Boston, MA. – October 11, 1929

Boston, Massachusetts – October 11, 1929

      On the morning of October 11, 1929, an 18-year-old student pilot from Brookline, Massachusetts, was taking off from the East Boston Airport in a DeHavilland Gipsy Moth aircraft, (Reg. no. NC-9733).  When the aircraft reached an altitude of 60 feet exhaust valve seat suddenly failed causing a thumping of the engine to occur.  The pilot turned to make an emergency landing and flew level, keeping the nose up while cutting the fuel switch.  The aircraft made a hard landing damaging the lower wings, landing gear and fuselage beyond repair.  The pilot was not injured. 

     Source:  Commonwealth of Massachusetts Aircraft Accident Report dated October 11, 1929, (Massachusetts Air And Space Museum)



East Boston Airport – November 5, 1929

East Boston Airport – November 5, 1929

     On November 5, 1929, a  de Havilland Moth airplane with two men aboard was taking off from East Boston Airport bound for Bridgeport, Connecticut, when at a height of 150 feet it suddenly lost power and fell to the ground.  It hit the runway and began cartwheeling and burst into flames before coming to rest.  Volunteers quickly formed a bucket brigade using water from Boston Harbor to douse the flames prior to the arrival of firefighters.  

     Both men aboard were killed.  They were identified as (Pilot) Clinton D. Johnston, reportedly about 28-years-old, an aircraft factory inspector for the Department of Commerce, and Henry Carter, 32, from Lebanon, New Hampshire.  

     Johnston was to have turned the aircraft over to Carter once they reached Bridgeport, where he would fly it to New York.


     New York Times, “Two Die In Crash At Boston Airport”, November 6, 1929

East Boston Airport – May 30, 1933

East Boston Airport – May 30, 1933

     On May 30, 1933, J. Oliver Beebe, 38, was taking flying lessons at East Boston Airport.  Three times that morning he flew with an instructor who supervised his landing techniques.  After three perfect landings, the instructor allowed Beebe to solo.  After two perfect landings, Beebe took off to circle the airport for another.  As he was approaching for the third landing, he overshot the runway and drifted out over the mud flats at the north end of the field.  He then banked the plane to turn around, and as he did so it suddenly fell from an altitude of 200 feet and dove nose first into the mud.  It took considerable time for rescuers to extricate Beebe from the wreckage.  He did not survive.

     Mr. Beebe graduated from Harvard University in 1916, and served with a French medical unit during World War I before the United States entered the war.  He then transferred to the U.S. 26th Infantry Division and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

     He was one of the first Americans to be awarded the French Croix de Gueere medal.  Other awards included citations from two French infantry divisions. 

     He was survived by his wife Alice, and their two children, and is buried in Lakeside Cemetery in Wakefield, Massachusetts.


     New York Times, “J. O. Beebe Killed In Plane Crash”, May 31, 1933

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