Halsey L. Bingham

Bingham Field, Colorado,
Named for Bellflower Lieutenant

The Pantagraph,
Bloomington, IL, 1922:
Transcribed by Rodney Mosier, 2-21-05
BELLFLOWER, Aug. 26- Outstanding among men born or reared in Bellflower township is First Lieut. Halsey L. Bingham, United States army air service, who met death in the line of duty in an airplane accident while en route from Fort Bliss, Tex., to Denver, Colo.. At the time he, was a regular army aviator. He had a bright record in the army both in peacetime and wartime service, as well as in the army officers reserve in which he first enlisted. His death caused a personal letter from Gen. John J. Pershing to Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Bingham, his parents. In his honor Leadville, Colo., citizens financed and built an air landing field now known as "Bingham Field."      


Bellflower Aviator Met Death Yesterday
in Airplane Accident Near Leadville
Graduate of Wesleyan Law School
     W. S. Bingham of Bellflower received a message yesterday announcing the death of his son, Lieut. Halsey Bingham, which occurred near Leadville, Col., as the result of an airplane acident. The message gave no details of the accident, but asked if it was desired to have the body sent home at government expense. The family at once wired to forward the remains at Bellflower, and it is expected they will arrive Thursday evening or Friday morning.
How accident Occurred
     A special to the Pantagraph yesterday from El Paso, Tex., gave the following details:
     "Lieut. Halsey L. Bingham, of Fort Bliss, was killed, and Sergeant W. R. Rhodes was seriously hurt when the airplane in which they were riding fell near Leadville, Col. The machine was landing when the accident happened. It had a complete photographic outfit aboard. The two fliers were on their way from Fort Bliss to Denver, where they were to deliver a lecture on aerophotography. Information which has been obtained from Sergeant Rhodes indicates that they lost their way in the mountains. They had circled the Upper Arkansas valley for three hours, searching for a place to land before the fall,, it was learned.
     "Sergeant Rhodes is suffering from a broken collar bone and internal injuries. Leadville, where Lieut Bingham's plane fell, is in a rough, mountainous country, about twentyfive miles southwest of Denver. Lieut Bingham had just come to Fort Bliss from Kelly field, San Antonio, to command the first photo section, attached to the ovservation squadron.."
     Lieut. Bingham was a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Bingham, of Bellflower, and was born at Osman in 1890. He graduated from Wesleyan law school in 1914 and began the practice of his profession in Peoria. He attended the cavalry officers' training camp at Fort Sheridan in 1917 and was commissioned second lieutenant. He was transferred to infantry and later sent to ground school of the aviation department at Austin, Tex. Following the armistice he was sent to Rockwell field at San Diego, Cal., later being appointed head instructor at Imperial Beach, Cal. He later retired from the army and went to the state of Washington, where he practiced law for a year. He then re-enlisted in the aviation service and was sent to Langley field, Virginia, where he remained about a year, and was promoted to first lieutenant. He was sent to Kelly field, San Antonio, Tex., and after a year there was transferred to Fort Bliss. Mr. Bingham was a member of Phi Gamma Delta.
Unidentified Clipping from
the collection of Lester Bishop
Courtesy of David Balanky

Lieutenant Halsey Lyle Bingham died July 17, 1922 in Leadville, CO.
Personal communication from Rodney Mosier, 2-21-05

Editor's Note:
If you have any information on this pioneer aviator,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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