Danbury, CT – October 4, 1947

Danbury, Connecticut – October 4, 1947

     At 2:25 p.m. on the afternoon of October 4, 1947, two planes, each with a pilot and student aboard, collided in mid-air over edge of the Danbury Fair grounds.  The crash occurred at an altitude of only 800 feet, in full view of thousands of people.    

     The collision tore a wing off each aircraft.  One plane crashed in a field next to Route 6, while the other came down on the farm of J. Arthur Keeler, just missing his house.  Keeler put the flames of the burning wreckage out with a garden hose before fire fighters arrived.   

     The plane that crashed on the Keeler farm was a Cessna 140.  Both the pilot, Walter James O’Neill, and his student, Mrs. Edith Dowswell, of Hartsdale, New York, were killed.  Mrs. Dowswell reportedly jumped from the plane just before impact.

     The other aircraft was an Aeronca, piloted by Howard C. Dunn, 33, of North Stamford, Connecticut.  Both he and his student, Mrs. Edith R. Heydt, 38, of Darien, Connecticut, were killed.   

     According to one elderly witness, the planes were doing stunts just before the crash, however investigators didn’t feel this was accurate.  An employee of the nearby Danbury Airport was driving past in his car at the time, and it was his opinion the planes were attempting to land at the airport. 


     New York Times, “4 killed As Planes Collide Near Danbury Fair Crowd”, October 4, 1947 


Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲