Northport, Long Island World War I airplane photographs
Scope and Contents
The photographs were originally arranged in a frame that once hung on a wall before it was donated. The images were removed from the frame in 2022 due to preservation concerns.
- 1918/08/03, undated
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Upon entry into World War I in 1917, the United States armed forces lacked military-grade aircraft. They tried several European aircraft before deciding to build their own De Haviland 4 (DH-4) airplanes modeled after the British versions, with Liberty engines, which were V-12, 400 horsepower motors. The armed forces aviation service operated 5 airfields on Long Island during the war: Hazelhurst Field in Mineola; Damm Field in Babylon; Brindley Field in Commack; Lufberry Field in Wantagh; and Mitchel Field in Hempstead.
On Long Island, Chapman Field, located on a leased 90-acre farm in Commack, opened as a military airfield for tha Aviation Section of U.S. Army Signal Corps on June 15, 1918. It was renamed Brindley Field in August, in honor of the late Major Oscar A. Brindley, the primary instructor of American military pilots who died in a plane crash 3 months earlier. For the first 6 weeks, military personnel slept in tents, then moved into 20 newly constructed, long barracks that August. Mess halls and 5 steel hangars were also completed in that time.
Military pilots received advanced pilot training at Brindley Field before shipping off to Europe. The airfield had several Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" training planes, as well as DH-4s. The population of the airfield fluctuated between a few hunderd and 1,000 as soldiers cycled through training before deployment. The airfield was closed in May 1919, a few months after the end of the war.
American Air and Space Museum. "De Havilland DH-4." Smithsonian Institution. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/de-havilland-dh-4/nasm_A19190051000.
"Aviation Fields of Long Isl. Brigaded." Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 19, 1918. Accessed June 24, 2022. Newspapers.com.
Egan, Rita J. "Commack History: Shopping Center Stands on the Site of a Former Airfield" Patch.com, June 27, 2011. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://patch.com/new-york/commack/commack-history-shopping-center-stands-on-the-site-of6ac069c67a.
Hughes, Robert C. "What Huntington Did in the Great War." Huntington History, November 6, 2018. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://huntingtonhistory.com/2018/11/06/what-huntington-did-in-the-great-war.
Wikipedia. "Northport, New York." Wikipedia.org. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northport,_New_York.
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