Duncan Grant
Duncan Grant
Collection of Mike O'Neal, 11-19-06

via email from Mike O'Neal, 4-14-98
     Charles Hampson Grant who you may have heard of, was a pilot at Princeton. Grant was the first man to fly in the state of Vermont. He and his younger brother Duncan built a glider modeled after Pilchers successful designs and flew it in the Summer of 1911. Charlie Grant was then 15 years old. He went to Princeton for his engineering degree, but dropped out before graduating to work for Grover Loening. Grant also designed a fighter plane while at Princeton, but only France showed a mild interest in it. He later went on to help design the Gordon Bennett racers in the 30's - helped design the first practical retractable landing gear and slotted flaps. His brother Duncan was killed in a Sopwith Camel while still in training in England. Charlie was denied a flying commission when he failed the physical. He lost an eardrum to the measles and although he had been flying since he was 15, had shown some talent in the Jenny at Princeton, but was still rejected. Between the wars he established an aviation summer camp for boys called Camp Duncan Grant to teach aeronautics to young enthusiasts, primarily though model building.I interviewed Mr. Grant in 1986 at his home in Vermont, just a couple of miles from the meadow where he flew his glider in 1911. He died just six months later.

via email from Michael O'Neal, 11-19-06
Hi Ralph:
     It's been quite a while since I tossed you an email, but bumped into your site again this morning looking for information about Charles Grant's brother Duncan and, well, found what I had sent along in 1998.
     I've gathered some more information since then and would like to correct the bit in Charles Grants bio about his brother being killed in a Sopwith Camel. Duncan was assigned to the 148th Aero Squadron initially which would fly the Camel in France, but in May 1918, Duncan was detached and flying with #6 Training Depot Squadron at Boscombe Downs, England. On the 31st of May he was killed in a mid-air collission with another American - Edward Graham Tart. Sometimes listed as a Canadian, but actually from Massachussetts. Both Tart and Grant were flying DeHavilland DH-6's at the time of the accident.
     I've attached a photo of Duncan. If you need higher resolution, just drop me a line - I have much denser version of this image at hand. I recently acquired a nice collection of photos of the both of them from childhood upward and a neat collection of photos of Charlies early flying models - this shot was among them.
Hope all is well with you and yours.
Michael O'Neal
North Brunswick, NJ

     If you search for "Duncan Grant", using the Google search engine, (11-22-06), you will not find any links.


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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