Beverly, MA – July 16, 1936

Beverly, Massachusetts – July 16, 1936

     On July 16, 1936, well known orchestra leader Orville Knapp, 28, went to East Boston Airport where he’d been storing his airplane since recently flying it to Boston for an engagement.  At 4:30 p.m. Knapp took off for Beverly Airport in Beverly, Massachusetts, to practice making emergency landings with his motor shut off.    He landed at Beverly about a half-hour later, and spoke with those in charge at the airport regarding his intentions, and was granted permission. 

     A few minutes later he took off for his first practice run and circled the airfield.  As he was banking the aircraft to come in for a landing at the north end of the field, he shut the motor off while less than  300 feet in the air.  The aircraft dove in and crashed, but didn’t burn. 

     Several witnesses ran to the wreck and worked to remove Mr. Knapp who expired just after they freed him.   

    Orville Knapp was survived by his wife, Gloria (Grafton) Knapp, a Broadway actress.


     New York Times, “Orville Knapp Dies In Airplane Crash”, July 17, 1936.


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