Saugus, MA – February 9, 1941

Saugus, Massachusetts – February 9, 1941

     On February 9, 1941, a single-engine private biplane was stunt flying over Saugus.  Witnesses recalled that the plane had just completed three loops and was beginning a fourth when it suddenly dove to the ground from an altitude of 400 feet.  The plane crashed in the yard of a home belonging to Harry Butler, just missing the house by a few feet.  Both men aboard the plane were killed.

     The dead were identified as Laurence G. Hanscom, 34, of Worcester, Mass., and Dr. Anthony V. Carbone, 34, of Cambridge, Mass.     

     The plane had been a trainer aircraft, with a dual set of controls.  Dr. Carbone had been a student pilot.   

     Hanscom was a well known newspaper correspondent working for the Worcester Telegram, and had been a pilot since 1919.   He was also the commander of the Massachusetts Wing of the Civilian Air Reserve.  The group numbered about 150 licensed pilots, and others interested in aerial photography and map making.

     His death occurred the day before he was scheduled to enter the Royal Canadian Flying Corps as an instructor.  (At the time of this accident, the United States hadn’t entered World War II.)    

     In February 1943, Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts, was named in his honor.


     (New Hampshire) The Nashua Telegraph, “No Explanation For Saugus Crash”, February 10, 1941

     (Maine) Lewiston Daily Sun, “Airplane Crash Kills Two Men At Saugus”, February 10, 1941  




Saugus, MA – June 6, 1918

Saugus, Massachusetts – June 6, 1918

     On June 6, 1918, U.S. Army Lieutenant Torrey H. Webb was piloting a Curtis JN-4H “Jenny” airplane, (#39366) from New York to Franklin Field, (a.k.a. Atwood Field) in Saugus, Massachusetts.  The purpose of the flight was to deliver sacks of mail containing 4,400 letters, weighing 228 pounds. 

     It was reported that this flight marked the first New York to Boston aerial mail service.

     Lt. Webb made the historic trip in three hours and twenty-two minutes by following the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad tracks.  While en-route his compass developed a malfunction, so he landed briefly at Shailerville, Connecticut, a village within the town of Haddam, to make repairs.   After adjusting the compass, Webb took off again for Saugus.  Upon landing at Saugus, the wheels of his aircraft sank into soft ground causing the plane to abruptly nose over and toss Webb and his mechanic, Raymond Heck, from their seats.  Neither was injured.  The aircraft was sufficiently damaged to prevent an immediate return to the air.

     The mail was taken to Boston by automobile.

     A photograph of this accident can be seen at Digital Commonwealth. (Click on site below)

1918 Hamilton Watch Advertisement mentioning Torrey Webb as one of the aviators who wore a Hamilton watch.


     (Norwich CT.) Norwich Bulletin, “First New York – Boston Airplane Mail Service”, June 7, 1918

     The Sun, (New York), “Plane With Boston Mail Damaged When It Lands”, June 7, 1918 




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