Henry Elnathan Beckwith

Seaman 1st Class Henry Elnathan Beckwith survived the crash of a U.S. Navy Liberator off the Irish coast but died on board a life raft before coming ashore.

Seaman 1st Class

Henry Elnathan Beckwith


Seaman 1st Class Henry Elnathan Beckwith (2045784) served in Fleet Air Wing 5, United States Navy during the Second World War. Born on 27th April 1925 and known as Nathan, he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Beckwith of Massachusetts, U.S.A.

In civilian life, Nathan resided in Pascoag, Rhode Island, U.S.A. Seaman 1st Class Beckwith died on 15th September 1944 while serving on Consolidated PB4Y-1 Liberator #38799 (ex U.S.A.A.F. #44-40511). The plane crashed on 14th September 1944 off the coast of Donegal, Ireland. The crew had lost their bearings and ran low on fuel en route from Goose Bay, Newfoundland to Meeks Field, Iceland.

Beckwith survived the crash but died later while on a life raft in the stormy waters. Five other crew members returned to shore near Ballyconneely, Galway, Ireland 36 hours after the crash. They were Lieutenant James O. Trudeau, Seaman 1st Class Frank P. Cicero, Aviation Radioman 3rd Class Gerald S. Flecker, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Wilbur D. Lyle, and Aviation Ordnanceman Joseph E. Vigeant. The naval survivors remained in Clifden Hospital until 21st September 1944 before making their way to Northern Ireland.

The remaining crew members, Ensign Carl Grey Snavely Jr., Ensign Philip Arthur Mills, Aviation Radioman 2nd Class Joseph Gerard Fleucher, and Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Vernon Howard Petersen, were lost
at sea.

Burial first took place at Lisnabreeny American Military Cemetery, Belfast. After the war, Beckwith was repatriated to Plot H, Grave 8377 of Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York, U.S.A.

© 2024 WartimeNI | Design & Development: Scott Edgar | Hosted by: Big Wet Fish