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...On Dec. 23, 1942, John W. Chew Jr. flew over Rehoboth Beach (DE) with Howard Carter aboard as an observer. On this particular flight, they were testing signal flares. As the CAP plane flew along the coast, Chew and Carter methodically dropped the flares and watched as the fiery signals descended to the water.

Without warning, their plane also began to drop, and a few moments later, it crashed into the chilly water 100 yards from the beach. Chew and Carter were alive in the aircraft, but the men were stunned, injured and swamped by the icy water.

On the beach, four Sea Scouts, William Massey, William Hamilton, Keith Coddington, and Frank Small, saw the aircraft plunge into the waves; and they reacted instantly.

A crowd of spectators had gathered to watch as the two pilots struggled to free themselves from the damaged plane. Without hesitation, the four teenagers pushed their way through the spectators, shed their clothes, and sprinted toward the surf.

Swimming through the rolling waves, the scouts reached the plane and pulled the two pilots from the wreckage. Neither Chew or Carter were in much condition to swim; but the four teenagers were able to ferry the two pilots ashore...

More at source:

Michael Morgan


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