Saugus, MA – June 6, 1918

Saugus, Massachusetts – June 6, 1918

     On June 6, 1918, U.S. Army Lieutenant Torrey H. Webb was piloting a Curtis JN-4H “Jenny” airplane, (#39366) from New York to Franklin Field, (a.k.a. Atwood Field) in Saugus, Massachusetts.  The purpose of the flight was to deliver sacks of mail containing 4,400 letters, weighing 228 pounds. 

     It was reported that this flight marked the first New York to Boston aerial mail service.

     Lt. Webb made the historic trip in three hours and twenty-two minutes by following the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad tracks.  While en-route his compass developed a malfunction, so he landed briefly at Shailerville, Connecticut, a village within the town of Haddam, to make repairs.   After adjusting the compass, Webb took off again for Saugus.  Upon landing at Saugus, the wheels of his aircraft sank into soft ground causing the plane to abruptly nose over and toss Webb and his mechanic, Raymond Heck, from their seats.  Neither was injured.  The aircraft was sufficiently damaged to prevent an immediate return to the air.

     The mail was taken to Boston by automobile.

     A photograph of this accident can be seen at Digital Commonwealth. (Click on site below) 

     http://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/6682z638q

 

     Sources:

     (Norwich CT.) Norwich Bulletin, “First New York – Boston Airplane Mail Service”, June 7, 1918

     The Sun, (New York), “Plane With Boston Mail Damaged When It Lands”, June 7, 1918 

 

    

   

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