The statement in the July 15 “That’s news to you” that Maj. John T. Fancher “died in an air crash a few months before the aviation guidance light was erected” is factually incorrect. Our cousin, Jack Fancher, died after one of the bombs that appeared to be a dud exploded in his hand during an air show in East Wenatchee on April 29, 1928.
Jack had been demonstrating with small aerial bombs during the Apple Blossom Festival. The Spokane Chronicle of February 13, 1982, reprints a 1927 photo of Jack with President Calvin Coolidge. Jack was campaigning as a Republican candidate for Congress, the Fifth District, anticipating using that position to promote aviation.
He is also memorialized in a Washington National Guard book on the history of local aviation. Jack was a first lieutenant and pilot who flew over France in World War I.
(Editor’s note: A correction was published on July 20.)