January 3 - 1928: Schooner crew solves mystery of doomed flight

1841: Moby-Dick's author joins a whaling ship crew. 1973: Steinbrenner buys the Yankees from CBS for $12 million.
Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brice_Herbert_Goldsborough

1928: The day they heard Dawn go down off Cape Cod

On this day in 1928, as reported in The Gettysburg Times under the headline,
"SAILORS HEARD DAWN GO DOWN -
Captain of Ship Tells of Hearing Plane Motors on Night Plane was Last Seen"

Portland, Maine, Jan. 3 - (AP) - How an airplane, which they believed was the Dawn, and its daring fliers splashed into the ocean, off Cape Cod, to go to its doom in a rugged gale, within earshot of the schooner Rose Anne Belliveau, was told here yesterday by officers and crew of that vessel.

Called on deck, during a howling northwester and heavy seas, shortly after 7:30 o'clock, on the night of December 23, when the vessel was at a point 18 miles northwest of Nauset Beach light on Cape Cod, Captain R.V. Comeau first distinguished faint sounds that he positively identified as of airplane motors. These sounds came to an abrupt ending within ten minutes when a heavy splash was heard.

Captain Comeau stated that while only a staunch vessel could have battled against the seas at that time, he made an attempt to 'hang around' with the Belliveau, a Nova Scotia three-master on its way up the coast to Portland ...

... Meantime the story of the gruesome event at sea remained untold, it being the apparent belief of the Nova Scotia craft's officers and men that they had no direct facts directly bearing on the Dawn. 'Come forward, captain' was the first word to reach the master of the pending tragedy, shouted down through the companionway by Mate Louis Thibodeau, who was on watch. 'There's a submarine or something out there,' was added as the second in command looked across darkened waves over the windward rail from the schooner's bow. The sounds which Captain Comeau said he clearly distinguished as coming from airplane motors were from that quarter.

A change to the leeward rail and captain and mate both distinguished the sounds even plainer, after which came the splash of a heavy body, then silence.

The Belliveau's master expressed the belief that Lieutenant Oskar Ombad, the pilot, accompanying Mrs. Frances Wilson Grayson and her companions to Harbor Grace, N.F.,  from New York that night, had realized that he must make a landing in the sea. The lights of the schooner were sighted and the plane brought down as nearly as possible to the schooner, only to go to its doom.

The Belliveau's officers and men heard of the plight of the Dawn later in the evening over the small radio receiving set, when announcement that no word had been received as to the location of the airplane was made.

The story of the Dawn's probable fate, related for the first time yesterday, apparently confirms the report made by Jerome Knowles, wireless operator aboard the steamer Oakley L. Alexander, when the ship docked here December 30, that the Grayson plane did not fly far beyond Cape Cod.

Knowles said that at 7:30 o'clock on the night of December 23, as the Alexander was passing Cape Cod, he heard a message requesting the Chatham station for a compass bearing. A few minutes later came through the air the words, "Plane down."

1841: The day Moby-Dick was imagined

On this day in 1841, Herman Melville boarded the whaleship Acushnet and sailed out of New Bedford, the whaling capital of the world. As he later wrote about his character Ishmael, that ship would be "my Yale College and my Harvard."

After five years at sea, Melville returned to Boston and began writing novels about his adventures. He published five books in five years--all of them commercially successful sea tales. In 1850, he moved to a farm in the Berkshires.

There he wrote Moby-Dick. A critical and commercial failure, the book marked the end of Melville's career as a successful novelist.

Moby-Dick was not rediscovered until the 1920s. It has been considered one of the single greatest American novels ever since.

You can read Moby-Dick here.

Read about "Everything Else Which Happened Today" including in 1973 when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS for $12 million.

The Yankees–Red Sox rivalry is easily the most heated of sports rivalries. 

Many believe it was started in 1919 when the Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Read about the Sox-Yankee rivalry here. Steinbrenner photo courtesy of Wikipedia, and for full disclosure I have to admit that he was a classmate of mine at Culver Military Academy.


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