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Cornish, Clarence Frank, 1898-1995



  • Existence: 1898-11-10 - 1995-12-22

Clarence Frank Cornish was born in Canada in 1898 and grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Cornish trained to fly during World War One, and following his service in the war, continued in the Army Reserve. He flew in air shows and races, and among other aviation related work, Cornish was the head of the aviation division of Aereco Flying Service (1928-1934) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, managed the Fort Wayne Municipal Airport (1934-1941), and served at the Army Air Forces Headquarters in Washington D.C. during World War Two (1941-1945). Cornish became Indiana's first director of the Aeronautics Commission of Indiana from 1945 to 1953 when he began working in the insurance business. Starting in 1968, Cornish began an annual tradition of piloting a plane to commemorate his first flight in 1918 and did so until 1995. Cornish was a member of several aeronautical organizations, and in 1995 he was cited by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest actively flying pilot at the age of 97. He died less than three weeks after his final flight in December 1995.


Ruth Ann Ingraham, "Cap" Cornish, Indiana Pilot, Navigating the Century of Flight. Purdue University Press: West Lafayette, Indiana, 2014.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Clarence Frank Cornish papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 323
Scope and Contents The Clarence Frank Cornish papers consist of letters, correspondence, photographs, awards and certificates, flight logs, aviator textiles and goggles, newspaper clippings, and artifacts documenting Clarence "Cap" Frank Cornish's air training and service during World War One, his service at Army Air Forces Headquarters during World War Two, his work for the Aeronautics Commission of Indiana, his participation in several aeronautical organizations, and his role in the development aeronautics and...
Dates: 1908 - 2018; Majority of material found within 1917 - 1995