Sunday, November 30, 2008

Above is a photo of my great Uncle Van Lloyd wearing the flying helmet, scarf and leather jacket that he wore when he flew bi-planes as part of Lend-Lease to train British pilots during World War II. A large copy of this photo used to hang in the original Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It was used as a poster during World War II to encourage people to buy war bonds, with probably many people mistaking Uncle Van for Charles Lindburgh since they looked similar in their flying outfits (thought I think Uncle Van was much more handsome)> For his efforts, he was made a Knight of the British Empire by King George at a ceremony held in New York City after the war. Both before and after this, he was an airline pilot with Essair Airlines, then Braniff Airlines.

Above is a photograph of my grandmother with her brother (i.e. my Great Uncle Van).

My grandmother's brother -- my Great Uncle Van - married my grandmother's college roomate - my Aunt Jeanette, who after college taught school for many years in Hawaii. My Great Uncle Van, on the other hand, became a pilot and an early aviation pioneer. He became interested in flying when he was visiting the Hunsicker family farm in Relief, Ohio with his mother -- and saw a Curtis Jenny biplane crash.