Aviator Burial/Crash Site

Tracys Landing, Anne Arundel Co., MD

A fighter pilot on his way back to Andrews AFB crashed and burned in a field. Not too unusual near a military base and this happened a lot. But most were not fatal - this one was. Farmers tried to rescue this WW II 'hero' as he was struggling to escape the burning plane. He's buried today in Arlington Cemetery. The plane exploded and the fire department was helpless as they didn't have a foam truck close by. The property owners permanently deeded a 10'x10' section of land to his family with the understanding that this parcel never be disturbed again. Today, it sits along a lazy country road alongside a fenced pasture with 2 horses on "guard duty". Nearly 55 years ago but folks still care round these parts.

Excerpts from an article in the Annapolis Capital 27 Jun 1999:

The marker sits atop an area where on 26 April 1949 a young Air Force Lt. named Elmer L. Mercurio crash-landed his F-47 aircraft after a training mission. In 1948, the USAF redesignated the surviving P-47 aircraft (leftover from World War II), adopting F-for-Fighter rather than P-for-Pursuit. Lt Mercurio was a decorated veteran of that war. He had joined the D.C. Air National Guard when it formed in 1947.

Although plane crashes were routine around the DC-MD-VA area during the early days of aviation, most did not involve human fatalities. Lt. Mercurio was alive upon impact and struggled to free himself; local farmers attempted to get to the site after watching the crash, but a sudden explosion and eruption of flames prevented this.

Today, Lt. Mercurio rests at Arlington National Cemetery but he will never be forgotten in an area what is know as Tracys Landing in Southern Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Lt. Elmer L. Mercurio
1922 26 Apr 1949

Made available to The USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project by:
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This page was last updated June 4, 2004

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