Jun 11 2018

Mystery Foto #23 Solved: A Caproni CA-5 Taking Off at Hazelhurst Field in September 1918

Richard Panchyk, author of Hidden History of Long Island, challenged you to solve this weekend's Mystery Flying Foto.

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the airfield and the orientation of the photographer. Provide a rationale.

Hazelhurst Field (later renamed Roosevelt Field), then Mineola (now East Garden City). The photographer was looking east/south towards the Ladenburg Estate in East Meadow.

  • Identify the Motor Parkway structure.

Roosevelt Field Motor Parkway Bridge.

  • Identify the airplane.

A three-engine Italian Caproni CA-5 bomber.

  • What was the approximate date of the photo? Provide a rationale.

The official government file listed the photo as taken in September 1918. Caproni CA-5 Bombers were purchased by the US Navy in 1918.

Comments (7)

Congrats to Greg O. and Dick Gorman for identifying the Caproni-CA-5.

Kudos to Dick Gorman and Steve Lucas for identifying Hazelhurst Field or Roosevelt Field


Howard Kroplick


The Italian three-engine Caproni CA 5.

A large quantity of Caproni CA-5 was produced for the US Navy in 1918, when this Mystery Foto was taken.

The Roosevelt Field Motor Parkway Bridge looking southeast.

The trees of the Ladenburg Estate in East Meadow can be seen on the left of the Mystery Foto.


Source: Wikimedia Commons


A 1926 aerial showing the likely position of the airplane compared to the Roosevelt Filed Motor Parkway Brridge.


Jun 08 2018 Greg O. 6:30 PM

-Identify the airfield and the orientation of the photographer. Provide a rationale.
Photographer standing in Mitchel Field looking South East

-Identify the Motor Parkway structure.
The Roosevelt Field Motor Parkway Bridge

-Identify the airplane.
Pure guess here, but maybe an Italian Caproni bomber

-What was the approximate date of the photo? Provide a rationale.
Caproni bombers were in service between 1918 through 1921, so my guess would be within that time frame.

Jun 09 2018 Dick Gorman 1:22 PM

Mystery Foto #23… the airfield is Hazelhurst Field in Mineola. Later to be Roosevelt Field. The plane is a Caproni CA-5 and the date should be around May 17, 1918. That’s all my research has given me.

Jun 10 2018 Ted 1:18 PM

Hi there all
  Could this plane be taking off from the Aiir Power Museum in a Melville? Just a wild guess. First thing that came to my mind,so took a shot at it. I see a overpass,which may be the Southern Parkway and it’s near it. I tried anyway.

Jun 10 2018 Bob Swanson 1:22 PM

Based on the French flag I’ll say Voisin. I can check some early issues of Country Life in America and tell you who was first to fly from Long Island to Connecticut @1910. Bob

Jun 10 2018 Steve Lucas 8:47 PM

Tough one this week; all guesses: Roosevelt Field looking northeast with the bridge over the LIMP in the background about 1920. No clue on the plane. Looking forward to the answer.

Jun 11 2018 frank femenias 9:24 AM

Tricky one, all my guesses seem to have holes in ‘em. Best guess is LIAC looking SW at the Newbridge Rd Parkway bridge. The two hangars off the photo to the left. Check out the flat plains (and plane). The year of photo depends on the bi-plane model. I’d guess somewhere in the ‘20s, after the Levittown grandstand was removed

Jun 11 2018 Frank Mendyk 7:13 PM

The airfield would be the L.I. Aviation Country Club in Levittown.  The plane is taking off to the north and the photographer is facing towards the southeast.  In the background you can observe the LIMP Jerusalem Ave highway bridge.
The club started operating in 1929 so I would say the photo is in the early 1930’s.

Jun 11 2018 Dick Gorman 11:43 PM

I mistakenly asked to be removed from mailing list. Please keep on the list. Thanks, Dick Gorman

Howard Kroplick

Dick, will do!

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