Rockville, CT. – November 11, 1920

Rockville, Connecticut – November 11, 1920

Rockville is a village in the town of Vernon, Connecticut.

     On November 11, 1920, the Village of Rockville was celebrating Armistice Day.  (Today known as Veteran’s Day, marking the end of World War I.)  Part of the ceremonies were to include a flight made by and army airplane that had been brought in for the day.  The plane had been parked at the fair grounds for most of the morning to give the public ample time to view it. 

     When it came time for the flight, the propeller was spun to start the aircraft, and when the engine roared to life, the pilotless airplane suddenly pulled away and drove itself into a nearby parked automobile.   A U.S. Army Lieutenant was slightly injured when he was nicked by the spinning propeller.   The aircraft and automobile suffered significant damage.

     The cause was said to be an open throttle. 

     Source:

     Hartford Courant, (Conn.), “Rockville Airplane Has Accident”, November 12, 1920 

 

Rockville, CT. – September 19, 1911

Rockville, Connecticut – September 19, 1911

Rockville is a village within the town of Vernon, Connecticut.

     On September 19, 1911, a balloon ascension and double parachute drop was scheduled to take place at the Rockville Fair in the Rockville section of Vernon.  The two parachutists were identified as “Eddie” Berlinger of Woonsocket, Rhode island, and Professor Marsh, address unknown.  Each was to use more than one parachute in their jump, cutting away from one before deploying another.  

     When the time came, the balloon began to ascend with both men aboard, but after rising to an altitude of several hundred feet it began to descend because it wasn’t buoyant enough to support the weight of both men.   As the balloon began to fall, Berlinger made his jump.  His first parachute opened successfully, but after cutting away from it, his second chute didn’t have enough time to open sufficiently due to his being too near to the ground.  Berlinger struck the ground and was transported unconscious to a hospital in Hartford, and it was reported that doctors held “slight hope” of his recovery. 

     Meanwhile, after being relieved of Berlinger’s weight, the balloon once again began ascending with Marsh still aboard.  When he thought it had risen to a safe altitude, Marsh made his jump with the intent of using three parachutes.  However, when he opened the third he was almost too low to the ground, but his chute deployed enough to slow him down just enough so that when he hit the field he didn’t receive any life threatening injuries.

     Ironically, Berlinger wasn’t scheduled to make the ascension with Marsh, for the professor usually did his parachute jumps with his son.  However, on this day, Marsh’s son was unable to attend so Berlinger was asked to take his place.          

     Source:

     Hartford Courant, (Conn.), “Ballonist Falls At Rockville Fair – Substitute Aeronaut Fatally Hurt When Parachute Fails To Open”, September 20, 1911 

Rockville, CT. – August 8, 1920

Rockville, Connecticut – August 8, 1920

     Rockville is a village within the town of Vernon, Connecticut.  

     On August 8, 1920, U.S. Army Lieutenant Mark C. Hogue was giving an exhibition flight over Rockville with Councilman Fred C. Neff aboard as a passenger.  As the plane was coming in to land it lost airspeed due to hitting a pocket of thin air and fell into a tree.  Neither was injured.

     Lieutenant Hogue was later killed on July 23, 1925, when the aircraft he was piloting crashed just after take off from Boston Airport.  He’s buried in Forest View Cemetery, in Forest Grove, Oregon.  See www.findagrave.com, memorial # 90760504.   

     Sources:

     Hartford Courant, “Mark Hogue Has Narrow Escape”, August 9, 1920

     New York Times, “Two Die In Boston Plane”, July 24, 1925 

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