Charleston, VT. – June 19, 1923

Charleston, Vermont – June 19, 1923


Postcard view of the Golden Eagle crash site.

     On the afternoon of June 19, 1923, Walter E. Cleveland, a well-known Vermont aviator, took off from “Wing’s Field” in his famous airplane, “The Golden Eagle”.  Besides Cleveland, the airplane carried two passengers; Aubrey F. Bean, and George A. Renell.  The purpose of the flight was for sight-seeing.    

     Cleveland was owner and operator of Cleveland Air Service.

     Cleveland flew northward towards Newport, Vermont, and on the return trip the aircraft reportedly hit an “air pocket”.  When it did, the engine suddenly stopped, and the aircraft crashed in Charleston.   The impact completely destroyed the aircraft, yet remarkably Cleveland escaped with minor injuries.  Both passengers however were seriously injured.  According to one newspaper report, Renell’s injuries would likely prove fatal, and there was some doubt as to Bean’s recovery.

     The Cleveland Air Service was established in September of 1921, in Coventry, Vermont, and remained in operation until this accident. 

     (Lieutenant) Walter Eugene Cleveland was born in 1895, and served as a pilot with the United States Air Corps in WWI.  

The Caledonian Record (Vt.)
June 23, 1922

“Golden Eagle” advertisement.
The Bennington Evening Banner (Vt.)
August 3, 1922


     Essex County Herald, “Aeroplane Accident – Two Popular Local Young Men, George A. Renell And Aubrey F. Bean Mortally Injured”,   June 21, 1923, page 1. 

     The Vermonter: The State Magazine, Volumes 25-27

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