Interesting that had C.A.L. been a better engineering student, and had he stayed at UofW for the Engineering Degree, then he would likely never have gone to UPT, never worked for Robertson (CAM#2 at STL), and never met his BACKERS for the attempt on the Orteig Prize.
After military UPT, C.A.L. went to work for Robertson there at St. Louis, on the start-up of the CAM#2 [15Apr26]. Ten years later Bill Robertson joked that CAL was his most expensive pilot -- having abandon two company aircraft (50% of his fleet in 1926).
Found some interesting PHOTOGRAPHS, now on the web:
Image GDGPS0137.JPG is from the 1926 start-up (shows a younger C.A.L.); [who is the pilot on the left??]
Image GDGPS0087.JPG shows Robertson's four aircraft (1926);
Image GDGPS0088.JPG shows an older C.A.L. egressing (??? when ???);
***==> Image GDGPS0136.JPG shows an older C.A.L. (??? when ???);
this image shows Tom Nelson on the far left (killed in Dec' 1929); both TP Nelson and Phil Love (just to CAL's left) were CAL's classmates in UPT, in his Reserve unit, and also worked on the CAM#2 start-up.
??? Can anyone recognize the other three pilots in this image #136 ???
Re' the Saint Louis Backers for the Spirit of Saint Louis, here's a mention in _Time_,
Time Magazine, Monday, Jun. 10, 1935
[This “correction” mistakenly omits the name of Frank Robertson.]
Two air-minded brothers cannot sit back and let pass unnoticed your error in referring to Gerard Barnes Lambert as ''angel for the Lindbergh flight" (TIME, May 27 ).
Of the original eight backers of Col. Lindbergh — apparently now to become as numerous as Mayflowerites — my brother Albert, together with the writer, constituted the only representatives of the family.
We love our seafaring brother, Gerard, but believe in each man to his own medium. For ourselves, Albert and I insist in this instance on being "given the air."
New York City
TIME gladly straightens the record of the Original Eight who back Col. Lindbergh. Besides Brothers Wooster & Albert Bond Lambert (Listerine), they were:
-- Banker Harold McMillan Bixby, credited with naming the Lindbergh plane Spirit of St. Louis;
-- the late Banker Harry F. Knight, his son & partner Harry Hall Knight;
-- Publisher E. Lansing Ray of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat,
-- Major William Bryan Robertson, vice president of Curtiss-Wright Airplane Co..
-- Earl C. Thompson, then operator of a one-plane sightseeing service at St. Louis Airport, now selling stocks, bonds & insurance at Kennett, Mo.
[note the editors still omitted the name of Frank Robertson from their list of backers (FR had died from TB)]