--- 01 JUN 50 A/C: P2V-2
Location: NAS Quonset
Point, Rhode Island Strike: Yes Deaths: 9/killed, 4/serious, 3/minor
BUNO: 122454 Cause: Single engine emergency crash landing Contributed by
Gear & Left wing sheared off landing resulting in fire; Crew:
Pilot.Cmdr. Gilbert J.Fravenheim/Seriously inj, Lt(jg). H.A.Hamberg/Minor
inj, Ens. D.M.Arter/Killed, Ens. C.R.Plank/Killed, Mid. C.A.Payne/Killed,
ADL. J.A.Seger/Killed, ALC. H.D.Thomas/Killed, AO1. P.Rapanick/Killed,
ADC. F.J.McSwiggan/Killed, and 2/seriously inj..." Contributed by
"...Nine crewmembers of VP-3 were killed when this P2V-2 (BuNo.
122454) crashed at NAS
Quonset Point, Rhode Island on 1 June 1950. (Photo courtesy National
Archives)..." Contributed by Title: Lockheed P2V Neptune An
Illustrated History by Wayne Mutza...A Schiffer Military History
Book...ISBN: 0-7643-0151-9...286 pages full of pictures and history!
Information: Lockheed P2V Neptune An Illustrated History
"...My father, Frank
W. Evans, was Leading Chief of VP-3.
We were stationed at NAS
Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone (1948/49). The squadron was
transferred to NAS
Jacksonville, Florida in 1950. My father had been scheduled to leave
on manouvers with the squadron but his medical condition prompted the
medics to deny him flight clearance. It turned out to be a fateful
decision. As Leading Chief, he would have flown on the lead plane along
with the CO. That plane, on landing, was caught by a cross wind and
flipped over, killing all aboard except the CO. As I recall, the CO, I
cannot remember his name, wasn't much good after that. He couldn't
understand why he had been spared while the rest of the crew had
perished. My dad's "MOS" was Aviation Machinist's Mate.
Although I never entered the service, I did serve a Machinist
Apprenticeship and became a Journeyman Machinist. I had a ball as a
"Navy Brat" and much enjoyed living in Panama, Seattle, NAS
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, NAS
Patuxent River, Maryland and elsewhere. By the way, my dad was on
the opening team when NAS
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania was opened. I have many fond memories of
my childhood as a Sailor's son..." Contributed by Richard Evans firstname.lastname@example.org
"Rich checked further
on the mishap...I was only about 11 yrs old at the time. As I mentioned,
I believe the VP-3 squadron had been re-assigned to NAS
Jacksonville, Florida. We travelled from Panama on the USS Butner,
an old Military transport ship. We arrived at NAS
Jacksonville, Florida. Lived in barracks on the base until housing
became available. I remember we lived in low, cinderblock constructed
houses. There was a large grassy area behind the houses with concrete
ditches running through it. There were little wooden bridges crossing
these ditches here and there. I remember the squadron was to go on
manouvers in Argentia, NF, I believe. But Dad had been suffering from
diabetes and hardening of arteries. The medics denied him flight
clearance. The squadron departed without him. I recall Dad took it
pretty hard since he had many friends on the ill fated plane. He had
been the Leading Chief of VP3. As stated, his MOS was Aviation Machinist
Mate. Not remembering exactly, I always assumed he had been Chief of
Maintenance or something like that. We only stayed in Jax for about six
months. Dad was re-assigned to NAS
Patuxent River, Maryland NATC. He worked in Base Security for
awhile. I remember he was also Secretary of the Chief's Club. A job he
relished, no doubt. Later on, before he retired to Vineland, NJ, he
spent a considerable time in Bethesda Naval Hospital....."
Contributed by Richard Evans email@example.com
"THE CRASH OF MB-1
AND SOME VP-3 NOTES" Contributed by Vincent A. Dauro firstname.lastname@example.org
On 1 Jun 1950, P2V-2 BuNO 122454 attached to VP-3 crashed on landing at
NAS Quonset Point, RI. VP-3 was based at NAS Jacksonville, Fla and was
enroute to advanced base temporary duty at Argentia, Newfoundland.
Her plane captain, who was killed in the crash, had a premonition that
something was wrong with her and had grounded her near the middle of
May. When he grounded her, she was given a major 240 hour check followed
by a test flight. Nothing unusual was found.
On the morning of June 1, the skipper CDR Gil Fraunheim, and copilot
LTJG Hal Hamberg with crew #1, and some other personnel, took off from
Quonset for the flight to Argentia. She had almost a full load of gas
and was carrying the Squadron's Classified documents in bomb bay trays.
She was also carrying luggage and personal effects of all aboard. They
were to be gone from Jacksonville for 2 months.
At about a half hour out, the starboard engine quit forcing a return to
Quonset Point for an emergency landing. Maximum gross weight of the
P2V-2 was 64000 lbs. Single engine weight about 56000 lbs. She was close
to 62000 lbs when the engine quit.
As she was heavier than single engine weight, the skipper had trouble
maintaining level flight returning. He decided that he could make it to
the runway without dropping the bomb bay trays or baggage.
GCA was set up on the wrong runway and the landing was downwind instead
of into the wind. Making a straight in approach, he was about 10-15 kts
fast on the glide slope. This was squadron SOP. The ceiling was about
250 feet and on breaking contact, he floated and touched down briefly
about half way down the runway and bounced back into the air.
We did not have nose wheel steering on the P2V-2 and normally would not
use reverse pitch for stopping after a single engine landing. It was
speculated that the port prop was inadvertently placed into reverse
while she was still above ground causing a wing to drop and contact the
runway. She flipped over and hit upside down. She caught on fire; over
2000 gallons of gas on board. During the slide out, she turned 180
degrees and ended with her nose pointed into the wind. This saved the
pilots as it blew the flames away from the cockpit. A Quonset enlisted
man, ran to the scene and helped them out through the broken windshield.
I do not remember which wing hit, but it broke at the fuselage, folded
over, and after she stopped both engines were together. As I remember,
the pilots were the only survivors. Since this was a squadron movement,
11 (maybe 12) others were on board.
Her navigator was a Midshipman who replaced me. He had not been with the
squadron very long and normally a more experienced 2nd copilot would be
aboard. He was to be commissioned when they reached Argentia.
I had been assigned as part of her crew in May. My log shows my last
flight in her was on 15 May 1950. I would normally have been aboard as
2nd copilot and navigator, but was going to be released to inactive duty
on 30 June. I was an Ensign at this time, an ex-Midshipman under the
Hollaway Plan, and was going back to college. There were several of us
in the squadron in this category. ENS Stokes, Sproull, DiFonzo and me.
We had been commissioned in 1949, and were not selected for retention in
the regular Navy.
Rather than carry us to Argentia for 2 weeks, we were transferred to FASRON
109 at Jacksonville for temporary duty until separation. We were given
the job of notifying the next of kin. Most had already heard the news on
radio and TV.
I was assigned the plane captain's widow and went out with the Chaplain
and a Doctor as she was in bad health. She was extremely mad at the Navy
for "Making her husband fly in an unsafe airplane". Later an
investigation was held. Nothing significant was found and no conclusion
was reached. I do not remember reading the accident report as the Korean
War began on 25 June while we were in the separation center at Jax and
things were hectic after we rejoined VP-3.
As a matter of interest, Gil was a good pilot, and his copilot Hal was
one of the best. Hal had been an All American football player. He had
played quarterback at the Naval Academy and was intelligent and