The Town of Fishkill along with the Friends of the Mt. Beacon Eight are scheduled to host a ceremony on November 7 at 11:30 a.m. at Fishkill’s Veterans Park honoring the eight Navy servicemen who lost their lives in two separate plane crashes on Mt. Beacon.
The first crash took place on September 14, 1935. Two Navy reservists, Pilot Lincoln Denton (27), and Aviation Machinist Mate Clinton Hart (28), lost their lives as their single engine bi-plane crashed on Scofield Ridge. Denton, a Harvard graduate, was employed as a commercial artist. Hart, a Katonah native, was employed by the New York Stock Exchange. They were making their return flight from Albany to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.
On November 11, 1945 (Armistice Day), a second Navy plane crashed on the northwest slope of Mt. Beacon. Six servicemen, including highly decorated Navy legend Commodore Dixie Kiefer (49), lost their lives when their Beechcraft Expeditor crashed while they were on their return flight from Caldwell, NJ to Quonset Point, RI. The six men traveled to the New York City area on November 10, 1945 to attend an Army/Notre Dame football game that was played at Yankee Stadium. The other five men were Pilot Lloyd Heinzen (27), Co-Pilot Hans Kohler (25), and passengers Dr. Zielinski (45), David Wood (23), and Clarence Hooper (22).
David Rocco is an author and photographer. For additional background regarding the life of legendary Dixie Kiefer, Don Keith with David Rocco published a biography, The Indestructible Man: The True Story of World War Hero “Captain Dixie” (Erin Press, 2017). You can also visit the Friends of the Mt. Beacon Eight Facebook page for more info.