Holyoke “Santa” Hits Tree In His Jump From Plane

by Laurel | December 16th, 2011

16 December 1928

Alexander Eaglerock Logo

Alexander Eaglerock Logo

Thomas White Comes Down in Parachute and is Slightly Hurt — Watched by Crowd of Children

Holyoke, Dec. 15 — Thomas White of Willimansett playing the part of Santa Claus in a parachute jump this forenoon had a narrow escape from serious accident when the parachute grazed some trees and he struck a leg against a tree trunk. He landed safely however and made light of the accident though he walked with a slight limp for a while. The story that he was seriously injured and taken to the hospital spread around but was not true.

The plane was an Alexander Eaglerock biplane owned by Alderman James Griffin and hopped off from Northampton under ideal conditions piloted by “Chucky” Connors. “Santa” in gay red jumped off the plane at a height of 2000 feet before an audience of about 6000 little folks and grownups and slithered downwards several heartbreaking seconds before the parachute opened 400 feet lower. The crowd broke into a cheer as he sailed down to earth.

The Christmas hero then led a parade to the A. Steiger & Co. store in Holyoke, Santa taking to an automobile on account of his slight injury. Northampton street was well lined with automobiles, grownups taking as much interest in the drop as the small fry.

From The Springfield Republican, image from Wikimedia Commons, user Willy Logan.

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