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  The Happy O'Malley Photo Album

Charles H. O'Malley lived from 1894 to 1960. His nickname or call name was "Happy" presumably because he was Irish. He was in the Army Aircorp, as a first Lieutenant. He made a photo album which documents his early air corp life at Kelly Air base in San Antonio Texas and then afterward when he relocated to Minnesota. The album is estimated to cover the period from 1918 to 1923. Happy O'Malley lived from 1894 to 1960. This historic album contains early imagery of Kelly Air Base in San Antonio Texas both from the air and on the ground. It shows how early life of a pilot was dangerous and limited. There are several historic aerial views of the state of Texas, including the state capital and university of Texas in Austin. It also has several views of combat maneuvers and flight acrobats taken in the air. In his later years Happy was a business man in Hinckley, Minnesota. where he partnered with an Anderson in an ice cream parlor called "The Palace of Sweets", and also was a jjobber and retailer of fancy domestic and imported foods and he marketed his own brand of " Happy's wild rice".

Like most albums it has images of friends at work on the air base and at leisure. There is a series of images of famous American aviator Charles Lindberg when he was most likely in his early 20s, before he made his historic first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20-21, 1927. Lindberg and O'Malley are arm in arm as depicted in the photo. There is also a post card showing the death defying stunt by Al Wilson. Wilson is photographed in his famous stunt of changing planes in air by walking on the wing of a biplane and grabbing onto the the other wing without the help of any safety devices. Wilson died in 1932 at Cleveland, Ohio in an air crash while performing his flying stunts. Here is a movie showing the scene in which this photo was taken.

There is little information about this book and images. Some of the locations, including the Minnesota air base featured, types of planes and some of the people in the photographs are not identified and are unknown. If you spot something familiar please post a message and let us know what it is. Thanks!

The complete album is available for viewing at our Historic Camera's Flickr group in the set entitled " Happy O'Malley "

Note: Historical Societies, Museums and Professional organization can inquire about improved scans and usage by contacting

# 2290
2012-12-16 06:09:50

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