1896 -1954
Clarence O. Prest
Clarence Prest, 1919
Collection of Tony Harman, 10-10-08

via email from Jack & Marilyn Bresson, 2-12-08
     Clarence is a relative of mine on his wife's side (Bresson) We had a store at one time across the street from where Clarence built some of his airplanes in the old lemon packing house at the corner of Van Buren and Indiana in Arlington, California. I am interested in information about the things he did. One was flying under the bridge at Blythe California.

Clarence O. Prest
Aerial Photo of Venice, CA - 1919
Made by Clarence O. Prest
Collection of Tony Harman, 10-10-08

Clarence O. Prest
"Prest in Las Vegas, Nevada,
Thanksgiving Day, 1920.

Collection of Tony Harman, 10-10-08

Courtesy of Robert Stoldal, 5-23-09
     Prest's small exhibition plane "Poison" was shipped to Las Vegas by rail late in November of 1920. He put on a demonstration during which the "airplane plunges to ground from height of 75 feet, pilot not injured," reported a local newspaper.
     The plane show on your website, is Prest's "Poison." The newspaper story dated, November 27, 1920, reported after the plane had "reached a height of about 75 feet" the "motor stopped and Poison poked her nose into the ground with considerable force, doing some damage to the machine. Mr. C. O. Prest, owner and pilot of the plane escaped with a slight shaking up."
     The story goes on to say, "the stoppage of the motor was caused by the fact that castor oil used for lubricating the rotary engine with which the plane is equipped, was carelessly put in the gasoline tank."
     The story goes on to say Prest was "considering...whether to repair Poison, or use the motor and other parts in constructing a small monoplane...he is thinking seriously of doing the latter."
     I have not yet uncovered what Prest' did with "Poison" if he rebuilt, or used the parts for something else.

Clarence Prest's bi-plane N-CACH
Prest at Whitehorse 1922 [Aviator Clarence Prest and RCMP officer Claude Tidd standing by Prest's bi-plane 'N-CACH' in a field near Whitehorse.]
This plane may be similar to the Polar Bear, which was destroyed in Prince Rupert, 1921
from Yukon Archives Images Database

     "In the summer of 1922, Clarence O. Prest decided to fly from New York to Nome. All went well until Prest departed from Dawson City, Yukon Territory. After having engine trouble, Prest crash landed on an isolated beach near Fort Yukon. Prest was transported by a riverboat operator named Gilbert Cook to Tanana (Mills and Phillips 16). Clarence O. Prest is the first name in a long and famous list of aviators that have crashed in the unforgiving terrain of Alaska's wilderness."

First Plane In Skagway
Clarence O. Prest
First Aeroplane to Land in Skagway, Alaska July, 1922
From an exhibit in the Skagway Museum
To read the whole story of this event in the career of Prest,
click on the title above
writes C. O. Prest, who, last May 28, took his "Baby Pursuit" under his arm and did a 100 kilometer closed course at 100.8 m. p. h., exceeding the record of 86.7 m. p. h. set by Fauvel in France. The Prest job weighs but 430 pounds
from The Early Birds, 1 August, 1930, Bulletin 6
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir

Editor's Note: Photos of the "Baby Pursuit" may be seen on the AeroFiles site.

     If you search for "Clarence O. Prest" , using the Google search engine, (2-13-08), you will find about 7 links. Among the most helpful are the following.

     You will find a very nice biography of Clarence on "The First 100 people" website of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. You can access the site by clicking on the title.

     You will find an entry here with two nice photographs of his planes. You may access the site by clicking on the title.
     You may want to use your "Find" function on "Prest" to locate the entry on the page.

Clarence O. Prest died in 1954
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members
January 1, 1993

Clarence O. Prest
Evergreen Memorial Park and Mausoleum
Riverside County
California, USA
From the Find A Grave website
Courtesy of Pete Jones

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

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