Bamberger's Aero Club Part 2

by Jack Keegan


One of the most exciting moments of being a member of the Bams Aero club was the trips to various airfields. An outing was planned to Roosevelt Field on Long Island.

The cost was seventy five cents, a great sum in the 1930s. I spent many weeks and months collecting five and two cents deposit bottles, returning them to stores, to receive the money.

With the money in hand I boarded a #34 Bus at Brill Street and Fleming Ave for the trip to Bambergers at Market and Washington Streets. Once off the bus, I entered the store to join the waiting fellow members. When all was checked out, we were ushered out onto Washington Street to board the waiting Buses.

Off we went through Newark over the Pulaski Skyway to the recently opened Holland Tunnel. Into Manhatten to the famous Brooklyn Bridge and out to Long Island. Taking various roads we finally arrived at Roosevelt Field.

This was the site of the takeoff several years early of Charles Lindbergh, on his solo flight from New York to Paris. Still standing was the hanger that housed that very renowned plane, The Spirit of Saint Louis. A great thrill for a young lad who was very interested in aviation.

Next came the air show, with many of the great aviators of the day.

There was Capt. Al Williams, Alexander De Seversky, Frank Hawks, James Wedell and Major Ernst Udet from the German Air Force. Plus many others.

Aerial acrobatics were performed by Capt. Al Williams. Major Udet gave a hair raising demonstration, flying low over the field, upside down, he dropped a handkerchief. Then with a hook extending from a wing tip he picked up the handkerchief at about 200 miles per hour.

Afterwards there were several air races around a measured course, all very thrilling. It was great to watch them flying by at high speeds, seemingly chasing each other around the pylon marked course.

All in all a great day for a kid from Downneck.


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