Cambridge, MA. – April 28, 1919

Cambridge, Massachusetts – April 28, 1919

     On April 28, 1919, a single-engine airplane with two men aboard was flying over the metro Boston area on a sight seeing tour.  The aircraft belonged to the New England Airplane Company.  While over Cambridge, the engine lost power, and the aircraft plunged 150 feet down into the Charles River, hitting the water about 100 feet from the Cambridge shore.  The crash was witnessed by a Cambridge police officer who commandeered a canoe and made his way to the sinking plane.  There he rescued the pilot who’d manage to free himself and had climbed onto the tail section still protruding from the water in an attempt to raise the forward section of the plane which was submerged.  The passenger, J. Lester Allen of Dorchester,  remained trapped in his seat, underwater, and was unable to free himself.  It took rescuers fifteen minutes to free him but by then it was too late. 


     Norwich Bulletin, “Passenger Drowned When Plane Fell Into River”, April 29, 1919

     Omaha Daily Bee, “Passenger Drowned When Plane Falls Into River”, April 30, 1919

     Richmond Times, “Pay Passenger Killed As Airplane Falls”, April 29, 1919


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