I need a photo of him. If you can help, please contact me.
Via email from Calobe Jackson, Jr., 6-18-05
Dear Ralph,
     I just found your site by goggling. I have been researching William McDonald Felton, who owned an AeroPlane School and flying field in Harrisburg, Pa from 1919 to 1924. When Felton purchased his first airplane, Diehl flew it into Harrisburg. He landed on May 30, 1919. The local newspaper showed a picture of Diehl. My understanding is that Diehl worked for Felton as a flying instructor. Diehl is listed as living in Harrisburg in the 1920 Census.
     Reading that Diehl left his papers to the Smithsonian, I am anxious to see if Felton is mentioned. Before Diehl some famous French pilot known as the Blue Devil, (Flanchaire), landed to visit Felton. The story goes that this Blue Devil flew to Harrison burg, VA. by mistake and then flew to Harrisburg, Pa. Felton's ad of May 30, 1919 mentions this landing, but I have yet to find a newspaper article about it. Unfortunately Felton's AeroPlane School was torn down several years ago.
     I would appreciate any information or sources that might contain additional information on Diehl and the French Blue Devil.
Thanks for any help
Calobe Jackson, Jr.
Editor's Note: If any of you can help Calobe in his search for more information on either Felton or Diehl, please contact him through me.

Via email from Calobe Jackson, Jr., 6-28-05
Dear Ralph,
     When Flanchaire landed in Pittsburgh, he was met by Lt. Henri Farre, Lt. Max Bencis and Benjamin Thaw, father of William Thaw. Farre and Thaw are listed as Early Birds. Flanchaire was said to be first to fly from NY City to Pittsburgh and the first to fly over the Allegheny mountains. Bencis is said to be a veteran of air combat. Flanchaire is said to have downed a dozen planes.
     Oral history states that Hubert Julian, an early black pilot, visited Felton's airfield, circa 1924. I have not found anything on this as yet, but I do have a picture of Julian in Harrisburg in the 1930's. William McDonald Felton may be nominated for a Pa. State Historical Marker. He appears to be one of the earliest African Americans to own airplanes and an airfield.( 1919-1926). I think the Air Commerce Act put him out of business.
     This story began about ten years ago when, William Felton, Jr., gave me the details on his father's role in early aviation. Felton, Jr. was at the landing of Flanchaire, (1918), and William Diehl, (1919), in Harrisburg.. All of Felton's artifacts were lost. Felton, Jr died in 1996. I have a few leads on graduates of Felton's AeroPlane School. Hopefully the Internet will connect us and Felton will receive the credit he deserves. Felton died in 1930.

     If you search for "Georges Flanchaire", using the Google search engine, (5-23-05), you will find just one relevant link.

SELECTIONS from the Altoona Tribune
Monday Morning, May 6, 1918 - page 1
     This page offers a number of articles which have been transcribed from the Altoona Tribune. I have reproduced the article which refers to Flanchaire for your convenience.
Famous French Ace Startles Great Crowd at Driving Park by Stunts
      Lieutenant Georges Flanchaire, a famous ace of the French flying corps, reached this city yesterday and got a rousing welcome from a big crowd at the Altoona driving park. A disappointment on his non-arrival Friday and Saturday didn't dampen the desire of the people of the city to see him and when the news became circulated that he was coming during the afternoon hundreds went to the driving park and others to seek places of vantage on the hills of the city.
      Flanchaire made a record flight from Lewistown to this city. He left that town about 2 o'clock and almost before the news could be bulletined at the newspaper offices and became circulated he arrived at the driving park. His route was changed somewhat from Huntingdon, for instead of flying over Tyrone and Bellwood he came along the Petersburg branch and by air line to the city.
      The French ace startled the crowd at the park and people in the city by his daring stunts, such as are performed "Over There." He made spiral dives, flip- flops and zig-zags and then piloted his machine toward the city until about Seventeenth street, when he pointed its nose westward at 4:45 o'clock and sailed away toward Pittsburg. Before Flanchaire could take to the air it was necessary to secure extra state troopers to clear the crowd away from his machine, a scouting biplane operated by an eight cylinder motor.
      Flanchaire made Derry, sixty-eight miles west, in thirty-six minutes and reached Pittsburg in time for supper."

     You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

I have no information as to the dates of his birth or his death
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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