View Full Version : WW 1 Philadelphia Aviators

13th Oct 2013, 05:44
I am researching a company that was started in Philadelphia by returning WW1 Aviators John C. Howard and Forrester Scott. The name of the company was Pennsylvania Aero Service Corp and the name was changed in 1920 to simply Aero Service Corporation because it conflicted with Philadelphia Aero Service, an unrelated company. The original operation was with Jenny's giving rides, instruction and aerial photography. The original airstrip used by the founders was listed as at 71st and Elmwood Ave in Philadelphia along the B&O tracks. That location today is of course all built up but is located a short distance north of Philadelphia Intl Airport. Any information, pictures or maps regarding this company or the individuals involved would be most helpful.

John Farley
13th Oct 2013, 10:36
I trust you have googled Aero Service Corporation because there is a stack of stuff there.

14th Oct 2013, 02:46
Thanks John,
I have been following some of the stuff available as well as monitoring eBay for advetising etc. that is being sold. I have pretty good access to the stuff from about 1945 onward but the early years between 1919 and 1940 are very hard to come by. Pilots and aircraft weren't licensed in the U.S. until 1926/1927 so that resource is missing. Aero were in and out of the UK especially during the 50's and Canadian Aero did a job with Derby Aviation in the midlands in an Anson. Some of Aero's crews were from the UK. A Douglas A-26 that I flew in the US for Aero was the one that crashed in Biggin Hill some years back killing six people. One of the original founders of the company was an American who volunteered in Toronto for service in WW1 and was then posted in the UK but I can't find anything about his duty there. You can see the problem. There are perhaps 25 former employees left around the world (all old) so we are trying to put together a history "just for the fun of it". Many thanks for your response and if you come across anything of interest please give me a shout.:ok:

15th Oct 2013, 15:44
If you can give a name it might be possible that his WW1 one service record is available on line. A bit of a lottery as a WW2 German bomb destroyed many of the records. However I found my great uncles records recently.

18th Oct 2013, 03:44
Thanks Eric
I am looking for a guy named John Wesley Smith (not to be confused with Wesley A. Smith a well known mail pilot). This is all I found:

From: Wings of Honorby James J. Sloan, Jr

Americans with British Forces not assigned to combat units(or doubtful)

John Wesley Smith, The Toronto Group
So it is apparent that he signed up through Toronto and was later posted with British Forces but where and when is unknown. He was later involved in patenting aerial camers and equipment in Pennsylvania so that era is pretty well known.
I expect we may very well never locate his connections on the British side but it would be interesting to know.
Many thanks for your courtesy and assistance.
Ed :D