Philip Orin Parmalee

Registered Site L0566

Philip Orin Parmalee

Philip Orin Parmalee, noted early aviator, lived a tragically brief but venturesome life. Born in 1887 in Matherton, Michigan. Parmalee grew up in nearby St. Johns, Clinton County, where he developed a keen interest in mechanical devices. This led him to join the Ohio flying school run by Wilbur and Orville Wright. After training he went on to become a famous flier for the Wright Exhibition Team. Fascinated with aircraft, Parmalee was the first pilot to transport merchandise, drop live test bombs from a plane and search from the air for criminals.
photo of Philip Orin Parmalee

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Nicknamed "Skyman," Parmalee held world endurance, speed, and altitude records, and performed at flying exhibitions. During one such flight on June 1, 1912, in North Yakima, Washington, Parmalee's plane crashed and he was killed, ending a promising career dedicated to the then perilous adventure of flying. He was buried in East Plains Cemetery in Clinton County. By constant experimentation with their primitive planes, Parmalee and other early fliers contributed to the science of of aviation which was the forerunner of today's sophisticated and safe air travel.

Erected 1979

Location: Capital City Airport
DeWitt, Clinton County

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Latitude: 42.774677854, Longitude: -84.59076225

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