At 4 p.m. on June 23, 1948 over the lower east side of Detroit.  A Hellcat Navy fighter was hit by a Corsair.  The Hellcat pilot, Ensign John H. Nicholson, was killed when his plane crashed through the roof of the Putnam Tool Co., 2881 Charlevoix.  60 people in the machine shop fled to safety.  The Corsair crashed and exploded two blocks away on Benson near McDougall.  Four homes burned.  The pilot was killed - Ensign Roy M Schultheiss.  The men were part of a two week training session for Naval reservists with Attack Squadron 89-A operating out of Grosse Ile.  Observers said the pilots could have saved themselves by jumping but stayed with their planes to try to avoid damage to those living below.  This information came from a Detroit Free Press article dated June 24, 1948.  Hope this helps - Clare Koester
 

The 23 June 1948 accident involved:

F6F-5   79445     Ens. J.H. Nicholson

F4U-4   96790     Ens. R.K. Schultheiss

They were part of a formation cross-country to Traverse City and the collision occurred during a right turn over Detroit. The F4U prop cut the tail off the F6F. -- George Kernahan


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