Cincinnati Aviation Heritage Society & Museum

Preserving aviation's past for future generations.

History of the Knore Airport

Located N 38° 50.316 W 082° 50.251 - OH94 

This tory was found on the Internet at the Minford High School web site. Attempts were made to reach the author, but have so far proved unfruitful. A decision was made to present it exactly as written on the Minford web site.

(told by Gerald W. Knore to Susan D. Reynolds Knore, Sept. 14, 1985)

Eugene Knore, Gerald Knore, and E. Snyder became interested in flying so they decided to enroll in Cleveland Universal Aviation School (now known as United Airlines) in Cleveland, Ohio.  However, the Knore boys' father, William Knore, became so ill Gerald returned home.

Since the Cleveland school had closed, Gerald went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he took a master mechanics course (aircraft and engines).

"One of the highlights was when I got to taxi a tri-motor Ford.  That's where I met Bud Gurney--Lambert Air Force Base, Missouri.  He was Lindberg's buddy.  I shook his hand 'in passing.' "

Jerry graduated from the St. Louis school September 30, 1930.

Late April, 1939, Gene and Jerry decided to buy an airplane.  In Syracuse, New York, the brothers located a Taylor Cub with a 40 HP Continental engine.  The paid approximately $800 for it.

Gerald took a private pilot with him, a boy named Miller.  Miller worked at the Lane Aviation School, Port Columbus.

Jerry and the mechanic assembled the dismantled aircraft in about a week.

Meanwhile, he had left Helen and JoAnn in Columbus with John Kirby and Aunt Lila (Helen's mother's sister).  He called Foster Lane almost every night, but he never called Helen and relayed any messages.  She was really worried!

After the aircraft was assembled, test flown, and certified, Miller and Jerry flew toward Columbus; but first, the two encountered an adventure.

On May 8, 1939, Miller and Gerald went to Buffalo, New York and flew over some of the lake.  The single-ignition airplane iced up over the lake.  "It was quite a thrill.  We kept losing altitude, and by the time we reached shore, we were only close to 500 feet in the air."

They arrived at Akron Municipal Airport and added fuel for the first time. Next, they flew non- stop to Columbus.

After a matter of days, Gerald and Eugene went to Port Columbus for more instruction. The owner was Foster Lane.  They attended this school several times.  Gerald's first flight instructor at Port Columbus was Cliff Haney.  On July 27, 1939, after a total of 10 hours, 30 minutes dual and 7 hours, 15 minutes solo, Jerry passed the flight test with FAA Inspector, C.R. Bullock.

The solo flight certificate entitled Jerry to fly Class1 aircraft any place in the United States or territorial possession.

    On August 11, 1939, Gerald Flew an airplane from Port Columbus to Minford and established the first time an airplane ever landed at the Knore Airport. The flight in the Taylor Cub (NC 19216) took 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Gerald and Eugene designed and created their first wind sock. First, they removed the bottom of a five-gallon paint bucket.  Next, they sewed an approximate six-foot sleeve made from a white bed sheet and fastened it to the end of the paint bucket. Then, the brothers drove a rod through the front edge of the paint bucket.  They drilled a hole in the top of the fence post and placed the rod in a vertical position.  Their first wind sock had been created!

On August 16, 1939, Gerald and Eugene decided to make the first flight ever off this particular runway.  A toss of a coin determined that Gene made the first take off.  Later, the same day, Jerry flew for thirty minutes.

Some of Jerry's first flights from the Knore Airport occurred on August 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, and 30 (his birthday), 1939.

In January, 1940, Gerald, Eugene, and Jerry Culbersome started flying lessons at Raven Rock Airport, West Portsmouth, Ohio.  The program consisted of six students sponsored by the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce:  Louise Walcott, Reinhardt, Bill Leesburg, George Vandervort, Harold Goad, and John Stockham.

The Knores and Culbersome ran a civilian pilot training program until October 27, 1940, at which time, they dissolved all partnership and the two brothers moved the school to Minford.  Two Taylor Crafts and a Taylor Cub occupied the Raven Rock Airport.

At that time, the airplanes contained no lights so Jerry followed the ridge home late night many times.  Grandpa Will awaited in an old Chevrolet coupe at one end of the runway.  The coupe's shining headlights provided a guideline.  At the opposite end of the runway, Uncle Russ Frowine's yard light illuminated a portion of the stretch.

"At that time, that airplane was a part of my body-like my hands and my feet."
The first air speed ever used by Gerald was paddle air speed.

While Gene and Jerry managed Raven Rock Airport, they also taught NYA (National Youth Administration) aeronautics.  This resulted in the area's first vocational school coordinated by Gene, Jerry, and Harold Whitlatch.

Some interesting anecdotes resulted from "those Knore boys and their flying machines." The Parkes girls swore their chickens quit "laying eggs" because of the Knore boys' airplanes.  Several neighbors complained that their cows would not give milk.  Old Mr. Lockhart's team of mules, hooked to a mowing machine, ran away scared by the plane's shadow.  Needless to say, Mr. Lockhart talked to the boys' dad about the matter.

In 1942, Lucile and Jerry went to Huntington, West Virginia to see the flight inspector.  At that time, Gerald documented 233 hours, 45 minutes solo flying time and 25 hours, 20 minutes dual flying time.

The day that World War II started for the United States Jerry had landed at Huntington Airport.  He had to leave the airplane there.  Months elapsed before he could ever fly again.  In order to be reinstated, Gerald had to prove loyalty to the United States.  Among other things, he was finger printed.

Later, during the war, Gerald declined a call by the National Defense to fly submarine patrol over the Atlantic.  Instead, he went to Wright Patterson, Dayton, Ohio and instructed soldier boys about engines.

After teaching school at Wright Patterson, he enrolled in a ten hour Navy program at Columbus, Ohio.  At that time, they permitted the Knore brothers to carry firearms and allowed them to travel home.

On one occasion, Jerry, Gene, and Keith flew from Sullivan Ave. Airport (west of Columbus) to Raven Rock.  They encountered a thunder squall in late evening.  Lightning provided just about the only illumination.  Jerry piloted the plane.  They chose to land at Raven Rock because of the storm.  Keith; strapped between his dad and Jerry said, "Daddy, There's a cow."  They flew approximately 200-300 feet about the cow!

Certain celebrities found their way to Knore Airport.  One of flying's noted pilots, Frank Hawkes, landed at Knore Airport.  Buddy Rogers, the movie star, landed in Fairchild one evening at this airport.  Raven Rock had flooded.  Gerald drove him to a hotel where the actor spent the night.

At the age of 77, Gerald Knore records an approximate total of 5,000 solo flying hours.