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Eugene Burton Ely
Birth: Oct. 21, 1886
Williamsburg
Iowa County
Iowa, USA
Death: Oct. 19, 1911
Macon
Bibb County
Georgia, USA

Naval Aviation Pioneer. He made naval aviation history twice, first by being the first pilot to take off from the deck of a ship in an airplane, and then by being the first pilot to land an airplane onto the deck of a ship a few months later. Ely was born in York Township, near Williamsburg in Iowa County, Iowa. After graduating in 1904 from what is now known as Iowa State University, he moved to San Francisco. He started out in the automobile industry, racing cars and working on engines. After moving to Portland, Oregon, he switched from automobiles to airplanes after buying a wrecked biplane from his employer and repairing it in 1910. He taught himself to fly with the airplane, and was soon flying professionally in exhibitions. During an October 1910 airshow, he was approached by a U.S. Navy officer assigned to develop naval aviation, who recruited him to try taking off from and landing on a ship. On November 14, 1910, Ely took off in an airplane from a platform erected on the deck of the USS Birmingham off the coast af Norfolk, Virginia. His airplane actually dipped down and touched the water before gaining enough speed to gain altitude. That take-off alone put Eugene Ely's name on the front page of newspapers across America. However, on January 18, 1911, he was again making naval aviation history, this time by landing his airplane on a platform on the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay. Just nine months later, Ely died in an airplane crash at a flying exhibition in Macon, Georgia. (bio by: Steven Tynan) 
 
Burial:
East York Cemetery
Williamsburg
Iowa County
Iowa, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: evy k
Record added: Sep 13, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21535759
Eugene Burton Ely
Added by: Garver Graver
 
Eugene Burton Ely
Added by: Steven Tynan
 
Eugene Burton Ely
Added by: Craig Smith - Powers Historian
 
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