Greenwich, CT. – August 20, 1910

Greenwich, Connecticut – August 20, 1910

 

Harmon Wreck, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1910

     At 6:35 p.m. on the evening of August 20, 1910, famous aviator Clifford B. Harmon took off from Garden City, Long Island, N.Y.,  in his Farman bi-plane, and flew across Long Island Sound to Greenwich, Connecticut, where he landed at 7:05 p.m. in a grassy field near Sandy Beach and Indian Harbor where his father-in-law lived.  Upon landing, the aircraft skids struck rocks hidden by the grass causing the airplane to wreck and suffer serious damage.  Harmon was shaken but otherwise uninjured. 

     As word of the accident spread, sightseers converged on the area, and a guard was employed to watch over the aircraft until morning.  Despite the watchman, souvenir hunters managed to remove items from the plane before morning.    

     The following day the aircraft was disassembled and brought back to Long Island by the oyster boat Samuel Chard.  

     This was the first successful heavier-than-air flight in history to cross Long Island Sound.  Harmon had made several previous attempts to cross the Sound without success.  For completing the flight Harmon was awarded a $2,000 cup provided by the Doubleday Page Co. 

     Sources: 

     New York Tribune, “Benedict Proud Of Harmon”, August 22, 1901, page 3. 

     Norwich Bulletin, “Aeroplane trip Over The Sound”, August 22, 1910.

 

Greenwich, CT. – July 21, 1945

Greenwich, Connecticut – July 21, 1945

 

North American Texan Military Trainer
Author Photo

     At about 3:30 p.m., on the afternoon of July 21, 1945, a navy SNJ-5 Texan trainer aircraft, (Bu. No. 90720), with two men aboard left the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island for a training flight over Connecticut. About an hour later, while over Greenwich, Connecticut, the aircraft experienced problems with the engine’s fuel flow and began losing altitude.  The pilot made a crash-landing on a golf course.  The crew suffered non-life-threatening-injuries and the aircraft was heavily damaged.    

     Source:

     U. S. Navy accident report dated July 21, 1945. 

Greenwich, CT. – July 2, 1945

Greenwich, Connecticut – July 2, 1945

 

P-47 Thunderbolt – U.S. Air Force Photo

     On the afternoon of July 2, 1945, 1st. Lt. George S. Fitch was piloting a P-47D Thunderbolt, (Ser. No. 42-8296), on a ferry mission from Michigan to Bradley Air Field in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.  At about 4:20 p.m.  he encountered severe weather over the area of Greenwich, Connecticut, and crashed.  According to a statement released by Greenwich police, the right wing was found about a mile from the crash site.  The plane came down on the farm of  R. Lawrence Oakley, off Dingletown Road, and narrowly missed the house.  The debris field reportedly stretched for hundreds of feet.  Lieutenant Fitch was killed instantly. 

     Lieutenant Fitch had recently returned from overseas duty where he had served as a B-25 bomber pilot with the 489th Bombardment Squadron.  He’s buried in Rushville Cemetery in Gorham, New York.

     To see photographs of Lt. Fitch, visit www.findagrave.com, Memorial ID 78306938.   

     Sources:

      The Greenwich Press, (Greenwich, CT.), “Army Flyer Killed When Plane Crashes Here” – “P-47 Forced Down In Storm, Misses R. L. Oakley House”, July 3, 1945, page 1.   

     www.findagrave.com

     The Hartford Courant, “Storm Sends Plane Pilot To His death”, July 3, 1945

     The Hartford Courant, “Pilot Killed In Crash At Greenwich Identified”, July 4, 1945 

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