Woonsocket, R. I. – September 24, 1939

Woonsocket, Rhode Island – September 24, 1939

     At about 1:30 p.m. on the afternoon of September 24, 1939, a pilot was working on his aircraft motor at the Woonsocket Airport.  The pilot spun the propeller to start the motor before before connecting the throttle rod to the carburetor.  The engine came to life at full throttle, and since only one of the wheels was “chocked”, the plane began turning in circles.  As the pilot was attempting to get at the controls, an 8-year-old boy attracted to the excitement, came running over and was struck a glancing blow on his head by the tail section and was knocked to the ground.  The pilot managed to climb into the cockpit and turn the engine off.  The boy was transported to Woonsocket Hospital for treatment. 


     The Woonsocket Call, “Boy Injured By Pilot-less Plane”, September 25, 1939  

Woonsocket, R. I. – April 27, 1955

Woonsocket, Rhode Island – April 27, 1955

     On the evening of April 27, 1955, a fire broke out in the airplane hangar of the Woonsocket Airport.  One aircraft belonging to George Carter of Wrentham, Massachusetts, a lieutenant in the Woonsocket Civil Air Patrol Squadron, was destroyed by the flames. 

      Two members of the Civil Air Patrol managed to save two other aircraft by rolling them out of an adjoining hangar. 

     Firemen were hampered in their efforts to bring the blaze under control due to a lack of city water lines in that area.  Investigators discovered that the fire was deliberately set and two 15-year-old youths were arrested for the crime.     


     The Woonsocket Call, “Plane Lost In Airport Blaze, Boy Seized, Vandalism Cited”, April 28, 1955

Woonsocket Airport – R.I.

Woonsocket Airport – Rhode Island

     1920s-plane-in-cloudsThere doesn’t seem to be a lot of documentation about the former Woonsocket Airport that was once located on the north side of Diamond Hill Road in the northern part of the City of Woonsocket.   Today a large shopping plaza occupies the land where the airport once stood.

     Based on a sole article found in the Woonsocket Call, it is surmised that construction of the airport was begun in 1929, or early 1930. 

     The airport was reportedly sponsored by the Woonsocket Chamber of Commerce, and was still under ongoing development as of April of 1930.  The airport was operated by the newly formed Woonsocket Airways, the city’s first aviation company, which owned at least one airplane.  As of the end of April plans were underway to build a hangar large enough to house two or three airplanes.

     The Superintendent of Operations for Woonsocket Airways was George H. Mitchell, who was supervising the ongoing improvements at the airfield.

     The land occupied by the airport was owned by William L. Whipple, 77, a farmer who owned several hundred acres of land in north-eastern Woonsocket.  Mr. Whipple had been an aviation enthusiast for many years, and on April 27, 1930, went to the airport and took his first airplane ride.  When it was over he remarked, “That’s something to talk about when I get old.”


     Woonsocket Call, “77-Year-Old Man Enjoys Plane Ride”, April 28, 1930

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