Colonial Air Transport Inc. – 1925

     Colonial Air transport Inc. was organized on December 12, 1925 in New Haven Connecticut.  

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New Britain Herald
December 14, 1925, pg. 10

Webster, MA. – April 30, 1929

Webster, Massachusetts – April 30, 1929

     On the night of April 30, 1929, a U. S. Mail plane belonging to Colonial Air Transport, Inc. was attempting to take off from the Webster – Dudley Air Field when the aircraft failed to gain sufficient speed on the muddy field and crashed into a stone wall.  The plane was bound for Hartford, Connecticut, when the crash occurred.  The pilot, and his passenger, the night supervisor of the New York – Newark, N.J. line, were not injured. 

     Source: New Britain Herald, (Conn.), “Plane Wrecked In Webster”, May 1, 1929.         

Willington, CT – September 3, 1927

Willington, Connecticut – September 3, 1927

Missing Airmail Pilot 

      At 7:15 p.m. on the evening of September 2, 1927, a U.S. Airmail plane belonging to Colonial Air Transport Inc. left Boston bound for Brainard Field in Hartford.  The pilot was identified as Daniel G. Cline, 33, reported to be “one of the most experienced in the service of Colonial.”  There was also an unidentified passenger aboard.

     The trip was to take one hour, but while in-route Cline encountered misty rain and foggy weather, and was forced to make a landing in a field in Duxbury, Massachusetts.  There he waited for the weather to clear. 

     At 10: 15 p.m. he took off again, but left his passenger behind.  However foul weather forced him to make another emergency landing, this time in Webster, Massachusetts.  There he waited until after midnight to resume his journey.  After Cline’s departure, officials at Brainard Filed were informed that his aircraft  was once again airborne, and should be arriving within a half-hour.   But Cline never arrived, and when no word of another forced landing was received, so a search was instituted.

     The missing plane was discovered in a thickly wooded area along a rocky hill on the farm of John Hitsky, located in an area known as Moose Meadows in the town of Willington, Connecticut.  Cline’s body was found inside.

     Cline was the first mail pilot flying the newly established Boston – Hartford – New York airmail route to die in the line of duty.  Two others would follow.


     Woonsocket Call, “Air Express Plane 16 Hours Overdue, Believed To Be Lost”, September 3, 1927, pg. 1   

     New York Times, “Air Express Pilot Dead After Crash”, September 4, 1927

     Evening Star, (Wash. D.C.), “Mail Pilot Dies As Plane Crashes”, September 4, 1927, pg. 4



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