Giuseppe (Joseph) Taglione (1898-1976) was born in Brazil, one of 11 children. He came to the US and his family settled in Providence in 1907. He worked as an auto and truck driver, and was bitten by the aviation bug at an early age. In 1920 he made his first flight out of the grass field which later became Hillsgrove airport. The following year he learned to fly in a Curtiss Jenny at Asbury Park, NJ. When he earned his license he became the first Italian pilot in RI. In 1926 he bought his first plane (he owned four in his lifetime).
Along with “early bird” flier Al Potts and others, Taglione helped clear a pasture at Buttonwoods in 1926 to create what became known as the Pothier flying field. In 1927 he went to Denver and took up stunt flying. After coming back he launched a venture called Rhode Island Airways. By 1959 he held the oldest pilot’s license in the state, and received nationwide publicity for giving a 96-year-old woman her first plane ride. For many years he and his wife Maria owned and operated Taglioneʼs Market on Warwick Avenue. He resided in Warwick until his death in 1976. His tombstone is inscribed, “The First Italian Aviator in Rhode Island”.
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