Home > Williams > Ralph Scott Williams Jr. – “Lancaster Boy Is Youngest Flyer” Article

Ralph Scott Williams Jr. – “Lancaster Boy Is Youngest Flyer” Article

This article is about my maternal grandfather, Ralph Scott Williams Jr., and was featured in the 10/30/1925 edition of a Columbus, Ohio newspaper, possibly The Columbus Dispatch:

Lancaster Boy Is Youngest Flyer


LANCASTER, O., claims the youngest air traveler in the country in Ralph Scott Williams Jr., aged 2 1/2 years.

The youngster has taken a number of rides at Norton Field, near Columbus, and more recently took a long ride over Lancaster with Charles Ames, pilot, who was killed near Bellefonte, Pa.

Williams has a certificate from Ames, saying the lad was the youngest the aviator ever carried.

Young Williams says he is thru with flying, however, due to Ames’ untimely death.

Williams is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph S. Williams and formerly lived in Columbus.

Photograph of Airmail Pilot Charles Ames

The following information about Charles Ames was taken from Arago: People, Postage & The Post and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum:

Charles Ames had over 700 flight hours before signing on with the Air Mail Service on December 8, 1920. Ames flew mail out of Hazelhurst Field, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio. On October 1, 1925, Ames disappeared from sight in the mountains near Bellefonte, Pennsylvania while flying a de Havilland airplane on his portion of the Cleveland to New York run. Dozens of groups worked to find Ames over the next several days, including National Guard troops. The 32-year old pilot was finally found in the wreckage of his airplane, where he had died on impact.

Ames had taken off at 9:40 p.m. from Hadley Field in New Brunswick, New Jersey for the regular night flight to Bellefonte. The watchman at the Hartleton, Pennsylvania, an emergency airmail landing field twenty miles east of Bellefonte, reported he heard the airplane flying overhead 11:35 that night. That was the last report of Ames and his airplane before the crash. The search for Ames and his airplane took several days and was the focus of attention across the northeast. Ames’ body was found on October 11, still strapped inside his downed airplane. He had crashed through trees into the north side of a ridge in the Nittany mountains. Ames had apparently been flying low, possibly becoming lost in a dense fog. Ames appeared to have been killed instantly on impact. The airplanes’ wings had been destroyed when the airplane crashed into the trees. The trees were so close that they covered the ship, making it almost impossible to locate.

Brian Davis – Christine Davis (Williams) – Ralph Scott Williams Jr.

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  1. Debbie Overall
    April 12th, 2015 at 17:01 | #1

    It was really fun coming aross this article about Ralph Scott Williams Jr., because Charles Ames was my great uncle on my dad’s side. We have always had the article that you show, but I had never seen Ralph’s story. I was sorry to read that my great uncle’s untimely death affected Ralph’s decision to fly. I hope this didn’t stay with him. Thanks for your interesting post. Sincerely, Debbie

  2. April 28th, 2015 at 10:07 | #2

    Debbie, thank you for visiting my blog and posting your comment. Later in life, my grandfather flew often for business, so I guess it didn’t stay with him. It was very sad what happened to Mr. Ames, but it sounds like he was a pioneer of aviation and left a lasting legacy. Take care!

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