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Old 12-23-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
Diver1111
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Default Mid-air collision-WW2 planes?

A new diver friend told me a story about two WW2 planes I guess in the 1940's that were flying over the Broads when they collided; As I understand it one was flown by an American, the other a Brit. Google searches turn up nothing but he did say that the State of NH is aware of this event.

I understand they could be in perhaps 200 feet of water out there-no chart handy for me to check this but it is after all, the Broads.

Just curious-anybody know more about this?
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:20 PM   #2
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I do not know of a plane crash at Winni, but there is written info on a Brit and a American crashing 1 mile from where I own property in MA. They were training missions. Knowing this and that they did train together I would not doubt the story.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:22 PM   #3
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If my memory serves me correct it was Quabin Res. in MA and it was recently the subject of a new article that they may have found at least one of the planes.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:28 PM   #4
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Default Only reference I could find

http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthread...&Number=382142

Seems to be a book on the "drowned towns" in Mass. that became the Quabbin

http://www.amazon.com/Quabbin-Histor.../dp/0971954712

There is a reference to "war, use of Quabbin during pages 15-17" in the index. But, you can't look at all pages on the Amazon site.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:04 AM   #5
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Question A Brit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver1111 View Post
"...As I understand it one was flown by an American, the other a Brit..."
I searched Google in vain as well; however, the FAA has a long history of crashes since 1926, so the searching goes there next.

The story is plausible—aircraft losses in training and navigation failures were fairly common. My WWII Dad lost patrol-bomber colleagues due to flying into mountains—on Pacific islands!

WWII footage of "Fighter Pilot Operating Instructions" can be viewed today on DVD. (Zeno's is a popular source for those DVDs, who cheerfully answered my questions via email). I purchased some of those DVDs for my Dad, whose narrations of every little feature of WWII fighter aircraft was very much appreciated. Aircraft of that era had many inherent problems—usually due to poor ± horsepower matchup.

Even without my Dad's narrations, those DVDs showed aircraft of the WWII era to be very "fiddly" to operate—and some were downright dangerous. (The latter, we gave to truly-desperate allies or stored by the hundreds on huge desert airfields to be later reclaimed for scrap metal and engines).

It wasn't all hyper-technical narration: One comment he made followed WWII views of a mosquito-plagued island base in the South Pacific. He'd been stationed there, and his comment in astonishment was: "They've put doors on the barracks!" Oops...returning to the subject:

You might find the previous thread on WWII aircraft in the Lakes Region interesting.

During those war years, you could have driven up to a busy Maine location and read a sign reading, "His Majesty's Naval Air Station"!

ETA:
Found a few sites...

This site has a rough chronology of USAAF missions and accidents:
http://www.accident-report.com/PUBS/chrono42.html

Wikipedia is far more comprehensive:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...raft_(pre-1950)

Only one crash site in New Hampshire was noted.

En route to Massachusetts, a B-18A bomber (a converted DC-3 commercial aircraft) crashed into Mount Waternomee in the White Mountains. The site has been protected as a memorial, and an easy hiking trail will lead you to it:
http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forum...ad.php?t=23410

Another item of interest, also involving the same aircraft reknowned for reliable service:

Quote:
12 December - Major General Herbert A. Dargue, en route to Hawaii to assume command of the Hawaiian Department from Lieutenant General Walter Short, is killed when his B-18 Bolo, 36-306, of the 31st ABG,[86] crashes in the Sierra Mountains, S of Bishop, California, in worsening weather conditions. Wreckage not found until March 1942. (Joe Baugher cites discovery date of 5 July 1942.) Besides the general, seven are KWF including his staff, and crew chiefs, critically needed in the Pacific.[171]
My Dad tells me that Major Dargue would visit his son at Wolfeboro's Camp Wyanoke by landing a floatplane off the Camp's dock. He was unaware of Major General Dargue's fatal crash until I located this Wikipedia item.

This is a modern photo of a B-18 crash site during WW2, but not of any of the above!



(Still searching for that mid-air!!!)

Last edited by ApS; 12-27-2009 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:10 AM   #6
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I just stumbled across this forum and know this is an old link but I think I know the planes you are talking about. I am pretty sure that your friend is talking about 2 WWII corsair airplanes that collided and crashed on a training run over Sebago Lake in Maine. The planes are still there and and were part of some type of lawsuit in the last few years because a salvage company wanted to raise and restore the planes. Apparantly the deep cold water has pretty much preserved them in the same condition they went down in.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:37 PM   #7
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Default from Seacoast Online (Portland Press Herald) Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Two WWII fighter planes will remain submerged

By Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - Two World War II fighter planes at the bottom of Sebago Lake since a training accident in 1944 will remain there, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Historic Aircraft Restoration Corp. found one of the sunken planes in July through the use of sonar images and a remote-controlled underwater video camera.

The company sued for permission to salvage the Corsairs out of Sebago Lake, Maine's deepest. The state and the British government, whose two pilots died in the crash, objected.

U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal said it's not his place to decide.

Part of the company's argument is under "the law of salvage" and "the law of finds," both of which fall under the broader designation of "admiralty law." Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction in admiralty cases.

Singal ruled that admiralty law does not apply in the case because Sebago Lake is not navigable for federal purposes.

"Sebago Lake is considered a 'great pond' " he wrote, "and the Lake, its contents and the submerged land underneath are held in trust by the State of Maine for the public. From approximately 1830 until 1870, it was possible to navigate from Sebago Lake to the Atlantic Ocean via the Cumberland & Oxford Canal. However, for well over a century, Sebago Lake has been essentially landlocked and navigation is limited to other connected bodies of water within Maine."

Singal rejected an argument that any salvage operation falls under admiralty law.

By dismissing the case, Singal essentially ruled for the Maine and British governments.

Peter Hess, an admiralty lawyer who represented Historic Aircraft Recovery, said he expects the company will appeal to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

"Historic Aircraft Recovery is the party that found this plane, the first one to find it and the only party that knows where it is and, fair to say, the only party that has the wherewithal and the experience to recover it and properly restore it so it can be enjoyed by the public at large," he said. "We hope to be able to do so."

Assistant Attorney General William H. Laubenstein III, said that "at this point, it appears the aircraft is at the bottom of Sebago Lake and property of the State of Maine."

The gull-winged planes are Voight Corsair F4U-1 fighters. They took off on May 16, 1944 from the Brunswick Naval Air Station.

The planes collided over Sebago Lake. Killed were Royal Navy pilots Vaughan Reginald Gill and Raymond L. Knott.

There are only a handful of F4U Corsairs in flying condition in the United States and they're worth roughly $1 million each, aviation experts say.

Even a muck-covered hulk is worth upward of $800,000 because the airplane can be restored as an original Corsair.




%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


And from CBSNews.com:

(Copyright 1999)

(AP) Two Maine explorers are using a remote control device outfitted with a camera to search the bottom of Sebago Lake for a pair of World War II fighter planes.

Bruce Stephenson and Wayne Peabody found evidence of the aircraft last year and they've returned with the high-tech device to continue their search in the deepest part of the lake. They hope to solve a mystery of what happened to two British Corsairs that crashed in 1944.

Using witness accounts of the crash and information gathered from sidescan sonar, they have narrowed the search to a part of the lake where they believe the planes lie 330 feet below the surface. If the readings locate the fighter planes, Peabody and Stephenson could solve a 55-year-old mystery.

The British fighters were on a training mission from nearby Brunswick Naval Air Station when they apparently collided over the lake, fell from the sky and sank. Royal Navy pilots Vaughan Reginald Gill and Raymond L. Knott were killed in the accident.

A Navy diving bell was sent to the scene after the crash on May 16, 1944, but all that was ever recovered was an antenna and a headrest.

Cmdr. Colin Sharp of the Royal Navy has said in the past that the British government prefers the pilots' watery graves not be disturbed. But if the remains can be recovered, the men will be buried with full military honors, he said.

Ownership of the planes is unclear. Several entities would likely make claims, including the Royal Navy, the Maine State Museum and U.S. Navy, in addition to Peabody and Stephenson. Stephenson is a diver from Cape Elizabeth who owns Maritime Trade Routes Inc. Peabody is president of Submerged Exploration Inc.

If salvaged, a World War II Corsair in restorable condition would be worth nearly $1 million, according to aviation historians. But Stephenson said owning the planes is not his motivation. It's the thrill of solving a half-century-old mystery. "As long as it's calm enough," he said, "we're going to be out there."
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:34 AM   #8
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Default Airplanes

Thanks for all the help re: this mystery; Sounds like something def. happened, just not on Winni.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:33 PM   #9
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Default Don't be in a hurry to wright it off...

Dave @ Dive Winnipesaukee found parts of an old "military type" plane off Welch Is. a few years back.

BTW: Keep looking around Diamond Island... There's a lot more down there than you think. Actually, I'm surprised you haven't found it yet with your "Hi-Tec" stuff, but then again that's probably why you haven't. Sometimes you just have to get down and dirty to find the real good stuff.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:20 PM   #10
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Default Airplane Parts in Winni

Playing around on a check-out dive when my kids first were SCUBA certified a few years back we found a single seaplane pontoon east of the Lady of the Lake. Probably halfway between the LOTL and the shore.
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:40 PM   #11
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Default F4U-1 Corsair

Here is the file, and pictures of the only "Airworthy" F4U-1 (Dash 1) Corsair today. The Model went up through the F4U-5..(Dash 5) and beyond with other number designations. Think "Pappy Boyington" and the Black Sheep Squadron. ........ TV Series: BAA BAA Black Sheep.

http://warbirdregistry.org/corsairre...f4u-17799.html

NB
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argie's Wife View Post
Two WWII fighter planes will remain submerged

By Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - Two World War II fighter planes at the bottom of Sebago Lake since a training accident in 1944 will remain there, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Historic Aircraft Restoration Corp. found one of the sunken planes in July through the use of sonar images and a remote-controlled underwater video camera.

The company sued for permission to salvage the Corsairs out of Sebago Lake, Maine's deepest. The state and the British government, whose two pilots died in the crash, objected.

U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal said it's not his place to decide.

Part of the company's argument is under "the law of salvage" and "the law of finds," both of which fall under the broader designation of "admiralty law." Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction in admiralty cases.

Singal ruled that admiralty law does not apply in the case because Sebago Lake is not navigable for federal purposes.

"Sebago Lake is considered a 'great pond' " he wrote, "and the Lake, its contents and the submerged land underneath are held in trust by the State of Maine for the public. From approximately 1830 until 1870, it was possible to navigate from Sebago Lake to the Atlantic Ocean via the Cumberland & Oxford Canal. However, for well over a century, Sebago Lake has been essentially landlocked and navigation is limited to other connected bodies of water within Maine."

Singal rejected an argument that any salvage operation falls under admiralty law.

By dismissing the case, Singal essentially ruled for the Maine and British governments.

Peter Hess, an admiralty lawyer who represented Historic Aircraft Recovery, said he expects the company will appeal to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

"Historic Aircraft Recovery is the party that found this plane, the first one to find it and the only party that knows where it is and, fair to say, the only party that has the wherewithal and the experience to recover it and properly restore it so it can be enjoyed by the public at large," he said. "We hope to be able to do so."

Assistant Attorney General William H. Laubenstein III, said that "at this point, it appears the aircraft is at the bottom of Sebago Lake and property of the State of Maine."

The gull-winged planes are Voight Corsair F4U-1 fighters. They took off on May 16, 1944 from the Brunswick Naval Air Station.

The planes collided over Sebago Lake. Killed were Royal Navy pilots Vaughan Reginald Gill and Raymond L. Knott.

There are only a handful of F4U Corsairs in flying condition in the United States and they're worth roughly $1 million each, aviation experts say.

Even a muck-covered hulk is worth upward of $800,000 because the airplane can be restored as an original Corsair.




%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


And from CBSNews.com:

(Copyright 1999)

(AP) Two Maine explorers are using a remote control device outfitted with a camera to search the bottom of Sebago Lake for a pair of World War II fighter planes.

Bruce Stephenson and Wayne Peabody found evidence of the aircraft last year and they've returned with the high-tech device to continue their search in the deepest part of the lake. They hope to solve a mystery of what happened to two British Corsairs that crashed in 1944.

Using witness accounts of the crash and information gathered from sidescan sonar, they have narrowed the search to a part of the lake where they believe the planes lie 330 feet below the surface. If the readings locate the fighter planes, Peabody and Stephenson could solve a 55-year-old mystery.

The British fighters were on a training mission from nearby Brunswick Naval Air Station when they apparently collided over the lake, fell from the sky and sank. Royal Navy pilots Vaughan Reginald Gill and Raymond L. Knott were killed in the accident.

A Navy diving bell was sent to the scene after the crash on May 16, 1944, but all that was ever recovered was an antenna and a headrest.

Cmdr. Colin Sharp of the Royal Navy has said in the past that the British government prefers the pilots' watery graves not be disturbed. But if the remains can be recovered, the men will be buried with full military honors, he said.

Ownership of the planes is unclear. Several entities would likely make claims, including the Royal Navy, the Maine State Museum and U.S. Navy, in addition to Peabody and Stephenson. Stephenson is a diver from Cape Elizabeth who owns Maritime Trade Routes Inc. Peabody is president of Submerged Exploration Inc.

If salvaged, a World War II Corsair in restorable condition would be worth nearly $1 million, according to aviation historians. But Stephenson said owning the planes is not his motivation. It's the thrill of solving a half-century-old mystery. "As long as it's calm enough," he said, "we're going to be out there."
Whether or not these are the planes Diver 1111 was referring to, the search for them in 2003 was out in front of my place on Sebago. I remember being fascinated at the time with the barge being trucked to the lake, assembled onshore and the the lowering of the ROV with the camera to the bottom, all the while, the media was covering it and the subsequent legal battle to stop it from happening. The rumors circulating at the time were that they had tremendous footage and pictures of intact planes but one has to wonder, this many years later, why they never pursued it further in the courts. I, for one, am from the camp of leave them where they are....

BT
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winnipesaukee Divers View Post
Dave @ Dive Winnipesaukee found parts of an old "military type" plane off Welch Is. a few years back.

BTW: Keep looking around Diamond Island... There's a lot more down there than you think. Actually, I'm surprised you haven't found it yet with your "Hi-Tec" stuff, but then again that's probably why you haven't. Sometimes you just have to get down and dirty to find the real good stuff.
Care to share a little more detail? Even via PM? That's a great dive site, and if there's more to find down there, I'd love to know. Thanks.
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