Port Washington Aviation History

1940s

Allan Litty and Wife on Wing, 1949

arch416Port residents the Littys sit on the wing of a Vultee BT13 at the Deer Park Airport (which no longer exists) on Long Island.  For more information on the Deer Park Airport, see “Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields” (scroll down).

Photo from the collection of Allan Litty.

Grumman Corp. WWII Poster

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The name Grumman on a part or plane means the same to the Navy as Sterling on silver means to you

- “Rear Admiral McCain, US Navy”

Photo from the collection of the Grumman Corporate Archives.

Championship Riveters, April 22, 1943

fom103Martha Myskowski, on right, and Betty Relli were members of Port Washington’s championship riveting team.  They hold the crowd spellbound as they bang their way to a new record of 19.2 rivets per minute.  The contest was held at the “Nassau At War” exposition at Adelphi College, April 22, 1943.

Photo from the collection of the Grumman Corporate Archives.

Interior of Grumman Plant in Port Washington, June 11, 1943

arch292Photo from the Grumman Corporate Archives.

Republic RC-3 Seabee Pulled By Crane, 1949

arch413This seaplane was owned by Ray Profitt, of Ray Profitt Seaplane Base.  The photograph was taken by Everitt J. Hehn Insurance, of 51 Main Street in Port Washington, in July 1949.

If you’re interested in learning more about this aircraft check out its Wikipedia entry, the International Republic Seabee fansite, or see the post below for an image of the Seabee out of water.

Photo from the collection of Allan Litty.

Seaplane Pulled Out of Water, 1949

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Republic RC-3 Seabee that belonged to Ray Profitt, owner of Ray Profitt Seaplane Base, being taken out of the water by a crane.  The photograph was taken by Everitt J. Hehn Insurance of 51 Main Street, Port Washington and is from the collection of Allan Litty.

Here’s a look at the RC-3 Seabee — out of the water!

Seabee by Koocheekoo.This photo is used under Creative Commons license via Flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/koocheekoo/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

Pan American Passengers Check-In, c. 1940s

arch553No ticket kiosks, no metal detectors, no arrival and departure monitors… Check-in / pre-boarding procedures were a little different then!

Photo from the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records, held at the University of Miami.

Grumman Employees Work on a Bomber, 1943

fom104Women work on the fuselage of a Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber at Grumman Plant #15, located in Port Washington.  For more information about this aircraft, click here.

From the book Flight of Memory, published by the Port Washington Public Library:

The first avenger was built in 1942.  Five months later, the production line began to tick off hundreds more.  This was unheard-of speed in an industry which formerly needed three years to translate blueprints into planes.  In 45 months of wartime service, Grumman Corporation built 17,000 airplanes.  Many parts were built in Port Washington, where women became key players at Plant #15.  Around Long Island, women comprised more than forty percent of the production force in aviation and mility support industries.

For more information about Flight of Memory, see www.pwpl.org/publications/flight.html.

Photo from the collection of the Grumman History Center.

Pan American Annual Report Cover, 1942

PanAmAnnual42

Joseph Gaeta and Tommy Hitchcock, 1940

gaeta_hitchcock40Pilot Joseph Gaeta (l.) gets instructions from Tommy Hitchcock, Jr. (r.), famous polo player at the Downtown Sky Port in New York City.  Photo from the estate of Joseph J. Gaeta.

“I was Tommy Hitchcock’s personal pilot from 1921 to 1926.  We’d take off from Sands Point and in 12 minutes we were in New York City, Wall Street.  He flew in every day, regular as clockwork.  We did that for five years.”  – Joseph Gaeta