YorksPast

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Airplanes Archives

The S. Morgan Smith Company, in York, Pennsylvania, was a prime contractor for manufacturing hydraulic-pneumatic catapults for launching Navy planes from the decks of aircraft carriers during World War 2. The catapult model, they produced, was capable of reliably launching 9,500-pound airplanes in 73-feet to a speed of 61 knots. Praise for manufacturing the catapult very much dominated the presentation of the Army-Navy “E” Award this company received on August 19, 1944.

Rick van Vliet shared a 1946 letter his father received from Frank Zercher, the father of Sgt. Robert W. Zercher of York, PA; a downed American WWII airman who was aided by the Dutch Resistance. Rick’s father, Willem F. van Vliet, was a member of the Dutch Resistance, which aided downed Allied airmen by keeping them out of harms way in Holland; not easy, as Dutch civilians were being subjected to the terror of forced labor by the German military.

York County service stations featured giveaways ranging from airplane rides to lunar landers. These promotional gifts were a means to entice customer loyalty for particular gasoline brands or stations. G. G. Naugle’s service station operated during the 1930s; along the Lincoln Highway in Stony Brook, Springettsbury Township, York County, PA.

Fayfield was developed in Springettsbury Township on the site of the first commercial airport in York County. In 1930 the York Airport was located along Haines Road, where scheduled passenger service provided flights to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or New York. The first York Airport operated from 1930 to 1937 on turf