ANOTHER NEW PHOTO OF


Joseph Fairchild Knapp

aka

"DODI"

 

Last year I stumbled across this, my first confirmed photo of one J. F. "Dodi" Knapp (1892-1952) in a mid 1920's catalog of Hall-Scott marine engines. There he is sitting in his "Miss Demure" Sea Sled runabout. Although it is from a distance, you can certainly get a sense of what he looked like. He is the last male Knapp and has been the most difficult one to find photos of.

 

Well this week (June 2003) I stumbled again when I found some new photos of Dodi's friend Leonard W. Bonney. Regular readers of this site have probably seen the pages on the development of the Bonney Gull airplane and the full story of terrible outcome. If not you can find them by clicking on these words.

 

The Bonneys lived in Flushing but the plane was developed in Mastic starting in 1924, most likely on the former WWI (then known as the Great War) Navy airfield built on Knapp's estate at the foot of what is now Locust Drive, Mastic Beach. The Bonneys & Knapps were friends.

Dodi's sister Claire and Leonard's wife Flora both owned dog kennels (Clairedale & Tally Ho) and were active on the dog show circuit. Leonard Bonney was an exhibition pilot for the Wright Brothers and was involved in air shows in Nassau County around 1910. Dodi & Claire's father J. P Knapp had homes in Garden City & Sands Point at that time. Dodi as I'm finding out was an enthusiastic adventurer / sportsman. and he was involved with helping Leonard build the Bonney Gull plane. Clarence Ross who worked on Dodi's pal William S. Dana's estate was also involved in helping trap the 100's of seagulls used for the planes design.

 

The Bonney Gull Under Construction is that the future Locust Drive in background?

 

FRIDAY MAY 4, 1928 MINUTES BEFORE THE FATEFUL FLIGHT
( photo appeared in London Illustrated News)

Notice The Planes # carries the letter K ?

WELL The point I'm getting to as stated at the top of this page is this next photo. I had seen several

photos of the crash site before but not this one.

 

At first glance I didn't think too much about the guy in the coveralls who appears to be stunned. He obviously was involved directly with the flight.

 

Then I Zoomed In

 

Now Take A Closer Look At Dodi In His Boat

IS IT THE SAME PERSON? VERY POSSIBLE

 

A PORTRAIT OF LEONARD W. BONNEY &

POPULAR SCIENCE DECEMBER 1926 ARTICLE ON THE BONNEY GULL

 

 

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