Viewing page 4 of 23

at Los Angeles on March 16th, 1915 while flying for the Universal Film Company. Campbell then returned to LeGrone as a mechanic at the Schiller School and LaGrone taught him to fly that summer. He made his first solo flight there on October 17th. Then continued his practice and became the fourth pilot in Co. B, First Aero Squadron at Monterey, California through 1916.

In late 1916 Campbell started to work for the Glenn L. Martin Company, Santa Ana, California, where he remained until mid-1917 when he went to Buffalo, New York, and became an inspector, then tested engines and machine guns for the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company until November 15, 1918 when he left to join the Naval Air Station in Akron, Ohio. There he was a flight engineer on blimps. The job was mainly flight testing and Campbell made several worthy contributions in the development of the Navy Class "C" dirigibles. While there he had his first experience in "wing walking" and other aerial acrobatics when quite often his duties requested him to leave the nacelle, crawl out and hang on to the motor-supporting structure in mid-air while he worked on a malfunctioning engine in flight.

In March, 1919 the Army's Balloon Section took over this work and Campbell decided to join George "Buck" Weaver and his brother-in-law, Charles Meyers, on a barnstorming tour of the middle west as one of their crew. They were a couple of seasoned World War I pilots flying in war surplus Curtiss JN-4 planes. Campbell started with them as a mechanic but also had other ideas. He soon induced Weaver and Meyers to allow him to try wing walking as an added stunt attraction, and he made his first exhibition of this aerial daredeviltry at Buffalo, New York on May 16, 1919. It proved a tremendous hit from the start when he climbed out on the wings, walked back and forth, then slid back onto the tail and ended up by hanging on the cross axle of the landing gear. This was without doubt the very start of wing walking and aerial gymnastics in flight, which was soon widely copied by others continued as a barnstormer's start attraction for


Transcription Notes:
Not sure if I should use 2 spaces after each sentence (for proper editing), or follow the original)

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact