Eastern Air Lines Shuttle Flight 1320

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Eastern Air Lines Shuttle Flight 1320
N8925E 090531 DTW 0558 (36293190924).jpg
The aircraft involved in the hijacking, while operating for Northwest Airlines in 2009
DateMarch 17, 1970
SummaryAircraft hijacking
SiteBoston-Logan International Airport, MA, USA
Aircraft typeMcDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
OperatorEastern Air Lines
Flight originNewark Liberty International Airport, Newark NJ
DestinationLogan International Airport, Boston, MA

Eastern Air Lines Shuttle Flight 1320, carrying passengers from Newark to Boston, was hijacked around 7:30 p.m. on March 17, 1970, by John J. Divivo who was armed with a .38 caliber revolver.[1] Captain Robert Wilbur Jr., 35, a former United States Air Force pilot who had been promoted to captain six months prior, was shot in his arm by the suicidal hijacker. Despite his wounds, he flew his aircraft safely to a landing while talking to air traffic control, telling them his copilot was shot and needed emergency services. His copilot, James Hartley, 30, was shot and collapsed. Despite being mortally wounded, Hartley was able to force the gun from Divivo's hand, and shoot the would-be hijacker three times before lapsing into unconsciousness, and eventual death. Despite his injuries, Divivo arose and began clawing at Captain Wilbur, attempting to force a crash. Wilbur hit Divivo over the head with the gun he had retrieved from the center console.[2] The pilot was able to land the plane safely at Logan International Airport, and the hijacker was arrested.[3] On October 31, 1970, Divivo hanged himself while awaiting trial at Charles Street Jail.[4][5]

The incident was the first aircraft hijacking in the United States to end with a fatality.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hijacking description at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^ Tristani, Captain, Eastern Air Lines (ret), J.P. (March 30, 2009). "One heck of an in-air gunfight on a civilian jet". Boston.com. Retrieved 2009-03-30.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Walker, Adrian (March 20, 2009). "Friends in high places". Boston.com. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  4. ^ "Eastern Airlines Hijacking, 1970". CelebrateBoston.com.
  5. ^ "Man Accused in Sky Murder Is Found Hanged in Boston". Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Corpus Christi, Texas. AP. November 1, 1970. p. 15. Retrieved March 21, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Swidey

Further reading[edit]