Viewing page 6 of 14

Flying Curtiss-built JN4-6H planes with Hispano-Suiza engines they had many hair raising experiences during the early era of that service.

After eight months flying airmail, Shank and one if his flying colleagues, Ed. Gardner, resigned from the service in March, 1919, to fly resort sight-seers at Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the summer for Traymore Aerial Tours. Curtiss Jennies, purchased from government surplus, were used, then when the season ended the planes were taken south on a barnstorming jaunt for the winter of 1919-1920.

On May 8, 1919 Shank flew from New York to Atlantic City in two and one-half hours, carrying Pathe News photographer William O. Burton, to attend the Pan-American Aeronautic Convention in progress there.

In the spring of 1920 Shank returned to Huntington, West Virginia, where he and A.B. McCullen formed a partnership, known as the Shank and McCullen Aircraft Company, to buy and sell government surplus aircraft equipment. They established an airport and flying school, carried passengers, and later advertised exhibition flights, aerial photography and advertising. Their school and passenger business progressed.

About 1924 McMullen left to go into another field of endeavor and Shank continued the business alone. 

He later took the sales franchise for Travel Air planes in West Virginia but this venture was not successful in that state, so he moved his business to Indianapols, Indiana, in 1928 where he went into partnership with Harold Brooks to establish Hoosier Field. There they obtained the distributorship for Travel Air planes for Indiana and Ohio, and were soon operating four new Travel Airs for training and passenger carrying. Shank operated this airport until 1944. 

During World War II his field was transformed into an Army flight training school for Butler University students, with Shank in charge of operations.

In 1944 Shank sold Hoosier Field to an aircraft company and acquired 300 acres of land a few miles away and [[strikethrough]] there [[/strikethrough]] established the Bob Shank Airport. Later, in semi-retirement, his son became President and General Manager of the 
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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 transcribe@si.edu.