85th and 75th Anniversary ceremonies to honor eight Navy servicemen who lost their lives on Mount Beacon
The Town of Fishkill, along with the Friends of the Mount Beacon Eight, are scheduled to host a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at Fishkill’s Veterans Park on RT 52 starting at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony will honor the eight Navy servicemen who lost their lives in two separate plane crashes on Mount Beacon. Social distancing guidelines will be in place. Masks are mandatory.
The first crash took place on Sept. 14, 1935. Two Navy reservists, Pilot Lincoln Denton (27) and Aviation Machinist Mate Clinton Hart (28), lost their lives as their single engine biplane crashed on Scofield Ridge. Denton, a Harvard graduate, was employed as a commercial artist. Hart, a Katonah, N.Y., native, was employed by the New York Stock Exchange. They were making their return flight from Albany to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. Hart was married. He and his wife Marguerite had no children.
On Nov. 11, 1945, (Armistice Day) a second Navy plane crashed on the northwest slope of Mount Beacon. Six servicemen, including highly decorated Navy legend Commodore Dixie Kiefer, lost their lives when their Beechcraft Expeditor crashed while they were on their return flight from Caldwell, N.J., to Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The six men traveled to the NYC area on Nov. 10 to attend an Army/Notre Dame football game that was played at Yankee Stadium. The traditional, popular Army/Navy game was just weeks away. The other five men were pilot Lloyd Heinzen (27), co-pilot Hans Kohler (25), passengers Dr. Zielinski (45), David Wood (23) and Clarence Hooper (22). Hooper was married and the only one of the eight men who had children; he had one son and one daughter.
For additional background regarding the life of the legendary Dixie Kiefer, Don Keith with David Rocco published a biography, "The Indestructible Man: The True Story of World War Hero 'Captain Dixie'" (Erin Press, 2017). You can also visit the Friends of the Mount Beacon Eight Facebook page for more info.