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Olive, CA Airplane Crash, May 1913


Lieutenant Joseph D. Park Killed in California Aero-plane Flight


Brilliant Young Officer Had Made Remarkable Record in the Philippines

LOS ANGELES, May 2.--Lieutenant Jospeh D. Park, a military aviator, who started from San Diego this morning on a flight to Los Angeles, was killed at Olive, nine miles north of Santa Ana, about 8 o'clock.

Lieutenant Park met his death in a fall of less than 15 feet. He had alighted a quarter of a mile from the Olive schoolhouse on account of the heavy mist, which confused him as to his bearings, and, after giving a message to a little girl to telephone to Glenn Martin in Los Angeles, he rose again. His Machine swooped over a low hill and crashed into a tree. He was dead when the little girl and her father reached his side.

Lieutenant Park apparently was killed instantly. The radiator of his motor crushed his head. The motor itself was resting upon his body when witnesses of the tragedy reached the wreck. The aero-plane, one of the type used by the army signal corps, was smashed almost into kindling wood.

Expected to Make Circuit

Lieutenant Park left the aviation camp on North island, San Diego, this morning at 5:05 o'clock in a Curtiss machine for Los Angeles, where he planned to land and return, expecting to arrive at San Diego this evening. He had made excellent speed up to the time of his fall, considering that he was flying against a strong wind.

Lieutenant Park was attached to the Fourteenth cavalry, but for several months had been detailed by the war department with other army officers for active service at the aero experiment camp near San Diego.

Park had made many flights there and recently attained the army altitude record. It was for the purpose of demonstrating the efficacy of the aero-plane in long-distance army scouting operations that Park attempted today's flight.

Lieutenant Park had a notable record for service in the Philippines, especially in operations against the Moros.

He came from Rhode Island and was a member of a well-known military family. A brother, who is one of the engineers of the army, is now in charge of the government fortifications at Corregidor, which guard the entrance to Manila bay.

WASHINGTON, May 9--First Lieutenant Joseph D. Park, Fourteenth cavalry, was detailed to the army aviation service last September. He was a native of Rhode Island. With his death, army aviation has exacted a toll of nine lives, seven commissioned officers and two instructors.

Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, NV 9 May 1913

article | by Dr. Radut