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Historic places and people in the land of milk and honey: Wisconsin's treasure: a tribute to our past, a celebration of the present and our commitment to continue the good life

[Dale Crites],   p. 18 PDF (349.5 KB)

Page 18

Dale Crites flying his replica of a Curtiss Pusher biplane. This plane now
hangs in the lobby of Mitchell Field in Milwaukee WI.
Bob Huggins, together with his brother
Ralph, lived in and went to school in Honey
Creek. Following grade school they went to
Burlington High School. Bob worked during
his high school years as a draftsman for the
Burlington Brass Works. He became interest-
ed in aeroplanes shortly after graduating
from school and took flying lessons, thus
launching what was to become a lifetime
career, The two brothers were very good
mechanics and in time began to build
planes in the barn next to their house. The
barn still stands. Bob taught his brother
Ralph and neighboring twin brothers Dean
and Dale Crites to fly in the early Twenties.
One of their earliest creations was a cabin
monoplane put together in 1928 or 1929 in
what is now Gene's Bug Hut on the corner
of D & DD in the Village of Honey Creek.
Egor Sikorsky, the man who developed the
helicopter, came to Honey Creek to see
the wing that was used in this airplane. He
encouraged Bob Huggins to help him with
his helicopter. The airplane itself was pow-
ered by an Indian Motorcycle engine and
flew very well, but in landing, flipped over in
a gully or ditch in the hayfield that was
used as a landing field. It was patched up
and was soon flying again with much more
respect given to the ditch, George Gerber
and Harvey Colbo also helped the Huggins
and Crites built this plane. This was the FIRST
cabin monoplane built in the State of
Bob gave rides at $1 per person or $2, as his
biplane could hold two people in the front
cockpit. This was one of the attractions at
the Racine County Fair during the Thirties.
During the war, the Crites and Bob Huggins
were instructors in the Army Air Corp. Ralph
Huggins was killed in an airplane accident
near Whitewater, WI. He was in his thirties at
the time. Bob managed the Brown Deer
airport until retirement. The Crites managed
and were involved in owning airplanes and
leasing them out at the Waukesha airport
until they retired. Waukesha Airport was
named Crites Field in honor of these two
                         Wendell E. Earle

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