AERONAUTICS: Lt. Benny

A murky, blowy morning, last week, half a hundred people huddled quietly at the Rockaway Naval Air Station, L. I. Some were Colombian civilians, others U. S. aviators. They were waiting for a new Curtiss Falcon seaplane to be drawn out of her hangar and for the arrival of the pilot. He came, a small, slender young man. The aviators hailed him as "Benny." They knew him as the gas boy who filled their tanks at Curtiss Flying Field while he learned flying; the civilians respectfully called him Lt. Benjamin Mendez, of the Colombian Air Service. The seaplane was in the...