Greenwich, CT. – August 20, 1910

Greenwich, Connecticut – August 20, 1910


Harmon Wreck, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1910

     At 6:35 p.m. on the evening of August 20, 1910, famous aviator Clifford B. Harmon took off from Garden City, Long Island, N.Y.,  in his Farman bi-plane, and flew across Long Island Sound to Greenwich, Connecticut, where he landed at 7:05 p.m. in a grassy field near Sandy Beach and Indian Harbor where his father-in-law lived.  Upon landing, the aircraft skids struck rocks hidden by the grass causing the airplane to wreck and suffer serious damage.  Harmon was shaken but otherwise uninjured. 

     As word of the accident spread, sightseers converged on the area, and a guard was employed to watch over the aircraft until morning.  Despite the watchman, souvenir hunters managed to remove items from the plane before morning.    

     The following day the aircraft was disassembled and brought back to Long Island by the oyster boat Samuel Chard.  

     This was the first successful heavier-than-air flight in history to cross Long Island Sound.  Harmon had made several previous attempts to cross the Sound without success.  For completing the flight Harmon was awarded a $2,000 cup provided by the Doubleday Page Co. 


     New York Tribune, “Benedict Proud Of Harmon”, August 22, 1901, page 3. 

     Norwich Bulletin, “Aeroplane trip Over The Sound”, August 22, 1910.


Harry N. Atwood Cross Country Flight Records – 1911

Harry N. Atwood Cross Country Flight Record – 1911

     Harry N. Atwood, (1883 – 1967)

     The following article appeared in The Washington Times, June 30, 1911, page 10.  


Aviator Harry Atwood

     NEW LONDON, June 30. – Harry N. Atwood, the boy aviator, with a passenger, made a flight of 107 miles in order to witness the Harvard-Yale rowing regatta today.

     Leaving the Harvard aviation field at Squantum Mass., at 7:05, he crossed the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut and arrived at his destination at 9:10 o’clock.

     With weather conditions ideal all the way, he covered the 107 miles in 125 minutes, an average of a fraction over 51:56 miles an hour.

     Atwood broke the American record for a single flight across country, and established a world’s mark for passenger carrying flight across country.     

     One hundred thousand visitors who jammed into New London and were ready to leave for the race course, forgot all about college rooting and cheered themselves hoarse when Atwood circled twice around the Groton monument, directly across the Thames River from the New Haven Railroad station,  passed over the big drawbridge, and flew over the two-mile course at a speed which the waiting oarsmen at Red Top and Gales ferry envied.

     The Yale and Harvard crews for the moment turned loose all their enthusiasm and cheered the daring aviator.

     Secretary of the Navy Meyer and party aboard the Untied States dispatch boat Dolphin applauded Atwood wildly and the great fleet of yachts on both sides of the race course tied down their whistles and fired salute after salute from their cannon.

     After passing the Dolphin, Atwood picked out the west bank of the river for a landing place.  He volplaned from a height of 1,000 feet in two magnificent sweeps and landed lightly on the ground in Riverside park to the south of the drawbridge.


     Atwood would break his own record thirty days later when he flew from Boston to New York, a distance of 139 miles.  This trip received much more attention by the press than the one to New London.   

Click on image to enlarge.

A vintage postcard view of Harry N. Atwood and his airplane.


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