J. Clifford Turpin

James Clifford Turpin (6 May 1886 – January 1966) was a pioneer aviator with the Wright Exhibition Team.[1]

James Clifford Turpin
Turpin 2163467736 5f339b91a6 o.jpg
Thomas DeWitt Milling and Turpin in 1912
Born6 May 1886
DiedJanuary 1966
Resting placeLothrop Hill Cemetery, Barnstable, Massachusetts
NationalityUnited States
Alma materPurdue University
OccupationPilot till 1912
EmployerWright Exhibition team
Known forAviation pioneer and exhibition flyer
Turpin (right) and Lieutenant John Rodgers


He was born on May 6, 1886.

He attended Purdue University, the first graduate(class of 1908) to receive a pilot's license. Turpin joined the Wright Exhibition team in 1910, flying demonstrations across the country. The group was disbanded in 1911. In May 1912, Turpin rented a Wright Model C for his own exhibitions. While flying his Fowler-Gage biplane in a Seattle stadium, Turpin clipped an iron railing whilst avoiding a cameraman, and veered into a grandstand, killing two spectators.[2] After the death of his flying partner, Phil Parmalee, in Yakima, Washington, Turpin quit flying.

Turpin about to crash his Fowler-Gage biplane at Meadows field, Seattle, which killed two spectators

He died in January 1966. He was buried in Lothrop Hill Cemetery in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Turpin reputedly was the father of one daughter.[3]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Air and Space Magazine, February 2016 : "Clifford Turpin, King of the Air" by Paul Glenshaw, Retrieved August 18, 2017
  2. ^ "Premier Performer". Air & Space. April 2008.
  3. ^ "James Clifford Turpin". Early Aviators. Retrieved 2010-11-04.