WWI Aviators in the Loudon Mirror, 1918 - 1919

The Loudon Mirror is a newspaper local to Loudon County in Virginia, USA. The period covered is June 1918 to June 1919.

June 25th, 1918 : Serg. Fernando Morina and Wife Visit Leesburg

Sergeant Fernando Morina, formerly of Leesburg, who volunteered for service in February and who has been stationed for the past four months at Camp Sevier, SC with his wife spent the week end with friends here.

Sergeant Morina is connected with the Aviation section at Camp Mills, Long Island and expects to leave shortly for duty overseas.

Morina who is both a linguist and a talented musician is bugler of his company. He has received recently his naturalization papers and is now a full fledged American citizen, enthusiastic for the Stars and Stripes and outspoken about his denunciation of German and her barbarous methods of warfare.

June 25th, 1918 : Walter Chamblin Jr. Visiting In Leesburg

Walter Chamblin Jr, formerly of the Dayton Journal Dayton, Ohio, is one of the Leesburg boys who is making good. He returned home on Friday and will spend a few weeks with his parents here, until his application for service in the Naval Reserve Flying Corps is acted upon. While employed on general assignment work on the Dayton Journal it was his good fortune to land several scoops one of them being an exclusive interview with the great Henry Ford, he of Jitney fame, relative to the Airplane Construction being done at the Dayton-Wright airplane factory.

September 3rd, 1918 : Racing! Jumping! Aeroplane!

Three in one. Worth many times the price of admission and then the money goes to the Red Cross - Sept 5th and 6th. Start Early and spend the day.

September 3rd, 1918 : Aeroplane! Airplane!

Dont fail to see the airplane at the Red Cross Fair Leesburg, Spet 5th and 6th. It will be there both days. It will alight, take flight and fly like a kite.

September 24th, 1918 : Honors to Loudon Boys

Mr Harry G Breckenridge son of Mr and Mrs Samuel J Breckenridge has been promoted to a sergeantcy in the Bureau of Aircraft production.

October 22nd, 1918 : Lieut Edgerton Aviator, Flies over Richmond

In the big Liberty Loan drive in Richmond on Wednesday last, Lieut Edgerton, of Bolling Field, drove his big de Haviland machine over the city dropping thousands of liberty loan "dodgers". It will be recalled that Lieut Edgerton was the aviator who performed so many aerial stunts at the Leesburg Fair in September.

October 22nd, 1918 : Aeroplane Lands Near Leesburg

On Wednesday last, Lieut Lamboro of Bolling Field, accompanied by a Mechanician Leicht, having run out of gasoline landed their Curtiss biplane, a JN4D in the field adjoining the residence of Mr Wim Metzger, near Leesburg. Their tank being quickly filled by the hustling proprietor of the local garage J Lambert, Jr. The daring aviators started immediately for Winchester by way of Leesburg on Thursday.

October 29th, 1918 : Lieut Wilkinson Flies to Selma

Lieut W. T. Wilkinson, formerly a very prominent farmer and breeder of Percherons of Missouri, aeroplaned from Bolling Field on Saturday the 19th and spent the week-end with Col and Mrs E.B. White at 'Selma'. Lieut Wilkinson will be remembered as a judge at the Heavy Draft show here three years ago.

October 29th, 1918 : Lieut J.F. Manning, Jr Brings Down An Aeroplane.

Lieut J.F. Manning, Jr, son of J.F. Manning of near Paeonian Springs, a few weeeks ago brought down his first Boche plane. Lieut Manning is regarded by his superior officers as a very efficient and daring aviator.

November 5th, 1918

Lieut W.T. Wilkinson who visited 'Selma' several weeks ago, paid a short call on Saturday evening, and after leaving there flew over the ocunty taking a wide birds eye view of the Oatlands Estate and Oak Hill and then aeroplaned back to Bolling Field.

November 5th, 1918 : Lieut J. Forest Manning, Jr in Air Battle

In a recent dispatch from the Western battle front it was announced that Lieut J. Forest Manning, of this county, together with six other American aviators met eleven German planes in a terrific battle, and succeeded in bringing down six of them before they escaped.

In the air, under the water, or on the land, Loudon boys can always be depended upon to make good.

November 12th, 1918 : Loudon Men Promoted

Private Harry Breckenridge has been promoted to Sergeant in the Aircraft Production Service.

November 19th, 1918 : Aviator Hitchcock Home

New York, Nov.14 - Lieut. Thomas Hitchcock Jr, a youthful American member of the Lafayette flying squadron, who escaped last summer from imprisonment in Germany, arrived here today on his way home to Westbury, Long Island. Hitchcock was shot through the thigh and his machine disabled in a fight with three German planes March 6th last, and was forced to descend within the enemy lines.

Lieut Col Chas M. Whittlesey, leader of the famous "lost battalion" of the Seventy-Seventh Division who sent the Germans word to "go to hell" when, after surrounding his battalion in the Argonne forest, they demanded surrender, arrived on the same steamer with Lieut Hitchcock.

Lieut Hitchcock Jr, is a nephew of Capt Wm. Corcoron Eustis of Oatlands and Washington, who is now and has been for the past 18 months with Gen. Pershing in France.

November 26th, 1918 : E.B. White Enjoys a Ride in Aeroplane

On Sunday evening Col E.B. White with Lieut Wilkinson in the latters aeroplane flew from Selma to Oak Hill where they landed for a short stay, later resuming their flight to Bolling FIeld, Washington.

Col. White expresses himself as being much pleased with his first flight and describes the sensation as thrilling and exhilarating.

November 26th, 1918 : Air Service Men May Quit Now or Remain

Washington Nov 19 - The following instructions were sent by wire today from the office of Maj Kenly to all fields, camps, barracks, depots, etc in the division of military aeronautics.

All cadets now in training at air service, flying and ground schools will be given option of immediate discharge without commision or completing their training. Those who continue will, upon completion of training, both primary and advanced, be immediately discharged and sent to their homes, but will receive in due course commmisions as second lieutenants in the officers reserve corps.

December 3rd, 1918 : John Castleman in Air Battle

Just before the armistice was signed, Lieut John R Castleman, Jr of the 99th Aero Squadron with Gen Pershings army had a terrific battle with six Hun aeroplanes high in the air.

Lieut Castleman went over the German lines at the head of an American Aero squadron for the purpose of taking some pictures of the Hun activites. After getting the pictures he started for his base, when six German aeroplanes got between him and home. He at once opened fire with his machine gun and the Germans scattered some of them falling rapidly to the ground.

Lieut Castleman is a son of the brave Confederate soldier and member of Mosby's rangers, the late John R Castleman of Berryville and Capt Howard Castleman, a brother of Lieut Castleman has arrived in France and been assigned to the Staff War College.

Both gentlemen are cousins of Mr John S Castleman of Leesburg.

Feburary 4th, 1919 : Lieut John R Castleman Cited for Bravery

Lieut John R Castleman, Jr, son of the late John R Castleman of Clarke County, was cited for extraordinary heroism in a battle with twelve Hun aeroplanes and has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. He is a cousin of Mr John S Castleman of Leesburg.

February 27th, 1919

Mr R.C. Steele, son of Mr W.S. Steele of Purcellville, who has been with the Naval Aviation force at Pauillic Gironde, France, is spending a ten-day furlough with his parents. Mr Steele recently landed in this country from the other side, and has interesting experiences to relate.


  • Bolling Field was officially dedicated on 1st July 1918 after being purchased by the war department and then turned over to the Aviation Section. The field was named after Colonel Raynal Cawthorne Bolling who organized an Aero Company in the New York National Guard. Bolling was killed in France in 1918. Bolling Field is now a part of Anacostia Naval Air Station.
  • 99th Aero Squadron formed at Kelly Field on the 21st of August 1917. The Squadron moved to Garden City, New Jersey and sailed for France in November. The Squadron completed it's training in France and become operational in June of 1918 flying Salmsons. The 99th supported the 33rd French Corps as well US Forces in the battles of St Mihiel, Argonne-Meusse, Champagne-Marne and Aisne-Marne. The 99th Squadron remained in France until the 8th of May 1919 before returning to the US.