Chesapeake Bay lay flat and balmy, but corners of the sky looked ugly. Two Navy seaplanes, flying so high they looked like a pair of mating canvas backs, hummed over the reedy bays, bound for Hampton Roads from Philadelphia. Off New Point Comfort they slanted down. The sky was scowling, muttering. Angry lightnings flickered. The Bay began to hiss and crackle under a heavy downpour. The thunder raised its shouts to a cannonade.
Chief Boatswain George F. Kahle, piloting the rear plane, straining his eyes through the rain squalls, turned suddenly pale. The leading plane had, at one blinding sheet of lightning, given off smoke and splinters and instantly plunged below, upside down like a shot duck.
Landing his own craft on the Bay, Chief Boatswain Kahle taxied about for an hour, found no trace of Lieutenants Victor F. Marinelli and George Lehman, nor of Machinist Mates L. E. Poyner and George M. McMichaels. The U. S. S. Teal, Navy tender, patrolled all that night but its searchlight picked out nothing beyond fragments of wing fabric, pieces of fuselage. Against lightning, rarely an accurate enemy, flyers of steel birds have no defense.
MARINELLI, VICTOR FRANCIS
- LIEUT AIR CORPS U S NAVY
- DATE OF DEATH: 04/29/1927
- BURIED AT: SECTION 4 W SITE 3177-LOT
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard