Christopher Charles Cole

via email from Terrie Cole Jeschke, 3-17-04
Dear Mr. Cooper:
     The Christopher Charles Cole memorialized on your web page is my grandfather. I stumbled upon the "In Memoriam" while "googling" his name one night. You can imagine my surprise.
     You mention his service as a flight instructor in 1917. During that time he was involved in an airplane crash when one of his students panicked. The student was killed and an airplane strut pierced my grandfather's chest. He lost a lung and my understanding is that it somehow contributed to his demise in 1950. He died of lung disease. He was interred at the Baltimore National Cemetery on 03/28/50.
     I don't know how old your posting is, but if you are still looking for information on Chris Cole I may be able to help. After the death of my parents, I acquired most, if not all, of the papers pertaining to his flying and military career - as well as other careers he had along the way. He served some time as a deputy marshall in the Arizona territories. He also was a census taker and, according to my aunt, sketched wonderful pictures of the Indians. I have several old copies of a magazine entitled "The Sportsmens Flyer" in which he authored articles. He also was an antiques dealer for a while.
     If you are still looking for information, please don't hesistate to contact me.
Terrie Cole Jeschke


     Christopher Charles Cole died at Baltimore,, March 24, 1950, after a long and exciting career. From school he enlisted in the Infantry and became Moro interpreter for Pershing. He studied law and did newspaper work. From the Chicago meet of 1911 he joined aviator Frank Champion as rigger and "shill" for Champion's passenger-carrying and exhibitions until Champion was killed in Japan.
     Upon Cole's return to the states, he bought a 3-cylinder Anzani-engined plane from Art Smith and did some grasscutting himself. At the Sloane school, Los Angeles, he took instruction from Leonard Bonney and soloed in September, 1912. He flew Tom Gunn's Eaton plane at the L. A. meet of November, 1912, and then continued exhibitions on his own account in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
     Back at newspaper work in Southern California in 1916, he reported North Island activities and followed the First Aero Squadron to the border.
     In January, 1917, he enlisted in the AS, SERC, at San Diego and was shortly put on flying status. Colonel Glassford, the CO, recommended him for commission but the board was not favorable, though he passed the RMA test. After a period as instructor in primary flying at North Island, he was assigned instructor of controlled solo flights of aviation students, helping to make perfect landings and such, Doolittle, Luke, Rickenbacker, J. Purroy, Mitchel and others.
     After a transfer to Bolling Field as an MSE he was recommended again for commission by Major Stedman Hanks and other officers, but without favorable result. At the end of 1918 he was discharged, after flying the Washington-New York mail.
     In January of 1919, the war over, he was finally commissioned 2/Lieutenant on inactive status. This commission was later relinquished and he joined Marine Corps aviation for active duty as Warrant Officer. After service in the Coast Guard and as special agent of the Treasury, he renewed his regular newspaper work which he continued until his demise.
from CHIRP - APRIL 1, 1950 - - NUMBER 43
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir

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

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