UPS & DOWNS IN THE AIR & IN PERSONAL LIFE
Pilot Daniel A. Kundle was born March 10, 1892 in
New Jersey. He died in June
1979, probably at Bloomfield, NJ.
Kundle landed once at Tucson on September
20, 1928 flying OX-5 Travel Air 2000 NC6107. He
carried a single passenger, Sid Riley. They stayed
overnight and departed the 21st for
El Paso, TX at 6:10AM.
Given the date of his visit, the probability is very high
that Kundle and Riley were westbound from California after
completing the 1928 “On to Los Angeles” cross
country competition that was part of the National Air Races
that year (cf. Aircraft Yearbook cited in left sidebar,
volume for 1929). According to the Yearbook,
they placed 21st in the competition, with a time of 38:49:56
this link for
a review of the race, as well as additional information about
some of Kundle’s fellow competitors.
The NASM dossier for Kundle is surprisingly sparse, containing
only two news articles. The first, from the Newark
Star-Eagle of Friday, September 28, 1928, headlines: “TOWN
PLANNING TO GREET FLYER”. His hometown of Irvington,
NJ awaited his return from the west. City officials
had a reunion agenda set for Sunday the 30th to fête what
the newspaper reported as Kundle’s finish results: “…eighteenth
in the Class A group in the transcontinental race to the
Pacific coast.” Compare this with the 21st place finish cited in the Aircraft Yearbook). We can imagine he made it
to New Jersey from Tucson, and the party was held. There
was no follow-up documentation in his dossier.
We next hear about Kundle about two years later. The
Newark Star-Eagle of Friday August 29, 1930 headlines ominously, “D.A.
KUNDLE HELD ON GIRL’S CHARGE”. It reported, “Daniel
A. Kundle, 39, … of Irvington, who gained local fame
as an aviator in a flight across the continent two years
ago, is being held by Newark police today on a serious charge
preferred by a 16-year-old Newark girl.” The
charge was not mentioned in the paper.
The Star-Eagle does go on to report that Kundle was in the
real estate business, which he entered following a plane
accident the previous year in which a student flyer was killed
and Kundle was seriously injured, hovering between life and
death at the Morristown, NJ Hospital.
Kundle’s parents were of Polish heritage, and Kundle
planned a trans-Atlantic flight to Poland soon after his
success in the 1928 National Air Races. He proceeded
through the fund-raising stages of his project. I have
no information suggesting it was ever carried off, and it
probably didn't happen, given his accident reported above. Does
anyone KNOW? And
what of the mysterious accusation by the girl in 1930? Does
anyone know how that turned out? Did he ever get back into
UPLOADED: 06/05/07 REVISED: 03/25/10