Bell, Clifford A.

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY


Clifford A. Bell was born in 1895, the son of Theodore Bell and Jeannie Armstrong Bell (1873 - 1916). His brother was:




Clifford A. Bell was a Lieut. USN killed in a plane crash at Hampton Roads, VA

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Knox Cemetery - Clifford A. Bell LIUET. U.S.N. 1895 - 1919 KILLED AT HAMPTON ROADS, VA

Clifford A. Bell died in a plane crash at Hampton Roads, VA in 1919 and was buried in Knox Cemetery - Clifford A. Bell LIUET. U.S.N. 1895 - 1919 KILLED AT HAMPTON ROADS, VA

West Township Boy was on Seaplane Lost Sunday

Ensign Clifford A. Bell, Son of Theodore Bell, Was Drowned Off Virginia Coast When Seaplane 3495 Plunged Into Water

The loss of the big seaplane 3495, with three ensigns of the naval reserve and two machinists, off the Virginia coast, Sunday, Feb. 23, was officially announced by the navy department on Tuesday.

Aboard the plane were Ensigns Stuart McDonald Terrier, Baltimore; Clifford A. Bell, Altamont; and Robert F. Dibble, Valley Stream; Chief Machinist Mates Albert F. Hazel, West Roxbury. Mass., and Roy L. Hobdy, Bowling Green, Ky.

The machine started on a flight from Norfolk, Va., Sunday and failed to return. A radio operator reported that afternoon that he saw a seaplane plunge into the water and disappear near Fisherman's Island. Search off the coast failed to disclose any trace of the plane the Tuesday it was officially given up as lost.

Ensign Bell was a son of Theodore Bell of West Township, and a brother of DeWitt Bell. Be fore enlisting he lived with relatives in Schenectady.

The telegram announcing Ensign Bell's death was received in Altamont Tuesday evening.

Altamont Enterprise - February 28, 1919


Dead Aviator's Body Brought Home.

The funeral of Clifford A. Bell, who lost his life off Newport News in February while piloting a giant hydroplane with several officers of the naval training station at that place, was held at Knox cemetery on Tuesday afternoon. Members of Noah Lodge No. 754. F. and A. M.. of Altamont, attended and held Masonic services at the grave.

The accident in which Lieut. Bell lost his life occurred during a heavy storm. The seaplane became unmanageable and plunged into the ocean with all hands aboard. It was believed at the time of the accident that all of the crew had been carried down with the machine, but it appears that Lient. Bell bad unfastened himself when going down, thereby making it possible to get away from the sinking plane.

Several days ago his body was washed ashore and identified by a ring bearing bis initials and by the name on his clothing. The remains were shipped to Altamont in a metallic casket. Lieut. Bell had been in the service about four years and had expected to come home on furlough shortly after the date of his death. He was about 24 years old and is survived by his father, Theodore Bell, and his brother, DeWitt Bell.

Altamont Enterprise - May 9, 1919

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