The Aviator at Linsly School, Wheeling

The statue was cast in bronze by the sculptor Augustus Lukeman and erected on a granite base in the grounds of the all-boy Linsly Military Institute—now the co-educational Linsly School—in Wheeling, West Virginia. It was unveiled by Sallie Bennett on Armistice Day, 11 November 1925 and inscribed:

READY TO SERVE

TO THE GLORIOUS MEMORY
OF ALL AMERICANS
WHO SACRIFICED THEIR
LIVES IN THE WORLD WAR
1914-1918

A bronze plaque reveals a dedication to Louis Bennett:

GIFT OF MRS LOUIS BENNETT
WHOSE ONLY SON
LOUIS BENNETT, JR. “YALE 1917”
WAS CAPTAIN OF THE WEST VIRGINIA
FLYING CORPS, WHICH HE ORGANIZED
AT WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA.

HE WAS KILLED IN ACTION
AUGUST 24TH 1918, WHILE SERVING
AS LIEUTENANT, 40TH SQUADRON
ROYAL AIR FORCE IN FRANCE
HIS RECORD AUGUST 15TH – 24TH BEING
3 ENEMY PLANES, 9 BALLOONS
DESTROYED (4 IN ONE DAY).

“AND THUS THIS MAN DIED, LEAVING
THIS SPIRIT AS AN EXAMPLE OF ABLE
COURAGE, NOT ONLY ONTO YOUNG
MEN, BUT ONTO ALL THE NATION”

(Photo Stephen Miller)

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