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paulmcmillan 4th March 2016 17:50

US Navy Parachute Incidents California 1925/1926
Pre-war US Navy parachute incidents (and US Marine) are far more difficult to confirm than US Air Corps ones because basically they did not see the point of recording them. The US Air Corps did because they saw he benefit for study and safety of recording this info. The US Navy came to this party later

Anyway.. I have 3 separate Parachute incidents in California that was hoping someone could confirm the details

Incident 1

The first is recorded in the October 29th 1925 LA Times

Basically it is a story I have heard before but until I saw the LA Times article I was unaware of full details. Basically either on October 27th or October 28th during a Navy Day demonstration at North Island (I assume it was October 27th 1925 as this was Navy day that year) Machinist Mate First Class H Taylor fell out of a VO-2 Squadron Aircraft (probably a Vought UO-1) when it was being looped the loop and his safety belt broke. The pilot is listed as Aviation Pilot R.D. Sullivan but I think it may actually be Robert O Sulllivan. Taylor landed in the waters of Brickyard Cover and waded ashore

I have a hunch that "H Taylor" could be Harry B Taylor but I would like confirmation. Though in the article he is listed as a Mechanic, he could have trained later as an enlisted pilot as Harry B Taylor qualified in 1930

If anyone can add any more detail to this (such as confirmation of date, aircraft, serial and people involved) I would appreciate it

Incident 2

On July 14th 1926 a Naval aircraft made a forced landing near Oceanside. at Santa Margarita Ranch. It was reported in a number of newspapers and the story is

"Five navy aviation corps enlisted men were injured, one seriously yesterday when the engine dropped from their monoplane at a height of 1,200 feet. Anthony Iannucci, brought the ship from a tail spin to land without completely wrecking it. The engine dropped info a bean field and was buried. ; A "sixth" man escaped injury by jumping by parachute. All evidence suggest only 5, the confusion is due to Coburn jumping and be treated for shock - Iannucci and three others received minor bruises, while the sixth man escaped in jury by using a parachute. The plane was one of a squadron of twenty - three flying with Admiral Charles Frederick Hughes, Battle fleet Commander in Chief"

I have some info on then men involved and can only ID '5' as below

Pilot: Anthony Iannucci (enlisted pilot) Anthony Iannucci Chief Machinist Mate (CMM) (A) CHF MACH, -- Injured Elbow
Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class: S.F./H T Hammond - Fractured Skull
Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class G O Haggerty - Sprained Ankle
Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class T A/ J F /J D /J T Coburn, - Shock
Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class D F/P O'Connor. - lacerations on face.

G O Haggerty maybe George O Haggerty

The confusion on 5 or 6 crew may be due to the fact that Coburn parachuted from the aircraft

Again I would like confirmation of date, crew, aircraft and serial if possible

ID'ing Coburn and Taylor are my earliest US military outstanding queries..

Finally, I found the following article today and I have no idea about it. It is completely new to me

Incident 3

Los Angeles Times Oct 25 1925-

Naval Airmen Cheat Death in Spectacular Manner at San Diego. Caught in Burning Plane 2000 Feet in Air. Five airmen attached to the Naval air station at San Diego landed without injury during the observation of the navy's 150th birthday Tuesday. Chiefs Dobson and Munkittrick parachuted to safety from the burning plane. Munkittrick landed in tree (Photo)

"navy's 150th birthday " would be October 13th 1925 but can anyone suplly any more info on this incident..

Many Thanks

Paul McMillan

twocee 5th March 2016 13:20

Re: US Navy Parachute Incidents California 1925/1926
I have been able to find out some further details:

The Navy Day 1925 accident involved a Dayton-Wright SDW which caught fire in mid-air. After R.J. Munkittrick and W.T. Dobson bailed out, the pilot, Lt. C.J. O'Connor was able to extinguish the fire and land safely.

The July 1926 accident involved MO-1, A6640, of VJ-1. Propellor blade failure caused the engine to tear loose from its mount. The pilot and four pax are as in your listing, S.T. Hammond, J.T. Coburn, D.P. O'Connor and G.O. Haggerty.

paulmcmillan 5th March 2016 17:19

Re: US Navy Parachute Incidents California 1925/1926

Many many Thanks for the details you provided and also confirming the Munkittrick and Dobson incident which was not how the newspaper reported it I have only 1 question you say 'navy day' so was it Oct 27 1925?

Kind regards


paulmcmillan 7th March 2016 18:28

Re: US Navy Parachute Incidents California 1925/1926
Quick Update

Pilot was Lt. Cornelius Joseph O'Connor (who won Navy Cross in WW1)

One of the other crew was
Robert J Munkittrick

paulmcmillan 27th June 2017 18:41

Re: US Navy Parachute Incidents California 1925/1926
Story of the SDW Incident

I can positively ID all 5 crew but not 100% id "Chief Daniel Chamberlain"

Chief = Chief Machinists Mate

Dodson (not Dobson, which was why I could not find him initially) left the Navy and was amongst other things a Stunt Parachute Performer in Hollywood. He was knifed to death outside his home in Sept 1933

Still looking for a possible serial Probably between 1 (A-6085 to A-6095)

NAS San Diego
Exclusive Dispatch
SAN DIEGO, Oct 26' Five
airmen narrowly escaped
serious injury, and the huge crowd that packed North
Island for observance of Navy Day
were provided with a thrill not on
program shortly before noon
when as huge naval "SDW"
caught fire at an altitude of
200 feet during an exhibition of
of parachute jumping.

Lieut Cornelius Joseph O'Connor acting chief
flight officer of the air at the
controls and with him were
Chief William Erbe and Chief Daniel Chamberlain.
Chief "C Dodson" - (Actually William Thornton 'Bill' Dodson)
and "Chief A Munttrich" - (Actually Robert James Munkittrick)
as parachute jumpers
Dodson and Munttrich were on the
wings of the plane, ready to make
parachute jumps, when fire
broke out and in a moment hid the
craft from view in cloud of

Lieut O'Connor at once ordered
the parachute jumpers to leap, although
it was not their scheduled
time and then directed the fighting of
the flames with extinguishers.

Airmen said afterwards that
the lives of those in the plane,
as well as the plane itself, were
saved by the cool work of Lieut
O'Connor. The flames were extinguished
and the plane descended

Parachute jumper Dodson landed
safely near the shore of the island
and Munttrich landed in a tree
but both escaped injury.

twocee 28th June 2017 12:28

Re: US Navy Parachute Incidents California 1925/1926
There were three SDW-1s, A-6593, 6596 and 6597, but I don't which one was involved in the Navy Day incident. There was an accident involving A-6593 in early November and one of the passengers was listed as AOMM D.Chamberlain---probably the same person that you are interested in.

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