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Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

Article about: Steve, Fantastic tribute to Col. Cook. These early heros need to be brought to the forefront so we don't forget the sacrifice they made for their country and for aviation in general. Thanks

  1. #1

    Arrow Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    Col. Harvey Weir Cook

    Birth: Jun. 30, 1892
    Death: Mar. 24, 1943

    Burial:
    National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
    Honolulu
    Honolulu County
    Hawaii, USA
    Plot: Section O, Grave 440


    From Indianapolis Airport.com:

    Aviation Pioneer
    Harvey Weir Cook’s aviation career began at a time when the aviation industry was young—it’s lifestyle dangerous. During the early days of aviation, Cook often flew alongside other “pioneers of the air.” Some of his good friends included World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and fellow Hoosier daredevil pilot Roscoe Turner. Cook’s 1926 air race pilot license was signed by friend and cohort Orville Wright.

    Weir Cook served as a pilot in the U.S. military in 1917. At the conclusion of World War I, he helped pioneer the first transcontinental airmail service, working tirelessly to advance technical and safety standards in aviation.

    Cook was also an Ace Pilot during the First World War, a leading educator in the aviation industry, and a celebrated civic leader in Indianapolis and throughout the Hoosier State.


    Ace Pilot

    During the First World War, Cook flew with the 94th Aero Squadron, commanded by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. Battling fierce air attacks over European skies, Cook was credited with bringing down seven enemy aircraft. For his courage and heroism under fire, he was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, one of the highest military decorations that can be awarded to those who have shown exceptional service during wartime.

    After the War, Cook was engaged in several World Peace Missions. He returned to the service during World War II, where he trained many young pilots and taught dogfighting skills. Tragically he was killed in action in a plane crash on March 24, 1943.


    Educator
    During the 1930s, Weir Cook hosted a network radio program for kids, “Colonel Cook and his Flying Corps.” As well, he showcased aviation techniques through his model airplane exhibit, “Conquest of the Sky.”

    Cook also spent many hours teaching young men, known as “flying cadets,” how to fly. Highlighting his mastery of dogfighting skills, Cook’s “cadets” were widely considered some of the best prepared young pilots during the Second World War.


    Civic Leader
    Weir Cook was an early advocate of commercial air transportation. Correctly predicting aviation’s increased role in transcontinental business travel, he developed strong ties between aviation and American business.

    Cook also served as an officer with the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. He was a key member of the site selection committee for the Indianapolis airport. His research and experience also led to the implementation of concrete runway surfaces and runway lighting tracks to promote greater safety for commercial pilots-standards now common at every airport around the world.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Steven M; 01-04-2010 at 04:41 PM.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  2. #2

    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    .
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Images Attached Images  
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  3. #3

    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    At rest...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    Hi Steve do you know where he flew in WWII. Gary

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    Steve, THanks for posting info about a true Hoosier hero!

    RH1941,

    Cook was killed flying a P-39 over New Caledonia.

    Last time I was out at the Indianapolis airport, I photographed some of the items of his that they have on display. I will post them sometime this week.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    Beast thanks for the info. Gary

  7. #7

    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    I knew this one would get your attention Erick.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    Well, I found a few images that I took of the display at the Indianapolis Airport.

    The first image is of his post WWI license. Notice that it is signed by Orville Wright.

    Next is his Aero CLub of America medallion.

    Following that are two images of the insignia supposedly from the aircraft he flew during the war. The way that it is displayed, it is tough to get a good look at it.

    Last is the plaque made to commemorate his service.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    Some other items that had belonged to Cook were sold on Manion's a couple of years ago. These had been part of a large aviation collection that belonged to HArry Block, who was also from Indianapolis.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Col. Harvey Weir Cook, Heroism that Spanned Two World Wars

    Erick,

    Many thanks for the follow-up posting. Wonderful photos of some fantastic items.

    It is always a bit surprising to see how 94th pilots marked their kills with iron crosses inside the hatband on their insignia...rather inconspicuous. I believe I would have had mine painted in a more prominent position so my foe could see that their end was near.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

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