I am in the process of documenting every airplane crash and accident that occurred at Mitchel Field/Mitchel AFB. Researching and cross-referencing crash records and documents is a time consuming and tedious process. I hope to include details and photos. Please be patient and check back often for updates.
Thank you. Paul Martin, webmaster.
450115 B-24M 44-5040U 110AAFBU Mitchel Fld 1AF GAC BL [parked aircraft] USA NY Mitchell Fld 450115 B-24L 44-49332U 110AAFBU Mitchel Fld 1AF TAC BL Kieber, Robert J USA NY Mitchell Fld
450118 TB-26B 42-43416 132BUSuffolk County AAF, NY 1 LACMF 4 Shmanske, Bernard F USANY Mitchel Field, NY
450122 A-20G 43-21733 110BUMitchel Field, NY 1 TAC 3 Hill, Frank J USADC Washington National Airport, DC
450206 RA-25A 42-79797B-3 2FrGNew Castle AAB ATC TOA BL Ratajack, Alfred R USA NY Mitchel Fld
450212 B-24M 44-50587 2 Ferry Mitchel Field, NY GAC 3 Casey,Charles W USA NY Mitchel Field, NY
450215 B-29 42-24617 Gypsy Task Force Grand Island AAF, NE CRL 4 Southworth, Billy B, Jr USA NY Jackson Heights, NY
24617 crashed at Jackson Heights, New York while landing Feb 15, 1945.
Pilot: Major Billy Southworth, Jr.
Lt. Carl D. Magee
Lt. Martin LiCursi
Lt. Ralph L. Stickle
S/Sgt Joseph Yabrodi
Sgt. Lewis Munford
Maj. W. L. Anken
Lt. R. M. Worcester
Pvt. Howard Card
W. A. Burkus
Newsday February 16, 1945
Newsday February 17, 1945
Newsday March 6, 1945
Newsday July 7, 1945
Boeing B-29-40-BW Superfortress 42-24617: Delivered to the USAAF 31 July 1944. Assigned to 243rd Army Air Force Base Unit, Great Bend AAF, Kansas, and became part of the "Gypsy Task Force".
Written off (damaged beyond repair) when crashed at Jackson Heights*, New York while making an emergency landing due to engine failure at La Guardia Airport, New York, on February 15, 1945. Six of the eleven crew were killed. One of those killed was the famous Baseball player Billy Southworth Jr., who had enlisted in the USAAF, and risen to the rank of Major. According to the following published source (see link #6), the accident that killed him was as follows:
"Major Southworth was training pilots to fly the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the same airplane that would drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On February 15, 1945, he was piloting a B-29 that left Mitchel Field in New York, bound for Florida. Major W. L. Anken, an observer aboard the B-29 noticed that one of the engines was throwing a heavy stream of smoke. He reported this to Southworth over the intercom. "Keep an eye on it," Southworth replied. At 3:50 P.M., the four-engine bomber appeared over LaGuardia Field with the left outboard engine stopped. Southworth radioed the control tower to prepare for an emergency landing. Struggling at the controls of the crippled plane, he overshot the runway, and attempted to climb above Flushing Bay, but a wing clipped the water and the 37-ton bomber somersaulted and burst into flames.
Heavy acrid smoke quickly blanketed the whole area, as police launches rushed to the scene and battled to rescue five crew members. But another five, including Major Billy Southworth, Jr., were missing in the front section of the plane which sank in 30 feet of water. Every effort was made to recover the bodies of the missing airmen but strong currents and a high tide hindered the work of grapplers and divers.
The following day, Southworth's grief-stricken father-who was said to be prouder of his son's military achievements than of the pennants he had won with the Cardinals -flew to New York. Comforted by his wife, Mabel - Billy, Jr.'s stepmother - he looked out at Flushing Bay and asked reporters to point out the spot where the crash had happened.
Rescue efforts continued for weeks and Billy Jr.'s father remained in New York during that time. "It has been my privilege to go aboard the ship from which the search is being made for the missing crew members of the plane," he said. "The close personal contacts that I have had with the officers and men of the various units, conducting the search was most gratifying. The divers are hampered by strong currents and freezing air lines, but every officer and man is doing a heroic job and their loyalty to lost comrades is present in their every act."
There were five survivors: four crew members (including Major Anken) and one civilian, a technical expert from the Bendix Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. All were seated in the back of the plane and saved by rescuers who fought through fire to reach them.
On August 4, 1945, 24 weeks after the crash, an unrecognizable body washed ashore at the confluence of the East River and Long Island Sound in New York. Dental records identified the body as that of Southworth. He was buried on August 7, 1945, at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio"
Another of the five crew that was killed was later named as 1st Lt Martin J. Licursi (see link #7)
*NOTE: Although 42-24617 crashed into Flushing Bay, Queens, New York, the official location of where the crew members were killed was recorded as "Jackson Heights", which is a different part of the Borough of Queens, New York. This location is presumed to be the location of the morgue that the bodies were eventually recovered to, some weeks later.
Billy Southworth, Jr., Green Lawn Cemetery Columbus, Ohio
Lieut Carl Dick Magee BIRTH 19 Aug 1922 DEATH 12 Feb 1945 (aged 22) BURIAL Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA PLOT Eventide, Lot 946 Space 6
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Fleischauer
Lt. Martin J. Licursi BIRTH 1919 DEATH 1945 (aged 25–26) BURIAL Holy Cross Cemetery Holley, Orleans County, New York, USA
2LT Ralph Lewis Stickle BIRTH 1920 New Jersey, USA DEATH 15 Feb 1945 (aged 24–25) Queens County, New York, USA BURIAL Mount Rest Cemetery Butler, Morris County, New Jersey, USA
Photo Courtesy Hal G. Brown
450324 AT-6A 41-162H 110AAFBU Mitchel Fld 1AF LAC BL McGaw, James E USANY Mitchel Fld
450327 P-47D 42-27824 132BU Suffolk County AAF, NY 1 KMAC 4 Nichols, Parker C USA NY 1M N Hampton Beach, NY 450327 P-47D 42-22425 132BU Suffolk County AAF, NY 1 MAC 4 Holstun, Jo J USA NY 1M N Hampton Beach, NY
450414 C-45F 41-47648 110BU Mitchel Field, NY 1 TOA 3 Melcomb, Austin N USA GA Chatham Field, GA
450418 P-47D 42-27820 132BU Suffolk County AAF, NY 1 KCR 4 Spano, Salvatore USA CT 5M S Woodmount, CT
450419 C-45F 43-35911 110AAFBU Mitchel Fld Hq AF LAC BL Keiser, Glen V USA PA Reading AAF
450420 B-24M 44-51039 U Mitchel Fld 1AF TAC BL Reilly, James J USA NY Mitchel Fld
450422 AT-6D 42-6430 110BU Mitchel Field, NY 1 LAC 3 Hager, Marlen J USA NY Mitchel Field, NY
450429 AT-6D 42-84963 2002BU Stewart Field, NY KCRW 4 Clark, Robert B USA NY 3M SE Bloomville, NY
450513 C-45F 43-35744 110BU Mitchel Field, NY 1 KCRMF 4 Goldstein, Burton E USA NY .5M N Ocean Beach, NY
Lt. Burton E. Goldstein BIRTH unknown DEATH 13 May 1945 New York, USA BURIAL Unknown
First Lieutenant, 110 Base Unit, Mitchel Field, New York.
Photo courtesy of: Sam Pennartz
January 6, 1942: enlisted as an aviation cadet (ASN: 16038180) US Army Air Corps at Chicago Illinois. Completed Primary and Basic. September 6, 1942 : Advanced flight training Class 42H at Brooks Field: San Antonio TX Commissioned 2nd. Lt in the USAAF (ASN 0-663717)
December 10, 1944 Landing Accident due to Mechanical Failure (LACMF) twin engine Beechcraft C-45F Expediter serial # 44-47398 at Mitchel Field Hempstead, NY
Killed in service, piloting C-45F #43-35744, in a crash, half mile from Ocean Beach, New York
450524 C-60 42-32185 102BU Mitchel Field, NY TOAMF 3 Hawkins, John R USA NY Mitchel Field, NY
450602 AT-11 42-37198 110BU Mitchel Field, NY 1 LAC 3 Mills, James D USA DE Dupont Airport, Wilmington, DE
450714 AT-7 43-33482 110AAFBU Mitchell Fld 1AF TAC BL Kennedy, Charles J Jr USA TX Fort Worth AAF
450730 P-47N 44-88787 123BU Suffolk County AAF, NY 1 KCR 4 Datzenko, Alex USA NY 2M W Westhampton Beach, NY
450802 AT-6F 44-81788D 110AAFBU Mitchell Fld 1AF GL BL Klemstine, Kenneth P USA DE New Castle AAB
450805 P-47D 42-28718 110BU Mitchel Field, NY 1 KCR 4 Wardan, Donald E USANC 17M S wilmington, NC
450807 C-45F 44-47741 110BU Mitchel Field, NY TOAEF 4 Reese, Floyd C USA NY Mitchel Field, NY
450817 B-25D 41-30297 102BU Mitchel Field, NY LACMF 3 Hawkins, John R USA NJ Melville AAF, NJ
450901 TB-25D 41-29667 110BU Mitchel Field, NY 1 GMAC 3 Merman, Johnny A USA NY Mitchel Field, NY 450901 B-17G 43-37606 3539BU Langley Field, VA GMAC 3 Parked aircraft USA NY Mitchel Field, NY
450925 C-47B 43-49540 110BUMitchel Field, NY TOAMF 3 Shields, William B Jr USANY Mitchel Field, NY
450929 C-45H 44-87176D 110AAFBU Mitchell Fld 1AF GL BL Ross, Harold E USA NY Stewart Fld
451001 B-25J 44-86787 63AAFBU Mitchell Fld CAAF TAC BL Capo, Philip A USA IL Scott Fld
451022 B-25J 44-86764 52BU Mitchel Field, NY GMAC 2 Ritchie, De W. USA NY Mitchel Field, NY
451026 C-47B 43-49499 110BU Mitchel Field, NY GMAC 2 Parked aircraft USA NY Mitchel Field, NY 451026 C-47A 43-15599 592BU Ft. Dix AAF, NJ GMAC 3 Kaszynski, Edward A USA NY Mitchel Field, NY
451221 C-45F 43-35907 110BU Mitchel Field, NY 1 TAC 3 Carey, Llewellyn USA PA Greater Pittsburg Airport, PA
451108 P-47N 44-88940 132BU Suffolk Country AAF, NY 1 KMAC 4 Capp, Merle R USA NY 5M NW Elmira, NY
451117 P-47N 44-88938 373FG Mitchel Field, NY 1 KCRL 4 Duncan, Denise A USA NY 1M W Mitchel Field, NY SEE article below.
A USAAF Republic P-47N-15-RE Thunderbolt, 44-88938, crashed between two houses on Windsor Parkway in Hempstead, New York shortly after take-off from Mitchel Field, setting both structures on fire. Morning accident kills pilot, 1st Lt. Daniel D. A. Duncan, 24, of New Iberia, Louisiana.
The plane, which was piloted by 1st. Lt. Daniel R.A. Duncan, crashed into the houses shortly after takeoff from Mitchel Field. Duncan was killed in the crash and the Fixler’s house, at right, was destroyed; the Briggs’ house suffered extensive damage.
LT Daniel Dudley Avery Duncan BIRTH 16 Feb 1921 New Iberia, Iberia Parish, Louisiana, USA DEATH 17 Nov 1945 (aged 24) New York, USA
BURIAL Avery Island Cemetery Iberia Parish, Louisiana, USA