Roy Larson at the controls of a Standard J-1 - Photo courtesy Betty Eckstein

Roy Larson

Born: March 12, 1894
Died: November 27, 1929
Inducted: 2001

Roy Larson fell in love with flying as he watched airplanes soar above his trench while on the front in France during World War I. He came home to the family farm near Larsen in Winnebago County aching to get into the air. The eldest of six children of a widowed mother, Roy had to defer his dream until 1922, when he acquired his first airplane, a Curtiss Canuck. The following year, he bought two Standard J-1s, mowed the hayfield on the family farm, built a hangar and created the Larson Airport.

Located a few miles west of Neenah, Larson's became a Mecca for Wisconsin aviators in the 1920s. In regular use until the 1970s, Larson's became the oldest airport in Wisconsin and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Roy was also a flight instructor, air show manager and barnstormer. He died in a crash with a student at the stick in 1929 leaving his fierce love for flying as a legacy to future generations of Wisconsin aviators. 

Standards at the Larson airport early 1920s - Submitted photo
Lt Roy Larsen flew Senator Bob La Follette's aircraft to various campaign stops - WAHF photo
Historical marker at the Larson brothers airport - Photo Rose Dorsey