Let me take you back to just a little previous to my actual "beginnings".....
My father, about 3 years of age in the below picture, was James Edward Castleman,
born 15 Oct 1917 in Detroit, Red River Co., Texas.
He grew up in a farming community, the son of James Arthur Castleman and Eula Jean Powell. His family roots have been traced back to Germany where the surname was spelled CASSELMAN. The Casselman family history can be viewed at the Family Tree Maker homepage of Cousin Dorothy Crawford by clicking here. James' CASTLEMAN and POWELL ancestors lived in middle Tennessee in the early 1800s. Some of his ancestors were known as fierce Indian fighters back in those old frontier days. But coming forward a hundred years, to James' birth in Texas, the love of flying began when he was just a young man. It continued well past those days during WWII of working for the government while training British student pilots at Terrell, Kaufman Co., TX.
James in a Piper Cub c1941
James' pilot logbook begins with an entry dated 24 Jul 1938. He began learning to fly in a Piper Cub out of Cox Field, Paris, Texas. By 1940 he was flying the Cub 50 and 60 series.
James Edward Castleman - 1942Just after 1941, the US Army began a project in Terrell, Texas, where they built a military airfield on an old cotten field. The mission was to train hundreds of RAF British fighter pilots for WWII, the first organized unit of it's kind in America. James was employed by the RAF as a civilian flight instructor, first at Love Field in Dallas, later becoming a training supervisor at Terrell. The newly built airfield at Terrell, TX., opened in June of 1941 and closed by October 1945. You can read more about this organization, called the No. 1 British Flying Training School on page 4 of this website.
The Mauldin Airport, Terrell, TX
Family friend, Bill Williams, Floy and James E. Castleman
James Arthur, James Edward, and Eula Jean Castleman in Bogata, TX c1965
James and Floy Castleman, August 1967
Tragically, my father, James Edward Castleman, was killed in a plane crash Sept 28, 1967. He was giving instructions to a female student when a crosswind caused the plane to flip. Both were killed instantly. But James had already lived a wonderful life, albeit too short. He was married to Floy Thompson, who also studied and received a private pilot's license. James and Floy helped to build the Baptist Church in Bogata, TX. They were a talented, beautiful couple, inside and out. Both were musically skilled - genes luckily passed on down to me and my brother, Ken Castleman.
Floy and James - July, 1937
PLEASE go to the main page and sign Bravenet's Questbook.
Sign the Guestbook and View the older Guestbook entries
a few SURNAMES in my Family Tree: BELLAH/BELLER, BEVINS, CASSELMAN/CASTLEMAN, CONWELL, DUNLAP, FEATHERSTONE, GAINES, GILLESPIE, LOGUE, MARTIN, MILLER, MOORE, PENDLETON, POWELL, SANSING, SPAIN, TENNISON, THOMPSON, TINNIN, WAGGONER, WEAVER, WINCHESTER