Pomeroy Washington Downtown National Historic District
April 26, 1919
Five hundred Garfield county people formed a part of the vast crowd estimated at 40,000, that saw the airplane show at Walla Walla Sunday.
Cars from Pomeroy, Lewiston, Dayton, Waitsburg, Colfax and other towns to the north and west of the city met cars from Pendleton, Athena, Milton, and, to use a railroad phrase, "all points west and south."
With all the vacant grounds in the eastern and northern part of the city occupied, double lines of automobiles extended outward along the roads to the north and east for a distance of three miles. The Pomeroy spectators were fortunately situated, for the most part, as the grounds from which the planes arose are near the Waitsburg-Walla Walla highway, which is usually traveled by Pomeroy motorists. The only persons who had a close view of the planes were those close to the starting and landing place.
The program announced for the event was cut in two, because the flyers were tired and needed rest, the officers in command said. Only six of the eleven planes went up. But the nose spins, dives, barrel rolls and the sham battles and other feats performed by the six planes, three of which were bombing craft, and all of which were in the air at the same time for nearly one hour, were well worth the trip.
Three planes at one time were looping the loop and displaying other feats while the fighters were maneuvering as if to destroy each other in battle.
The altitude at which the planes flew was not given out, but they were so high that they more nearly resembled large birds than any man-made contrivance viewed close at hand. Tho flight in one formation would resemble that of a flock of waterfowl and in another the lazy soaring of a hawk.
One Pomeroy man declared he was disappointed because the "flying looked so easy".
Three Walla Walla men were taken up for a flight before the main exhibition began. Fred Hungate, of Pomeroy made application to go up in one of the machines, but had car trouble on the road and arrived too late. Mr. Hungate had made an extra trip to Walla Walla to take a physical examination, which is a military requirement every person must fulfill before entering a plane.
Victory bond literature was dropped from all the planes and fell upon the spectators in showers.
Following the exhibition the streets of Walla Walla were packed with cars for hours. The roads were rough as a result of the downpour of rain the day before. It seemed to be an extraordinary day for car trouble. Twenty-five cars were passed by one party of motorists, because of tire or other trouble.
The hour at which the exhibition was given gave opportunity for many people to attend services in the churches.
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