ALFRED A. SAWYER, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Alfred Sawyer '45

Date of birth: July 18, 1922

Date of death: June 23, 1948

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1945 Lucky Bag:


Loss

From an email on January 19, 2019 from Alfred's son, also named Alfred:

He was killed in a plane crash on June 23, 1948. I was born August 11 of that same year, so I never knew him.

The class of 1945, as you know, graduated in 1944 because of the War. My father was a gunnery officer on the heavy cruiser Portland in the South Pacific and went to flight training in Pensacola in 1946.

About 10 years ago I finally got the accident report from the Navy. He was flying the SB2C Helldiver near El Centro, California on the morning of the crash. His squadron was firing Tiny Tim rockets at ground targets. This required diving from about 8,000 ft AGL, pulling out at around 1,000 ft AGL and firing the rockets. On his last run of the day he pulled out of the dive and a portion of the right horizontal stabilizer broke off, causing the airplane to enter an uncontrollable roll to the right at an altitude too low to bail out.

He was married in February 1947; his wife was eight months pregnant at the time of his loss.

Alfred is buried in California and has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Conrad Grove, Jr. '45, Lloyd Wyatt, Jr. '45, Arthur Day '45, Robert Billings '45, James Dawley, Jr. '45, Jack Flanagan '45, Richard Hodsdon '45, and John Horn '45 were also in 8th Company.


Class of 1945

Alfred is one of 59 members of the Class of 1945 on Virtual Memorial Hall.