Mid-air collision Accident Curtiss P-40F Warhawk 41-13674, Sunday 3 January 1943
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Date:Sunday 3 January 1943
Type:Silhouette image of generic P40 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Curtiss P-40F Warhawk
Owner/operator:304th FSqn /337th FGp USAAF
Registration: 41-13674
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:838 5th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, Florida -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Pinellas Field, St. Petersburg FL
Destination airport:
On 3 January 1943 three P-40s of 304th FS, 337th FG took off from Pinellas Field, St. Petersburg, Florida, for a formation training flight. During the flight 2nd Lt David L. Green (of Kansas) was leading the three-airplane flight in string formation. When he rocked his wings as a signal to reform, one of the two other pilots, F/O Roy N. Grafstrom immediately came up on the right, on the outside. The third pilot, 2nd Lt. Frank W. Stevens III (from Selma, Alabama) came up fast and overshot Lt. Green. Lt. Green immediately came out of his turn and flew straight ahead. Lt. Stevens pulled out to the left, slowed down, and started into position. He came in too fast, and went underneath, and out of sight of Lt. Green. Lt. Green felt a hard jolt as Lt. Stevens' airplane (P-40F 41-13674) struck his (P-40F #41-14385). F/O Grafstrom, who saw the accident, stated that Lt. Stevens went under and ahead of Lt. Green's airplane. Lt. Stevens then pulled up into Lt. Green's propeller and his tail section was cut off. Lt. Steven's airplane went into a spin and struck the ground. The pilot made no effort to bail out, as he was still strapped to the seat when he was found, dead. Lt Green made a successful parachute jump. Both airplanes crashed in St. Petersburg, Florida, Stevens' striking a section of a house at 838 5th Avenue South, and Green's landing in a lot behind a house at 935 8th Avenue South. The collision occured at 1144 hrs local time. No one on the ground was hurt.

Soon after this accident the City Council of St. Petersburg discussed banning military overflights of the city. A few nights later the city was buzzed by a formation of planes flying so low their noise overpowered the sound track of a movie showing at the Florida Theater downtown. All seven telephone lines at the St. Petersburg Times as well as lines at the police department were kept busy for hours by worried citizens asking if the city was being invaded. The identity of the offending planes was never discovered and nothing more was heard from City Council on the subject of overflights.


"Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945. Volume 1, January 1941-June 1943", by Anthony J. Mireles. ISBN 0-7864-2788-4
"Aircraft Accidents in Florida from Pearl Harbor to the Atomic Bomb", by Robert Widner. ISBN 978-0-557-03523-6


Revision history:

22-Jul-2017 07:48 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Mar-2020 08:57 DG333 Updated [Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Operator]
04-Feb-2021 11:18 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]

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