Newly found photos of the Knapp Seaplane Base at Mastic ( Beach ) taken in the summer of 1917

YAHOOO !!!!!

My bet is that is Kenny Jaquith on the far side of the cockpit taking this bird up. His hairline and forehead is my clue. The guy in the foreground screaming is anyone's guess....looks like a whole lotta fun though


My bet is that arrow is pointing to the Knapp bulkhead dock that once existed at the foot of Jefferson Drive. There seems to be vehicles and perhaps another seaplane over there. It was originally known as Charles Jefferey Smith's dock in the 1800's and it is where Dodi Knapp kept his boats prior to constructing his private lagoon just west of it in 1930. Beach 10 would attach itself to it in 1941. As for all the tall trees keep in mind all this was private property going back to the 1600's. Mastic Beach itself was still a decade away from arriving and several more decades away from kids setting their annual spring break brushfires .


I found these first two wire service photos this month June 17, 2007 (Father's Day) surprisingly one was actually taken on June 17, 1917 which fell exactly on the same Sunday 97 years ago. I found it humourous that the caption declares them to be taken "somewhere in the United States" (does the Federal Govermentt ever learn anything?) as if that was going to protect the base from espionage when at the very same time newspapers all across the country were singing the praises and giving the locations of all three units of the Aerial Coast Patrol ( Huntington, Bay Shore & Mastic ) which were formed initially to protect us from German submarine attack. The second photo might be taken in Huntington as the shore line seems to have more civilization in it and David McCulloch was the instructor at Huntington photo below which I have had for some time was taken at Smith Point and was "passed by the censor". Notice it seems to be open house day for the public at large who are coming across the old wooden Tangier Bridge.

From playboys to war heroes – the story of America’s first fighter pilots. In 1916, just thirteen years after the Wright brothers’ first flight, a group of twenty-eight college students, nearly all of them from Yale, decided to try the new sport of motorized flight and formed a campus flying club. The boys had more than fun in mind. Believing that America would soon enter the war raging in Europe, they wanted to help their woefully unprepared nation (which at the time had an air force smaller than Bulgaria’s) ready itself for what was sure to be a hard fight.

Most were just teenagers, but they were also the sons of America’s early 20th century aristocracy - one a Rockefeller, one whose father headed the Union Pacific railroad empire, others who traced their roots to the Mayflower, several who counted friends and relatives among presidents and statesmen - and all fabulously wealthy. These sons of the elite were schooled in heroism even before their nation called upon them. America was going to go to war: they would lead the way; they knew that it could cost many lives; and that just made it all the more right that they be the first to fly into battle.

This is their story.