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MEEKER FELL 1,000 METRES

DETAILED ACCOUNT OF HIS DEATH GIVEN IN LETTER FROM FRANCE.

Letters describing the death of W. H. Meeker '17, who was killed in an aeroplane accident at Pau in France last September have been published by the Alumni Bulletin. The following extract concerning the details of his death was written by Lieutenant G. DeC. Chevalier, U. S. N., on September 14:

"To me he represented the finest type of young American manhood, the type that reflects the greatest credit upon our country. He had won the highest regard of all with whom he had been brought in contact. He was an ideal soldier, gay, gallant, and ever ready for duty.

"The circumstances were as follows: Bill arrived in Pau from Avord on Sunday evening, September 11, and on the following morning he reported at the school. He immediately began his training on an 18 metre Nieuport, single control. This was the last type of machine he had flown at Avord and it is the first type taken up at this school. After a few short flights to demonstrate his ability and to learn the machine, he was sent up for practice in spiraling. For this you ascend to 1,000 metres and from that altitude you spiral down to 600 metres where you stop the spiral and descend to the ground in normal and wide turns. He commenced his spirals normally, but, when at 600 metres, he did not stop. At about this altitude the machine "slipped off on a wing" (side-slipped) and then went into a nose drive. It struck the ground in this attitude. Two possible reasons for the accident are improper manipulation of controls, (using too much rudder) or illness. Bill may have become dizzy due to the quick turns of the machine and have lost entire control of his machine.

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"It was a very bad crash because of the tremendous speed and death was in stantaneous...

"The mayor of Pau, M. Alfred de Sassance, most kindly took the funeral arrangements into his own hands and thus enabled us to have everything done. . . . Services were held in the English church in Pau. All officers and pilots of the school attended; also the mayor, many civil authorities, and several American residents. Five young Americans and myself acted as pall-bearers. . . . Two pilots flew above the cortege. This is the honorary salutation given to French pilots.

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