AKA J. D. Park
December 4, 1912
Library of Congress Collection, 12-8-07
Big Military Biplane Plunges Into Gulley
Near Los Angeles, Killing Lieut. Joseph D. Park.
The Radiator, Wrenched From Its Moorings,
Crushes His Skull - Tragedy Attends Long Flight.
Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: May 10, 1913, p. 12.
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 12-5-07
The accident occurred at 7:46 a. m. o'clock, according to the testimony of a little aeroplane clock which was stopped by the shock of the wreck, but otherwise undamaged. This was two hours and forty-one minutes after the army officer had started from San Diego on a 145-mile flight to Los Angeles.
Lieutenant Park, who had been detailed recently from the Fourteenth cavalry to the army aviation corps, was trying an experimental long distance aerial scouting trip and had traveled approximately 108 miles when killed.
His machine, brought to earth because he had lost his way in the morning mists, merely made a series of short leaps down the clodded slope of the hill when he tried to start again, and in the crash that followed swiftly, the heavy radiator crushed his skull.
Little girls, on their way to school were among the horrified spectators of the tragedy. The lieutenant had but a moment to warn them away from the machine and had laughingly added:
"You might do something to it that would cause me to be killed."
Among them was Hazel Greenleaf, aged thirteen, to whom Park had given a half dollar with instructions to telephone to aviation headquarters in Los Angeles that he had lost his way.
Instead of this message the girl telephoned to Coroner Winbigler at Santa Ana that Park had lost his life.
"Park Field, Memphis, Tenn., is named for Lieutenant J. D. Park, killed at San Diego, may 9, 1912"
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Editor's Note: There is some confusion as to the year of his death.
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