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Early Curtiss Pilot - Instructor 


Lawrence Leon was born in Torino, Italy, June 15, 1889, but information is lacking concerning his early life, education and occupations. He came to the United States in 1913, and in early 1915 was employed by Curtiss at Buffalo, New York when the Curtiss Company first moved some of their operations there to expand facilities. 

During the summer of 1916 he decided he wanted to learn to fly and took land plane instruction on a JN-4D machine at the Curtiss Buffalo Flying School. Phil Rader and Walter Lees were instructors at that time. Leon was one of seventeen students to complete the course, and obtained F.A.I. Pilot License No. 589, dated September 27, 1916. He was then assigned to the Curtiss Newport News, Virginia flying school as an instructor in October. 

Leon remained there until August, 1917 when he joined the civilian flying instructor service of the Signal Corps, Aviation Section, United States Army at Kelley Field, San Antonio, Texas. Later he was transferred to Call Field, Wichita Falls, Texas where he remained until the armistice ending World War I. 

Following this he returned to the Curtiss Company where he soon became engaged in sales demonstrating activities. In April, 1919 he delivered a new Curtiss flying boat to pioneer aviator Earl Ovington at Atlantic City, New 


Transcription Notes:
Image is of a man in front of a building wearing an old-style leather aviator hat and jacket

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