Hebron, CT – January 10, 1930

Hebron, Connecticut – January 10, 1930

Updated December, 4, 2022

     On January 10, 1930, Lt. Daniel Marra, (24), and an observer, William Kirkpatrick, Jr., (27),  left Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Long Island, N.Y. in an experimental Fairchild monoplane for what was to be a high altitude test flight.  Shortly after takeoff misty fog and clouds began to cover the area and the aircraft disappeared from observers on the ground.  Later on sleet and snow began to fall and high winds were reported.

     The aircraft had enough fuel for six hours, and when the airplane had failed to return within that timeframe a large scale search was begun, even thought no reports of downed aircraft had been received.  The only clue that authorities had to go on was that it was thought the plane had circled low over the Bethany Airport in Connecticut. 

     The search included sixty aircraft flying over rural areas of New York, New Jersey, Long Island Sound, and Connecticut.    

     The missing plane was finally located on January 15th.  It had crashed in thickly wooded area on the grounds of the Amston Lake Club, in the Amston section of the town of Hebron, Connecticut.  The body of Daniel Marra was pinned underneath, and Kirkpatrick’s was found a few feet away having been thrown clear in the crash.   The wrist watches worn by the men had stopped at 10:10, and 10:20.   

     The plane was discovered by Fred Rowley, the gamekeeper of the Amston Lake Club, who had taken it upon himself to search the area after hearing a report of a neighbor who said he might have heard a plane crash the night the Fairchild went missing.  Rowley and a local boy John Johnston searched the area for a day and half before finding the burned wreck in an Oak tree on the south side of the lake. (At the time they were looking for the plane, the main focus of the search was off Rocky Point, Long Island, where the plane was last sighted.)   

     William Kirkpatrick had been wearing a parachute, but Daniel Marra was not.  One person came forward who claimed he had heard the plane’s motor sputtering as it passed over the nearby town of Colchester.  Investigators discovered a small field with tire marks that matched the aircraft not far from the crash site, and speculated an attempt at an emergency landing was made there.  It was further surmised that Kirkpatrick could have jumped and saved himself, but chose to remain with Marra.       





The Washington Times, “2 Fliers Vanish In Heavens”, January 11, 1930.

The Evening Star, (Wash. D.C.), “Altitude Fliers Lost”, January 11, 1930. 

The Washington Times, “Fog Hides Fate of Two Pilots”, January 13, 1930

New York Times, “Two Fliers’ Bodies Found In Wreckage”, January 15, 1930

New Britain Herald, “Lost Plane Found Wil Pilots dead Near Colchester”, January 14, 1930



Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲