Last Letter
  Oct. 1, 1912  
  Dear Alo,
     I wired you last night so will drop you a few lines this A.M.
     Mr. Fanciulli will be here this afternoon and is going to collect the $500.00 for the flights yesterday. I guess it will be all right as he is the Gen Manager of the Co. We did not get our toolbox and Fell did some great hustling and had four sockets and the propeller bolts made so I made the first flight at five oclock and second at 5.30 did not do any great stunts as I wanted to get the machine in good shape first. We are having lovely weather this week and I hope it keeps up for a few days longer. This fair has the biggest attendance of any fair in the country. I suppose the weather is good at the factory now and be sure and get those two checks as soon as you can, they should settle after each date as Mr. Hall insisted upon when I was in debt to them.
     Geo. Stevens is here with a Wright bi-plane and a man makes a parachute jump from it. Pres. Taft will speak here Thursday they say, they are selling round trip tickets from the station in Jersey city for $2.00.
     Well darling I hope everyone there are well, I have quite a bad cold somehow.
     Well so long dearie, write me soon. I am as ever your loving Hubby and Pappa,

     Bill carefully erected and checked the trusty Curtiss. Walsh took off in his usual grand style, climbed to about 2,000 feet and started his steep bank and dive routine. Among the estimated 20,000 spectators in the grandstands was Presidential Candidate Woodrow Wilson who had accepted the invitation for publicity purposes to ride with Walsh after his exhibition flight. Shortly before the final maneuver, Charlie put the plane into a tight pull and a flying wire on the left wing let loose. Then another snapped and the wings collapsed,. Walsh plummeted to earth, hitting about a quarter of a mile outside the fairgrounds. By the time rescue workers had reached the wreckage, the 34 year old red head was dead.
     Charlie had his share of accidents and crashes during his brief career. He was always able to handle the situation. This time it was in-flight structural failure, and that he could not handle. Charles Francis Walsh was brought home, where he was buried in Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, California.
     Was it all worth it? To men like Charlie Walsh who introduced aviation to thousands of people in a spectacular, dare-devil way, it was. To men like Glenn Curtiss it was not. Certainly it wasn't to the wives and families left behind. The salemen, the promoters, the companies, formed to exhibit the airplane as a side-show made the money. Until aviation settled down to serve a humanitarian and utilitarian purpose, it only served to bring forth the most stout-hearted to join its ranks. Be that as it may, the men of Charlie Walsh's caliber are a unique part of American Aviation History.
  Author's Notes:
These are excerpts from the Aero and Hydro Magazines provided to me by the
Curtiss Museum in New York.
July 20, 1912 Aero and Hydro pg. 361
C.F. Walsh--the Curtiss aviator, made a number of exhibition flights at
Sidney, Ohio on June 18th.
July 6, 1912-Aero and Hydro pg. 321
Charles F. Walsh at Fond du Lac, Wisc. July 4th.


The Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: October 4, 1912,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 6-11-04
Aviator's Body Crushed
when his Machine Crashed to Earth
at Trenton, N.J., from Height of 2,000 Feet.
Trenton, N. J., Oct. 3. - With 50,000 persons watching him at the interstate fair grounds this afternoon, Charles F. Walsh, while making a spiral descent in a biplane, fell 2,000 feet to instant death about a quarter of a mile outside the fair grounds. Practically every bone in his body was broken and his face and body were badly cut. Walsh had been giving exhibitions at the fair all week and today for the first time, was doing fancy stunts in the air with his machine. He was very high today, probably 5,000 feet, as he began his descent. He was making the spiral descent with the front of his machiine pointed almost straight downward when he lost control. Walsh could plainly be seen struggling to regain his balance, but without avail. The machine then began its fatal descent to the earth and the large number of spectators recalled that the aviator's death was imminent.
      Walsh was twenty-five years of age and a native of San Diego, Cal. His wife and two children are visiting at Hammondsport, N. Y., where they intended remaining while he was flying in the east. Walsh learned to fly with Lincoln Beachey."