Lestere Miller
Contributed by Bob MacKinnon, 8-9-11

via email from Bob MacKinnon, 8-9-11
     Thanks for the reply and the information. I have enclosed an early picture of him, I also have some additional pictures of him around 1915 associated with the Texas School of Aviation. I don't have much information on his life other than he had a house by the Lakewood Country Club on Coronado Drive with a big garage where he used to build plane components. I remember him building planes in the backyard and then dis-assembling them and shipping them places. He had a large garage with more stuff in it and tools than I have ever seen in my whole life, even since. He was a great man, I was very disappointed when he died and I was only 9, it is not an exaggeration to say that he could truly build anything with his hands.
      Thanks for the link, I will check out what is out there. Are any of his planes in museums today ??
Bob MacKinnon

Lestere Miller
Contributed by Bob MacKinnon, 8-9-11

     If you search for "Lestere Miller", using the Google search engine,
(8-9-11), you will find about 152 links. Perhaps among the most helpful are the following.

Willis Edgar "Pop, Grandpappy" Virgil, Sr
     This entry on the Find A Grave website is primarily a biography of Virgil, but Lestere played an important role in his story. I am sure you will enjoy reading the entire story of this pioneer aviator. As his grandaughter writes, "Disappointingly, the biplane, Willis E. Virgil, Sr., Lestere Miller and their contributions to Texas pioneer aviation history remain unacknowledged, despite more than adequate documentation, by the Frontiers of Flight Museum located, ironically, at Love Field." At least now both of their stories are readily available on the net.

The Daring Birdman of Dallas
     You will find a very interesting story of his activity during the early days of Texas aviation. You may find it advisable to use "Lestere Miller" in the FIND function of your browser to locate his entry on the page.

[PDF] Oklahoma Today September-October 1988 Volume 38 No. 5
     You will find a brief, but interesting reference to Miller on this pdf file. I found it to be a bit difficult to find, but worth the effort. To make it easier for you, I have extracted the relevant paragraphs:

     "One of the first Oklahoma-built planes, The Albatross, a monoplane powered hy a 10 h. p. motorcycle engine, was designed by W. S. Blackburn and built in a Chickasha bicycle shop. Blackburn proudly put the airplane on display, charging 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children, but found there were few spectators. A resident grumbled in a local newpaper, "If a stranger had brought that same machine here from new York or Paris and placed it on exhibition, it would have required a dozen of so pilicemen to keep the crowds from stampeding it. I can't understand why the people of Chickasha are uninterestd in this product."
     Blackburn leased his plane to an out-of-state pilot, Lestere Miller, who tested the craft briefly, then loaded it onto a train bound for San Antonio.

Lestere Miller

San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives
from flickr


Before Amelia

Bruce A. Bleakley
Product Details
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (April 11, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738579882
ISBN-13: 978-0738579887 Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 0.3 inches
  Editorial Reviews
from Amazon.com

Product Description
Since Otto Brodie's airplane flight at Fair Park in 1910, the city of Dallas has seen over 100 years of rich and diverse aviation activity. Many of those years were spent on a long and complex road to a consolidated airport for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, an impasse finally resolved with the dedication of Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport in 1974. Central to Dallas aviation history is Love Field, established as a military base in 1917. A waypoint for famous flights such as the first round-the-world flight in 1924, a venue for colorful characters like barnstormer and bootlegger "Slats" Rodgers, and the site of World War II's largest Air Transport Command base--Love Field was all this and more. Although no longer the region's primary commercial airfield, Love Field remains a major aviation facility as the home of Southwest Airlines and several internationally recognized business aircraft operations.

About the Author
Author Bruce A. Bleakley, a 20-year Air Force veteran with 5,000 hours of flying time, is currently museum director of the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field Airport. The images in Dallas Aviation come from the Frontiers of Flight Museum, the History of Aviation Collection at the University of Texas at Dallas, and other individual and organizational sources.

Lestere Miller died in 1963
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members
January 1, 1993

Editor's Note:
If you have any information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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