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Francis Herbert Goldsborough (1910-1930)

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Francis Herbert Goldsborough (1910-1930) aka Frank Herbert Goldsborough; Record Holding Aviator; Died in Crash on his 20th Birthday (b. July 16, 1910, Maryland, USA - d. July 16, 1930, Putnam Memorial Hospital, Bennington, Vermont, USA)

ParentsEdit

BirthEdit

Frank was born as Francis Herbert Goldsborough in Washington, District of Columbia in 1910. Frank's stepmother was named Gertrude. By time he was 18 the family was living in New York where he attended Flushing High School in Queens.

Transcontinental speed recordEdit

Frank held the junior transcontinental air speed record until his death. The record was then broken by Eddie August Schneider (1911-1940) on August 19, 1930 just a month after Frank's death. In 1930 Frank was living with his stepmother at 4114 75th Street in Queens, New York. In April and May of 1930 he wrote a series of exclusive first person accounts for the New York Times about his exploits in the National Air Tour and his breaking of the transcontinental air speed record. Time magazine wrote the following on May 12, 1930:

A flight from New York to Los Angeles, begun on Monday and completed Sunday, is not in itself remarkable. But if the flyer be the young son of a crack airman who met spectacular death; and if the boy seeks a "junior speed record," public fancy is captured. Last week Frank Goldsborough, 19, son of the late Brice Goldsborough, crossed the United States in 34 hour 3 minutes flying time, in a biplane named American Boy. Previous "record" of 48 hours, set last year by 18-year-old Richard James, was spread over a month elapsed time. Young Goldsborough's flight was punctuated by forced landings. Overtaken by darkness near El Paso, he settled down on the desert beside a truck. "Two prospectors were in it. They treated me royally, shared their food and water with me. In taking off next morning along a narrow road lined by telegraph poles, I had a cross wind and just clipped the lower left wing tip, but I got into the air safely.

DeathEdit

His plane crashed in Vermont on July 15, 1930. His passenger Don Mockler, walked away from the crash, dazed but alive and went for help. Frank was trapped in the wreckage with a head injury for 18 hours before he was rescued alive, but not conscious. All his teeth had been knocked out and he was carried away by rescuers on a makeshift stretcher made from a parachute to the home of Harry C. Jenkins. Goldsborough died on July 16, 1930 at Putnam Memorial Hospital in Bennington, Vermont without regaining consciousness. The story of his death appeared in the New York Times on July 17, 1930, and his obituary appeared on July 19, 1930.

Memories about Frank GoldsboroughEdit

  • Robert Lee Dye (1931- ) wrote on April 12, 2007: Francis Herbert Goldsborough, being inspired by his father, Brice Herbert, wanted to be a great aviator. His intention was to go barnstorming in Florida. He had his heart set on flying the mail and perhaps complete the unfinished trans-Atlantic flight of his father. Years ago, plans were made for him to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but he didn't graduate from high school. "Could do well if he tried" was written on his report card. The Junior Transcontinental Flight College recognized him as one of their most brilliant students. He held three Junior Transcontinental speed records. On his last flight, flying from Buffalo to Keene, New Hampshire July 15, 1930, with Donald Mockler, a New York publicity agent and lecturer, they struck a tree top in the heavy fog on the wilderness side of Woodfort Mountain. close to Dunville Notch. Part of the airplane, the American Boy he called it, stayed in the tree top. The rest of the fuselage fell to the ground, sending Mockler out into the bush. Frank wasn't so lucky. Landing on the ground at the base of the tree, he received severe head injuries and was pinned under the wreckage. Mockler returned to the wrecked airplane and tried to extricate Frank but couldn't. Unable to do so, he wandered about for 5 hours before he reached a farm house and summoned help. Search parties combed the mountain site all night and found Frank, unconscious at 6:30 A.M., about 18 hours after he had fallen. Frank was taken to Putnam Memorial Hospital at Bennington, Vermont, where he died of the massive head injuries he had received. His step-mother Gertrude was at his bedside. She had his body shipped to New York where he was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery. Dr. Barnes, in developing his eulogy stressed the extreme youth of the aviator, who "had renounced the life of quiet ease and security to live a more historic and adventurous one. There are some who live a fuller life between the age of 20 and 30 than others who spend a quiet three-score and ten of prudent existence, and put themselves on the defense. Frank Goldsborough, instead, placed life itself on the defensive and derived from his very youth the fullest expression of life." Many wreaths and floral pieces were sent by relatives and friends. The Lindbergh family, a friend of his father, sent a floral display of gladioli and larkspur. His father, Brice Herbert Goldsborough, disappeared December 24, 1927 while acting as navigator and radio operator for Francis Grayson who wanted to be the first woman to fly the Atlantic. Her airplane was the S-36, designed and built by Igor Sikorsky and piloted by Oskar Omdahl. The fourth member of the ill-fated flight was Fred Koehler, an engine expert. Francis Grayson was frustrated with all the delays due to engine problems, and weather conditions. She had an egotistical passion the be the first so she put a pistol in her pocket. A newspaper reported heard her say. "There will be no turning back this time" as she patted her pistol laden pocket. Bundled as they were the pistol bulge was quite visible. But, that's another story.
  • Robert Lee Dye (1931- ) on April 15, 2007: The grandfather of Brice Herbert Goldsborough, Charles Francis Goldsborough and Nellie Blythe Goldsborough was George Francis Goldsborough (1859-1894), born November 30, 1859 Sioux City. Disappeared July 18th, 1894 some where in the California gold fields along with Julia Ethel's father, Walter Davidson. Both were despondent due to lack of work and income and felt they could do better mining gold. Additional genealogy note: Gerald Wayne Goldsborough, a first cousin, wrote in his addition to list of Goldsborough Genealogy, posted Nov. 13th, 2001 his genealogy. He lists his uncle as his grandfather. Francis Leroy G. was his fathers brother. His grandfather and my grandfather were one in the same person of Charles Francis G., who was married to Julia Ethel Davidson, 1905 in Council Bluff, Iowa. Am currently trying to meet a self imposed deadline on completion of my book, yet untitled.

FuneralEdit

He was buried on July 19, 1930 at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Charles Lindbergh sent flowers. The body was moved by his stepmother and reburied on July 30, 1930 to Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester, New York. His stepmother, Gertrude Jacobi Goldsborough and her mother Anna Marie Hoehn Jacobi are buried there as well.

TimelineEdit

  • 1910 Birth
  • 1930 Set transcontinental airspeed record
  • 1930 US Census at 4114 75th Street in Queens, New York
  • 1930 Died in crash in Vermont

ReferencesEdit

  • New York Times; April 29, 1930; page 18: "Boy flies from St. Louis to Westfield, New Jersey: by Frank Goldsborough. Frank Goldsborough Completes First Leg of Transcontinental Flight for Junior Record. Robertson, Missouri, April 28, 1930. Left Westfield at 7 o'clock this morning and arrived at St. Louis at 7 P.M. I made wonderful time with the aid ..."
  • New York Times, April 30, 1930, page 05: "Goldsborough held at Tulsa by weather: by Frank Goldsborough"
  • New York Times, May 1, 1930, page 36: "Goldsborough bucks wind"
  • New York Times, May 4, 1930, page 03: "Goldsborough forced back by storm: by Frank Goldsborough"
  • New York Times, May 5, 1930, page 33: "Goldsborough ends flight with record: by Frank Goldsborough. New York Boy Lands at Los Angeles, Cutting 14 Hours Off Junior Coast-to-Coast Mark. Braved Bad Weather. Youth Spent 34 Hours and 3 Minutes in Air on Trip From Westfield, New Jersey Former Record Was 48 Hours. Los Angeles, California; May 4, 1930. Rain held me up at Colton, California, until this morning. Then heavy fog and rain made it necessary for me to wait until after 12 o'clock before it was possible to take off for Los Angeles."
  • New York Times, May 8, 1930, page 08: "Hop today planned by Goldsborough: by Frank Goldsborough"
  • New York Times, May 9, 1930, page 15: "Goldsborough lands at El Paso for the night"
  • New York Times, May 10, 1930, page 03: "Goldsborough races storm to Tulsa: by Frank Goldsborough"
  • New York Times, May 12, 1930, page 03: "Flier, 19 ends trip minus compass: by Frank Goldsborough"
  • Time, May 12, 1930: "Flights & Flyers"
  • New York Times, July 15, 1930, page 01: "Goldsborough crashes on Vermont mountain. Party Seeks Young Flier Pinned Under Plane. Bennington, Vermont; July 14, 1930; "Frank Goldsborough, 19 year-old aviator of Jackson Heights, Long Island, who recently established the junior transcontinental record, crashed into a peak of the Green Mountains eight ..."
  • Washington Post, July 16, 1930, page 01: "Frank Goldsborough Joins Father in Death. Crash Injuries Fatal to Son of Flier Who Died in Ocean Mystery. Goldsborough Dies of Crash Injuries. Son of Flier Who Lost Life in Atlantic Mystery Passes in Coma. Held Airplane Records. Bennington, Vermont, July 16, 1930 (Associated Press) Frank Goldsborough, 19, holder of junior transcontinental flight records, tonight joined his father. Brice Goldsborough, also an aviator, in death."
  • New York Times, July 16, 1930, page 03: "Find Goldsborough near death on peak"
  • New York Times, July 17, 1930, page 01: "Goldsborough, boy flier, dies of injuries. Unconscious to End After Vermont Crash. Bennington, Vermont; July 16, 1930. Frank Goldsborough, the 19-year-old holder of the junior transcontinental flying record, died at 5:40 (Eastern Standard Time) this afternoon. He was unconscious to the end from a fractured skull and the effects of exposure in lying eighteen hours in the ..."
  • New York Times, July 18, 1930, page 28: "Goldsborough felt warning of disaster. Tonawanda Man Discloses That Flier Left Dog Mascot With Him. Funeral Here Today. Tonawanda, New York; July 17, 1930 (Associated Press) Frank Goldsborough, 19-year-old aviator who plunged to his death in his plane on a mountainside in Vermont on Monday, had a premonition of impending disaster, Herbert Zettel, president of the Tonawanda Kiwanis Club, said today."
  • New York Times, July 19, 1930, page 06: "Frank Goldsborough, young flier buried. Lindbergh Sends Flowers to Funeral of 19-Year-Old Victim of Plane Crash. Funeral services for Frank Goldsborough, 19-year-old son of the late Brice Goldsborough, who disappeared at sea in the transatlantic amphibian Dawn in 1927, were held yesterday."
  • Time, May 12, 1930; "Flights & Flyers. American Boy. A flight from New York to Los Angeles, begun on Monday and completed Sunday, is not in itself remarkable. But if the flyer be the young son of a crack airman who met spectacular death; and if the boy seeks a "junior speed record," public fancy is captured. Last week Frank Goldsborough, 19, son of the late Brice Goldsborough, crossed the U.S. in 34 hours 3 minutes flying time, in a biplane named American Boy. Previous 'record' of 48 hours, set last year by 18-year-old Richard James, was spread over a month elapsed time. Young Goldsborough's flight was punctuated by forced landings. Overtaken by darkness near El Paso, he settled down on the desert beside a truck. 'Two prospectors were in it. They treated me royally, shared their food and water with me. In taking off next morning along a narrow road lined by telegraph poles, I had a cross wind and just clipped the lower left wing tip, but I got into the air safely.'"
  • Time, July 28, 1930: "Goodwill Tour. In the course of a tour of 100 smalltown Exchange Clubs, to demonstrate the dependability of aviation for passenger travel, Frank Goldsborough, 19, son of the late Brice Goldsborough, took off from Cleveland for Keene, New Hampshire In the Green Mountains, he plowed into a peasoup fog. Unable to climb over it, he dove his Fleet biplane to 2,000 feet, crashed into the treetops near Bennington, Vermont Painfully injured. Goldsborough's companion, Donald Mockler, publicity-man for Richfield Oil Corporation tried to lift the wreckage that pinned Goldsborough, then stumbled through forest and swamp for five hours to summon help. Twelve hours later searchers located the plane, extricated Goldsborough. They carried him eight miles to Bennington where he died next day—his 20th birthday."

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