Image via Bowery Boys History.
Nestled deep in Brooklyn on Barren Island sits Floyd Bennett Field. The once legendary airport opened in 1931 as New York’s first municipal airport and for decades sat relatively abandoned since the Navy deactivated in the site in 1971. The field has been used by some of histories greatest characters like Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. With this kind of a storied history, the airfield naturally lends itself to having a few secrets.
10. Floyd Bennett Field’s Namesake Might Just be a Liar
Bennett Receiving the Medal of Honor Courtesy of Wikimedia
Floyd Bennett Field is named after, well, Floyd Bennett, who was, appropriately for the purposes of the field, a pilot. Born in Warrensburg, New York during the 1890s, Bennett served as an aviator during the first World War where he gained enough notoriety to be recruited to pilot an expedition to the North Pole.
The expedition was funded by some well-known names including John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Vincent Astor who managed to drum up so much excitement for the journey that upon his return Bennett was hailed as a true American hero and awarded the Medal of Honor. He was the first man to fly to the North Pole after all. The only problem is he might not have completely made it.
Despite his claims otherwise, a posthumous examination of flight logs revealed something troubling; erased, yet legible, sextant readings showing he never actually reached the pole. Although it is impossible to prove completely, there is enough evidence to support the idea that the namesake of Floyd Bennett Field may have just been lying about his biggest accomplishment.