Kenyon, Douglas H. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Douglas Kenyon was a volunteer soldier during World War I and the son of a wealthy New York lawyer. When the war began he had just graduated from Princeton's law school. Failing to be commissioned in the infantry, Douglas joined the American Air Service and became part of America's earliest aerial combat effort. With the intention of compiling his letters into an album, Douglas wrote to his parents giving very detailed accounts of military life and early aviation.
Although he was a member of the United States military, Douglas Kenyon was among those trained by England's Royal Flying Corps in makeshift camps around Ft. Worth, Texas. Once they were proficient in aerial use of weapons and cameras, Douglas and the others were shipped to England where they learned to fly European aircraft, specifically DeHavilland models 4, 6, and 9 and the Bleriot Experimental 2E. Before receiving his commission, Douglas became ill with jaundice and was just recovering when armistice was reached in November 1918.
Douglas and his friends survived the war without serious injury, but it is unclear whether he continued flying upon returning to the United States. His father's firm, Kenyon and Kenyon, is still in existence today.