hoyt Holbrook (NAP) (PA), (multiple lacerations, compound fracture elbow), Ens Robert J. Waters, AV-N USNR (fatal), RM1c Adolph H. Johnson, USN (fatal), Sea1c Norman D. Baldridge (fatal), and Four other passengers uninjured. Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [Updated 24NOV2002 | 03JAN2001]
MISHAPs: 05 APR 42 A/C: PBY-5 Location: HI KANEOHE BAY Strike: Yes BUNO: 2487 Cause: Extremely bad weather.
According to the Mishap Report: Pilot let down to the Southeast of Oahu, in darkness and squally weather under instrument conditions, turned northwest and approached Makapuu light in the belief that it was Barber's Point Light. He then apparently attempted to circle what he erroneously thought was Barber's Point Light at low altitude, and crashed into the hillside in normal flight about 200 yards south of Wakapuu light. Besides darkness and low visibility, pilot fatigue was undoubtedly a contributory cause of the crash. Pilot and crew were on their second flight for the day and had been in the air a total of 12.3 hours.
Crew included: ENS William H. Howe, ENS George L. Doll, AMM1 Orren A. Roberts, AMM3 Joseph H. Hayman, ARM2 Jack Parish, AMM2 Billy B. Herrin, AM3 Delbert G. Berchot, RM3 Charles L. Andrews and SEA1 William F. Allen.
Further information (Memorial, Crash Site, Report and Diary) can be found on: Crew Memorial of PBY-5A BuNo 2487 at Makapu'u Shore Side Park http://hiavps.com/pby5a_buno_2487.htm.
MISHAPs: 26 MAY 42 A/C: PBY-5 Location: NAS Johnson Island Strike: Yes BUNO: 2453 Cause: Lt(jg).Ricketts was handling all controls. He made a normal power landing and immediately applied throttle for take-off. At a speed of about fifty knots the plane swerved to the left and then continued into a violent waterloop in this direction. The hull of the plane was broken open and partially severed at the navigator's compartment. The plane sank immediately, but personnel were able to escape. Damage:"Strike" Crew: Pilot Lt(jg). Max V. Ricketts/Seriously inj, Ens. William B. Krause/Seriously inj, Amm2c. D .L. Heffelfiner/Minor inj, Aom2c. D. A. Robertson/Minor inj, Sea1c. J. L. Pittman/Minor inj, Amm3c. K. H. Johnson/Slightly inj, Sgt. D. T. Rowe Usmc/Slightly inj, and Cpl.J. F. Rooney Usmc/Slightly inj. Contributed by Terry email@example.com [22JUN2001]
MISHAPs: 31 MAY 43 A/C: PBY-5 Location: Luthala Bay, Suva, Fiji Strike: Yes BUNO: O8328 Cause: From Administrative Report: In an attempt to secure the morring pendant of PBY-5 to the pendant of the mooring bouy, this man jumped from the plane to the bouy and was struck by the port propellor which was still turning over after the engine had been cut. Man was knocked into water and drowned before he could be recovered. No damage to airplane. Pilot Lt(jg).Wesley N. Nan Benschotten/Ok and Aom2c. Theodore Robin Wasson/killed. Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [23JUL2001]
MISHAPs: 03 APR 44 A/C: PBY-5 Location: ATL Strike: Yes BUNO: O8339 Cause: F/L, SANK UNDER TOW Contributed by Terry email@example.com [16MAR98]
"...When approximatley 350-miles from land on return leg, the port engines developed a severe oil leak. With 25-gallons of oil remaining, pilot feathered propellor and stopped engine. Aircraft could not maintain altitude with out overheating he starboard engine. This condition still prevailed after jettisoning all loose gear. With 325-gallons of gas remaining was also jettisoned after which lebel flight was maintained. With little fuel remaining and 89-miles from land, a night landing was made at sea at about 2005 with no damage to aircraft or personnel. Twenty-four hours later, aircraft was damaged and sunk during salvage operations. "Total Loss" Crew and passengers Ok. Pilot Lt(jg) Donald L. Hand USN, Lt(jg) Kenneth L. Coleman (co-pilot), Lt William A. Mason, Ens Franklin E. Walker, Amm2c J. D. McColgan, Amm2c J. R. Strouse, Rm2c R. E. Gunn, Rm2c R. E. Deneese, Aom2c B. K. Jernigan, Aom2c R. E. Lynch, L.A.C:W. C. T. Markham RAAF, and L.A.C:M. G. M. Cartledge RAAF..." Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [06JAN2001]
MISHAPs: 13 AUG 44 A/C: PBY-5 Location: South-West-Pacific Strike: Yes BUNO: 08331 Cause: Failed to return from a search mission. Crew missing: Pilot.Lt.Thomas H. Ragsdale A-V(N), Lt.Harold Andrew Flood A-V(N), and two additional crew members. Contributed by Terry email@example.com [12AUG2001]
MISHAPs: 05 APR 52 A/C: PBY-5 Location: Makapuu Point, Oahu, Hi Strike: Yes BUNO: 2487 Cause: Crashed and burned. Cause, extremely bad weather. Pilot let down to the southeast of Oahu, in darkness and squally weather under instruments conditions. turned northwest and approached Makapuu Light in belief that it was Barbers Point Light, at low altitude and crashed into hillside 200yds south of Makapuu Light. Pilot and crew were on there second flight for the day and had been in the air a total of 12.3hrs. Crew killed: Pilot ENS William H. Howe, ENS George L. Doll, AMM1 Orren A. Roberts (NAP), AMM3 Joseph H. Hauman, AMM2 Billy B. Herrin, AMM2 Jack Parrish, AMM3 Delbert G. Berchot, RM3 Charles L. Andrew, and SEA1 William F. Allen. Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [19JUN2001]
MISHAPs: 05 JAN 52 A/C: P2V-2 Location: USAFB Burtonwood, England Strike: Yes Deaths: 1/killed, 8/serious, 3/ok BUNO: 122443 Cause: Undershot during hot landing, crshed into USAF C-47 during bad weather Contributed by Terry email@example.com [03APR98]
MISHAPs: Summer 54 A/C: P2V-5 LOCATION: Bermuda Harbor TYPE: Unknown STRIKE: Yes "...I would like to add that in the summer of 1954, a VP-11 P2V-5 crashed in Bermuda Harbor. We were on a deployment to Veaqes P.R. and returning to NAS Brunswick, Maine when it went down. I don't recall any names except Lockwood who was the Plane Captain who did not survive. This was the only plane that we lost when I was in VP-11. I was a plank owner in March of 1952 when the squadron was reactivated. I separated to civilian life in July 1955...." Contributed by John J. Hasbrouck firstname.lastname@example.org [06JAN2000]
MISHAPs: 00 XXX 59 A/C: P2V-7 LOCATION: NAS Brunswick, Maine TYPE: Unknown STRIKE: No DEATHS: 01 BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Propeller went into snowbank and a blade was severed, went into fuselage and killed the radioman Contributed by ADC Ron McLaughlin USN (Ret.) via CWO3 Chris Stockner, USNR email@example.com [13OCT98]
MISHAPs: 05 JAN 61 A/C: P2V-5 Location: NAS Brunswick, Maine Strike: Yes Deaths: 01 BUNO: 131460 Cause: Forced landing due to eng failure, off RW, prop hit snowbank, piece hit Radioman. ET3C Ronald B. Mann/Killed "+7/None. WebSite: Aviation Archaeology in Maine http://www.mewreckchasers.com/ [16SEP2008]
MISHAPs: 10 DEC 65 A/C: P2 LOCATION: 25 miles East of Brunswick, ME TYPE: Rocket Mishap STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 1 SURVIVORS: 5 BUNO: 147960 CAUSE: Rocket failed to leave the wing. Contributed by Pat Pape firstname.lastname@example.org
"...I reported about VP-11 in Aug '65 and had only been on crew for about 6 weeks when we lost an aircraft in Casco Bay (Smallpoint Rocket range) just off the air station..." Contributed by JURACK, CWO3 Roger A. email@example.com [20JAN2015]
"...Zuni rocket practice, rocket hung up, wing fire, ditched at sea - LTJG Donald Lavigne/Killed, Lt. Robert Muller/Minor, AD2C Paul Force/Minor, AT1C Emanuel Croasman/Minor, AO2C Larry Clark/Minor, AD3C Pasquale Pape/Minor..." WebSite: Aviation Archaeology in Maine http://www.mewreckchasers.com/ [16SEP2008]
"...On a blustery winter morning at the Brunswick Navel Air Station, VP-11 CAC Six prepared their P-2V7 (BUNO 147960) for an early morning departure that would involve several hours of practice, launching rockets into the frigid waters off the coast of Maine. The skeleton crew consisted of Pilot, Lt. Robert Muller, Co-pilot Lt.(J.g.). Donald Lavigne, Plane Captain AD-2 Paul Force, 1st Tech AT-1 Emanuel (Red) Croasman, Ordinance man AO-2 Larry Clark, and 2nd Mech AD-3 Pasquale (Pat) Pape. Lt.(J.g.) Lavigne, who was in the pilot's seat and under Lt. Muller's tutelage, accomplished a normal take-off and after arriving on station, installed the optical rocket sight above the instrument panel in the P-2V7 cockpit. Lavigne made several runs at the target and released two of the rockets without incident. On the next run, 2nd Mech Pape, who was stationed in the nose of the Neptune and enjoying the show, heard Red Croasman's alarmed voice on the intercom announcing that the starboard wing was on fire. When he looked at the wing he could see a rocket hung up in its mount and wiggling in the wind. At that moment he heard Lt. Muller's "mayday" and realized that he should get to his ditching station. He scooted up the nosewheel tunnel to the forward cabin area and assumed his ditching position. Paul Force was going through the checklist and removing the overhead domed hatch. Lt. Muller was steering from the right seat and affecting a controlled crash. In seconds there was a violent deceleration and an immediate deluge of icy saltwater. Force and Pape exited (swam) through the overhead hatch while Muller and Lavigne climbed through the cockpit hatches. Croasman and Clark jumped out of the opening created when the P-2V7's tail snapped off. The aircraft quickly disappeared into the ocean. There was an intense odor of Avgas and a good deal of flotsam. Muller, Croasman, Force and Clark swam to the raft. Lavaigne and Pape bobbed in the choppy Atlantic but were unable to join them. Muller's mayday resulted in an immediate sky full of rescue aircraft. NASB was only 25 miles away. In about 20 minutes a rescue helicopter from Salem, Mass arrived on the scene and extracted the Sailors from the sea. Lt. Lavigne may have been injured in the initial impact- it was uncertain. He was picked up in an unconscious state and pronounced dead in the NASB hospital. The rest of the crew were found to be in good condition and after four days of observation were released to duty. A memorial service was held for Lt. Lavigne in the BNAS chapel. A few days later Crew Six was in the air again. After that flight Paul Force decided to not press his luck and became a groundpounder. Muller, Croasman, Clark, and Pape, along with the rest of Crew Six, flew together for several more years enjoying numerous travels and adventures and lived to tell about their December ditching..." Contributed by Pat Pape firstname.lastname@example.org
MISHAPs: 11 DEC 77 A/C: P3 LOCATION: Canary Is. TYPE: Collision Ground SRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 13 BUNO: 153428 CAUSE: Pilot/Mountain
"...Mishap Photographs of site area taken 12FEB2004..." Contributed by Emilio Hernandez email@example.com [Photo updated 21FEB2004 | Photo Updated 13FEB2004 | 12FEB2004]
"...I´m writting about the VP-11 Mishap on December 1977. I live where the mishap took place. I would like to have any additional information available...HERNANDEZ, Emilio firstname.lastname@example.org..." [27AUG2003]
"...I recently received an email from a young lady who was the daughter of Marvin Lee Brown who she said died aboard the VP-11 aircraft which went down in the Azores in 1977. She was 7 months old at the time. Her information about her dad's death is extremely limited. She would really like to learn more about her father from those of you who were stationed with him. Her email address is PeachNhour@aol.com. I would love to aid her in her search for info about her lost father. Thanks guys!...Patty Lillpop Taylor email@example.com..." [15SEP2002]
"...I am looking for information on the crash of the VP-11 aircraft in December 1977 in the Azores. A dear friend who I grew up with, Michael B. James, died in that crash. Mike was a one of a kind, old fashioned guy. He and I joined the Navy the Summer of 1974 after graduation. We both went to VP outfits. I went to VP-45 and he to VP-11. I never really learned the full scoop on that crash. Anyone remember Mike? Thanks for any info or recollections you can provide!...Patty Lillpop Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org..." [13JAN2001]
"...I am trying to find detailed information on the 1977 VP-11 Mishap in the Canary Island. I flew with Jim Ingles, the PPC, for 2 years and he was one of the finest men and pilots I ever had the privilege of flying with. As the accident report seemed like quite a cover-up to me, reflecting poorly on the pilot and crews. I would like to access more detailed informaion on the accident. Eyewitness reports, accident site observation notes, photos, etc. Where do I turn and can anyone help?...Jim Bouquet email@example.com..." [01JUL99]
"VP-11 Summary Page"