Providence River – July 27, 1913
On the evening of July 27, 1913, Rhode Island aviator Jack McGee was making flights from Crescent Park in East Providence, Rhode Island. After making a solo flight at 5:30 p.m., he landed and took off again with his younger brother Robert as a passenger. At about 6:30 McGee then made a third flight, this time with an unidentified friend as a passenger. As the plane headed out over the Providence River a chain to one of the propellers suddenly snapped and the aircraft began to fall. There was nothing that McGee could do, and the plane dove nose-first into the river just off the Bullock’s Point Lighthouse, and sank to the bottom taking both men with it.
Fortunately the water was only 20 feet deep. McGee was able to free himself, and then assisted his passenger from the tangled wires of the wreck, and both made it to the surface with relatively minor injuries. The aeronauts were rescued by a passing boat and brought to shore.
The Bullock’s Point Lighthouse was destroyed by the Hurricane of 1938.
Source: The Providence Journal, “Two In Aeroplane Fall Into The Bay”, July 28, 1913. (Article provided by Patricia Zacks.)