Chicago, IL National Air Race Accidents, Aug-Sept 1930

Racing Toward Chicago

Chicago.-(UP)-One of six sets of derby fliers winging toward the national air races in quest of thousands in prizes, swept into the stretch when the two-man race from Brownsville roared across Illinois with only one stop separating them from the finish.

Jack Livingston, Aurora, Ill., led the Brownsville-to-Chicago race by a slim margin as he and W.C. Moore, Kansas City, started the next to last lap from Cahokia to Aurora. From Livingston’s home town they will roar across the finish line at Curtiss airport late this afternoon, the first derbyists to arrive.

Meanwhile twelve women fliers were racing from two points of the compass toward Chicago.

Mrs. Phoebe Omile, veteran aviatrix of Memphis, Tenn., led her five competitors into Columbia, S.C., today on the first lap of the day’s flying.

The other six women, headed by Mrs. Gladys O’Donnell, Long Beach, Calif., second in last year’s “Powder Puff” derby will start from Wichita, Kans., for Kansas City on a comparatively short hop. Marjorie Doig, Danbury, Conn., flew second to the Long beach mother, in the race across mountain, desert and plain.

Ray Keadle of Portland, Wash., flew away from Butte, Mont., to lead the five Seattle-to-Chicago derbyists toward Bismark, N.D.

Almost a day behind schedule, Art Killips, Lansing, Mich., aviator flew into Nashville, Tenn., on the day’s run toward Chicago. Art Davis and George Burrell, north from LaGrange, Ill., were his competitors.

The five fliers, in the Hartford-to-Chicago race, fought a heavy rainstorm today to advance from Cleveland to Bay City, Mich. One of them, Vernon Roberts, Moline, Ill., was forced down with a broken valve. J. Wesley Smith of Philadelphia led them into Bay City.

Sheboygan Press, Sheboygan, WI 23 Aug 1930


Plane Crash Costs Life and $5,000 Prize

Captain of Marines Dies Few Hours After Chicago Crash.

Ship’s Motor Fails

Was Five Miles in Lead in Speed Event When Accident Comes.

Curtiss-Wright Airport, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 1 (UP).-Arthur H Page, doughty Captain in the United States Marines, crashed his navy plane during the last spectacular speed event of the national air races Monday. He was so badly hurt that he dies a few hours later at a hospital.

Page was so far ahead of his five rivals in the rich Thompson trophy 100-mile race that spectators were confident he would win the coveted cup. Suddenly his motor failed as he rounded the home pylon on the fifteenth lap of the five-mile course.

He tried to wing onto the field for a forced landing, but his ship slipped rapidly. It smashed to pieces directly across from the stands, crowded with approximately 100,000 persons.

Friends of Captain Page declare he easily could have saved himself, but that he deliberately chose desperate injury and probable death to plowing through the crowd with his plane.

While attendants pulled Page’s smoke-blackened form from the wreckage, Charles (Speed) Holman of Minneapolis flashed across the finish line for first place and the $5,000 prize. His average speed was 201.91 miles an hour.

James Haizlip, St. Louis, was second, and another St. Louisian, Ben O. Howard, was third.

Holman, in a Laird plane with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, raced almost neck and neck with Haizlip, flying a Travelair.

Page’s crash brought hundreds rushing across the field to the scene of the accident.

Hose Turned on Spectators.

The fire department turned a stream of water on the spectators while announcers and police struggled with other thousands to keep them in the stands.

Attendants reached Captain Page, meanwhile, to drag him unconscious from what only a few minutes before had been one of the navy’s fastest airplanes. He was taken to an Evanston hospital.

The Captain was just about to pass Holman on the fifteenth lap and thereby go into the lead by five full miles, when his ship suddenly slowed down. He seemed to lose control of it for a fraction of a second.

Then it shot up in front of the black and yellow pylon and just as quickly slipped at terrific speed.

Aviation experts, however, said Captain Page was the second service man to sacrifice himself during the races in order to keep from endangering the throngs below. He undoubtedly could have saved himself, they said, had he chosen to land in the direction in which he was going originally. But had he done so he would have plowed into hundreds of people who had torn down a fence earlier in the afternoon to watch the races.

So, he took the only other alternative, said his friends. He landed with the wind. But his speed was so great and the side slip of his plane was so strong he could not get the ship’s tail down for a safe landing.

His skull was reported fractured, he suffered internal injuries and his chest was crushed. His face and shoulders were burned severely by boiling oil splashing from a broken oil line.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 2 Sept 1930

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