Born March 7th. 1890 at Providence,R.I.
Collection of Wolfgang Tischer, 5-21-05
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
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER
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:
W. H. Bleakly
E. A. Johnson
W. E. Lees
B. M. Norton
W. E. Johnson
A. J. Croft
Harry M. Jones
A. L. Allan
C. M. Pond
E. J. Wessen,
Captain, Sig. R. C. A. S.
A TRUE COPY.
G. E. Scott
2nd Lieut., Signal R.C.A.S.
= Early Bird Member
Harry M. Jones is listed in the Early Bird's Membership List as the State Aviation Commissioner, 37 Westminster, Portland, Maine
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