Rewind: January 15, 2022 – “Plane Crash on Tongue Mountain”
Our dear friend, Joan Aldous, was working on several articles for the Rewind column before illness forced her to stop. As a tribute to Joan, we print here one of the last columns she completed. She was an avid follower of aviation in the region, and it is fitting that this column was about a 1953 plane crash on Tongue Mountain.
July 16, 1953
A two-passenger Aeronca plane that took off from Hulett’s Landing on Lake George crashed into the mountainside near the top of 2,000-foot Tongue Mountain, about 8 miles north of Bolton Landing. The two passengers were killed, burned beyond recognition. The two bodies were not identified for several days.
A fisherman reported seeing the plane strike the mountain. The crash happened about ¾ of a mile up the slope, near Sabbath Day Point, and the plane was completely destroyed. Two bodies were recovered within a couple of hours of the report.
The victims were identified five days later as David L. Serge, 30, of Lower Dix Avenue, Town of Queensbury, and Charles J. Romano, 24, of Brooklyn, NY. Newspaper accounts do not agree on the age of Romano; he is listed as 24 as well as 52.
The unidentified fisherman contacted state police about 4:15 pm and said he saw a plane fly into the mountain, and it “disappeared in a puff of smoke high up on the mountain.”
Serge was identified by dental work done by a Glens Falls dentist, and Romano was identified by his brother, John, who said he saw his brother take off from the lake in the plane, and that it had gone in the direction of Deer’s Leap.
The plane took off on the surface of the lake in front of the Hewlett House in Hewlett’s Landing on the east side of Lake George, and apparently failed to gain altitude over a section of the mountain near Sabbath Day Point.
The plane was a float-equipped, two-Seater Aeronca Champion monoplane. It belonged to the Flying Twenty Club, Inc. of Glens Falls, of which Serge was a member. Serge held a pilot’s license and had taken the plane from Kattskill Bay and then stopped at Hewlett’s Landing where he picked up Romano.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 17, 1953
The Greenwich Journal and Fort Edward Advertiser, July 22, 1953
The Press Republican, (Plattsburgh), July 23, 1953
Ticonderoga Sentinel, July 23, 1953
This article was written by Joan Aldous for the Warren County Historical Society. Joan was a member of the Society from the beginning, held many offices and Board of Trustee positions, as well as planning and carrying out ‘History Camp’ sessions over many summers. She was the Society’s genealogist, and she was serving as the Queensbury Town Historian at the time of her passing earlier this month. Joan was a thorough researcher and was always looking for something ‘new’ to report on the history of the area. She has left us a great deal of her research which we will be using for future articles. She will be missed for years to come, but her legacy lives on in the work she has done at the Society and for the Town of Queensbury over the past 25 years.