George Weaver
George Weaver
Courtesy of Ken Folse.

Departure Was Due to Order
of War Department.
     On December 3lst, 1918, the remaining four civilian flying instructors at Rich Field were discharged from the service of the United States by a War Department order. They took their last flight, were given a hearty send-off by the officers and enlisted men of the field, and Rich Field knew them no more.
     But the honorable record which they have made will stand as long as Rich Field graduates foregather -- and no four names will have more mention in future reunions of flyers from Waco than those of Henry C. (Pop) Keller, George B.(Buck) Weaver, James P. (Jock) Mc-Grath and A. Walter Claverie.

Weaver & Morrow
Buck Weaver and Paul Morrow
Rich Field, Waco, Texas, 1917

Photo from collection of
Lester Bishop
Courtesy of David Balanky
George E. Weaver
     George E. Weaver, called "Buck" by his friends. and pupils, was born in Chicago, Ill., June 14, 1895, and learned to fly in 1914 and 1915 at the Aero Club, of Illinois Field at Chicago. His home address is 7134 Harvard Avenue, Chicago, or Aero Club of Illinois, Auditorium Hotel, Chicago.      "Buck" spent three summers on the road with exhibition flyers, among them Carl Miller, Laddie Laird and Katherine Stinson. He was mechanician for Glenn H. Curtiss on his last exhibition, at Winona Lake, Ind.
     From June to September, 1917, "Buck" was with the United States Naval Reserve Flying Corps, Huntington, L. I., and on October 4, 1917, he joined the A. S. S. at Wilbur Wright Field, Fairfield, Ohio.
     Weaver was the first civilian flying instructor on Rich Field. He reported for duty on December 13, 1917. Since then he has taught scores of cadets to fly, many of whom have gone overseas as officers and has a record of more than 1250 hours in the air.
. . . Rich Field Flyer, undated, p. 40
Editor's Note:
The article was kindly submitted
by Henry Keller's great-nephew, Ken Folse.

     If you search for "George Weaver +aviation", using the Google search engine, (11-25-03), you will find about 75 links. Among the most helpful are the following.
     This page functions as the entry point to the varied resources which are available, such as: WACO History, About the Museum, WACO Field, WACO Historical Society, Aviation Learning Center, Event Calender, Gift Shop, Membership, Donations, Aviation Links and Email Us. To access the site, click on the title above.
A radial engine, an open cockpit,
and more fun than you can imagine

BY ALTON K. MARSH (From AOPA Pilot , January 2002.)
     "If you're unfamiliar with antique aircraft, you're asking, "AOPA is giving away a whatco?" It's a Waco, and the name rhymes with taco. AOPA's two-year celebration of the 100th anniversary of powered flight begins this month with the restoration of your Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes airplane -- a pilot-friendly 1940 Waco UPF-7 biplane.".
     This page on the AOPA website offers an interesting story of the plans to award a WACO airplane to one of the members of the organization. To access the site, click on the title above.
     If you search for "cootie +WACO", using the Google search engine, (11-25-03), you will find about 75 links. Among the most helpful are the following.
American WACO Club, Inc.
     Anyone wishing to know more about any aspect of the WACO story will want to visit this website. It is replete with sections such as: Who Are We?, Photo Galleries, Gift Shop, Information, Member Activities, etc. You will find many beautiful photographs of restored WACO's in the photo gallery. To access the site, click on the title above.

     This page on the EAA Airventure Museum website offers a nice introduction to the story of the WACO (WeaverAviationCO), company which was formed in the early 20's by George "Buck" Weaver, Elwood "Sam" Junkin, Charlie Meyers and Clayton "Clayt" Brukner. You will find several photos of their planes and have access to several other features available in the online museum. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

     This page on KO Ecklund's superb AEROFILES website offers a comprehensive listing of many of the WACO planes, most of them with illustrations as well as vital statistics. It includes reference to the Cootie, in which George crashed on the first test flight and which may have caused his later death. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

Via email from George Weaver, 11-24-03
     I am the nephew of Buck Weaver and was named after him. Every book that I've read about the WACO history, including "WACO Symbol of Courage and Excellence" by Fred Kobernuss, show his death in 1924 at age 29. He had a crash in a Cootie aircraft several years earlier and his death may have been caused indirectly by that crash but not directly. My dad, (his younger brother born in 1905), recalls his death as being due to intestinal problems, possibly peritonitis that may have been a result of the crash. Somewhere I have his obituary which notes that his funeral was attended by all of the famous names in early aviation, but I can't locate it.
     I have been a pilot since 1965, first as a Naval Aviator, then as a commercial airline pilot. So, in a way, I have continued the family tradition.
George Weaver
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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