Place Category: Parks and Playgrounds
Kenneth Everett Aimee (1931-1954), a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, resided in this area of Brooklyn. Following in his father’s footsteps, Aimee joined the Air Force and was stationed at the Suffolk County Air Force Base. Lieutenant Aimee died at age 23 when his plane crashed minutes after take-off.
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph M. Aimee, Kenneth’s father, flew a biplane during World War I (1914-1918), served as deputy to the commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation (1944) and, at the end of World War II (1939-1945), was one of the first pilots to join the United States Air Force.
Fascinated by the elder Lieutenant Colonel Aimee’s war stories and fueled by news of America’s aviation exploits during World War II, young Kenneth Aimee vowed to follow his father into the Air Force when he came of age. Kenneth Aimee’s interests lead him to graduate from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1949, and receive a Bachelors of Science in Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute of Engineering (now Polytechnic University) in 1952. After graduation, at age 21, Kenneth trained at the Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. On March 16, 1953 Kenneth received his wings and was commissioned at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas.
Assigned to the 331st Fighter Interceptor Squadron at the Suffolk County Air Base, on July 8, 1954 at 8:30 in the morning young Lieutenant Aimee taxied down the runway and took off in a T-33 jet with orders to perform a routine instrument check. Unlike most jets of the period, which sat only one man, the T-33 was specially designed as a two-seated trainer with the pilot in the front and the instructor in the rear. Minutes after takeoff, the plane began experiencing systems malfunctions and subsequently crashed, killing both Kenneth and his co-pilot, Second Lieutenant David Nadel.
Aimee Triangle, located at the intersection of Nostrand Avenue, Madison Place, and Avenue P, stands only a few blocks from Kenneth Aimee’s residence at 1621 East 29th Street. In 1954, the triangle was named by a local law. The site contains benches and London planetrees as well as a planted area with juniper and spirea shrubs. In 1998, the Mayor’s Office provided $28,086 for a requirements contract for new paving and plantings. Then, in 2001 mayoral funds again provided $15,000 for a flagpole with yardarm that sits in a granite base on the site.
A memorial etched into the granite, erected by friends and neighbors is inscribed, “In Memory of Lt. Kenneth Aimee, 331st Fighter Squadron, Who gave his life in the service of his country: July 8, 1954.”
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