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TODAY IN HISTORY
BALLOONIST IS SURE NOW HE WASN’T KIDDED

Fort Sill Officer Will Jump In Future When Told To By Companions.

FORT SILL, Nov. 26, 1920.—(Special.)—Hereafter, Lieut. J. W. McCauley, aviator of the Eighty-eighth Observation squadron, here, will believe anything a balloonist tells him. He learned his little lesson Monday a mile above the ground near Tuttle, a passenger in a “doomed” balloon. He admitted the lesson Tuesday. When Lieut. John Tarro and his companions, Lieut. E. M. Fogelsonger and Master Sergt. William J. Mansfield, cast off at Post Field for a training trip Monday, Lieut. McCauley went along, just for the ride. They had no more than taken the air when his balloon experts informed the airplane pilot that the bag was going to “blow up.” The novice balloonist scoffed at them.

Fort Sill Officer Will Jump In Future When Told To By Companions.

“Just trying to spoof an aviator,” he told them, “Old stuff.” McCauley argued with them that he understood about the valve in the top of the bag which lets off gas when the pressure becomes too strong but he wouldn’t believe the yarn about the valve “not working today.” Rather than be the butt of a jest, McCauley loafed in the basket while his “worried” companions argued passionately that he should prepare to parachute. They made fast their own ‘chutes, and tied down the instruments in the basket. “You can’t spoof an aviator.”

All Knew How.


But the valuve was not working Monday. When the trio went over the side, hanging on, waiting for the signal to jump; an explosive puff and a lurching of the basket, McCauley caught the drift and followed suite---just in time. The burst came and the four cut loose. Fogelsonger was the only one of the quartet who had made a parachute leap before. He never had jumped before in an emergency. But all knew how. They followed instructions of ground school and sailed down through the clouds, the floundering bag behind them. The balloonists claim the aviator was the first to hit the sod (Daily Oklahoman).