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Pioneer West Coast Plane Builder - Aviator

William A. Denehie was born at San Jose, California October 22, 1891. He attended local grade school there, then following the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906 the family moved to Riverside, California and later to Los Angeles where he finished his schooling. This consisted of the Los Angeles Auto School, Y.M.C.A. Business College and a night school course in Mechanical Engineering at Los Angeles Polytechnic High School.

During his youth Denehie was interested in mechanical things, first automobiles, then the reports of the Wright brothers flights, Montgomery's gliding experiments and local ballooning eventually influenced his desire to get into aviation.

In 1911 Harvey Crawford of Tacoma, Washington moved his aviation operations to Dominguez Flying Field, Los Angeles. He was a former balloonist and had built a plane or two at Tacoma, taught himself how to fly and wanted to build a new plane to prepare for the 1912 Los Angeles Meet in January, 1912. Denehie became associated with Crawford and had his first experience in aviation when he assisted building a new single-surfaced pusher biplane in a hangar at Dominguez Field. It had a tricycle landing gear and was powered by a 6-cylinder, 100 H.P. Emerson

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