Gladys Roy
Collection of Tom Heitzman, 1-18-06

I need a photo of her. If you can help, please contact me.
Gladys Roy - Blindfolded Wingwalker
from Holcomb's Aerodrome
By permission from Kevin Holcomb

Mark M. Campbell
Collection of John S. Schmidt, 2-16-04
     The picture is familiar to me, but I don't know who all the people are. The one in the middle behind the girl is my Dad, Mark M. Campbell. I am very sure the one on the right is Frank Clarke, a friend, and the pilot who did the flying during most of his stunts. There was a girl who worked with them named Gladys Roy but I am sure that she is not in the picture.

Noted Aviatrix Dies of Injuries,
Gladys Roy Killed When Struck byPropeller

Knoxville Journal
Knoxville, Tennessee: August 16, 1927,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 2-17-05
Youngstown, O., Aug. 15(AP) - Gladys Roy, 25, attractive aviatrix who had planned a New York to Rome airplane flight as a climax to years of stunt flying, died in a hospital here tonight from injuries received when she was struck by a whirling propeller at Watson field here late today.
      Rushed to a hospital after the accident, surgeons there reported her skull was torn away by the spinning blade.
      The accident happened as the noted aviatrix climed aboard a plane which was motionless on the ground with its motor running.
      Miss Roy arrived in Youngstown today on a business trip. She appeared in a plane stunt act at Kinsman fair grounds yesterday and was to have appeared near here in another exhibition feat early next month. Her home was in Minneapolis.
      Miss Roy, well known in aviation circles since 1920, was being groomed for a New York to Rome flight. Her co-pilot in the flight was to have been Lieutenant Delmar Snyder. She recently paid a visit to Lieutenant Snyder's mother in Cleveland.
      Miss Roy had climbed into the plane to have her picture taken with an Ohio bathing beauty who won a place to compete in the Atlantic City annual bathing beauty contest. The picture was nearly finished being taken when the woman flier started the engine, stepped down from the fuselage and unconsciously walked into the propeller.
      She is the holder of several parachute record jumps from airplanes. "Chadwick Smith, her brother, also is a pilot. He flies a mail plane between Chicago and Minneapolis.

     If you search for "Gladys Roy" +aviation, using the Google search engine, (2-17-05), you will find about six links.
Women Fly Aviation Adventurers
     This page on the " Women Fly"website offers a color poster showing Gladys "wingwalking." It is intended to be applied to a T-Shirt. Accompanying the picture is a brief history of women acrobats in general . Included is a specific mention of Gladys as follows:
     "While many women contributed to the excitement and folklore of the barnstorming era, it was Gladys Roy who perfected a stunt that captured the spirit and untamed passion of these daring aviatrixes."
     You can access the page by clicking on the title above. You may want to use the "FIND" function on "Gladys Roy" to locate her on the page.

Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame
Chadwick B. Smith
1905 - 1931
     This page on the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame website features the life and career of Chadwick B. Smith. His story is interesting in and of itself, but you will also find this relevant mention of Gladys Roy:
     Chad Smith was a brother to twins, Lee and Les Smith, also hired by the airline. His sister, Gladys Roy, was a parachute jumper and wing-walker
     You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame
Joseph F. Westover
1890 -
     This page on the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame website features the life and career of another pioneer aviator who has been enshrined. Joseph F. Westover's story is interesting in it's own right and also includes a relevant mention of Gladys Roy:
     He founded his own aerial circus, which performed at the Minnesota State Fair twice. He also appeared as an aerial stuntman with Gladys Roy as wing-walker.
     You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

Gladys Roy was killed when struck by a propeller on August 16, 1927.
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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