Joseph Vecsey
Original Content Is © 2013 - Carroll F. Gray

VECSEY, Joseph

Affidavit, October 11, 1964

My name is Joseph Vecsey, and I live on Jennings Road, Fairfield, Connecticut. The home I live in now is right next door to the home I was born and raised in. To the best of my recollection, all statements recorded in this letter are true and I have been informed how important it is to state only facts as well and as close as I can recall them.

On October 17, 1963 Captain WIlliam O'Dwyer met me for the first time in a grocery store in Grasmere. I heard him speaking about Whitehead and I told him I remembered him very well as I had seen him fly when I was a lad up on Tunxis Hill.

He was flying in a glider like airplane. It was a single winged craft - a monoplane as you call it, and the place was in an open section of field that ran down-hill from Orrs Castle.

The field below the Castle was a large one with a wall of stone dividing the lots. There was a broken down area or a section removed from it, and you could see all the way up the hill from my house to the Castle. The wall in the middle of the field was opened up wide enough so that the glider could come down the middle and miss the wall. The sides of the field were brush, but the middle of it was open and was used for grazing cattle or horses.

I can very clearly recall seeing Whitehead coming down the hill on a bicycle type of framing or something that resembled it. It had big wheels like a bicycle and some framing of sort. On top of this were these big wings. He was pedaling it to gain speed, and then it went up in the air. It didn't go much higher than 5 or 10 feet and around a gliding distance of about the length of my lot or 130 feet. The year was around 1910 to 1912. I was very young at the time. It was somewhere soon after I started going to school, but I can remember very well seeing this plane or glider coming down the hill with him peddling and then seeing it fly. Things like that impress you when your (sic) young and you don't forget. Some of the technical things like the size, etc, you wouldn't remember, but seeing it go up in the air sticks in your memory.

I feel Whitehead should have been recognized for his work a long time ago. Someone wrote a book about him onetime I heard, but I never read it. I would like to get one if I could. It's a good thing to see someone is finally trying to get him recognition for all the things he did in aviation. I will try to find out through the Hungarian Church if there are any people that could help out with any more information.

Sworn and Witnessed

Stella Randolph typed notes, January 4, 1936

Next we visited Mr. Vecsey at 728 Maplewood Avenue, Paramount Inn. He was a very hospitable old man, very much interested and pleased with the pictures. He told us his son Steve worked for Whitehead several years and never got anything from it. Steve he said would be glad to tell us everything. Steve's address is American Brass and Steel Products Company, 35 (35) Wilbur Avenue, Long Island City. You go over the Queensboro Plaza Bridge and three blocks further is the shop.

Mr. Vecsey said Whitehead built a shop at Avon Park. For a time the Hungarian-Germans backed him, but when they could not afford to do it any longer he went to Stratford. He said the Curtiss people came and got his ideas. He said Steve would know when and how this happened.

Some Hungarian-German (Schwab) lost $1500 or $3000 in this work of Whitehead's. I do not have his name. Mr. Vecsey asked for my address and said he would send me the names and addresses of all those who backed Whitehead that he could get for me. And he urged us to reach his son. He said probably Horvath could tell me who the Hungarian was who put so much money into this enterprise.