Boston Harbor – June 5, 1930

Boston Harbor – June 5, 1930

Updated January 19, 2016

     On June 5, 1930, a Ford Tri-motor aircraft,  Nacomis, (NC9675) owned by Colonial Air Transport, with fifteen people aboard, took off from Boston Airport bound for New York.  Just after becoming airborne, while at an altitude of 100 feet, the right motor suddenly quit, causing the plane to go into a side slip and spin into the water of Boston Harbor.

     The tide was out at the time, and the water was only several feet deep, which many believed prevented the accident from being worse than it was. 

     One passenger drowned before help could arrive.   The deceased was identified as P. S. Thorsen, a contractor of both Boston and New York.

     Others aboard included:

     (Pilot) Owen O’Connor, and (Co-pilot) Val Chick


     Mrs. H. E. Webster, of N.Y.

     Simon De Vaulchier, of N.Y.

     W. E. Wilson, of Boston

     I. H. Morrison, of N.Y.

     M. H. Shapiro, of Boston

     H. D. Beaton, of N.Y.

     W. H. Sheafer, of Pittsburg, PA.

     Charles H. Jacobson, of Long Island, N.Y.

     Mrs. Charles Jacobson, of Long Island, N.Y.

     H. S. Ford Jr., of Brookline, MA.

     W. A. Stayton, of Rochester, PA.

     Henry Wallis, of Boston


     Aviation Safety Network,

     The Pittsburgh Press, “Pittsburger Hurt As Plane Dives Into Sea”, June 5, 1930

     New York Times, “Air Liner Plunges 15 In Boston Bay, 1 Dies”, June 6, 1930

Mt. Lamentation, Berlin, CT – September 17, 1929

Mt. Lamentation, Berlin, Connecticut – September 17, 1929 

     On the night of September 17, 1929, Henry H. Tallman, 33, a U.S. air mail pilot with Colonial Air Transportation, departed Brainard Field, in Hartford, bound for Newark, New Jersey, with 500 pounds of mail.  The weather was foggy, and ten minutes into the flight Tallman plowed into the side of 720 ft. high Mt. Lamentation.  The plane, a Pitcairn PA-6 Mailwing, exploded and burned on impact killing Tallman instantly. 

     Shortly before the crash Tallman was reportedly flying low to the ground, and almost struck a bus, and then a house, before hitting the mountain.  The owner of the home told reporters that the plane was within twenty feet of the ground seconds before the crash.

     Mr. Tallman had been flying the Boston to Newark route since January of 1929, having replaced Edward C. Carrington who died in a mail-plane crash at “Bald Hill”  Connecticut, on January 5th.  (The town and location of Bald Hill not specified.)  Carrington had replaced another air mail pilot, Daniel G. Cline, who died on September 3, 1927 while flying over Willington, Connecticut. 

     Henry Tallman was a veteran of World War I.  He was survived by his wife and daughter in Ridgewood, New Jersey.  He’s buried in Valleau Cemetery in Ridgewood.  (See  memorial # 39889207)

     Tallman was the third airmail pilot to die in the line of duty flying the Boston – Hartford – New York route.  


     New York Times, “Jersey Mail Pilot Killed In Crash”, September 18, 1929

     The Troy Times, “Pilot Killed When Plane Hit Mt. In Fog, September 18, 1929

     New Britain Herald, “Night Mail Pilot Killed In Berlin As Plane Crashes And Is burned Near Peak Of Mount Lamentation”, (With photo), September 18, 1929




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