ANOTHER NEW PHOTO OF
Joseph Fairchild Knapp
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
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
( photo appeared in London Illustrated News)
Notice The Planes # carries the letter
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
IS IT THE SAME PERSON? VERY POSSIBLE
A PORTRAIT OF LEONARD W. BONNEY &
POPULAR SCIENCE DECEMBER 1926 ARTICLE ON THE BONNEY