San Bruno in San Mateo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
First Shipboard Landing
Erected 1976 by Western Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, San Bruno, 15 May 1976.
Location. 37° 38.175′ N, 122° 25.151′ W. Marker is in San Bruno, California, in San Mateo County. Marker can be reached from El Camino Real. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1150 El Camino Real, San Bruno CA 94066, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center (here, next to this marker); Seabiscuit (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tanforan Assembly Center Commemorative Garden (about 300 feet away); Molloy’s Springs (approx. 2.9 miles away); Joe Cavalli – Historical Site First Camp After Discovery of San Francisco Bay (approx. 3.3 miles away); Colma City Hall (approx. 3½ miles away); Old Colma Railroad Station (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Bruno.
More about this marker. Marker is located at the entrance to the Tanforan Shopping Center.
Also see . . .
1. Eugene Ely's Flight to the USS Pennsylvania. Shortly before 11 AM on the morning of 18 January 1911, after the usual weather-driven delays, Ely took off from Tanforan racetrack. Pennsylvania was anchored off the San Francisco waterfront, in full view of thousands of spectators ashore, on ships at the city piers, and in a flock of small craft gathered around the cruiser. The little Curtiss pusher biplane came into view, flew around ship to check arrangements and set up the landing course, and then came in toward Pennsylvania's stern. Ely was prepared to handle the existing tailwind, but apparently did not expect the updraft that struck his lightly-loaded plane just as it reached the platform. Fortunately, he responded quickly, dove and snagged the arresting gear about halfway up its length. The Curtiss pulled ropes and sandbags to a smooth stop before reaching any of the safety barriers. (Submitted on April 28, 2009.)
2. California National Guard's First (Naval) Aviator Eugene Burton Ely, by Mark J. Denger (Submitted on April 28, 2009.)
3. The First Flight Society. On January 18, 1911, Ely successfully executed the first airplane landing on a ship, again in a Curtiss airplane. He departed Tanforan Field near San Francisco wearing a padded football helmet and a bicycle tube as a survival vest. Haze obscured his view of the cruiser USS Pennsylvania, anchored in San Francisco Bay. He landed on a specially designed tilted platform at a speed of 40 miles per hour and was slowed to a gentle stop by grappling hooks (Submitted on April 28, 2009.)
Categories. • Air & Space • Waterways & Vessels •
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Credits. This page was last revised on January 11, 2020. This page originally submitted on April 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 5,818 times since then and 15 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week January 13, 2019. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. 3, 4. submitted on January 12, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.