Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The Most Famous Relative On My Mother's Side Of The Family ...(2nd from right)

is Jefferson Davis "Duke" Jernigin. He was an aviation pioneer. He was born in Commerce, TX on June 14, 1898 and died on August 9, 1965 when I was six years old. Sadly I never got to meet him. He was a younger brother to my mother's father. He was her uncle and I guess that would make him my great uncle. When my mother was nine years old, she opened up the funny papers on Sunday, December 24, 1939 and found America's Greatest- Hall Of Fame Of The Air dedicated to her uncle J.D. Jernigin. She learned he was taught to fly in France during the World War. Later he graduated from an English flying school before joining an American Flying Squadron patrolling for German submarines. After the war, he was an army flying instructor and was a barn stormer for six years before becoming a flying salesman and later sales manager for Texaco. He was one of the first pilots to experiment taking off from a runway built out of wood across the gun turrets of a battleship! He is most well known for piloting the Waco bi plane, "Texaco Seven" that towed a glider, the"Texaco Eaglet" piloted by famous pilot Frank Hawks across the country from California to New York in the spring of 1930. The glider is now proudly displayed in the Smithsonian Institute Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Both of these aircraft have been reproduced in die cast form in the Wings of Texaco series which I proudly own. My aunt and mother remember J.D. and his beautiful wife coming to visit when they were young with their two small terrier dogs named Scotch and Soda. J.D. was a man of the world, he ran away from home when he was 15 yrs old seeking adventure. I have found his name on a list of passengers of Orphan Trains which is an interesting part of American History. He had a loving father and mother back home in Commerce, TX who no doubt were worried about their young son. Great Uncle indeed, Rest In Peace J.D.

My mother's side of the family has a lot of Texas history behind it. I think you just game me an idea for a post. Thanks!
You are more than welcome!

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