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American Aviator Certicates

Printed From: Cross & Cockade
Category: General Discussion
Forum Name: General
Forum Discription: General Discussion
Printed Date: 25 Sep 2020 at 03:29
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 10.03 -

Topic: American Aviator Certicates
Posted By: Ian Burns
Subject: American Aviator Certicates
Date Posted: 04 Jun 2011 at 22:51
I'm trying to find out if Guy Duncan Smith obtained an ACA certificate during August or September 1915.
It would have been at the Christofferson School, Oakland Ca.

Posted By: Errol Martyn
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2011 at 02:19
If the answer is not forthcoming here try the Aerodrome forum (post under Pioneer Aviation). A chap called Joe Gertler has answered American aviatior's certificate queries there in the past.

Posted By: John-G
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2011 at 07:54

cannot find an entry for him in "For the Greatest Achievement" A History of the Aero Club of America and the national Aeronautic Association".  This book has a full listing of people who were awarded certificates under a number of different classes.



Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2011 at 21:23
Thanks Errol. I'll follow up that lead.

Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2011 at 08:07
I'm sure that I've been in touch with someone looking at Christofferson some time ago. I'll see if I still have the emails.

Posted By: Varese2002
Date Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 07:36
Originally posted by Ian Burns Ian Burns wrote:

I'm trying to find out if Guy Duncan Smith obtained an ACA certificate during August or September 1915. It would have been at the Christofferson School, Oakland Ca.

There is a very small statement about Duncan Smith in the US aviation magazine Aerial Age Weekly January 17, 1916 p.425. It states

....Several weeks ago Roy Walker obtained a certificate, and is now serving in the English Flying Corps. Another Christofferson pupil, Duncan Smith, is an officer in the Royal Naval Air Service, stationed at Eastbourne, England. ....  

Unfortunately this statement is not explicit if Duncan Smith also had obtained a certificate. Roy Walker - a W. Roy Walker in the list of The greatest Achievement held Certificate No. 368. Both Walker and Duncan Smith were during January 1916 away from the school and back in the UK serving with the RFC and the RNAS.

You can find the page of Aerial Age Weekly;seq=287;size=150;view=image - here .

All the best

Kees Kort [aka Varese2002]
Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Posted By: Errol Martyn
Date Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 23:47
"You can find the page of Aerial Age Weekly;seq=287;size=150;view=image - here ."
I've managed to log in to the University of Michigan site but am lost as to whereabouts on it I can access the 'Aerial Age Weekly'.
Any guidance would be most welcome.

Posted By: Varese2002
Date Posted: 14 Jun 2011 at 06:44


Apologies for the inadequate reference to Aerial Age Weekly.

This US magazine can be viewed as complete scans on -

The reference to Duncan Smith is in Vol.2 [1915-1916 Sep-Mar] which can be selected as a whole and then searched for the string "Duncan Smith" (double quoted otherwise you get all instances of Smith and Duncan seperately in the results). 

This results in a single hit of p.425 that matches the string 'Duncan Smith'. When you select the p.425 you will get the full page as a scan. Scans can be enlarged. The quality of the scans is excellent for the text and for most of the drawings, but scans of pictures are down in quality.

When you want to research in this large electronic archive it is advisable to take a 'friend account', details how to do this can be found -
I hope I have been clear enough on searching there, I see now the challenge how to write a clear instruction manual.


Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 22:43
Hi Kees (fellow librarythinger),
You wrote a good enough instruction manual!  I found the relevant page without difficulty.  Thanks.
The really interesting thing about the brief article is a mention of Harold Smith.  This may be Duncan's brother, Harold Beaumont Smith, who followed Duncan into the RNAS.
I have now located Guy Duncan Smith's file in the Canadian Archives.  It contains correspondence about his training with Christofferson.  It appears he did not obtain an American certificate - Errol's earlier post helped me determine that.  Thanks Errol.  So, just waiting for the current Canada Post strike to end :-(
Now, all I need is that elusive Christofferson Trainer photo.  There has to be one out there somewhere...

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