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Williamsburg, Iowa: First Pilot to Take Off and Land on a Ship

A small monument honors hometown hero Eugene Ely, who was the first pilot to take off and land on a ship. Less than a year later he was dead, in a plane crash, but not while trying to take off or land on a ship.

W. State St., Williamsburg, IA
I-80 exit 220. Drive south two miles into town, then turn right on State St. Plaque will be on the south side of State St., in the town square, between Elm and Court Sts but closer to Court St.
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First Aircraft Landing on a Ship

In addition to the plaque remembering Eugene Ely on Williamsburg's Town Square mentioned by other tipsters, there are also two paintings in the Williamsburg Post Office of Ely landing his plane.

Aviation enthusiasts may also choose to visit Ely's grave at the Harrington Cemetery (a.k.a. East York Cemetery)approximately 8.5 miles east of Williamsburg on W Avenue off of County Highway F46.

[Jason Lehnst, 10/18/2011]

1st aircraft carrier landing plaque.

First Aircraft Landing on a Ship

The plaque reads in part:

"In memory of Eugene B. Ely. ... On November 14, 1910, he made the first successful take-off in a Curtiss bi-plane from a platform on the USS Birmingham in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Two months later, on January 18, 1911, he landed and took off from the battleship USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay proving the feasibility of carrier aviation."

"Eugene B. Ely lost his life in a crash at Macon, Georgia on October 19, 1911, while participating in a demonstration flight. May knowledge of his great courage and skill be an inspiration to all."

[Steve, 10/25/2010]

Memorial plaque to first plane landing on a ship.

First Aircraft Landing on a Ship

Small memorial plaque dedicated to Eugene Ely, the first pilot to take off and land on a ship in 1910. Located in the town square, nice side trip after visiting the outlet mall. There is a nice park in the square to relax in.

[cory lenger, 11/20/2008]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Totem Pole in IowaTotem Pole in Iowa, Williamsburg, IA - 2 mi.
Tower of Grain WagonsTower of Grain Wagons, Williamsburg, IA - 3 mi.
Henry Moore's Mini-Americana Barn MuseumHenry Moore's Mini-Americana Barn Museum, South Amana, IA - 8 mi.
In the region:
Devonian Fossil Gorge, Iowa City, IA - 25 mi.

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