1938 James Cahill, 20, USA

July 31, 1938 at the Caudron Aerodrome, Guyancourt, outside of Paris, France, was a day of light breezes, and sunshine. The French hosts were now following a Wakefield tradition of honoring their guests with accommodations and contest preparations which were "par excellence". Contestants from 14 nations made this first Wakefield event on the European continent a wonderful international event. From America came the six person USA Team consisting of James Bohash, Detroit, Michigan, Gordon J Wisniewski, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, George De La Mater, Oneonta, NY, Henry Stielmeier, Inglewood, California, Ted Just, Johnstown, Penn, and James Cahill, Indianapolis, Indiana. Team Captain. Jim was on the 1937 Team, but lost his aeromodel and could not compete in England. Getting to Paris had not been easy for any of the team members, because of the "The Great Depression". James J Noonan, a boyhood friend to Gordon Wisniewski, wrote to me, that somehow Gordon's father came up with the money to pay for Gordon's passage. Noonan also recalls that the main course at the 1938 US Nationals banquet was beans; getting passage money to sail to Europe to fly in the Wakefield Event should have been insurmountable, but Team USA was there!

James Cahill's first flight was for 30 minutes 54 seconds! Jim's second flight was disqualified for "pushing". Just how one can "push" holding a fully wound rubber powered Wakefield by the tip of the wing and the tip of the propeller, is curious? Jim's third flight was 1 minute 8 seconds. James Cahill was declared the 1938 Wakefield Champion, by the SMAE officials at the end of the contest, with a 10 minutes 54 second average. But, many years later in 1976 the "bleeding" seems to have continued, because in the "Aeromodeller" writing his by-line "Those Early Days...", "Magpie", A K A J van Hattum, was still agonizing: "It was a classic example of what was to happen time and again in National (National?) as well as International Contests. The model (Wakefield ) had floated down after some two or three minutes when it struck a powerful riser over a cornfield only 10 or 20 feet up (!) and (it) shot up to record over 30 minutes." Poor Maggy! In his next timely article he had to cover the 1939 contest! ch12drbJames Cahill

Second place went to Beugueret, of France, with an average of 6 minutes 58 seconds. Robert Milligan of Canada took 6th place. Bob kindly furnished me this information and a photograph of his aeromodel being prepared for flight by the proxy team member "Bunny" Ross of the UK. Frank Zaic was there, but did not record what he may have seen in any of his "Model Aeronautics Year Book(s)". James Cahill's "Clodhopper" does appear in the Zaic 1938 MAYB, on page 88, but Zaic does not describe this aeromodel as "The 1938 Wakefield Winner" it is entitled the "1937 Moffett Winner"; earlier in the 1934 MAYB Zaic reproduced a letter from Jim Cahill (dated 7/6/79?) where Jim writes about his "... folding propeller...", among other things. Maybe accurate "History" was unimportant even then; at a contest on 11/5/95,a person said to me concerning this very history book "...who cares about History Charles?" I care! Sir ! Because if we have no History, we have no future! This was the first year of the new FAI rules, including: the stabilizer will have a maximum area equal to 33% of the wing area.

Place Name Country Round l Round 2 Round 3 Average time
1 J Cahill USA 1925.0 dsq 37.0 654.0
2 Bougeret France 811.0 294.0 150.0 418.0
3 G Magnusson Sweden 1023.0 88.0 96.0 402.0
3 Chabot France 967.0 142.0 98.0 402.0
5 Kiose Germany 1127.0 - - 375.0
6 Almond GB 732.0 83.0 257.0 357.0
7 Chasteneuf GB 612.0 183.0 164.0 319.0
8 R N Bullock (1929 WC) GB 287.0 634.0 - 307.0
9 R Milligan Canada 661.0 112.0 116.0 296.0
10 Beatty South Africa 665.0 184.0 8.0 285.0
11 Schmidtberg Germany 274.0
12 J Fullarton Australia 267.0
13 Smith GB 240.0
14 Deglar Poland 203.0
15 Sune Stark (1951 WC) Sweden 183.0
16 B Stark Sweden 128.0
James CahillJames Cahill's Wakefield


1953 International Competition Handbook, Gerald Ritz
M.A.N. Oct 1931, NAA Junior Membership News
M.A.N. Sep 1948. Wakefield in '41, John L MacKiuzie
Aeromodeller, Feb 1976. Those Early Day's. Magpie (J van Hattum)
Aeromodeller, March 1976. Those Early Day's. Magpie (J van Hattum)
1938 Model Aeronautics Year Book, 1931 Moffett Winner, F Zaic
1934 Model Aeronautics Year Book Letter: 3. Cahill 7/6/1976, F Zaic

Music: " September Song "; Literature: "USA"; Cine: "Alexander Nevski"

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