Just Plane Interesting
Lt. Vincent H. Core Memorial
Memorial Town Forest, Farmington
We Nutmeggers have a penchant for memorializing somewhat random people, places, and things around the state. I revel in finding these things and writing about them.
The Lt. Core Memorial in the middle of the woods in Farmington isn’t on far end of the random scale like, say, the marker for the first condensed milk factory in the US (in Torrington), but it’s still unique.
I took the boys for a hike through Farmington’s Memorial Town Forest with the goal of finding this place. Obviously, we succeeded.
After hiking a mile and a half through the forest, we made it to the orange blazed Memorial Loop trail and headed up it towards the memorial. The orange trail is not as wide as the main one, but it is well-marked and cleared.
There are closer access points to the orange trail than the trailhead we used off of route 177, if you so choose (Red Oak Hill Road and Reservation Road).
We can thank local Boy Scout troops for this trail. It was originally created in the 1970’s by a Bristol Boy Scout for his Eagle service project, and it continues to be maintained by Farmington’s Troop 68 – after another Eagle Scout project created the orange loop trails.
As we got nearer the site, many signs pointed the way to the Vincent H. Core Memorial. The signs served to drum up excitement in my sons.
I have no idea what Calvin was expecting, but I think he thought he was about to see an actual plane crashed in the woods. Even so, he seemed satisfied once we reached the rather fancy memorial site.
On April 11, 1945, 2nd Lt. Vincent H. Core died in a training run, crashing his P47 Thunderbolt plane into the Farmington Memorial Forest, and avoiding major population centers in Bristol. The Memorial is dedicated to his focused decision before his plane crashed.
This guy is feted as a hero… at least here, in the middle of the woods in Farmington. (Although, the site is nearly within sight of some houses.)
There’s an American flag. A gravestone of sorts. A memorial plaque. And… I’m guessing a birdhouse with a model of 2nd Lt. Core’s P47 Thunderbolt on top.
We stopped for some snacks but Calvin was far more interested in what happened to the pilot’s body.
“Is he buried here? Where’s the plane? When he crashed, did he just get buried automatically? Is this like a cemetery for one person? I would never want to live next to a cemetery and all those dead people. Why did he crash? When was 1945? Three years after Granddad was born? That is a LONG time ago!”
I think it’s pretty cool that this guy is memorialized here. The apocryphal tale about how he purposely crashed in the woods rather than into houses is a nice touch. As if anyone knows what was in his head when his engine failed.
But fail it did and dead he is, and now we have a rather impressive memorial in the middle of the woods for him.
Map and info
CTMQ’s Farmington Town Trails page
Kris McDaniel-Miccio saysMarch 15, 2020 at 4:27 am
This was my 2nd cousin. He was a hero. And I am thrilled I found this. The plane blew up. upon impact. No body. 15 ft crater. He diverted to save lives. Gave his own.