Andrew Drew
Celtic Cowboy Co.

From City of Flight
The History of Aviation in St. Louis
by James J. Horgan
     Encouraged by the success of its previous ventures, particularly those of 1910, the Aero Club of St. Louis decided to stage two air meets in 1911. Although the city's aviation fame came from free ballooning, both tournaments would concentrate on heavier-than-air craft, in keeping with the latest developments in aviation.
     A number of aviators were scheduled to appear at Fairground, in addition to the prime attraction, Walter Brookins Included were Andrew Drew and Tom Benoist of St. Louis, John Cooper, Charles Zornes, Sax Ganz, C.O. Prowse, and Hillery Beachey the brother of Toledo aeronaut who had flown dirigibles in St. Louis in 1907 and 1909. In addition, several pupils from Tom Benoist's flying school intended to exhibit their fledgling talents: Harry Rafferty, John Woodlief, Alfred Bouillet, B.N. Elsk, and Charles Griffin. Contests for rapid starting, speed, altitude, target bombing, and accurate landing were planned, as well as the usual aerobatics by all participants.
     The Aero Club of St. Louis scheduled a broader tournament for October at Kinloch Park. Among the featured events on the program were several nine-mile cross-country races for a prize of $500, daily altitude contests for $250, quick-starting contests for $200, and the traditional acrobatics by all the entrants.
     Andrew Drew won the quick-starting contest by taking off with a run of only 179 feet. The St. Louisan also won the accurate-landing event by stopping 47 feet away from his target.
     Choppy air currents made flying hazardous on October 15, and all formal events were canceled. Albert Elton, Andrew Drew, and George Beatty made short hops and Walter Brookins braved the breeze to drop several "bombs" from a height of 400 feet.
     On October 16, winds of 17 to 24 miles per hour again hampered flying. The lone passenger carried that afternoon was Albert Elton, who flew in a biplane piloted by Andrew Drew. He made the closing flight of the day performing circles, "figure Eights", and "ocean waves," at a height of 200 feet.

Bad weather kept the Lillie school machines in the hangars the first part of the week, but on Thursday De Lloyd Thompson and Andrew Drew, instructors for the Max Lillie school, were up for four hours with the pupils here. Jesse Brabazon, Van Best, A. C. Carnes and Miss Uriel Johnstone are the pupils who are about ready for their licenses; James Colovas, F. A. Bergenthal, and Joseph Best need another week or so of training.
Friday two hours of pupil training were sandwiched in between gusty weather. Drew and Thompson made half a dozen solos in the wind.
     It was planned to hold a meet on Saturday and Sunday, but as the two Lillie machines did not arrive on time, the meet was called off.
     Quite a crowd appeared at the field, however. Sunday afternoon and for their benefit, Lillie, Thompson and Drew went through some pretty manuevres in gusty weather.Miss Katherine Stinson who had been taught to fly by Max Lillie, and G. Milton Vought, who had been scheduled to appear at the meet, were on the ground very impatient, because of the delayed arrival of the machines they were booked to fly. Vought is now a member of the Lillie organization. He superintends the condition of all the machines and holds the position of the firm's engineer. He also will do some flying at the winter camp in San Antonio.
From AERO & HYDRO, November 23, 1912

You will find a nice story of the field activities
which included many pioneer aviators including Andrew
by clicking on the
Cicero Flying Field page
of Carroll Gray's Lincoln Beachey website.

Find A Grave

Andrew Drew was killed June 12 1913 at Lima Ohio in a particularly tragic fashion similar to Frank Miller, gas tank explosion. In Drew's case it occurred at an altitude of around 200 feet in a Wright B plane
from Pete Jones, 7-6-11

The Post-Dispatch aviation reporter later lost his life in a Wright plane
From the story, "Those Magnificent Flying Machines" found on
The 20th Century, Pages of History website
by Jeff Daniel of the Post-Dispatch staff

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