ART SERVES IN WORLD WAR I - 1917-1920
"Any notion of continuing the status quo quickly came to an end, though. As war spread through Europe in the years preceding 1917,
Art had become a spokesman for American preparedness. He believed there was a need for the United States to train and equip pilots
in case of aerial battle. He turned down requests from several countries to teach aviation and said when the United States needed him,
he would be available. After the United States entered the war in April 1917, Art left his stunt flying and exhibitions and tried to enlist in
the Army Air Corps. Some said he was refused because he was too short, others said it was because of the effects of many crashes.
Instead, Art was assigned to train and test pilots. From 1917 until 1920, at different times, he was stationed at Langley Field in Virginia,
Carruthers Field in Texas, and Wilbur Wright Field in Ohio."
ART JOINS U. S. AIR MAIL SERVICE - 1923
"After the war, Art did not resume his celebrity tours, but he did continue flying. In 1923 he joined the
U.S. Air Mail Service, piloting the Chicago-to-Cleveland route. One night in 1926, while on his mail route, Art encountered fog and icing
conditions between Waterloo, Indiana, and Bryan, Ohio. He must have mistaken the lights around a Montpelier, Ohio, farmhouse to be
field lights, and by the time he realized his mistake, it was too late. He tried to turn, but in so doing, he flew into a patch of trees and
crashed, cutting a swath some two hundred feet through the woods. Authorities could not determine whether Art died in the crash or in
the subsequent fire. "
Excerpts from Rachel Sherwood Robert's book, Art Smith