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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Visiting by Airplane

Olen King was a flight instructor at Scott Field near Belleville during World War I. He was allowed a two-day leave of absence to fly his Curtiss trainer plane to St. Francisville on July 20, 1918, to visit his mother, Mrs. Ida King. The distance was 140 miles and it required two and a quarter- hours to make the trip.

King made a short flight over Vincennes and Lawrenceville Saturday and on his return to Belleville Sunday afternoon, landed at Cross Roads (Lawrenceville) Country Club west of Lawrenceville where a thousand or more people gathered to welcome him. After a short visit with friends, he again rose in the air, circled the field twice and headed for Belleville. The plane he was flying was an 8- cylinder Curtis, 90- horsepower 0x2 model, and was capable of making 100 miles an hour at heights between 2500 and 3000 feet.

In the photo Mechanic Ed Ekman was standing by the propeller while Olen King is sitting in the pilot’s seat ready to start the engine.


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