Marker dedicated to first Naval aviator to die in line of duty - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Marker dedicated to first Naval aviator to die in line of duty

A historical marker was dedicated this morning in Winona, to Ensign William Devotie Billingsley, the first Naval aviator to die in the line of duty.

The marker is located at Old Highway 82 and the turn off to Oakwood Cemetery, where Billingsley is buried.

Billingsley was killed June 13, 1913, when his B-2 Wright biplane hit an air pocket and started falling. Billingsley was thrown from the plane, and through the forward supports, causing the upper wing to fold down. He fell 1,600 feet to his death in Chesapeake Bay.

Billingsley was born in Winona in 1887, and many of his relatives still live in the area.

His great nephew and namesake, William Devotie Billingsley, was at today's ceremony.

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