YorksPast

Part of the USA Today Network

Airplanes Archives

In 1932 Amelia Earhart became the first women, and second person, to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, doing so five years after Charles Lindbergh accomplished that feat. York, Pennsylvania, was a stop on Earhart’s lecture circuit in 1933, where she recounted events of the flight.

The J. David Allen photo is one of his many aerial photos shared during the initial Springettsbury Township History Night. “Aviation in Springettsbury” was the topic of that event on July 14th; where my presentation covered 40-years of aviation stories related to the township, and township resident Dave Heltzel shared

Aviation in Springettsbury is the topic for the inaugural History Night in Springettsbury Township. It is being held Wednesday July 14, 2021, at 7:00 PM in the Township Administration Building Board Room. Even though construction fences are up; the functions in the 1501 Mt. Zion Road building are continuing through the end of July; after which temporary offices will be utilized.

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.