Boeing Model 21: Record of Crash

Published 6/6/1925
“Edward Hubbard, Seattle Flyer, Plunges Into Lake in Navy Plane, Escapes Death”
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Noted comment within article: “The seaplane, badly damaged, was towed to shore.”

It is unlikely any substantial portion of this aircraft remains in the lake. But I would expect that as a result of crashing nose first into the water at a high rate of speed (from a fall that originated at 4000 ft) at least some of the wreckage remains in the lake.

Boeing Model 21 (NB-2)

Date: 6/5/1925
Type: Boeing Model 21 (NB-2)
Common Name: Boeing Biplane Seaplane Trainer
Serial/BU#: A-6788
Sqd/Group: US Navy
Pilot: Hubbard, Ed
Rank: Civilian
Injuries: Minor
Remarks: Engine Failed
Recovered: No Information/Unknown
Other Remarks:
“plunged into Lake Washington off Madison Park”
“crashed nose first at high rate of speed”
“[took off from] Puget Sound airway hanger at Madison Park”

General Info:
As Boeing became recognized as the leading designer of military aircraft, it received in 1923 a Navy order for the trainer Model 21, or NB-1 and NB-2. The company delivered 70 Model 21s in 1924 and 1925.


  • VNB-1 – prototype (1 built)
  • NB-1 – original production machine with Lawrance J-1 radial engine (41 built)
  • NB-2 – production machine with Wright-Hispano E engine (30 built)
  • NB-3 – one NB-1 with lengthened fuselage and modified empennage to improve handling, and Hispano-Suiza E engine.
  • NB-4 – one NB-1 converted similar to NB-3, but with Lawrance J-1 engine.

The NBs were produced in two batches; the first (NB-1) were powered by radial engines and the second by war-surplus V-8s still in the Navy’s inventory.

NB-1 Photos
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USRC Scout – Which One Is It?

Historical Information on the USRC Scout
[Reprint of contents published by WJaccard, June 2008]

In 1897, a 65 foot wooden revenue cutter was built
at Port Townsend to patrol the waters of the Puget
Sound. The boat had a 9 ft. 6 in. beam and 5 ft. 5 in.
draft. She was powered with a compoundexpansion
steam engine, and her main tasks were
to deal with illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

In 1903, another wooden revenue cutter was built at
Astoria to patrol the waters off Oregon. This boat
had a similar design and similar dimensions to the
original Scout, but was reportedly only 62 ft. long.
This revenue cutter was originally powered with a
compound-expansion steam engine, and originally
named “Patrol.”

In 1915, the “Patrol” was completely rebuilt and
equipped with a three-cylinder, 50-horsepower
gasoline engine. At that time, she was renamed
“Scout” and transferred from Astoria to Puget
Sound, where she replaced the original “Scout.”

This new Scout was the fourth motor-powered craft
in Coast Guard service, exclusive of motor tenders
used by the large cutters. She was commanded by
Pilot Benjamin Lichtenberg.

The remains of one of these revenue cutters named
“Scout” are located in Lake Washington, off Yarrow
Point, in approximately 85 feet of water. The
wooden hull rests on its port side. The hull is intact
but empty. The name “Scout” is still legible on the
sides of the hull near the bow. It appears that the
vessel was stripped and then the hull was scuttled.

While we have measured the dimensions of the hull
in the lake, given the similar dimensions of the two
revenue cutters and uncertainty as to how the reported
measurements were taken, we cannot determine
with any certainty which “Scout” is in the lake.

Grumman F4F Wildcat & TBF-1 Avenger

F4F Wildcat and TBF-1 Avenger
F4F Wildcat grumman-tbf-avenger.jpg
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Collision Details:

Date: August 17, 1942

  • 4 Grumman Avenger bombers making simulated group torpedo run on Meydenbauer Bay, Lake Washington
  • 3 Wildcat fighters attempting to oppose run
  • 1 Wildcat held his attack too long
  • Mid air collision between 1 Wildcat and 1 Avenger; both aircraft crash and sink
  • Avenger Pilot, Radioman Injured, Tail Gunner Killed

Operating out of NAS Seattle at Sand Point, four Avenger torpedo bombers made a simulated torpedo attack on a target in Lake Washington, located near Meydenbauer Bay.

Three Wildcat fighters were simulating defense of the target.

The torpedo bombers were traveling east, toward Bellevue, at about 200 knots. The three fighters made an opposing run from ahead at about 300 knots. The pilot of one Wildcat held his attack too long to affect a safe recovery and collided with one of the Avengers. The fighter pilot continued west, toward Seattle, lowered his landing gear to slow his plane and bailed out. The Wildcat went into the lake off Leshi.

The damaged Avenger and other aircraft flew north toward NAS Seattle. According to Seattle Times cartoonist, Sam Groff, who was fishing
from a boat,

“I saw five planes flying in formation. There were three torpedo bombers and two fighters. Suddenly one of the bombers began to tip on
its right wing. It was getting lower and lower. The next instant it struck. The impact tore off the right wing.” (Seattle Times, August 18, 1942).

After the crash, the pilot, F. W. Janney of Philadelphia, PA, and top turret gunner, Charles W. Price of Houston, TX, managed to get out of the damaged
Avenger before it sank. However, the radioman/ventral gunner, Bernard J. Viscovich of Shamokin, PA, was trapped in the plane and

Another eyewitness, Paul Moran, provided this account of the crash:

“I was on a sailboat near the crash site when it occurred. We had been to a marina in Houghton and were returning toward moorage between Juanita and Champagne Point. Someone aboard shouted “look at that plane!” and when I looked it was approaching the water at high speed and at a fairly steep angle. When it hit, the wings appeared to fold forward and all kinds of debris threw up spray ahead of it. A large piece of debris, which we thought was the propeller, cart wheeled across the water ahead of the fuselage. We saw what we thought to be the pilot thrown 20 to 30 feet into the air. We turned the boat around and proceeded to the crash site to see if there were any survivors. We found a person floating in his life jacket who was dazed and barely conscious. We could see another person also floating in the water some distance away that seemed to be in slightly better shape so we stayed with the first person to be sure he wouldn’t drown. We were afraid to bring him aboard because we didn’t know the extent of his injuries. We held him along side until a crash boat arrived from NAS Seattle which retrieved both persons.” (Personal Communication, December 3, 2004).

Artist’s 3D Rendering of Wildcat today:
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F4F Underwater Images:
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Seattle Times, August 18th, 1942
“Planes Victim’s Body Hunted”
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Avenger Underwater Images:
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Avenger Pilot F.W. Janney
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Sonar Imagery (F4F and TBF-1)
f4f_wildcat_sonar1.jpg avenger.jpg
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One YMS Identified, Another YMS Identity Narrowed

Of the 3 Minesweepers at the bottom of Lake Washington, only the YMS-359 was positively identified since their discoveries (the YMS-359 has 359 painted on the bow).

Now the guys over at are reporting they have identified one of the other two minesweepers and narrowed the identity of the third.

The least intact YMS in the lake is now identified as the YMS-416.

Short history on the YMS-416:
“Laid down 9 January 1944 by the Stadium Yacht Basin Inc., Cleveland, OH; Launched 28 May 1944; Completed 21 October 1944; Struck from the Navy Register 7 February 1947; Sold 6 December 1947.” Fate (previously) unknown. At some point this one was stripped and scuttled.

The YMS we discovered most recently looks like it may be the YMS-118, -124 or -311. Here is a short history on those three ships:

YMS 118 : Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1946; Sold in 1951 to the Northland Navigation Co., Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, rebuilt as a general cargo vessel and named Pacific Prince; Sold 31 January 1962 to Skeena Navigation Ltd. of Vancouver; Sold 31 March 1962 to the Northwest Shipping Co., Ltd. of Vancouver; Sold 16 June 1966 to Fred S. Hill and John R. Keebaum of Seattle, WA and rebuilt as a fishing boat and renamed V-O; Sunk in February 1967 in a voyage from Seattle to King Cove, AK.

YMS 124: Laid down, 4 December 1941 by the Krause and Banks Shipbuilding Co., Inc., North Bend, OR; Launched, 6 June 1942; Completed, 23 October 1942; Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1946. Fate unknown.

YMS 311: Commissioned USS YMS-311, 6 November 1943; Decommissioned, 31 July 1946 and placed in service as a Naval Reserve training ship; Named Robin and reclassified as a Motor Minesweeper, AMS-53, 1 September 1947; Recommissioned in February 1952; Reclassified as a Coastal Minesweeper (Old), MSC(O)-53, 7 February 1955; Decommissioned 7 December 1957 and placed in service as a training ship at Tacoma, WA; Placed out of service in the summer of 1961; Struck from the Naval Register, 1 August 1961. Fate unknown.

I tend to believe the most recent YMS to be discovered is the YMS-118 because the wreck we are diving has clearly been rebuilt into a fishing vessel. Note square windows of pilot house in prior posts – square windows are not ‘original equipment’ for any YMS as they all had round bomb-blast/porthole type windows.

The inconsistency with calling this YMS the -118 is that it reportedly sank in route to Alaska – so how did it end up at the bottom of Lake Washington?

Wreck of the Fishing Vessel ‘Sonny’

In a joint effort with Scott Boyd of we recently located a very nice 38′ fishing boat in the south end of Lake Washington.

This wreck is completely intact, which leads us to believe it foundered in some unexpected manner.

The incredible photos included here are taken by Scott Boyd who I consider one of the best underwater wreck photographers in the Northwest.

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