History of Lieutenant Logan

Lieutenant Patrick Henry Logan
The Man and His Legacy

  The Independence Day holiday weekend of 1920 was celebrated much as it is today. Baltimoreans had their choice of many activities. It was estimated that 25% of the City’s population left town for the weekend. Some went to bay or ocean beaches. Others took the trolley to Bay Shore or Riverview Parks. Those who remained home had their choice of celebrations in their communities and neighborhoods. For the residents of Dundalk, there was to be an athletic meet and air tournament. The Baltimore Sun featured the following headline:

Aerial Battle Squadron Due at 11 o’clock today

Army Planes from Bolling Field Will Bombard the City with Pamphlets 

The Air Tournament, held from July 5 – 10, was sponsored by the Army Air Service and the American Flying Club of Baltimore. There was no admission charge with the exception of Saturday when Captain Temple Joyce would attempt to break the American record for continuous loops.

One of the pilots was Lieutenant Patrick Henry Logan, a native of Michigan. Considered to be one of the best aerobatic pilots, Logan was famous for being able to fly upside down for 5 minutes. During his second flight of the day, things began to go horribly wrong. Logan circled the field and began climbing to 2000 feet, and put the plane into what was described as a spectacular spiral. At 500 feet, he attempted to regain control and level off the plane, but the motor suddenly stopped.

The plane plunged dangerously to the ground and crashed into a farmer’s cornfield.The plane was badly damaged and Logan was unconscious when a bystander and doctor arrived. They tried to remove him, as his Air Service colleagues rushed to Logan’s side. They transported him to Johns Hopkins Hospital. There he was examined and found to have compound fractures of his legs and arms, a skull fracture, and internal injuries. He died shortly after at Hopkins. His body was taken back to Michigan where he was buried at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Howell.

The air show resumed, and the decision was made to honor Logan’s memory by naming the air field after him. Logan Field is now a memory, but Patrick Henry Logan’s legacy lives on. Today in Dundalk, we recognize him with a school (Logan Elementary), a shopping center (Logan Village), and a Dundalk neighborhood.

By Kathleen Brooks
Dundalk Historical Society