Felton: Doc Capelli – Comment re: Yesterday’s Post

Fascinating comment from Jack Baker re: Doc Capelli’s motorcycle:

Jack Baker
tenakee@gmail.com
50.29.215.47

Doc appears to be mounted on what I think is a 1922 Deluxe Henderson 4 cylinder motorcycle. They were one of the most powerful motorcycles of their time and motorcycle police favored Hendersons because they were faster than the vehicles of the day and were very sturdy, reliable bikes. My great grandfather Orley Baker and great uncle Glenn Baker from Santa Maria both rode these same Hendersons in the early to mid 1920’s as traffic officers for northern Santa Barbara County. Traffic Officer Great Uncle Glenn Baker raced his Henderson motorcycle from Lompoc, Ca. to Pt. Honda (now part of the Vandenburg missile testing base) on the night of Sep. 8, 1923 to arrive as the first official to aid in the rescue of sailors at the mass grounding of 7 – 314′ long, 32′ beam 5 yr. old U.S. Naval destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 11. One and a half Naval destroyer divisions were wrecked on the rocks in the fog at night on Pt. Honda, north of Pt. Arguello. One of the worst naval disasters in U.S. history, it happened due to a navigational error and unusual currents from the Tokyo earthquake in Japan that week. 23 men were lost, most from the destroyer U.S.S. Young in the follow the leader mass grounding on the 24 hour, 20 knot exercise run from San Francisco to San Diego. 7 destroyers managed to avoid the rocks of Pt. Honda, “the Devil’s Jaws”. The Henderson motorcycle logo looks a little faded on the side of the gas tank, but it is identifiable. Hendersons were built from 1913 to 1932 and went out of business during the Great Depression. They were great motorcycles; Doc Capelli was very fortunate to ride one!

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