St. Louis Exposition, 1904
Photocopy by Gregory M. Franzwa
From City of Flight:
The History of Aviation in St. Louis
by James J. Horgan
The Patrice Press
Dominguez Air Meet, 1910
Courtesy: Photograph Collection
Los Angeles Public Library

Frank Goodale
1905.08.20 Knabenshoe A Roy, N-Y-1
Courtesy of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

Frank Goodale
1905.08.20 Knabenshoe A Roy, N-Y-2
Courtesy of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

California Arrow
California Arrow - 1905
"California Arrow" with aeronaut Knabenshue
in 1st successful flight at St. Louis World's Fair, 1905
Library of Congress Collection, 8-14-06

Pasadena Daily News
Pasadena, California, March 20, 1909

Proposition to Be Made Knabenshue to Con-
duct His Aerial Experiments From
This City in the Future

     Pasadena may become a permanent fixture on the aeronautic map. There is every prospect that Roy Knabenshue will become a resident of this city and conduct his airship experiments from this point. The matter has been taken up and a definite proposition will be made by the daring aerial navigator.
     The proposition which Knabenshue may take up will be to make Pasadena his central station, to conduct his experiments here and in exchange it is stated, he will be given a home and lot in this city.
     It is figured that with Knabenshue here attention will be directed to Pasadena as a place for aeronautic sports in both winter and summer time. As the daring sport is now in its infancy and wealthy men are contributing largely to the study of aerial navigation, it is believed that a great number of balloon and airship enthusiasts will be attracted to this part of the country to continue their experiments in winter, for there are a number of months in the eastern states when owning to the rigors of the winter climate, they are utterly incapacitated from pursuing their sports or experiments.

     If you search for "Roy Knabenshue", using the Google search engine, (6-27-07), you will find about 1560 links! I suggest that you visit the two websites below to begin your search.
The Portal of the Folded Wings
     Burt Kinner is one of 14 pioneers who are buried in the Portal of the Folded Wings. The most recent aviator to be so honored was Bobbi Trout who joined the others on Friday, April 25, 2003. This webpage offers a detailed history of the shrine and the associated museum, including information on its restoration which began in 1995 and was completed in 2001. It is illustrated with numerous photographs. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.


     To visit his entry on this site, first click on National Aviation Hall of Fame to go to the homepage. Next, highlight and click on "Enshrinees List" at the lower left corner of the page. You will find an alphabetical listing of all enshrinees on this page. Then highlight and click on his name.
Use your "BACK" button to return to this site.


A. Roy Knabenshue
A. Roy Knabenshue
  Picture above offers a general view of the services at the Portal of the Folded Wings for Roy Knabenshue, attended by many Early Birds and other close friends of Roy Picture above shows five of the well-known flyers who took part in the services as close friends of Roy Knabenshue. They are (left to right) EB Col. Warren Eaton, EB Charles Willard, Col. Art Goebel, Ex Sheriff of Los Angeles County Eugene Biscailuz, and Vince Barnett.  
  Roy Knabenshue, born July 15, 1876 at Lancaster, Ohio, passed away March 6, 1960 in the Evergreen Sanitarium, Temple City, California. Roy had been in ill health for more than ten years. Two years ago he had a stroke and suffered his second one at his trailer park home in Arcadia, California on February 21, 1960.
     Interment and services were held March 9, 1960 at the Portal of the Folded Wings, Valhalla Memorial Park at North Hollywood, California. Twelve Early Birds and some wives attended. EB's present were Matilde Moisant, Edmond Bates, Tom Hamilton, Charles Willard, George Prudden, Warren Eaton, P. H. Spencer, Ralph Carter, Tiny Broadwick, Horace Keene, George Barnhart and Ivan P. Wheaton.
     Mrs. Walter Brookins, wife of deceased Early Bird Walter Brookins who is also interred here, attended. A large number of OX-5's and Quiet Birdmen attended and about twenty of their members with six Early Birds were honorary pallbearers. Many famous pilots and persons were on hand, to name a few: Col. Art Goebel, winner of the first race to Honolulu; Jimmy Mattern, famous for his early round-the-world attempts; Jimmy James, one of the oldest transport and mail pilots; ex-sheriff of Los Angeles County Eugene Biscailuz, who started the first sheriff's aero squadron; Vince Barnett, movie comedian and World War I pilot; and Dot Lemon, early speed pilot.
     In the services, the Early Birds were the only group mentioned. The Portal of the Folded Wings was sponsored by Brookins --- Lahm --- Wright --- Aeronautical Foundation. Walter Brookins was the first of our group to be interred here. Others at the Portal of the Folded Wings are Bert Acosta, Jimmy Angel, Charles Taylor, who was Wright's first mechanic, Winfield Kinner of Pioneer Engine fame, and EB James Floyd Smith.
     As Roy and Mrs. Knabenshue have been living on old age pensions, they were in a destitute condition. Roy's two sons and two daughters were in the same condition. The Early Birds joined with the OX-5 Club and asked for donations in place of flowers, and many responded generously.
     Vince Barnett put on a dinner at his restaurant in Santa Monica, with the profits going to the Roy Knabenshue fund. Zero Klinker showed his movies of Early Birds flying at Dominguez Field and early flying pictures at the Institute of Aeronautical Arts and Science in Los Angeles. Tickets were $1.00 which also went into the fund.
     Even though Roy Knabenshue has been quite weak and ill at times, he was quite active for his 83 years. His last publicity appearance was in January, 1960 when he made an appearance in a helicopter as he and Charles Willard were honored at the 50th anniversary of the first Dominguez meet. (See story elsewhere in this issue).
     When Continental Airlines started their Boeing 707 Golden Jet first trip in Chicago, Roy was the honored guest on this flight. He enjoyed this very much and it was his first jet ride. Continental Airlines also sponsored Roy's trip to Las Vegas to the World's Congress of Flight and our last western reunion. Mrs. Knabenshue was present on both of those trips.
---by Ivan P. Wheaton.
     Roy Knabenshue's aeronautical achievements are well know to us, but just to refresh our memories, he was the first to make a dirigible balloon flight over the skyscrapers of New York back in 1905, one year after his original lighter-than- air powered flight at the St. Louis Exposition. After several years of barnstorming and a stretch as general manager for the Wright Brothers, he went west and built a 13-passenger airship in Pasadena for passenger flights. From 1933 to 1944 he worked for the National Parks department and them served a Los Angeles firm reconditioning aircraft.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, June, 1960, Number 63.

Roy Knabenshue
Photo from

Pierce Brothers Valhalla Cemetery
10621 Victory Boulevard
North Hollywood, California 91606
(818) 763-9121
(located at Cahuenga and Victory)

City of Flight
City of Flight : The History of Aviation...
The History of Aviation in St. Louis
by James J. Horgan
The Patrice Press.

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