Errol H. Zistel Errol H. Zistel Errol H. Zistel  
  Zistel, Early Days
Zistel, 1957
Zistel, 1961
From EB CHIRP, 65
USAF Museum Website
USAF Museum Website
Two U.S. Air Service squadrons, the 17th and 148th, used the Sopwith "Camel" in combat while assigned to British forces during the summer and fall of 1918. Such famous U.S. pilots as George Vaughn (our nation's second-ranking Air Service ace to survive the war), Elliot White Springs, Errol Zistel and Larry Callahan were members of the 17th and 148th. A third U.S. unit, the 185th Aero Squadron, used the Camel as a night fighter on the American front during the last month of the war.
Information & photos courtesy of the USAF Museum

  Brig. Gen. Frank P. Lahm, 1960
From the EB's CHIRP
     On June 16, 1957, Early Bird Major General Errol H. Zistel, Chief of Staff, Ohio Air National Guard, was honored on the occasion of his retirement by a big military show at Mansfield Municipal Airport, Mansfield, Ohio. The military demonstration also commemorated the 50th year of military aviation and the 30th anniversary of the Ohio Air National Guard. Many newspapers gave feature space to the event.
     On hand for the occasion was Maj. Gen. Frank P. Lahm Ret., holder of pilots license #2 and former president of the Early Birds, who presented Zistel with the pin of membership in the Early Birds.
     Lahm reviewed Zistel's flying activities from the time he first soloed at Sandusky in 1914.

Combat Pilots
Members attending the Early Birds meeting during the World War Combat Pilots Reunion at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, June 24-26, 1961
Standing --- (Left to right): Loa Harry Copland, Jack Curry, Reinhardt Ausmus, Howard Wehrle, Alan Bonnalie, Leo Kimball, Ralph Royce, "Zip" Zistel, and Trubee Davison.
Seated --- (Left to right): Three past presidents of the Early Birds - Russell Holderman, Frank Lahm and George H. Scragg.

     Pops (Walter Lees), and I made a lot of trips because we could leave the girls with my mother and father who lived with us. We went to the Cleveland Air Races. We flew there in a Packard Diesel and I remember Pops telling me to be prepared to jump because there were so many ships in the air. I thought how much easier it would be to jump if I saw Pops jump first.
     Our friends Betty and Ralph Stout managed a Country Club there and they invited us over to dinner and we had a funny deal there as Pops had forgot his good clothes and just had knickers to wear. I had brought a formal dress, but we couldn't go into the main dining room because we weren't dressed properly. However, Pops enjoyed the golf club and played there. I still hear from Betty Stout. She lives in Florida now.
     While we were at the air races, we rode back and forth with Jimmy Doolittle and his wife in their car and went to several things that they went to with the Early Birds. We also went to the Zistel house. Pops taught "Zip" Zistel (Errol H. Zistel) to fly at Newport News, VA in 1916. Zip became a war ace and a general.

via email courtesy of Robi L. Rew, 4-18-07
     Errol is my great uncle. My father Richard E. Moore (son of Monica Zistel & Hubert Moore) researched the family history. He and my mother (Anne) became very close with Errol's daughter Pat and her husband Dave Miller. I have searched for years but until tonight I have only found the photo at Wright Patterson. I thank you for this information. It's a little more I can add to my records. Monica's sister, Era Zistel, became a well known writer of children's books and books about animals. It was a shock to realize he was alive while I grew up (born 1955). While I was too young to realize his place in history, I regret today that I never met him. The course of my life took me into a military career and serving in Desert Storm. To date, our family has served in WW!, WW!!, Desert Storm (and I classify as a Vietnam Vet -due to enlistment dates). I am proud to have this record of service in our family.
     You won't know it from my name but I am a woman. It makes it more interesting for my children. I noted the statement about the 'Zistel house'. Is there an address? I would like to include it in my records. It caught my eye having been significant enough to mention in the article.My curiosity is caught in trying to find information regarding Louis Zistel who ran the first side wheel ferry to Cedar Point and established a beer & bath house. How are these two men related?
     My mother, Anne Moore, lives in Ft Myers Fla and can give you any information that my father collected and connect you with the Millers.
Robi L. Rew

     If you search for "Errol Zistel", using the Google search engine, (10-2-03), you will find about 121 links. The following site is very interesting and useful..
     On this website of the Air National Guard, you will find a nice little biography and a beautiful photograph of Zistel in front of one of his aeroplanes. You can access the site by clicking on the title above. You will also find a very nice series of pages devoted to the history of the service which can be accessed from the homepage. You will find references to such pioneer aviators as Euguene Ely, Lt. Col. Charles B. Winder and Ralph E. McMillen.

from the Cleveland Necrology File.
(Go to and arrow down to Necrology File.)
from Dorene Paul, Reference Assistant
Sandusky Library
Id#: 0797964
Name: Zistel, Mal. Gen. Errol H.
Date: Jan 28 1968
Source: Plain Dealer; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #169.
Notes: Zistel. Mal. Gen. Errol H. Zistel (USAF ret.), beloved husband of the late Edna W., dear father of Mrs. David I. Miller (Patricia), grandfather of Deborah J. and Roger I., brother of Mrs. Walter A. Horn of Huron, O., passed away Jan. 25, residence, 363 Longbeach Parkway, Bay Village. Funeral services will be held at The Saxton Funeral Home, 13215 Detroit Ave., Monday, Jan. 29, at 3 p.m. Please omit flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cancer Society or to The Society for Crippled Children Friends received 2-4 And 7-9 P.M. Sunday.
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper
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