Harry M. Jones  
Born March 7th. 1890 at Providence,R.I.
Collection of Wolfgang Tischer, 5-21-05
     IT WAS Friday, January 13, 1913, when Harry M. Jones left Franklin Park, Boston, in his Wright B to cover air mail route 604,003---Boston-Providence-New London-New Haven-Bridgeport and New York---with a postpaid cargo of baked beans consigned to state governors and other officials enroute by the Greely restaurant. He arrived in Brooklyn on March 30 the same year and finally delivered the remainder of his load at the New York post office on March 31. The deliveries made here and enroute were not the original packages, however. It seems the beans went sort of bad from time to time during the lapse of time and a new supply had to be picked up when convenient. But when it comes to passengers, the record varies. It is his proud boast that he has flown more than 100,000 individuals in the state of Maine alone during 18 years without a forced landing or the breaking of as much as a wing. It was Harry Atwood who started Jones on his career in 1912.
     And so it came to pass that on January 2, 1913, after landing his Wright on Boston Common, Jones flew over to Franklin Park and took on his load of beans for the permitted official one trip, one way, without any cost to Uncle Sam. He ws duly sworn in but the start scheduled for Januray 7 was delayed a week.
     He landed in the Melrose Park baseball field at Prividence the same day he left Boston, some 44 miles, which he covered in an hour. In renewing his great flight a spark plug quit and he pancaked just over the field fence. The plane was repaired or rebuilt and some weeks later he made Mystic, Connecticut, near New London. A new start was made to cross the river to Niantic camp grounds but here again he had trouble---landed on the rocks and cut his tires. It was some days before new rubber was obtained and he made New Haven, just outside Yale Bowl. It snowed then and two more weeks went by. Finally, planking was laid on the snow and Bridgeport was flown. On again, into the West.
     Over Mamaroneck a keyway in the one-propeller shaft sheared and left the intrepid aviator with but one prop rotating. This was insufficient and he alighted, not so gently, in a Mamaroneck school yard. A new center section then had to be built in and two more weeks went by.
     Jones had never before been south of north latitude 42:21:30 and he could not be expected to know that Brooklyn and New York were not one and the same, and after all these vicissitudes he was determined to lose no more time. He took off again one night at midnight. He eventually saw the lights of the metropolis and its environs and looked for a landing place. It was moonlight and a plowed field looked inviting to a more or less scared pilot.
     He walked to the nearest lights, the Bergen Street, Brooklyn, car barns. Here he found a watchman. He asked for the nearest phone. The watchman couldn't speak. Jones explained he had just landed in the near-by field with an airplane. As he approached closer the watchman backed away and finally, perceiving that Jones seemed to offer no immediate harm, pointed to the phone, but said, "I wouldn't go there if I were you---they'll get you."
     Jones admits he might have looked a bit queer. He was all bundled up in a life-saving coat, heated with electric current from a generator hooked up to the flywheel of the engine. And he had electrically heated gloves, all of Jones' own design and construction, perhaps the first electrically heated aviator's suit on record.
     When he got to the telephone he had to tell his story to another watchman who picked up a coupling pin and sidled away as he pointed to the phone. The watchman told him finally he had landed on the farm of the Flatbush insane asylum.
     Jones stayed that night in Brooklyn and the next day flew to Governors Island, his original fancied destination, and carried the remaining mail of beans to the Manhattan Post Office. The rebuilt Wright was shipped back to Boston from the army post and the Greely restaurant paid Jones the $500 contract price.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir

April 3, 1918

From: Chief Signal Officer of the Army.
To: Commander Officer, Gerstner Field, Lake Charles, La.
Subject: Travel Orders.
In accordance with authority contained in letter of the Secretary of War, dated April 7, 1917, the following Civilian Flying Instructors will proceed from Gerstner Field, Lake Charles, La., to Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas, for permanent station in connection with the Aviation Service of the Army:
Victor Vernon
W. H. Bleakly
E. A. Johnson
W. E. Lees
B. M. Norton
W. E. Johnson
Robert Simon
A. J. Croft
Harry M. Jones
A. L. Allan
C. M. Pond
E. J. Wessen,
Captain, Sig. R. C. A. S.
G. E. Scott
2nd Lieut., Signal R.C.A.S.
Letter to Walter, 1918
= Early Bird Member



     Harry M. Jones is listed in the Early Bird's Membership List as the State Aviation Commissioner, 37 Westminster, Portland, Maine
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, June, 1936

     If you search for "Harry M. Jones" +aviation", using the Google search engine, (5-29-05), you will find about 20 links. Most them offer brief references to the fact of his first air parcel post flight. Among the most helpful is the following.
Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame honorees
     This recent (10-14-04) announcement from the U.S.S. Saratoga Museum Foundation includes the name of Harry M. Jones among the recent honorees by the Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame. It offers a very nice biography of him as well as Major General Andrew S. Low, Jr., The Allen Family of Aeronauts, (James Allen and Ezra Allen had been inducted last year), Sabatino ''Sabbie'' Ludovici and Hugh Willoughby. You can visit this very interesting site by clicking on the title above.

     Roy Nagl has alerted me to this addition to his website. In this article, early aviator Harry M. Jones, describes a midnight flight that he made, in March 1913, from Mamaroneck, in Westchester County, to Bergen Beach, on Long Island, New York. I agree with Roy that these early aviators' descriptions of their flights are extremely interesting! You can read the entire article by clicking on the title above. When you finish, if time permits, you might want to visit his homepage and sample some of the many other articles which are available.

       Harry M. Jones, who made, in 1913, the first air parcel post flight from Boston to New York -- in 52 days -- died April 15, 1973 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he had been living since his retirement as an Inspector for the Civil Aeronautics Administration. He was 82 years old. Death occurred in St. John's Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. Burial was in the Mt. Auburn Cemetary also in Cambridge. He is survived by two sons, Harry M., Jr. of Tulsa, Robert H. of Armonk, N.Y. and a Daughter, Mrs. Doris Walsh of Los Angeles.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, January 1974, No. 80
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