Ernest Emery Harmon
Captain, Unied States Army Air Service
Ernest Emery Harmon was born in Dallas, Texas, on February 8, 1893. His
education consisted of attending Bethany College in West Virginia and George
Washington University for a year afterwards.
It was in 1917 when Captain Harmon enlisted in the aviation section of the signal corps reserve, from there he was sent to Austin, Texas. After receiving flight training he became a Second Lieutenant on April 5, 1918. He was then appointed as a Second Lieutenant in the regular army on July 1, 1920.
Following assignments in several locations, Ernest Harmon earned a living as a test pilot for the United States Patent Office. He was chosen to fly the Martin Bomber in the "Round the Rim" flight of 1919. He won the Detroit News Trophy at the International Air Races when he flew the Huff Daland light bomber at an average speed of 119.19 miles per hour.
While making a test flight from Maryland to
Mitchel Field on August 27, 1933, Captain Harmon lost his life when the
aircraft ran out of fuel near Stamford, Connecticut. He attempted to parachute
to safety, but he was too low for the chute to open.
MITCHEL FIELD, New York - August 27, 1933 - The widow of Captain Ernest E. Harmon was notified of his death at the officer's residence here late tonight.Three children also survive.
Captain Harmon was on his course and in no trouble when he passed overCamden, officials of the field learned. After reaching there, however, he ran into haze and fog.
Captain Harmon was well known in Army aviation circles. He piloted a Martin bombing plane on June 30, 1919 on a non-stop flight from Dayton, Ohio, to Washington, in which he covered 390 milesin 825 minutes, a feat at that time.
In November of that year, he piloted Lieutenant Colonel R. L. Hartz on the first "around-the-rim flight in American aviation, crossing every border state. He won the bombers race in the air races at Mitchel Field in 1925.
His wive was the first woman to make the air journey from Washington to New York, travling in a plane he piloted in 1919.
He was born in Texas thirty-nine years ago
and was graduated from Bethany College, West Virginia, in 1913. He
entered the Aviation Section of the Reserve Corps October 15, 1917, was
on active duty as a Second Lieutenant from May 1918 until September 1920
when he was transferred to the Air Service. He was raised to Captain
on November 1, 1932.
Acting as a test pilot for the United States
patent office, Captain Harmon was selected to pilot the Martin Bomber in
the "round the rim" flight of 1919, which circled the boundaries
of the United States for the first time. While making a test flight from
Maryland to Mitchell Field, New York, on 27 August 1933, Captain Harmon
lost his life when his aircraft ran out of fuel near Stamford, Connecticut.
On 1 July 1948 Harmon Field was renamed Ernest Harmon Air Force Base. Approximately
2,000 military oersonnel were stationed there during that year.
Martin GMB which made the famous "Round-the-Rim Flight" at Curtis Field, St. Paul, Minn., Sep. 16, 1919.
In its desire to test the long-range capabilities
of its airplane, the Air Service decided to fly a Glenn Martin bomber (GMB)
completely around the periphery of the U.S. The flight, which began at
Bolling Field, Washington, D.C. on July 24, 1919, was made in a counterclockwise
direction. Since time and speed were not factors, the flight proceeded
leisurely westward across the northern states, down the Pacific Coast,
and eastward along the Mexican border and across the southern states, arriving
back at Bolling on Nov. 9, 1919. The total distance of approximately 10,000
miles was flown in 114 hours, 45 minutes. This was a tremendous achievement
for such an early period in the development of the multi-engine bomber.
Margaret Emery Harmon Brady
from = Pegbrady63@aol.com
I am making a trip with my 5th grade son's
school class to DC. One of the sites we will visit is the Arlington National
Cemetery. I wanted to show him where my grandfather Ernest Emery Harmon
and grandmother Harriett Harmon and their daughter Betty were buried. Ernest
Emery (E.E.) Harmon was an early pilot for the Army Air Corps and first
pilot to fly around the rim of the United States. His plane crashed when
he was returning from a trip to Boling Field where he took a General. He
was en route to Mitchell field, the weather got bad plane ran out of gas
and he was found with parachute in a tree I think around 1931. Thanks.
Margaret E. Harmon Brady.
HARMON, HARRIETTE ALEXANDER WID/O ERNEST E
HARMON, HELEN ELIZABETH D/O ERNEST E
Posted: 14 July 2001 Updated: 7 March 2003 Updated: 6 December 2004 Updated: 28 August 2007
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 3 December 2004