Poet Coffin’s Son Parachutes to Safety in Norwood Crash

Sun, Aug 6, 1944 – 15 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) ·

NORWOOD. Aug. 5—A Navy fighter plane which exploded after developing trouble in its oil line and crashed a few yards beyond Winslow playground where 200 children were playing at noon today, was piloted by Ens Robert P. Coffin son of the famous poet. Robert F Tristram Coffin. 1st Naval District officers announced tonight.

Ens Coffin bailed out and parachuted to safety in a yard on Washington st., but Mrs. Mary Rombola, 115 Chapel st., sustained a possible shoulder fracture when the plane knocked the chimney off her house and caused her to fall down stairs. The flyer was treated at Norwood Hospital for minor injuries.

Fire in the plane showered the area with burning bits of wreckage and machine-gun bullets. Naval officials said Ens Coffin was on a routine operational flight from Squantum Naval Air Station. The flyers home is at 44 Hartswell st., Brunswick, Me.

Navy Plane Crash at Norwood Sets Houses and Grass on Fire

NORWOOD. Aug. 5—Fire in a naval plane from Squantum in mid-air over this town this noon, caused an explosion which disintegrated the plane, showering the area with wreckage and live ammunition. The pilot, whose name was not immediately given out by naval authorities, bailed out and parachuted to safety, but Mrs. Mary Rombola, 115 Chapel st., fell down a flight of stairs when the damaged plane took the chimney off her house, and was hospitalized for a questionable fracture of the shoulder.

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Firemen, called on a triple alarm, fought blazes kindled in the homes of Joseph Pellowe, 114 Chapel st.; Anthony Rombola, 115 Chapel st , and Mrs. Donald Falconer, 219 Winslow av., as well as a number of grass fires set by blazing wreckage or gasoline.

Selectman Harry B. Butters appealed to citizens and youngster who scrambled to collect ammunition as ‘‘souvenirs” to turn it in to the police as it was “live ammunition” which might cause casualties.

The plane missed by a few rods falling into the Winslow Playground. where more than 200 children were collected. The scene, close to the estate of Ex-Gov. Frank Allen, was quickly filled by a large crowd attracted by the crash and fire apparatus, ambulances and police.

The pilot landed in an open field and was taken to Norwood Hospital, but his injuries included only lacerations of face and legs. Naval authorities began an investigation of the accident.