National Guard

National Guard Airman Helped People Off B-17 After Plane Crash at Bradley Airport

Chief Master Sgt. James M. Traficante is the current command chief for the 103rd Airlift Wing

A Connecticut National Guard Airman was on the vintage B-17 aircraft when it crashed at Bradley Airport on Wednesday morning and he acted quickly and heroically to help other passengers get off the plane after the crash.

Chief Master Sgt. James M. Traficante had brought his military-issued flame retardant flight gloves with him during the flight and used them when he opened a hatch on the aircraft, allowing other passengers off the plane after the crash, according to the Connecticut National Guard.

Traficante is the current command chief for the 103rd Airlift Wing and a trained C-130 loadmaster who is experienced in handling emergency incidents on aircrafts.

He suffered injuries and was transported to Hartford Hospital for treatment. 

The Airman was released Wednesday evening and is recovering at home.

The National Guard said any further details on his specific actions will be revealed through the investigation.

After the 1944 B-17 bomber crash, the Connecticut National Guard provided support and the Connecticut National Guard’s Civil Support Team responded at the request of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protections to provide air-monitoring services.

“The Connecticut National Guard is thankful that our Airman on board the aircraft is safe and I ask that you respect his and his family’s privacy as he recovers,” Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard, said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragic accident. We are grateful for our firefighters who responded and who have worked tirelessly in supporting crash and recovery operations. The response to the B-17 crash was a joint effort and a great example of state and local municipalities working together. We will continue to provide support any way we can.”

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