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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 [[strikethrough]] first [[/strikethrough]] moved some of their operations there to expand facilities. 

During the summer of 1916 he decided he wanted to learn to fly and [[strikethrough]] took land plane [[/strikethrough]] received instruction on a JN-4D [[strikethrough]] machine [[/strikethrough]] airplane 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 Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas. Later he was transferred to Call Field, Wichita Falls, Texas where he remained until the Armistice  ending World War I. 

[[strikethrough]] Following this he [[/strikethrough]] Returning to the Curtiss Company [[strikethrough]] where [[/strikethrough]] he soon became engaged in airplane sales demonstrations [[strikethrough]] activities [[/strikethrough]]. In April, 1919, he delivered a new Curtiss flying boat to pioneer aviator Earl Ovington at Atlantic City, [[strikethrough]] he [[/strikethrough]]


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

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