Feb 23 2016

Mystery Foto #8 Solved: A 1935 East Meadow Flyover by the United States Army Air Corps


Scott Eckers challenged to you to identify this aerial from the collection of Art Kleiner.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Where is the location of the aerial and its orientation?

The flyover was over East Meadow. The aerial is looking northwest.

  • Where is the Long Island Motor Parkway in the aerial?

The Motor Parkway can be seen running west to east in the upper section of the aerial, just above the array of trees bordering Stewart Avenue.

  • Identify the major roads and landmarks including airports and golf courses.

The major road  going west to east in the middle of the aerial is Hempstead Turnpike (part of the 1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race course). Below Hempstead Turnpike, the major west to east roads are Front Street, Prospect Avenue, McKinley Avenue and Freeman Avenue (see below 1939 map and Google Earth image). The first airplane (right) had just flown over Newbridge Road (later renamed East Meadow Avenue due to constant confusion with Newbridge Road). The second airplane (left) appears to be over Meadow Brook Golf Club and approaching Merrick Avenue. Other golf courses in the aerial include Salisbury Golf Club courses,  Coldstream Golf Club. Mitchel Field, Roosevelt Field, the Meadow Brook Club Polo Fields, and the gas tank off Stewart Avenue can be seen in the upper right corner.

  • Identify the two airplanes

Fokker Y1C-14 (right) and a Douglas C-29 "Dolphin" (left). Both planes were likely flown by the United States Army Air Corps

  • What was the date of the aerial? Provide a rationale.

1935. Work had not yet begun on Roosevelt Raceway.

Congrats to Steve Lucas, Frank Femenias, Michael LaBarbera, and Greg O. (See below Greg's Gold) for correctly identifying the East Meadow flyover. Kudos to Sam Berliner III, Frank Femenias, and Greg O. for identifying one or more of the airplanes. Super kudos to Greg O. for his many details and correct date.

Enjoy,

Howard


Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

This aerial was used as part of a promotional flyer by Commerce Bank in East Meadow.

Aerial View of East Meadow Looking North along Newbridge Avenue. In View on the right is a Fokker Y1C-14 and on the Back Left is a Douglas C-29 East Meadow, NY circa 1935.

Photo from the Nassau County Division of Museum Services, Long Island Studies Institute.


Closeups

A 1939 map of East Meadow

A closeup map of the lower section of the aerial.

The gas tank off Stewart Avenue, Roosevelt Field and Mitchel Field and Meadow Brook Golf Club and Polo Field. Major interesection in the middle is Hempstead Turnpike and Merrick Avenue.

Major west to east roads from the bottom to top: Stuyvesant Avenue (partially cut off),  Freeman Avenue, McKinley Avenue, Prospect Avenue and Front Street.

Newly constructed south to north roads in the lower quarter of the aerial (from left to right): Cambridge Street, Oxford Street, Aberdeen Street, and Rugby Street.

Major west to east roads and railroads from the bottom to top: Hempstead Turnpike, Central Railroad, Stewart Avenue (note tree array) and the Long Island Motor Parkway. The Newbridge Avenuew Bridge over the Motor Parkway looks like a white dot. Note the Roosevelt Field hangar that would later be used for the future Roosevelt Raceway.

Fokker Y1C-14 Designation for 20 Hornet-powered examples bought for the United States Army Air Corps in 1931, later became the C-14.

Douglas C-29 "Dolphin"


Greg's Gold (Submitted by Greg O.)

From Greg O.: As per Wikipedia;
       “William K. Vanderbilt Jr. bought two with custom interiors for use from the Vanderbilt yacht Alva as flying tenders…..Dolphin 119: Two aircraft built for A.G. Vanderbilt II and W.K. Vanderbilt II and operated from the yacht Alva. One of the two (which is unknown) joined the RAAF as A35-2.”
 
And sure enough, seen here on the Alva in 1934 as per vanderbiltcupraces.com .
 
 And a photo of one found on Instagram at his Miami Estate on Fisher Island;
 


An East Meadow Memory

I still remember the day John F. Kennedy road in his motorcade on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow while campaigning for president on a rainy Saturday in November 1960. I was 11 years old and will never forget the lone figure standing and waving in an open limo, just four days before he was elected president. As shown in this photo from the Denver Post, the next day he drove to the Commack Arena for a speech in a convertible Lincoln Continental.


This memorable event is still fondly remembered by Long Islanders.



Comments

Feb 19 2016 frank femenias 11:25 AM

Having difficulty with this. Must be the orientation throwing me off. Going to switch to a bigger screen. Good one guys, looks like another good mystery

Feb 21 2016 S. Berliner, III 8:31 AM

Yay!  One I can identify!  No clue where there is such a canted road grid or what the landplane might be but the amphibian is a Douglas Dolphin flying yacht/luxury transport, USAAC C-21, C-26, or C-29 (also USN/USCG RD-1 thru RD-4).  A single Dolphin 117, built for Wm. Boeing, survives at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola, Florida, in USCG livery.  An RD-2 was the first presidential aircraft, for FDR.  Of especial interest to LIMPers, though, is that Willie K., Jr. and A. G. V., II bought the only two Dolphin 119s as aerial tenders for the Alva (one became RAAF A35-2).  Wait - that gasholder might be the one in east Garden City, one block east of Glen Cove Road and one block south of the LIMP.  Time - 1931 or later (introduction of the Dolphin).

Feb 21 2016 Steve Lucas 11:26 PM

This photo appears to have been taken over the area around East Meadow looking northwest. The LIMP would be going from left to right approximately in line with the plane at the top of the photo. Landmarks include Meadowbrook Golf Club, Cold Stream Golf Club, Salisbury Links, Meadowbrook Polo field, Mitchel Field and Roosevelt Field. Major roads would be Hempstead Tpke and Merrick Ave. By the look of the planes, I’m guessing the photo was taken around 1928.  As to the identity of the planes, I have no clue.

Feb 22 2016 frank femenias 12:23 AM

Not sure. Best guess were over Howard’s East Meadow home facing NW. Down below that could be Prospect Ave on top of the street grid. Front Street (barely visible) more north and mostly parallel to Prospect. Hemp Tpke is further north and diagonal in the center. On top is Salisbury golf course, and tree-lined Stewart Ave cutting through, and Motor Pkwy north of that running parallel to Stewart. I don’t see Mitchel Field. The flying boat is a Douglas RD-4 Canopus Dolphin Amphibian and the other? - both most likely just took off from Roosevelt Field, mid ~‘30s. I do see a grinning kid waving from his front porch. Tough mystery, waiting for this week’s answers.

Feb 22 2016 Michael LaBarbera 10:34 AM

My guess is a flyover above East Meadow, looking Northwest, as the Meadowbrook Polo Grounds is in the forefront of the Garden City Gas Tower which reveals a northwest view from approx Hempstead Tpk at East Meadow Ave. The Motor parkway is east west across the middle of the picture visible from just west of Merrick Avenue travelling east across Eisenhower park. You can see Stewart Avenue Crossing the park and meeting the LIMP after the Newbridge Avenue Bridge. Looks like Meadowbroook Hospital (NUMC) in the lower middle part of the picture before the big tower was built. My guess about the date of the photo predates the 1930 Roosevelt Raceway Polo Field and the primitive runways at Mtchel Field indicate a photo from the late 1920s, which seems to suit the vintage planes. I count 4 gold courses, one at Roosevelt Field, another at Mitchel Field, the Cold Spring Golf course south ofHmp Tpk and Salisbury Links with its Merrick Avenue Clubhouse. Good Stuff !!!

Feb 22 2016 Howard Kroplick 10:24 PM

From Greg O.:

Great mystery photo again this week even if I didn’t get all the answers!

Thanks! Have a good one!
Greg O.


-Where is the location of the aerial and its orientation?
  Flying directly over East Meadow looking North West.

-Where is the Long Island Motor Parkway in the aerial?
  Tough to see and can’t really make out too many LIMP landmarks, but roughly horizontal across the top.  More noticeable is the adjacent Central Railroad tree line through what will eventually be Eisenhower Park.

-Identify the major roads and landmarks including airports and golf courses.
  The usual suspects in view here… Meadow Brook Golf Club, Salisbury Golf Club, Coldstream Golf Club, Meadowbrook Polo Club, Mitchel Field, Roosevelt Field, Hempstead Tpke, East Meadow Ave, Merrick Rd,
Interesting here is the newly laid out neighborhood in East Meadow at the very bottom of the photo. The longest horizontal road across the bottom is Freeman Ave, the shorter one just above that would be McKinley Ave. Starting at the first vertical road East of East Meadow Ave along McKinley is; Cambridge, Oxford, Aberdeen, Rugby, York, etc.

-Identify the two airplanes.
  The plane closer in the foreground may be a Fokker F.14/C14, and the plane further back in the distance appears to be a Douglas Dolphin. Of course there’s a neat Dolphin & William K. Vanderbilt Jr.connection here as well.

As per Wikipedia;
      “William K. Vanderbilt Jr. bought two with custom interiors for use from the Vanderbilt yacht Alva as flying tenders…..Dolphin 119: Two aircraft built for A.G. Vanderbilt II and W.K. Vanderbilt II and operated from the yacht Alva. One of the two (which is unknown) joined the RAAF as A35-2.”

And sure enough, seen here on the Alva in 1934 as per vanderbiltcupraces.com;
http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog/article/one_of_yachtinsg_dozen_william_k._vanderbilt_jr.s_alva

And a photo of one found on Instagram at his Miami Estate on Fisher Island;
https://www.instagram.com/p/_h98wlGDfs/

- What was the date of the aerial? Provide a rationale.   
  Not sure if this was an ‘event’, historic or otherwise, but judging by the runways at Roosevelt, Mitchel Hangars and build time for the Dolphin & Fokker, my guess is somewhere around 1935

Here and attached is a Google Earth perspective match.

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