SOUTH STERLING - Attorney Albert "Ab" Rutherford, an active historian in the Wayne County Historical Society Spaker's Bureau, recently discussed a local World War I Flying Ace with the Greene-Dreher Historical Society.
His talk on May 5th was held at the Society's headquarters, the Peggy Bancroft Hall, in South Sterling.
Major David McKelvy Peterson was a Honesdale native and graduate of Lehigh University with an engineering degree. After college he went to work for the Curtiss Aeroplane Company in Buffalo, NY where he learned to fly. Shortly after the outbreak of WWI and prior to US involvement, Peterson went to France and joined the famous Lafayette Escadrille. After the US joined the Allies, the Lafayette Escadrille was disbanded and several of its US members (including Peterson) became commissioned officers in the US Army and flew for the US for the balance of the war. He was the first pilot to shoot down five enemy planes while flying for the US, thereby becoming American’s first ace.
Attorney Rutherford is a former mayor of Honesdale. He has had a long-time interest in local history and researched and authored articles on local historical characters and events. He is a graduate of Honesdale High School, the University of Scranton and Dickinson School of Law, and is a fourth generation attorney.
The next membership meeting of the Greene-Dreher Historical Society is planned Monday, June 2 at 1 p.m., at Peggy Bancroft Hall. Grace Hatton is the scheduled speaker with a program entitled, "Keeping it all Together - Tape Looms." The Hall is located on Route 191.
For more information about the Greene-Dreher Historical Society, visit online at www.greenehs.org.