Painted Balloon Panel. [California, late 1918.] A painted section of a cloth balloon, with brown background, decorated with the insignia of the Balloon School (wings and propeller), and lettered "Arcadia Balloon School," old varnish, some light discoloration. Framed with a photo and biography of Lt Col. L.J. Myatt, unexamined out of frame. 650 x 590mm. (25.5 x 23 inches.)
The Arcadia Balloon School was an Army-inspired Balloon School set up in March of 1918 by Colonel Hensley to train American balloon pilots to be observers and plotters on the Western Front, a set of eyes in the air. Construction took a while with the final buildings of the school completed in September 1918. In December 1918, Myatt took command of the School, fresh from running the Balloon School at Souze Bordeaux, France. The school remained open until Spring 1919 when its operations transferred to Fort Omaha and other bases. 300 officers and cadets attended the school in preparation for the Great War. This panel is said to have presented to Lieut. Colonel Leonard J. Myatt by his staff.