1202 18th Street ♦ Bedford, Indiana
Walking Tour of Green Hill Cemetery
Stop #26 - Harley Pope (1879-1919)
Harley Halbert Pope was a military aviator who was killed on Jan. 7, 1919, when scouting landing fields for an airmail route. The IN-4 Jenny he was flying ran out of fuel, and he attempted to land in the Cape Fear River, but crashed.
On January 1, 1919, 1st Lieutenant Pope and Sergeant Walter Fleming left Camp Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, to return to the landing field at Camp Bragg after mapping airmail routes. In the absence of modern instruments, they used the tracks of the Atlantic Coastline Railway along with the rivers to navigate their route. Mechanical problems required them to stop at Newport News, Virginia, before resuming their flight a week later.
Their plane never made it to Camp Bragg, instead crashing into Clarendon Bridge on the Cape Fear River, just north of Fayetteville, North Carolina. The two were found in the river some months later.
Lieutenant Pope was memorialized by naming Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina after him on April 5, 1919.
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