During the First World War, aircraft were still light enough for crashes to have occasionally comic overtones. Stanley M. Phillips, of Stratford, Connecticut, was serving with the Royal Flying Corps in Canada when he bought this picture in the RFC canteen. It shows an American-built Curtiss JN-4D—the ubiquitous “Jenny” of the postwar years—come to highly precarious rest atop a commercial building in an Ontario town. “Note,” says Phillips, “the pilot emerging from the front seat and gingerly making his way across the damaged bottom wing to safety.” Like the Jenny, Phillips himself did not get into the service in time to see action overseas. “I was retained as a Flying Instructor, but I have no medals—my wings came too late.”
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