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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services

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Sangamon

Tuesday, January 25, 1944
Gasoline Explosion on Flight Deck
At 1651, on January 25th, during routine flight operations, a returning fighter failed to hook a wire on landing broke through the barriers, and crashed into parked planes on the forward flight deck. Its belly tank, torn loose, skidded forward, spewing flaming fuel. Fire soon spread among the planes. ... It raged along the flight deck and flames beat up over the bridge, making ship control extremely difficult. The former oiler was turned out of the wind, so that the fire could be fought. By 1659, it was under control. ... Seven of the crew died in those 8 minutes. Seven others were seriously injured, and, of the 15 who jumped over the side to escape the flames, 13 were picked up, two were missing.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 10

Namesort descending Service Branch
Sea 1c Hyrum Allyn USN
AMM 2c Joseph Backus USN
AMM 3c Harry Balcerak USN
AM 1c James Brashear USN
Lt(jg) Robett Donnelly USN
ACMM Frederic Harms USN
ARM 2c Joseph Kurland USN
AMM 2c Bert Scrafford USN
ACMM Curtis Sheppard USN
AMM 2c Harvey Wick USN