Lake Waramaug, CT – July 7, 1929

Lake Waramaug, Connecticut – July 7, 1929

     Lake Waramaug lies in three towns, Kent, Warren, and New Prospect.  It is unclear in which town this accident occurred. 

     On July 7, 1929, two men, Martin F. (Texas) Brown, 34, and Gordon Spencer Whittley, 19, were in an open cockpit Waco biplane heading from New Jersey to an outing at Lake Waramaug.  Brown was an experienced airman, and of late had been teaching Whittley how to fly.  (Brown was married to Wittley’s older sister, Eleanor.)  The aircraft was equipped with dual controls, and it’s unknown which of the two was piloting the plane as it approached a small landing strip known as Hopkins (Field) along the shores of the lake.  

     Whittley’s older brother Phillip had been awaiting their arrival at the air strip, and as the aircraft passed overhead he signaled which way the wind was blowing.  As the plane began to turn around to land against the direction of the wind, it suddenly lost power and dove nose first into the ground from an altitude of about 400 feet.  Both occupants died instantly.

     Martin Brown was a veteran military pilot (and ACE) of World War I. During his service he was wounded three times by anti-aircraft fire.  After the war he became a pilot for the U.S. Mail.         


     New York Times, “Connecticut Crash fatal To 2 Fliers”, July 8, 1929.

     The Washington Times, “Fatal Airplane Crash Investigation Planned”, July 8, 1929, pg. 19.

     The Daily Worker, (Chicago), “Two Killed In Wreck Of Airplane”, July 9, 1929

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲