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 Marvin “Pat” Blansett

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Marvin “Pat” Blansett

Birth
Randolph County, Indiana, USA
Death 4 Jul 1934 (aged 27)
Streator, LaSalle County, Illinois, USA
Burial Winchester, Randolph County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 7349987 View Source
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Parents: Noldo & Nannie (Hinshaw) Blansett


THIS NEWS ARTICLE WAS FOUND IN THE WINCHESTER LIBRARY, IN THE WINCHESTER JOURNAL, ON JULY 6, 1934.

PAT BLANSETT KILLED

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IN PARACHUTE LEAP AT STREATOR, ILL.

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PAT MARVIN BLANSETT, 27 YEARS OLD, WELL KNOWN PARACHUTE JUMPER OF WINCHESTER, WAS KILLED AT STREATOR, ILLINOIS, WEDNESDAY IN A PARACHUTE JUMP FROM A BALLON AT A FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION AT WHICH 5,000 SPECTATORS WERE GATHERED.

WITH THREE PARACHUTES STRAPPED TO HIS BODY, BLANSETT LEAPED FROM THE BALLOON. THE FIRST PARACHUTE OPENED BUT HE CUT AWAY FROM IT, THE SECOND DID NOT OPEN AND HE PLUNGED TO HIS DEATH ON THE SANTA FE RAILROAD TRACKS.

HE WAS THE SON OF MR. AND MRS. NOLDO BLANSETT LIVING FOUR MILES SOUTH OF WINCHESTER. HE WAS WELL KNOWN THROUGHOUT EASTERN INDIANA FOR HIS JUMPS. THE LAST ONE MADE AT WINCHESTER WAS IN CONNECTION WITH THE MEMORIAL DAY CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION. AT THAT TIME HE ATTEMPTED TO LAND ON THE SOFT BALL DIAMOND BUT MISSED HIS MARK. HIS PARENTS SAID THAT HIS LEAP AT STREATOR WAS THE 200TH JUMP HE HAD MADE. HE BEGAN HIS AERIAL LEAPS SIX OR SEVEN YEARS AGO.

ERNEST CLARK AND HARRY FRAZE, LOCAL UNDERTAKERS, LEFT THURSDAY MORNING TO GET THE BODY AT STREATOR. FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE MADE THIS FRIDAY MORNING.

SURVIVORS ARE HIS HIS PARENTS, MR. AND MRS. NOLDO BLANSETT, OF NEAR WINCHESTER, AND THREE SISTERS, MRS. IDRIS BURRING OF TOLEDO, OHIO, MISS GRACE BLANSETT OF RICHMOND, AND MISS WINIFRED BLANSETT, AT HOME.

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THIS OBITUARY WAS FOUND IN THE WINCHESTER LIBRARY, IN THE WINCHESTER JOURNAL, ON JULY 10, 1934.

DEATH REPORTS

OF WINCHESTER AND VICINITY

PAT MARVIN BLANSETT

FUNERAL SERVICES FOR PAT MARVIN BLANSETT, 27 YEARS OLD, WHO WAS KILLED IN A TRIPLE PARACHUTE LEAP AT STREATOR ILL., ON JULY 4, WERE HELD IN WINCHESTER SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT 1:30 O'CLOCK AT THE FRIENDS CHURCH. REV. ELVAN THORNBURG HAD CHARGE OF THE RITE AND HE WAS ASSISTED BY REV. A.P. TETER. INTERMENT WAS IN THE FOUNTAIN PARK CEMETERY.

THE BODY WAS BROUGHT HERE FROM STREATOR BY ERNEST CLARK AND HARRY POTTER, MEMBERS OF THE CLARK, MAYNARD AND POTTER FUNERAL HOME, WHOM BLANSETT HAD JOKINGLY INSTRUCTED TO "ALWAYS BE AROUND," WHEN HE MADE HIS PARACHUTE DROPS.

SURVIVORS ARE THE PARENTS , MR. AND MRS. NOLDO BLANSETT AND THREE SISTERS, MRS. IDRIS BURRING OF TOLEDO, OHIO, MISS GRACE BLANSETT OF RICHMOND, AND MISS WINIFRED BLANSETT AT HOME.

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PAT BLANSETT

MARVIN [ 'PAT. ] BLANSETT WAS THE SON OF NOLDO AND NANNIE BLANSETT AND LIVED THREE MILES SOUTH OF WINCHESTER ON HIGHWAY 27. PAT GRADUATED IN 1926 FROM McKINLEY HIGH SCHOOL, WHICH WAS A MILE EAST OF WINCHESTER, AT THE LOCATION OF THE PRESENT DRIVER MIDDLE SCHOOL.

PAT WAS AN ENTHUSIAST OF AIRCRAFT ,RACE CARS AND ANYTHING DARING. In THE LATE TWENTIES AND EARLY THIRTIES HE DROVE A RACE CAR IN SOME RACES AT THE FUNK'S WINCHESTER SPEEDWAY, AND HE ALSO DROVE IN RACES AT FRANK FUNK'S DAYTON SPEEDWAY. HE DROVE A RACE CAR FOR A MAN NAMED LEWIS CHEVROLET OF GASTON, IN. AND HE WAS DRIVING AT THE WINCHESTER SPEEDWAY THE DAY A CAR AHEAD OF HIM LEFT THE TRACK AND FLEW INTO THE GRANDSTAND KILLING FOUR PEOPLE. ONE OF THOSE FANS KILLED IN THE GRANDSTAND WAS MALCOLM JENNINGS, WHO LIVED AT NEARBY RURAL WHICH WAS NOT FAR FROM THE BLANSETT'S HOME. MALCOLM AND PAT WERE FRIENDS.

PAT STARTED DOING PARACHUTE LEAPS AND HE MADE A LEAP WITH HIS TARGET THE WINCHESTER SPEEDWAY. EVERETT COX, WELL KNOWN WINCHESTER PILOT, WAS FLYING HIS JENNY PLANE FOR PAT'S LEAP.

AIR SHOWS WERE POPULAR IN THIS ERA AND IN 1928 AN AIR SHOW WAS HELD ON THE ED FIDLER FARM, WHICH WAS ABOUT TWO MILES NORTHWEST OF WINCHESTER. THE FEE CHARGED TO ATTEND WAS 25 CENTS PER PERSON. THIS SHOW WAS HELD ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE ROAD JUST EAST OF THE FIDLER HOME. EVERETT COX WAS PILOTING FOR PAT AND IT WAS ADVERTISED THAT PAT WAS TO LAND ON A STRAW STACK. RALPH OWENS, LOCAL RESIDENT, RECALLS THAT PAT ALMOST MISSED HIS TARGET AND HE SLID OFF THE SIDE OF THE STRAW STACK INTO THE FIELD, BUT WITH NO MISFORTUNE. EVERETT COX TOOK PASSENGERS FOR A RIDE FOLLOWING THE LEAP AND HE CHARGED $1.00 FOR A RIDE.

PAT'S SISTER, MRS. CARL THOMPSON OF NEAR WINCHESTER, RECALL PAT MAKING A FLEXIBLE LADDER IN HIS PARENTS FRONT YARD AND THIS LADDER WAS USED BY PAT IN ONE OF HIS STUNTS. PAT WOULD RIDE IN AN OPEN CAR AND MR. COX WOULD FLY OVER THE CAR WITH THAT LADDER ATTACHED AND HANGING FROM THE PLANE. AS THE PLANE FLEW OVER THE CAR, PAT WOULD ATTEMPT TO GRAB THE LADDER AND PROCEED TO CLIMB THE LADDER AND FINALLY GET INTO THE PLANE. SOMETIMES IT WOULD TAKE MORE THAN ONE TRY AT GRABBING THE LADDER FROM THE CAR, SO THE PLANE WOULD CIRCLE BACK OVER THE CAR.

CHASE COOK, WHO RESIDES WEST OF WINCHESTER, KNEW PAT WELL IN THOSE DAYS AND REMEMBERS SEEING PAT PERFORM AT AN AIR SHOW HELD ABOUT TWO MILES WEST OF WINCHESTER ACROSS FROM THE JAMES MOOREMAN ORPHANS HOME. THIS SHOE HAD BEEN ADVERTISED THAT PAT WOULD JUMP USING AN UMBRELLA. THE CROWD WAS ASSEMBLED AND WATCHED AS PAT GOT INTO THE PLANE HOLDING THE YARD TYPE LARGE UMBRELLA. AFTER THE PLANE GOT UP AND CIRCLED OVER THE CROWD, PAT PROCEEDED TO JUMP FROM THE PLANE WITH THAT UMBRELLA OPENING UP AND TURNING WRONG SIDE OUT AND CAN REMEMBER THOSE IN THE CROWD CATCHING THEIR BREATH IN DISBELIEF AND ABOUT THE SAME TIME HE PULLED THE RIP CORD ON HIS PARACHUTE THAT HAD BEEN PACKED IN ADVANCE IN THE PLANE AND MADE A SAFE LANDING.

PAT ONCE PERFORMED FOR A CELEBRATION IN LYNN, IN. BY MAKING A PARACHUTE LEAP FROM THE TOWN'S WATER TOWER.

PAT GOT ACQUAINTED WITH A PILOT AT THE RICHMOND, IN AIRPORT. THIS PILOT WAS FROM SOUTH AMERICA AND HIS NAME WAS ALFREDO DELOSRIOS. AROUND 1926 MR. DELOSRIOS LANDED HIS PLANE IN A FIELD NORTH OF THE NOLDO BLANSETT FARM AND TOOK PAT BLANSETT'S SISTERS, GRACE AND WINIFRED, TO McKINLEY SCHOOL THAT DAY. McKINLEY'S PRINCIPAL, MR. J.R. CLARK KNEW THE BLANSETT SISTERS WOULD BE ARRIVING BY PLANE AND HE PERMITTED THE STUDENTS TO GO OUTSIDE WHERE THE PLANE WAS LANDING ACROSS FROM THE SCHOOL BUILDING.

ANOTHER OF PAT'S DARING STUNTS WAS AIRPLANE WING WALKING. HIS SISTER, WINIFRED, RECALLS A SATURDAY EVENING SUMMER CELEBRATION TAKING PLACE AT WINCHESTER IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA AND WATCHING PAT WITHOUT A PARACHUTE GET OUT OF THE COCKPIT OUT ONTO THE WING OF THE PLANE AND WALK BACK AND FORTH AS ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE CROWD ON THE STREETS BELOW. PAT HAD MADE OVER 300 PARACHUTE LEAPS BEFORE HE WAS KILLED AT AGE 27 ON THE JULY 4, 1934 PERFORMING IN AN AIR SHOW AT STREATOR, ILL NOIS. ON THAT PARTICULAR DAY HE HAD THREE PARACHUTES AND HE HAD PERFORMED THIS FEAT OFTEN, HOWEVER ON THAT DAY NONE OF THE THREE CHUTES OPENED CAUSING HIS DEATH. EVERETT COX'S WIDOW, MYRTLE BALDWIN OF WINCHESTER, SAID EVERETT HAD BEEN PAT'S PILOT ON ALL OF HIS AIR SHOW STUNTS, HOWEVER HE DID NOT FLY FOR PAT ON FATAL JUMP.

PAT'S SISTER WISHES PAT COULD HAVE LIVED TO SEE THE PROGRESS IN AIRCRAFT AND ALL THAT IS TAKING PLACE IN THE SPACE AGE, AS HE WOULD HAVE BEEN FASCINATED.


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