The Washington Post

Tales from the scene: A former air mechanic goes back in time

John DePerro was an Army air mechanic for 22 years before retiring. Today he is roughly back in his old role.

Among the reenactors at Camp Manassas, DePerro is playing Clovis Lowe, father of the aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe, who commanded the Union army’s balloon corps.

“Clovis was his son’s mechanic for the balloons. So I get to play the first military aircraft mechanic. Isn’t that cool?”

Lowe organized the Union Army Balloon Corps, which used the aircraft for reconnaisance during the war. Read more about the balloon corps here.

The Post’s Tim Smith will be blogging all day from the events in Manassas honoring the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run.

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