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 P. Knapp


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