Day, Richard, 1894-1972Alternative names
Curtiss La Q. Day was born May 24, 1896 in Paxton, Illinois. He spent most of his young years dreaming and reading about flying machines. He built his first biplane glider the winter of 1910. Day attended the Thomas Brothers Flying School at Bath, New York. He began his instruction in a single-seater Thomas pusher and was limited to taxing up and down the field by his ground instructor Frank Burnside. His first flight was with Walter Johnson in a Thomas Flying Boat at Conesus Lake. At this time his parents notified the company that he was a minor and forced his return home.
Day later entered the Wright Brothers School at Simms Station in Dayton, Ohio. Here he soloed in a Wright Model B and obtained a Pilot License No. 302 after flying for his tests on July 22, 1914. Day then gained employment at Hensil Aero Stabilizer Company at Cicero Field, Chicago, Illinois as a test pilot. Day later became an assistant instructor at the Wright Flying School at Hempstead Plains, New York in June 1916. Howard Rinehart, Day's former instructor was in charge of the school. After graduation from college in 1917, Day began flying "Jennies" as a civilian instructor at Chanute Field. He joined the Air Service in two months; he was later commissioned and received his R.M.A. wings in 1918. Day also received his Expert License, No. 187 on August 14, 1917. In 1925, Day went to Morocco as a member of the "Escadrille Cherifienne" during the Riff War. After returning to the United States he gave up flying and entered the hotel business.
In the latter part of World War II he worked in the operations Department of Eastern Air Lines at LaGuardia Field, New York, and Savannah, Georgia. Curtiss La Q. Day was a member of the Early Birds, and his name appears on the Wright Memorial Plaque in Dayton. He passed away April 25, 1972.
From the guide to the Curtiss Day Photograph Collection, 1914-1917, (Wright State University, Special Collections and Archives)