Herbert Florian Canfield, the son of Herbert and Adelia (Laughlin) Canfield, was born on August 20, 1895, in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. After earning an electrical engineering degree from the University of Washington in 1916, Herbert was given the opportunity to work for General Electric. He tested the battleship New Mexico's electric controls while he was employed by General Electric. In 1917, Herbert, a well-known tennis player in Schenectady, won the local title. He led the Edison Club basketball team as its captain.

On March 1, 1918, Herbert enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve Force and held the rank of Chief Quartermaster. The seaplane Herbert was piloting crashed in Biscayne Bay off the coast of Miami, Florida, on August 26, 1918, while he was undergoing training at the United States Naval Aviation camp. He is buried in the Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park, Washington. 

Sources: The Schenectady Gazette, Find A Grave, Ancestry