From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Harry Howell '38

Date of birth: January 13, 1917

Date of death: March 24, 1941

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

Was killed in a flight accident on 24 March 1941. He was in VF-42 assigned to USS Ranger and operating out of NAS Chambers Field, Norfolk. VF-42 had just been re-designated from VS-41 and was formerly a SBU-4 dive bomber squadron and had only been operating F4Fs since the beginning of the month, though transition training started in February. While engaged in section tactics practice, the flotation gear in the wings of his F4F-3 inflated causing him to lose control of the aircraft. Though the devices deflated as he climbed to exert pressure on them, his plane spun to the right and crashed near Chick’s Beach in Princess Anne County, just to the east of Lynnhaven Inlet. This accident was the impetus for removal and discontinuation of the floatation gear, a concept that was a holdover from the biplane era.

  • NAS Pensacola attached for HTA flight training, 6/24/1940;
  • NAS Pensacola designated NA # 6979, 12/16/1940;
  • VF-42 NAS Norfolk KIFA F4F-3 crash off Chick's Beach, Princess Anne, VA

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

He was married in September 1940 in Pittsburgh.

Class of 1938

Harry is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.