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Strays - Lt. Henry B. Harris Killed in Crash
August 1934 QST

August 1934 QST

August 1934 QST Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from QST, published December 1915 - present (visit ARRL for info). All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Harris Hill at the Elmira, New York, Sayre, PA newspaper - RF CafeYou just never know when your number is going to be called. People who engage in a dangerous activity they love often claim that if they are going to die in an accident, it would preferably be while engaging in that activity. It really sucks to die like Army-Air Force Lt. Henry B. Harris who was an accomplished instrument flight research pilot (and noted Ham radio operator). Rather than expiring in an airplane, he met his end as a passenger in a car that was towing some other pilot in a glider. The story is told in the August 1934 issue of the ARRL's QST magazine.

In his honor, Harris Hill at the Elmira, New York glider field is named after Lt. Harris. Click the thumbnail on the left to see a related 1934 article in the Sayre, Pennsylvania, "The Evening Times" newspaper (newspapers.com clip).

Strays - Lt. Henry B. Harris Killed in Crash

Strays - Lt. Henry B. Harris Killed in Crash, August 1934 QST - RF CafeLt. Henry B. Harris, 26, research pilot of the M.I.T. meteorological group and well-known to amateur radio for his 56-mc. work on test flights last spring, was instantly killed at the Elmira, N. Y., airport at 7:45 a.m. on June 15th. The rear wheel of a glider-towing automobile in which he was a passenger collapsed, causing the car to overturn. The driver of the car suffered shoulder-blade and rib fractures, but his condition was not dangerous.

The automobile, a large touring car with top down, had towed the glider to the end of the field and the sailplane had taken off. As the brakes were applied, the car skidded on the wet grass. When the driver attempted to turn the automobile the rear wheel collapsed. The car overturned, throwing the driver clear but pinning Harris underneath. He died of a broken neck. Mrs. Frances Harris, mother of the young pilot, was a witness of the disaster.

It was an ironic freak of fate that Lt. Harris, who was one of the best instrument flyers in the country with many hours of experience in "blind" flying and holder of several altitude and cross-country records, should have met his death as the result of so simple an accident as the breaking of a wheel on an old automobile. The New England 56-mc. gang, in particular, admired and respected him; their activities are saddened by his loss.

 

 

Posted July 3, 2024
(updated from original post on 7/6/2016)

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