Bethany, CT. – June 17, 1939

Bethany, Connecticut – June 17, 1939

     On the afternoon of Friday, June 16, 1939, two male youths, one 13, and the other 14, went to the Bethany Airport to watch planes take off and land.  According to a worker who remembered them, they reportedly stayed until later in the night before leaving. 

      Shortly after 2 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, 1939, they returned with the intent of “joy riding” in some airplanes.  The airport was closed at this time, so they broke into a hangar through a window, and opened large doors from the inside.  They then wheeled one of the airplanes outside and broke open a gasoline tank and fueled the plane. 

     The 14-year-old sat in the pilot’s seat and started the engine and taxied in a westerly direction until he struck a wooden marker damaging the plane. 

     The boys then pulled a second plane from the hangar and repeated the process.  This time the plane crashed into a fence along a roadway at the edge of the field.  Neither youth was injured, but decided that the noise they’d created might have attracted someone’s attention, so they fled the area taking with them leather jackets flying helmets, and aviator sun glasses, as well as handgun and some cash they found in a drawer.  The spent the rest of the night hiding out in a wooded area.      

     The following day the 13-year-old youth surrendered to police and related what had taken place. The other youth, who was known to have a criminal record, remained at large until captured on June 22.  Both were sentenced to serve time at the Connecticut State School.  


     Waterbury Democrat, “Search Still On Fir Air-Minded Youth”, June 19, 1939, pg. 5.

     Waterbury Democrat, ‘Naugatuck Boy Still Missing”, June 20, 1939.

     Waterbury Democrat, “Naugatuck Boy Caught In Woods”, June 22, 1939.

     Waterbury Democrat, “Youths, 13 and 14, Go To State School”, June 23, 1939

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