Frank Champion is an American. I’m ashamed to say that it was not until just recently that I learned of his achievements and the stone monument erected in his honor in Kochi City. I would firstly like to apologize for my ignorance, and write a short article so that as many people as possible can know about this figure.
Champion was born in Texas in 1884. Following graduation from high school, he joined the navy and learned how to fly. In 1915 he formed his own aerial acrobatics company based in Missouri. He headed for Japan in 1917 where the airplane was still a novelty and performed flying exhibitions across the country.
On October 30, 1917, he crashed and died when he was performing an acrobatic maneuver over Kochi City in front of 100,000 spectators. It is said that Champion steered his damaged plane away from the crowd so that none of them would be killed. Mourning his death, a stone monument was constructed at Yanagihara in Kochi City.
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