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LTJG Everett Newell Frothingham, Naval Aviator

by Nov 30, 2019

Everett Newell Frothingham was born in 1921 in Newburyport, Massachusetts and raised during the Great Depression. He attended Jacob F. Spalding Grammar School, graduated from Amesbury High, and went on to enroll in Tilton Junior College in the Fall of 1939 shortly before Hitler’s forces invaded Poland.

Young Everett learned to fly at Plum Island, the first flying field in New England. There famed Aviator Johnnie Polando established a commercial airport with his business partner and fellow aviator Warren Frothingham, Everett’s father. They began passenger and mail service, and pilot training courses in the mid-1930’s. Everett earned his student pilot certification there in August 1940.

Everett graduated from Tilton Junior College in the summer of 1941. He enlisted in the Navy in November, three weeks before the Pearl Harbor attack.

Two months later, in February 1942, his enlisted service was terminated so that he could accept appointment as an Aviation Cadet in the Naval Reserve. By August, he’d reported to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida for operational flight training.

Later that year, in November, he was ordered to report to the Chief of Air Operational Training at NAS, Quonset Point, Rhode Island for temporary active duty with Scouting Squadron 33.

In mid- May Frothingham requested 10 days leave. On May 15th he and Miss. Regina Anne Blazek of New York City were married. They honeymooned at a cottage at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

That summer, on July 5, 1943, Frothingham was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (jg).

Frothingham remained with Scouting Squadron 33 until mid-April, 1944 when he was ordered to report to the Commander Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, to board the first available transportation, and to report for temporary active duty with Scout Observation Service Unit 2 at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia.

He was further ordered to report to the CO, NAS New York for assignment of quarters for he and his wife. Unfortunately, no government quarters were available.

While there he completed a two-day course in fire-fighting.

A month later, on May 8, 1944, Frothingham received orders detaching him from Scout Observation Service Unit Two and directing him to report for duty at the Naval Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York City’s first municipal airport and the busiest Naval Air Station in the country during WWII. He arrived on September 30, 1944 and was assigned to duty in connection with the maintenance, upkeep and training of personnel for the Aviation Unit assigned to the battleship USS Missouri, commissioned on June 11, 1944. He was authorized $7.00 per diem due to lack of available government quarters.

In July, while fuel, ammunition and provisions were being loaded aboard Missouri and departure appeared eminent, Lt. Frothingham requested ten days leave and returned with his wife to their honeymoon cottage at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

In late August 1944, with Missouri conducting various training exercises in vicinity of Trinidad, British West Indies, the Aviation Unit was directed to proceed with all planes and necessary personnel to the Naval Air Station, Trinidad to assume semi-shore-based status, and to participate in various training exercises including gunnery spotting practice for the ship’s main and secondary battery guns.

In October 1944, while Missouri remained moored at the New York Navy Yard Annex at Bayonne, New Jersey, Frothingham was ordered to report aboard to Medical Officer, Lt. Commander Lampson, for his physical examination.

By mid-November, Missouri was underway for the Panama Canal Zone, enroute to San Francisco, and from there to Pearl Harbor and war in the Pacific.

While in Dry Dock at Hunters Point, San Francisco, on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1944, Everett purchased a $25 War Bond in the name of his wife, Regina Frothingham.

At 0806, on December 18, 1944, Missouri got underway for Pearl Harbor, arriving just before evening colors, on Christmas eve.

On January 2, 1945, Missouri departed Pearl Harbor bound for Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands, Western Pacific, arriving on January 13 and proceeding to her assigned anchorage at Berth #6.

Following various training exercises, Missouri got underway from Ulithi at 0720 on 10 February 1945. Three SC-1 Seahawks of the Aviation Unit, one piloted by Lt. Frothingham, were catapulted off the stern at 0821. Shortly thereafter one of the aircraft was observed in a steep glide trailing smoke from its engine.

It crashed during an attempted landing bearing 285 degrees T, 10,000 yards from the ship. The USS Lewis Hancock was dispatched to the vicinity of the crash but later reported that its attempts to save the pilot, Lt. (jg) Everett Frothingham, were unsuccessful.

On March 8, 1945, Everett’s wife, Regina, received a telegram from the Navy department informing her that Everett was missing in action. A subsequent telegram stated: “The Navy department deeply regrets to inform you that a careful review of all facts available relating to the disappearance of Lt. Everett Frothingham, USNR, previously reported missing, leads to the conclusion that there is no hope for his survival and that he lost his life as a result of drowning due to airplane crash on 10 February 1945 while in service of his country.” He was 23 years old.

On May 1st, 1945, Everett and Regina’s son, Lawrence Everett Frothingham was born.

Source material including copies of military personnel records have been provided for use by Lawrence Everett Frothingham.



TENTATIVE CATAPULT PROCEDURES FOR CATAPULT OFFICERS (16 July 1944)

1. OOD sounds flight quarters thirty minutes before catapulting

2. AV Division puts planes on catapults and starts engines

3. Catapult officer makes meticulous and complete check off of catapult, have pilot sign check off list and report this to Officer in charge.

4. On word from officer in charge, check safety pins up, gun unloaded, breech open, give one finger warm up.

5. Pilot signals OK by thumbs up signal or not OK by thumbs down signal after throttling down.

6. If OK, test safety pins (leave up) and report catapult ready to officer in charge.

7. Officer in charge reports ready to bridge.

8. As soon as launching course is received, train catapult to optimum angle. Cross deck catapult fires first if cross deck shot is to be made.

9. Red flag held steady indicates five (5) minutes to go. Load gun.

10. On receipt of green flag, (the reshowing of red flag after green means belay green flag.) check line of flight, clear, pins up. Give two (2) finger warm up.

11. On receipt of ready signal from pilot (arm horizontal, palm down), signal pins down, check, fire catapult on up roll just as plane of the track crosses horizon. If pilot does not want to be catapulted after 2 finger warm up has been given, he will signal with thumb down waved in vertical plane. On this signal put pins up, unload gun, and exhibit change to pilot. He will not throttle down until this is done.

OTHER DAY SIGNALS:

1. Hand across throat from catapult officer means cut switch.

2. Hand waving to simulate throttling down means throttle down to idling speed.

Night procedure is the same as day with the following exceptions in signaling:

1. White flash light waved in small circles indicates one flinger warm up.

2. White flash light in large circles indicates two finger warm up.

3. Blinking of running lights after one finger warm up indicates thumbs up signal.

4. Steady running lights after two (2) finger warm up indicates pilot ready signal.

5. No running lights after one (1) finger warm up signals thumbs down.

6. White flash light in vertical line from pilot means put pins up; unload gun, and exhibit change.

7. Flash light across throat means cut switch.

8. Pins are signaled up and down by putting white flash light up or down respectfully.

9. Red and green flag signals are replaced with red and green light signals.

PRECAUTIONS:

1. Make thorough check off list.

2. Fire on up roll.

3. Check position of pins yourself.

4. Have gunners mate wipe face of breech before loading gun.

5. Be sure line of flight is clear for at least 1000 yards.

6. Wind component of five (5) knots down the track is required.

7. If mis-fire or hang-fire occurs, put pins up and await orders.

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Source: Frothingham Collection; provided for use by Lawrence Everett Frothingham