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Old 30th June 2022, 16:29
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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8 US Navy Losses 20th Feb 1939

All I found this while looking at history of Boeing F4B-4 9719 in which Lt(jg) Edgar George Osborn on a night cross-country when fog set in and, becoming lost, he chose to bail out at 1500' near McDavid Florida

This was a flight of 12 aircraft from



2 Pilots Killed

Lt. Guilherme Fisher Presser (34), sr, Brazilian Navy Officer, killed during emergency landing at Corry Field, FL
Lt (j.g) Norman Millard Ostergren crashed McDavid Florida

6 Student Pilots who Jumped

Lt (j.g) Affonos Celso Parreiras Horta of Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Bailed out near Corry Field, Pensacola
Lt Edgar George Osborn 26 of St. Helen, Calif. Bailed out near McDavid, Florida
Cadet George Edward Chalmers, 25 Rutland, Vt Bailed out near Corry Field, Pensacola
Lt (j.g) Thomas Davis Cummins, 26 of Washington, D.C. Bailed out near Myrtle Grove, Florida
Cadet Charles Wilson Harbert, 28 of Bristol W. Va. Bailed out and landed in a river near the Florida Alabama Border -- see below for his account
Lt (j.g) Richard Emerson Harmer, 28 of Seattle, Wash. Bailed out near Corry Field, Pensacola

Land Safely

Three instructors and one student managed successful landings

Cadet James Edgar William Whitener
Lieut. William Gauss Jackson, Jr
Lieut. James Henry Brett, Jr. (NSN: 0-62017), all came down at the Atmore Ala., airport.
Cadet Andrew Charles McDonough landed at Greenville, Ala

News report

Navy Pilots Killed as 8 Planes Crash in Fog Training Ships on Night Flight Over Alabama Are Suddenly Shrouded in Dense Fog Rolling In From Gulf 10 in Fleet Land Safely. Pensacola, Fla. (Trapped in dense fog, eight navy planes were wrecked and two pilots killed on a routine training flight last night. Rain washed away the fog at dawn today, disclosing the full toll to officers of the Pensacola naval air station. Six student fliers escaped by bailing out in the darkness in then-first parachute jumps. Four pilots landed safely in south Alabama. Lieut. G. F. Presser, Sr., a Brazilian navy: officer receiving regular training here, died when his plane crashed and burned at Corry field, where land planes are quartered. Lieut. N. M. Ostergren was found in his wrecked and burned plane near McDavid, Fla., about 25 miles north of Pensacola. The fog soupy fog rolled in from the Gulf of Mexico. The well-lighted landing field was blotted out. Thousands of feet high, the fliers were faced with the choice of hunting an airport that was not fog-bound or flying until their gasoline was exhausted and jumping. 4 Land Safely Three instructors and one student managed successful landings Cadet J. E. W. Whitener. Lieut. W G. Jackson and Lieut. J. H. Brett Jr., came " down at the Atmore Ala., airport. Cadet A, C. McDonough landed at Greenville, Ala Leaping to safety were Lieut Horta, Lieut. E. G. Osborn, Cadet R. F. Chalmers, Lieut. T. D. Cum mins, Cadet C. W. Harbert and Lieut. R. E. Harner. All their planes save one crashed

Navy men estimated the value of each of the old Type Boeing training planes at $18,000, setting the total loss of the eight planes which crashed at about $144,000. Lieutenant p. J. Monroe air station aide said a naval board of inquiry would meet some time today to investigate the crashes.


Cadet Charles Wilson Harbert story was later related in newspapers

Chickahominy Sun, Volume 2, Number 22, 21 September 1939


Falls Mile Through Pea Soup Fog " Into River; Fishermen Save Him

J Pensacola, Fla., Air Field Where Flight Began and (inset) Aviation Cadet C. W. Harbert.

OUT of gasoline 5,000 feet up in a pea soup fog, C. W. Harbert, aviation cadet, of Bristol, West Virginia, bailed out blind in his parachute and plunged down into the mouth of a wide river. Marooned by deep water on all sides, with the shoreline lost in darkness and fog, Harbert managed to keep himself afloat until passing fishermen spotted the beam of his flashlight aqd rescued him. Harbert had taken off from Pensacola, Florida, on a night training flight in a single-seater fighting plane. Although flying conditions were good when he started, on the return trip a heavy fog rolled in from the ocean, completely blocking out the flying field. Under such conditions, Harbert explained, it was too dangerous for him and those on the ground to attempt a landing. “There was only one thing to do,” he said. “I had to bail out in that fog without knowing where I’d come down! “Heading for open country, I circled at 5,000 feet until the gasoline was gone. I couldn’t tell what was below me, but I jammed the stick

forward and jumped. It was then or never. “Instead of landing safely on the ground I came down In water. I got a thorough ducking, but managed to stay free of the parachute and was able to keep floating. I didn't know exactly where I was and couldn’t tell which way the shore lay. "The only thing I had with me was a flashlight. Though it was soaked, it still worked. I didn’t know how long I’d have to use it, but at least the batteries were fresh, and I knew they’d last. Believe me, that was about the only comforting thought I had at the time. “I had no idea how long I was out there in that water, but it seemed like hours. I kept the light burning all the time, though it didn’t seem likely that anyone could spot it through that fog.” When he had almost given up, Harbert said, two fishermen happened to see his signal light. Rowing to him, they pulled him into their boat. After being treated for exposure, he returned to his flight base.

Known Boeing Losses for this date (6 of 8)

390220 F4B-4 9014 FL
390220 F4B-4 9040 FL
390220 F4B-4 9242 FL
390220 F4B-4 9243 FL
390220 F4B-4 9258 FL
390220 F4B-4 9719 FL

Can anyone match pilot to loss ??

Thanks Paul
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Old 18th September 2022, 01:25
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: 8 US Navy Losses 20th Feb 1939

The aviationarchaeology.com website in its Resources > Databases> Navy >"USN Accident Reports from 1920-June 1941" has an index of accident reports.


See this page and use a date of 390220 and Aircraft type F4B-4 and then Search. You get a list of the 8 planes lost with pilot info.

https://aviationarchaeology.com/dbSearchUSN2041.asp
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Old 19th September 2022, 10:20
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: 8 US Navy Losses 20th Feb 1939

What does BOW mean?
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Old 19th September 2022, 11:16
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: 8 US Navy Losses 20th Feb 1939

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith A View Post
What does BOW mean?
Bailed out due to weather

You can look that up in the acronym section

Cheers
Stig
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Old 19th September 2022, 15:35
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: 8 US Navy Losses 20th Feb 1939

Looks like the site has been revised extensively and the revision is still in progress. The "old" action code list can be seen here, scroll down to the Action Codes:

https://web.archive.org/web/20180315...elp.htm#USNabb

KCRGCDF could mean something like Killed, Crash, Ground Collision, Destroyed (by) Fire.

KCRGCF could mean something like Killed, Crash, Ground Collision, Fire

Last edited by RSwank; 19th September 2022 at 20:57.
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Old 19th September 2022, 20:09
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: 8 US Navy Losses 20th Feb 1939

Interesting Rolland

I also detect a certain reluctance from the site owner to combine acronyms already known (or make his
own deductions)

With regard to KCRGCDF my own interpretation is
Killed, crash, ground collision, due to fog (since we know that is what happened)

KCRGCF could be (as you say) fire or a case where, whoever wrote the report used, a mistake,
ie one letter left out.
Impossible to say unless you have a few complete reports and can make a judgement.

I consider the site as such an incredible tool!!

Cheers
Stig
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