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WILLIAM S. "BILLY" BROCK
Pioneer Thomas Brothers Pilot- Instructor

William S. Brock was born at Gladstone, Ohio February 3d, 1896. The family moved to Springfield, Ohio when he was a small boy, where he attended grarie and High schools. As a boy he made model boats and kites. After graduating from High School he decided to study  from the ministry and attended Wittenberg Academy.

When he learned of the Wright Brothers flying at Simms Station he walked there, about twenty miles, to see them. This interested him and after more visits Brock was determined to learn to fly, but his parents disagreed. After much persuasion they finally gave consent and Brock left college and starting working in a foundry with his father to earn enough for flying lessons.

After saving sufficient founds Brock enrolled for a flying course at the Thomas Brothers school at Ithaca, New York in the early spring of 1915 and was taught to fly off the ice of Lake Cayuga by instructor Frank Burnside. Also in the class were Lawrence Lyon, B.C. Harrington, S. S. Boxhall and Frank King. Brock was an apt pupil, he advanced rapidly and was retained by the Thomas Brothers after completing his course.  A new tractor biplane was being developed and soon a number of Canadian students were enrolled in the flying school. Brock assisted with these activities until mid-summer when he bought a 
[[photo of William S. "Billy" Brock]]
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