Well over two years ago when I first
got started with this deal, Center Moriches historian Van Field
sent me an article he found in the Patchogue Library. It was in
the April 1917 issue of the Patchogue Advance and about an air
field for the U.S. Navy that was going to be located on J. P.
Knapp's Mastic Estate.
Although it was pretty brief it
enlightened me on several points. One: who really owned the Knapp
Estate that was first in Dodi's name, then his sister Claire ,
then back to Dodi. It was (surprise) their father J. P. Second
was location: Van thought it was the airfield that was over by
Smith Point, but I knew if it was on Knapp's estate it had to
be in Mastic Beach proper. All along I have been gathering and
learning new things as it applied to one Dodi Knapp and his aviation
connections. I was told way back then about the helicopters
that used to land on the estate golf course in the 1930's.
I thought it was time to gather most of it in one central spot
along with the LINKS to the other webpages that have Knapp wings.
In early April of 1917 The United
States entered into what was then called "The Great War"...
What the hell is so great about war? Twenty years later it would
go from Great to just plain World War I
A similar article also appeared here in the N Y Times
along with a few more facts names & the same Typo ...JAMES
Then on May 2, 1917 this piece appeared
in the NY Times
Enter Mr. Thomas Dixon jr..... longtime
Knapp family friend via his father Rev / author Thomas Dixon and
future second husband of Claire A. Knapp. This little group woud
grow, but first I wanted to know what was The Aerial Coast Patrol.
Finding out anything about Unit
3 was not easy. But finding out everything and more about the
the First Yale Aero Unit only took some Googling, and about a
years worth of digging. And it made sense that if there were at
least three units of it...they probably were loosely connected.
It seems that the very wealthy H.
P. Davison Family of "Peacock Point" Locust Valley on
the North Shore of Long Island were the sparkplugs behind getting
this first volunteer naval air force up and flying. Harry P. Davison
was the CEO of J. P. Morgan Co. whom J. P. Knapp was not unfamiliar
with at all. And after the 'great war' was ended Mrs. Davison
had a two volume 600 page book set published on the entire story
of her late husband and most importantly two sons F. Trubee &
Harry Jr.'s involvement with this group of elite college boys
turned Naval Aviators.
Meet Trubee, Chip & The Yale Aviators