Samuel C. Lewis
(L to R): Barlow, Kaminski, Smith, Davis, Russell, Singh,
Callan, Clark, Dunlap, Takeshi - May, 1912
US Naval Historical Center, collections of T.G. Ellyson and J. L. Callan
From WALDO: Pioneer Aviator


The Curtiss school was opened on October 20th for the 1911-1912 winter season. Among the new students were: Dunford, an Englishman; George Capitsini, a Greek Army Captain; J.G. Kaminski, Polish; a turbanned Mohan Singh; K. Takeshi from Japan; plus several Americans: William Hoff of San Francisco, S.C. Lewis of Chicago, J.B. McCalley of Harrisburgh, Charles W. Shoemaker of Olean, New York, Lansing Callan, Carl Sjolander and Rutherford Page. Also, F.J. Terrill of Springfield, Mass; R.E. McMillan of Perry , Iowa; C.A. Gerlin of Centralia, Washington; and M.M. Stark of Vancouver, B.C. One of Curtiss' early woman students, Julia Clark, would arrive later, along with several American military students. In a month McClaskey, Lewis, McCalley and Shoemaker qualified for their licenses. McClaskey even astonished Curtiss, by doing a series of figure eights, remaining in the air longer than any other graduate, and speeding more than a mile-a-minute!
From WALDO: Pioneer Aviator

Samuel C. Lewis

     Samuel C. Lewis died at his home in Peekskill, N. Y., October 9, 1946
     Pilot Lewis was born October 28, 1886, in Sioux City, and began flying at Curtiss school in Hammondsport in 1911. He flew for his FAI certificate No. 92 at San Diego, December 19, 1911. He then went to France and through 1912-1913 taught flying at the Borel Aerodrome, civilian and military; and at Buc and Chateaufort. The Balkan war was on and he taught Turks in the mornings and Bulgarians in the afternoons. In Germany in 1914 he found himself temporarily interned.
     In 1915 he and Charles R. Wittemann met and there was formed the Wittemann-Lewis Aircraft Co., Lewis becoming vice-president. His investment being returned, he left the company in 1918 and was admitted to the bar. He received his education at Vermont Academy, Brown University, London University, and the New York Law School.
     He eventually became one of the prosecuting attorneys for the grievance committee of the New York Bar Associatoin with which he remained until his death.
     Surviving him is his wife Florence Windsor Lewis, a daughter Adeline Lewis (a WAVE during the last war and now in China with UNRRA teaching X-Ray to the Chinese), and son Major Windsor Lewis who went through the New Guinea Campaign, Phillipines and ended up in Japan.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir

  Recommended Further Reading:
WALDO: Pioneer Aviator
A Personal History of American Aviation, 1910-1944
by Waldo Dean Waterman
with Jack Carpenter
Arsdalen, Bosch & Co.

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