The Flying Santa of New England

Every Christmas, the families of lighthouse keepers along the coast of New England receive presents from a flying Santa Claus, but the jolly old fellow doesn’t come riding in a magical reindeer-drawn sledge but in a helicopter.

The New England tradition of a “Flying Santa” delivering gifts to lonely and isolated lighthouse keepers and their families started over ninety years ago in 1929, when a Maine pilot named Captain William Wincapaw, started delivering gifts for his lighthouse keeper friends in Penobscot Bay in appreciation of the tremendous sacrifices those families made and the difficulties they faced while protecting the coastline and harbors.

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Flying Santa plane flies past Boston Light in 1947.


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