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Early Thomas Brothers Pilot- Instructor 


Walter S. Johnson was born at Pittsford, near Rochester, New York, on September 7th, 1888. Son of a physician he graduated from East High School, Rochester, in 1908. There he was an active leader in various sports programs. In the fall of 1908 he entered the College of Applied Science in Civil Engineering at Syracuse University, where again he was active in sports, winning letters in both track and football, and became a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity. After two years in college Johnson became so interested in aviation he decided to quit school and get into the flying game. 

As a result he started to work for Olenn Curtiss as a mechanic at Hammondsport, New York in June, 1910. Johnson was eager to learn to fly but did not get his opportunity to do so there. However, while working with Curtiss and watching him fly he did learn how to move the controls to make various maneuvers in flight. 

Johnson soon heard that the Thomas Brothers had an experimental aeroplane at Cornell, New York and wanted to get some one to fly it, so he contacted them and as a result left Curtiss and joined the Thomas Brothers 

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