Submitted by Mitzi Sabella
Ernie Hall, who was born in 1897 and died in 1972, is believed to be the first man continuously and actively engaged and employed in aviation for over 50 years. To the people of Warren, Ohio, they were able to observe the pioneer of aviation in action. “My desire to fly must have been born in me,” said Mr. Hall. His interest in early flight events was evident as he started saving articles and news accounts in his aviation booklets dating back to 1892, even before the advent of the early initial flying machine. As a child, Ernie began to building model gliders and test them on a string- like kite flying. He built several of his flying gliders at the rear of the property while living in the former Packard Home on High Street in Warren.
Mr. Hall completed and successfully flew his first airplane in 1911. News accounts at the time, considered him a designer, engineer, builder and aviator even at an early age of 21. In 1913 he got his first job as a flying instructor with the Curtiss Exhibition Company in Newport News, Virginia. In 1915 he established his first flying school at Conneaut, Pennsylvania. He then went to the McCook Field at Dayton, Ohio, joining the Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps where he was an exceptionally high-quality instructor. During his teaching career, he trained two future Air Force Generals, Lt. Albert J. Price and Jimmy Doolittle. He was named in the Federal Congressional Record of 1958 which contained verbiage with a tribute to the early pioneers of flight and names, among others, the Wright Brothers and Ernie Hall. In 1961 there were events celebrating Ernie’s 50 years of active aviation, and he was honored at the Pentagon in Washington, DC by the U.S. Air Force.