Grover Cleveland Bergdoll

Grover Cleveland Bergdoll

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Grover Cleveland Bergdoll

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Grover Cleveland Bergdoll (October 18, 1893 – January 27, 1966) was an early aviator, and World War I draft dodger, who went to Germany to avoid service.

He was born in Philadelphia. In 1912, he purchased a Wright Model B biplane for about $5,000. After 748 flights it was placed in storage, and in 1936 it was donated to the Franklin Institute. To avoid the draft he eluded police for two years. He was arrested in 1920, then escaped to Germany. He returned to the United States in 1939, was put on trial, and was imprisoned until 1946. He died in Richmond, Virginia in 1966.

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  • New York Times; January 8, 1920 "Take Draft Evader After 2-Year Chase; Grover Bergdoll, Wealthy Philadelphia German, Defended By Mother with Revolver. House Veritable Arsenal. Bergdoll Said To Have Offered His Services to this country as an Aviator in 1918. Philadelphia, January 7, 1920 Grover Cleveland Bergdoll, wealthy son of a former brewer and charged with being a draft dodger and deserter from the army, was captured after a two-year chase today while hiding in the palatial residence of his mother on the outskirts of this city. Tonight he is a prisoner on Governors Island, New York, awaiting trial by court-martial.
  • New York Times; May 26, 1939 "Bergdoll Returns, Is Seized By Army; Grover Cleveland Bergdoll Then......
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