Framingham, MA – July 22, 1922

Framingham, Massachusetts – July 22, 1922

     On July 22, 1922, three men; brothers  Zenos R., and Ralph K. Miller, and Dr. Clarence Gamble, of Passadena, California, arrived at the Framingham Flying Field in Framingham, Massachusetts, for what was to be a cross-continental flight to California.  

     (This was at Framingham’s first airport that was located on Worcester Avenue, and was in operation from about 1922 until 1932.) 

     Before beginning the journey, the three took off on a sightseeing flight over Boston with Zenos Miller at the controls.  After circling the city, they set a course back to Framingham field.   As the aircraft approached the field in preparation of landing, it suddenly went into a spin and crashed in a marsh area near Larned’s Pond, roughly 200 feet from the air field.

     The plane came to rest upside down in thick muck and stagnant water.  Zenos Miller was pinned beneath the engine with his head barely above the water, while Ralph Miller was found lying on top of one wing, and Dr. Gambel was found underneath it. 

     It took firemen two hours to extricate Zenos from his position, unfortunately he passed away before they could do so.  Dr. Gamble was admitted to Framingham Hospital.  One news account dated July 22, reported his injuries were severe, and that he might not live, and another, dated the 24th, reported his injuries were not serious. 

     Apparently Ralph Miller wasn’t seriously injured.    

     Zenos Miller was 24-years-old, and a veteran of World War I where he served as a pilot with the 27th Pursuit Squadron.  In the summer of 1918 his plane went down over German Lines and he was  taken prisoner, and remained a P.O.W. until the end of the war.  (To see photographs and more information about Zenos Miller, see and Wikipedia.)

     Dr. Gamble was a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Medical School(s) and had recently been serving as an intern at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. During WWI he’d served with the Medical Reserve Corps. 

     According to one source, Dr. Gamble was the owner of the aircraft which crashed; yet another cited Zenos Miller as the owner.   The aircraft was said to have been purchased on June 1st from the Italian Government.   The plane was allegedly a Savoia – Marchetti, but the model is not specified.    


     New York Times, “Boston Pilot Dies In Airplane Crash”, July 23, 1922    

     Wikipedia – Zenos Ramsey Miller

     New York Tribune, “Pilot Killed When Plane Crashes Into Quagmire”, July 23, 22, page 1

     Tulsa Daily World, “Injury Is Not Serious”, July 24, 1922  Zenos R. Miller, memorial #102014372


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