AKA William A. Denehie
William Denehie
William A. Denehie, 1911
Collection of Robert Donahue
William Denehie
  1911 Model biplane, 100 HP, 2-cycle, 6-cyl, Emerson Engine built and flown at Dominguez Field, Cal., by L to R: Harvey Crawford and Wm A. Denehie.
Collection of Robert Donahue
Text by Wm A. Denehie
     William A. Denehie was born October 22, 1891, in San Jose, California. He attended Public School there . When he later moved to Los Angeles, he took courses at the Los Angeles Automotive School, the Y.M.C.A. Business College and the Los Angeles Polytechnic High School.
     He was associated with Harvey Crawford at Dominguez Field, where they built and flew a pusher biplane. Bill's first solo flight was made there March 14, 1912.
     In 1918, Denehie joined the U.S. Army Air Service and was assigned to Squadron "K" at Kelly Field, Texas.
     After World War I he joined with H. A. Sperl, aiding him in organizing the Sperl Aero Corporation in Los Angeles.
     Later he operated the Continental Air School in Los Angeles, But he eventually lost out due to the depression which followed.
This from The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, June, 1936

     Moving to Detroit, he became a member of the Engineering Department of the Chrysler Corporation. here he stayed until the close of World War II,
     After WW II ended, Preston Tucker employed him to build the first model Tucker car.
     Next, Denehie became Procurement Officer for the U.S. Airforce where he stayed until retirement.
     In a letter to Early Bird President George Page, William wrote:
     "For some time now my airplane has been in the shop, at the Lewis Hangar in Lockport, getting a complete overhaul from prop to tail."
This from The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP
January, 1975 Number 81

via Email from Robert Donahue
Bill's grandson, 11-27-02

     Hello, I'm Robert M. Donahue. My Grandfather was Mr. Denehie. My Father, Jack B. Donahue, changed his name from Denehie to Donahue at 18 years of age. Jack was born in Los Angeles to William Denehie and Eva Borgen Denehie on 01/18/24. William Denehie divorced my Grandmother and later Married Edith.
     I would like to know if I have any living relatives. I am trying to also do a family genealogy (I'm just getting started). According to Mr.. Cooper's site Mr.. Denehie has a daughter in New York. I have a couple family photos of Edward Patterson, James B. and Margaret Verdelle. I think these are William Denehie's children from his marriage with Edith, but I'm not positive. I would appreciate any information you may have. Jack Donahue is still alive, but his memory is not very good. I have a son, Bryan, who is 22 years old. I also have a picture of My Grandfather sitting on a 1911 Model biplane with Harvey Crawford, at Dominguez Field, CA. This fact is mentioned in Mr.. Cooper's web site.
Thanks for any information.
Rob Donahue
  "Bill" Denehie died May 6, 1974. He is survived by his wife, Edith, and a daughter living in New York City.
This from The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP
January, 1975 Number 81
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper
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