AMERICAN AVIATION HISTORICAL SOCIETY

   1956 - 2017, Celebrating  over 60 Years of Service
[click images for enlargements]

Excerpts from
AAHS Journal, Vol. 57, No. 1 - Spring 2012
Table of Contents 


Arctic Ops Part I: Early Secret Military Cold War Arctic Operations

      During WWII several less publicized combat events occurred that directly and heavily influenced post-WWII U.S. military strategy as political relations deteriorated between the U.S. and the Soviet hierarchy - this shadow conflict is historically identified as “the Cold War.” They included WWII arctic aerial reconnaissance, remotely situated and manned weather-radio stations, U-boat operations, secret German arctic military installations - historical events that, in combination, obliquely and directly influenced classified U.S. postwar military operations in the Polar Regions. Many such operations were initiated from within the Territory of Alaska or Canada, from the airparticipation as a UK/USA Agreement partner.[1]

Arctic Combat
     On April 9, 1940, German troops invaded Denmark forcing King Christian X to order his people to capitulate: orders were relayed by radio to independent thinking Governor Eske Brun of Greenland (Kalaallit Nuinaat), the largest island (1,659 miles long and 840,000 square miles) in the Arctic hemisphere and a Danish Commonwealth territory. Brun, deciding that Greenland must remain free of German occupation, immediately contacted Washington, D.C., seeking American food, military supplies and protection through the Danish Minister still based in Washington, D.C. 
     The Roosevelt Administration immediately dispatched U.S. Counsel James K. Penfield and Vice Counsel George L. West aboard USCG Cutter Comanche, landing them at Godthaaab - the seat of Greenland’s Government Controller.[2]  Meanwhile, Brun created a 15-man (increased to 26 men) Greenlander army called the Sledge Patrol, equipped with dog sled teams and hunting rifles to patrol Greenland’s east coast. They consisted of two groups - one based at the comfortable house at Eskimoness in N.E. Greenland, and one at Scoresby Sound.[3]
     U.S. Convoy Task Force 8,[4]  under secret and “sealed orders,” sailed for Western Greenland commanded by USAAC Col. Bernt Balchen, the famous arctic explorer, navigator and pilot. Sites previously scouted by the U.S. Coast Guard were occupied and construction of two main USAAC bases was initiated; Narsaarsuaq (code-name Bluie West-One) south of the Arctic Circle, inside Julianehaab Fjord,[5]  another north of the Arctic Circle inside the David Strait at Sondre Stromfjord (code-name Bluie West-Eight)[6]  and one at Katek-Angmagsslik (code-name Bluie-East Two),[7]  plus unidentified seaplane sites . . .



Douglas O-38E/F


Flying into Yesterday: My Search for the Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical Engineering Cadettes

Foreword
     In February 1943, the Curtiss-Wright Airplane Company, then America’s largest aircraft manufacturer, began training and employing women in aeronautical engineering. These “Sisters of Icarus,” 918 women who were chosen to stay firmly on the ground perfecting planes while their brothers flew into combat (and all too frequently went down in flames), were known as the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes. My mother, Ricki Cruse Lenthe, was one of them.
     This story is my attempt to assemble a clearer picture about her life as a Cadette, the lifelong friends she made during that time, and the door that opened during WWII, if only briefly, for women to co-create the shape of aviation. After a diligent search for historical documents, three dozen interviews with surviving Cadettes and Curtiss-Wright male employees, and hours of discussion with some of my mother’s closest Cadette friends, I know that what these female engineers accomplished — in the universities and in the airplane plants — contained the seeds of a bona fide revolution. In an amazingly short period of time (February 1943 through August 1945), they proved the capability of women in a field that had previously been labeled male-only territory. They also bailed out a company whose planes were vital to winning WWII. Without them, the war would have dragged on even longer.
     Cadette engineers labored six days a week in five different Curtiss-Wright plants, as well as in the company’s research lab in Buffalo, New York. But at the end of the war, company management treated their vital contributions as a mere wartime aberration. Forgotten were all the promises of promoting the Cadettes and helping them upgrade to full “graduate engineer” status “when the peace for which we are all fighting is won.” But the Cadettes knew their value. If they hadn’t been forced to by law and company pressure, a great many of them would not have gone home after the war.
     Like the skewed or minimized record of other thwarted revolutions (usually demoted to “revolts” by the writers of history), the pages describing the Cadette Program in detail were cut from Curtiss-Wright’s WWII record with such a razor-sharp edge that you almost can’t tell they were ever there. This aviation mega-company that the Cadettes helped salvage from its own engineering deficiencies in a time of national crisis retained no documentation of their impressive achievements. In fact, corporate memory of the Cadettes is now so well excised that a few years ago an employee at Curtiss-Wright corporate headquarters responded to an inquiry about the Cadettes with indignation: “We don’t know who in the world you’re talking about. It’s certainly not our Curtiss-Wright.” The military’s “fog of amnesia” is almost as dense. Neither the Navy nor the Army remembers approving the training initially; nor do they recall that inspectors of naval aircraft (INAs) in the Columbus plant signed off on the work of Cadettes who had competently inspected both sub- and final airframe assemblies. You will certainly never see references to the Cadette Program in WWII history books. Only the women themselves and the universities that trained them retained any written documentation on the Cadette Program. 

Cadettes Invade Campus[1]
     Forty years after Orville and Wilbur first took to the air in the Wright Flyer 1, there was a blizzard in progress in West Lafayette, Ind., with almost six inches of snow already on the ground. It was February 12, 1943, and 98 young women were arriving by train from schools all over the South, the Midwest, the Northeast, and Appalachia. They had each completed at least a year of college and were ranked in the top third of their math classes and the top half in everything else. Somewhere . . .



The Fly Leaf, Nov.-Dec. 1943


The Fokker F-32: The First Wide-Body Airliner  

      1929 found a number of early airlines with a need for increased capacity on certain routes. Along the eastern seaboard of the United States, Universal Aviation Corp.’s New York City to Washington, D.C., had capacity issues. On the west coast, Western Air Express (WAE) was dealing with the same issue on its route between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Both were operating Fokker F.10As with Universal also having Fokker Super Universals and Fairchild 71s. All of these planes and their contemporaries had seating capacities of six to 14 passengers (see chart). The highest seating capacity aircraft in early 1929 carried only 15 passengers. The only alternatives offering increased capacities were the Sikorsky and Consolidated flying boats, which for these specific routes did not really fit the requirements. Literature also indicates that Fokker had some hope of marketing the aircraft to wealthy private owners as “roomy and luxurious air-yachts.”[1]
     Fokker, recognizing that there was a potential market for a larger aircraft and spurred on by Universal’s and Western’s encouragement, set about developing what was anticipated to be a much larger and hopefully more economical design to fulfill this need. What evolved was an enlarged F.10A that essentially doubled the carrying capacity of the day. Not unlike what the 747 did with its introduction, becoming the first modern wide-body aircraft, the F-32 was heralded as “game changer.” The parallels between the two aircraft are quite similar. The Fokker F-32 was the first American aircraft with twin seating on both sides of a center aisle. The 747 was the first to introduce a seating arrangement arranged around two aisles. The F-32 was the first commercial aircraft to provide a functioning galley for the preparation of hot meals. It was the first to offer two passenger lavatories. It was the first four-engined commercial aircraft operated in the United States.

Aircraft   Passenger Seating Capacity

Fokker F-32 

32

Fokker F.10A 

12-14

Fokker Super Universal

 6

Ford Trimotor 5-AT-B 

12-15

Fairchild 71

 7

Stinson SM6000 

11

Curtiss CO Condor 

20

Boeing 80 

14

     Fokker believed that the F-32 would provide economies of scale that would put it in high demand. For example, its purchase price was 37 percent less per passenger than its own popular Fokker F.10A Trimotor. The larger machine also required less engine power per passenger than comparable three-engined aircraft.2 These economic considerations were thought to solidify demand for the F-32, in spite of a price tag of $110,000 per aircraft – a price that made it the most expensive . . .



Fokker F-32 NC124M in flight


North Star Rising; Part 1: Colonel Lewis Hotchkiss Brittin

     

The engine of a black biwing Stinson Detroiter inaugurating the first passenger service for Northwest Airways came to life at noon on July 5, 1927, at an old converted race track known as the Speedway on the southern end of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., that later was renamed Wold Chamberlain Field in honor and memory of Ernest Groves Wold (1897-1918) and Cyrus Foss Chamberlain (1896-1918) who were both killed in WWI. The first ticketed passenger was a 28-year-old salesman from St. Paul named Bryon G. Webster. The guest initially invited to accompany the pilot, Charles “Speed” Holman, was the mayor of St. Paul, Laurence Curran Hodgson, who had previously been a newspaper reporter for the Minneapolis Times and the St. Paul Post Dispatch. The mayor was unable to make the journey and thus the honor fell to Mr. Webster. Incidentally, Holman, previously known as “Slim,” did not get the nickname “Speed” from his aviation exploits but from racing motorcycles at break neck speeds at various venues like the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. 
     The then 28-year-old Holman was well known in aviation circles as a barnstormer, wing walker, parachute jumper, holder of two transcontinental race records, stunt man, outside loop holder who held the record for consecutive loops, mail pilot, and holder of the American commercial air line speed record. Holman had been turned down by the Army after being diagnosed “too deaf to ever become an aviator,” a fact that did not deter him from pursuing his objective. He learned to fly from veteran commercial aviator, Walter Bullock, who would become one of Northwest’s premier pilots.[1]
     Holman and Webster settled into the closed cockpit aircraft built for passenger service and with the engine running smoothly these two adventurers embarked on a historic 400-mile flight crossing the upper Mississippi River then southeastward through Wisconsin with the ultimate destination of Chicago. The authorization for Webster to fly on the first flight was issued by one of the founders of the company and then vice president and general manager, Lewis Hotchkiss Brittin. Described as having “a tall scholarly appearance - heightened by a pair of rimless granny glasses and a gray Homburg perched squarely atop his head” - was only the outward countenance of a man with a great drive and zeal to place the Twin Cities on what was becoming an ever enlarging airmail and potentially expansive passenger route system. The trip almost ended in disaster when the engine quit near the Wisconsin stateline forcing Holman to make an emergency 
. . . 



Lewis H. Brittin


The Robert G. Hufford Photographic Negative Collection

      When the American Aviation Historical Society was formed in 1956, many of the founding members were active aviation photographers. They were part of a widely dispersed fraternity of young men who ventured out to photograph friendly airfields with their 616 or Argus C-3 cameras to capture the unusual and interesting aircraft they found on film. Their inspirations were the professional photographers such as Howard Levy and Gordon Williams, whose work they had followed in aviation magazines. But they were mostly amateurs who processed their own negatives and prints to save money. They began to build collections of aircraft negatives. To expand their collections and gain images from other geographic areas they established trading agreements with other aviation photographers. They began shooting multiple negatives of the aircraft they photographed.  A relatively large community of aircraft negative trading was formed. The American Aviation Historical Society was formed, partly, to help provide accurate information to allow members of the aviation photographer group to identify the photographs in their collections and to aid in group communications.
     One of the members of the aviation photographers’ fraternity was Robert G. Hufford. Bob Hufford was among the first 100 members of the AAHS. He began photographing aircraft in the 1930s. In the 1990s Bob donated his collection of 4x5 and 2.25x2.25 black and white aircraft negatives (there are a few color transparencies as well) to the Society. The collection consists of over 16,000 negatives taken by Bob. The aircraft Bob photographed were primarily commercial airline and corporate transports. They represent an extensive record of commercial aviation in America in the postwar period through the introduction of first and second generation turbine transports. The collection has been completely cataloged and is being digitized as volunteer time allows. Negative numbers in the AAHS online image database that begin with 30000 and range to 46223 cover the Hufford collection.
     Bob Hufford was an executive for Kodak dealing with the motion picture industry. His duties required regular meetings at their headquarters in Rochester, New York. Air transportation, at the time, allowed the passenger a great deal of latitude in choosing their route from point “A” to point “B.” For Bob, the trip from Los Angeles to Rochester would stop in New Orleans, Miami, Vancouver, British Columbia or Montego Bay. Bob also drove to western airports on weekends and on holidays.  The negatives in the Hufford Collection represent hundreds of airports. Bob was very organized regarding his negative collection. Each negative is identified with the exact aircraft . . .



Western Airlines Douglas DC-4 Skymaster


Operation Grasshopper: the opening of the inland of Suriname through the air 

     During the 1950s the aviation in Suriname came into a new phase: part of a large development program was the opening of the rain forest-covered inland by the construction of airstrips. These airstrps were mainly used for the search of minerals. A number of U.S. aircraft and companies played an important role during this operation.

Aviation in Suriname before 1947 

Being a Dutch colony since the 17th century, the economy of Suriname (or Dutch Guiana) was dominated until the 1920s by coffee, cotton and wood production. However, compared to the Dutch East-Indies (now Indonesia), the West Indies (Suriname and Antilles) played a minor role, due to their small population. With the Atlantic Ocean as an almost unbridgeable barrier, Dutch airline KLM concentrated from the 1920s on pioneering the air-route to the Dutch East-Indies. It wasn’t until 1934 that KLM started to operate in the West-Indies, with the Antilles as a main base. Suriname, however, had been a destination for scheduled U.S. air services since the 1920s. 
     The first aircraft in Suriname arrived on August 3, 1922, when a small Lévy-Lepen R flying boat of Transport Aérien Guyanais landed in the capital city Paramaribo from French Guyana1. From 1923 to 1929 water-based aircraft visited Suriname frequently. From mid-1929, Paramaribo was added as a stop on the flights from the New York-Rio-Buenos Aires Airlines (NYRBA) aircraft operating the air route the airline was named after. NYRBA used Consolidated Commodore flying boats, which used the Suriname River at Paramaribo for landings. In 1930 Pan American Airlines (PAA) took over the NYRBA operations, and also established the first domestic air service in Suriname: Paramaribo–Nickerie.
     If wasn’t until 1939 that an airfield for land-based aircraft was constructed in Suriname, at the Zanderij savannah about 40 km south of Paramaribo. KLM West-Indisch Bedrijf (KLM West-Indies branch) extended the Curacao-Port of Spain (Venezuela) service once a week to Paramaribo using the Lockheed Super Electra. The Dutch government provided financing for the construction of the airfield. KLM had been in preparation for launching a transatlantic (mail) service, but the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940 upset these plans. Notably, in November 1939, eight USAF Boeing YB-17s, under the command of Gen. Delos C. Emmons, on their  . . .



Northrop YC-125B, PZ-TAD


Airplanes I Have Known - C-47 42-93585

     What you might call financial constraints have always limited my exposure to new airplanes except, that is, when Uncle Sam was footing the bill. Then, on occasion, I was lucky enough to be assigned to fly a brand new expensive machine. I recall a PT-19, a BT-13 and a couple of “Useless” 78s in that category; and then there was C-47 42-93585.
     In June 1944 ‘585 arrived at Hamilton AAFB on the shore of San Francisco Bay about the same time that we did, having made one test flight and the trip up from the factory before it was assigned to us - total time less than 10 hours. We were a crew of absolute strangers. 1st Lt. Tom Gavey, pilot; 2nd Lt. R. Story, copilot; 1st Lt. Paul “Smitty” Smith, navigator and Cpl. Bill Meyers, radio operator. Of the four of us, only Smitty had ever flown anything much bigger than a puddle jumper. Now our orders stated that we would deliver ‘585 to Brisbane, Australia, which as near as I could figure was some 8,000 miles over water with perhaps 200 miles of that within sight of land.  We were going island hopping and the first hop was a doozy - 2,600 miles, more or less, to Hickam Field, Hawaii. 
     We were able to squeeze in just one test flight before the big event. In three hours we went through everything in the book (and some that wasn’t) and she came up clean as a whistle. (NOTE: The Japanese did not invent quality control.)
     The next time that we saw her she had been outfitted with eight 100-gallon fiber auxiliary tanks mounted on wood frames, four on each side of the cabin. This brought our total fuel up to 1,600 gallons, good for maybe 18 hours at cruise. It also made the fuel and oil weight at takeoff very close to five tons and gross weight over 32,000 lbs. - or about three tons more than the CAA maximum gross for the same airplane. This really simplified things. Takeoff was go/no go; we reverted to single-engine status with twice the probability of failure.
     The runway at Hamilton was quite long for that era, about 8,000 ft. as I recall. About halfway down it, tail up, tires still firmly planted and the two P & W’s doing the very best they could, Gavey says “Feel this thing. I’m not sure it’ll fly.” He was right. It was about like pulling on a fence post. I suggested trim and he rolled in a little that helped some but it was mostly a matter of letting her go until we got enough speed. This happened shortly before the end of the runway and I cycled the gear as quickly as I could when he called for it.
     We had taken off to the northeast, headed inland and had to turn back over the bay. This we did quite gingerly, still at max power. As we got squared away over the bay and aimed at the Golden Gate Bridge, Smitty, who was standing behind us, suggested that maybe we ought to consider going under it instead of over. But we cleared it by at least 100 ft. and eased off on the power about the same time.
     It was early evening as we left the coast and chased the sunset. Thirty miles out we passed the Farallons, still scratching for altitude. Rough seas were pounding those solitary rocks.  They were certainly an impossible haven; still they were to be our last landfall until Diamond Head so they marked the transition from that sense of the familiar to the unknown.
     At briefing that morning we had been introduced to the latest development in long distance flying - they called it cruise control. We were given an extensive set of charts and tabulations; a program of power settings for use throughout the flight, guaranteed to extend our range and endurance. Having worked our way up to 8,000 ft. we tilted her forward and I read
. . .



Reel Fliers of 1934

     There’s just something about aviation during the mid-1930s. The pace of both civilian and military aviation development was speeding up. It was an era that fostered the growth of new aeronautical ideas, designs, and know-how that allowed pilots to push the envelope of flight.  It was a time of innovation and risk, of trial and of error. Just seven years after Lindbergh’s epic flight to France and only five years before the start of WWII, 1934 was a year of record hops, Army air postmen, and high-altitude pressure suit tests. It was the year of aviators like Codos and Rossi, DuPont, Hawks, Lindbergh, Marsalis and Richey, Picard, Post, Rickenbacker, Turner, Ulm and Wedell – just to name a few. It was also a period of novel aircraft like the flying pancake, parasol plane, flying wing, rotating-wing gyro, and the tailless flivver. It was a time of adventure. Consider a few of the aviation headlines from that year…

STRATOSPHERE HOP PLANNED
EIGHT KILLED IN CRASH AS AIRLINER HITS
MOUNTAIN
GIANT PLANE MAKES FIRST HOP
NEW PLANE CARRIER TESTED
DARING PILOTS RISK DEATH IN SENSATIONAL AIR MEET
AVIATRIX PREPARES FOR BIG HOP
NOTED SPEED PILOT KILLED
REVERSIBLE PROPELLER TESTED
ARMY PREPARES FOR MASS HOP

These headlines are the actual titles of aviation newsreel stories from 78 years ago.

THE NEWSREELS

Before television, there was the newsreel. From the late-1920s to the mid-1960s, the major American sound newsreel companies filmed all kinds of people, places and things — including the ups and downs of aviation. The newsreels typically appeared twice a week at the local “movie palace,” averaged nine minutes in length, and featured up to a dozen stories. The newsreel was usually part of the movie entertainment package that accompanied the cartoons and the featured movies. Sound newsreels were truly an eyewitness to the middle third of the 20th century. Today, they provide a unique moving-image visual reference of the past, in glorious black and white. 
     Since the early 1970s, only one of the major newsreels has been readily accessible for your review and royalty-free use: the Universal Newsreel. This treasure trove of 35-millimeter celluloid includes over 14,800 motion picture film reels. The surviving edited stories and outtakes are available for your viewing pleasure at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility at College Park, Maryland.
    
Regrettably, these newsreel stories are usually silent. What, they’re silent? Weren’t these stories filmed in the era of the talkies? Yes, . . .but as was the custom at the time, Universal destroyed the film stock narration and music tracks soon after a story was released, for  . . .



Wiley Post in his pressure suit


A Douglas Aircraft Company Retrospective, Part 1

     The contribution of Douglas Aircraft Company to American and world aviation is well known. The company’s accomplishments are legendary and this series of articles attempts to reveal the inner workings of a company that was in the vanguard of developing commercial, military and research aircraft.
     The following excerpts are taken from an internal Douglas Co. management newsletter following WWII. The reprinting of these brief in-house company announcements provide insight into the internal operations of Douglas as they transitioned from the demands of war to a postwar environment, and how they met the technological challenges of the future.
    
These reminiscences display that outstanding aircraft are the result of dedicated personnel operating collectively in a highly technical, innovative and competitive business environment.

Excerpts from the Douglas Digest newsletter
dated February 1948

EXACT STATUS OF THE DC-9[1 ]— No decision to build yet. Plans are still in the making as revealed by a letter dispatched to prospective customers from vice president-domestic sales. It says Company is aware of crying need for a transport to serve small fields and feeder operations as well as trunk lines. It must carry passengers, mail, express and cargo at modern speeds, economically and safely, as logical successor to DC-3. Proposed DC-9 offers “as simple and straightforward an airplane as possible. Includes modern communications, fire prevention, surface anti-icing, greatly improved comfort, terminally conditioned air and wall panels, cabin pressurization, plus high performance.”
     Company is discussing project with airlines, pilots, maintenance and service experts, armed forces and public. And conducting intensive research on world conditions and markets. Do they warrant full development of the DC-9 now? Decision will come with answers.

*****

COMPETITIVE BIDS BY DOUGLAS FOR A TRAINER AND A BOMBER, both slick designs, are already submitted to Air Forces. Decision on the trainer is expected in March, bomber later.

*****

EL SEGUNDO’S NAVY AD-1 SKYRAIDER met every strength requirement of specifications, passed all simulated landing tests and carrier qualifications tests with “flying” colors. Then it went to sea for Fleet operations assigned to newly formed squadrons. Carrier landings really must be something! Even the AD-1 got skin wrinkles from the ordeal.
     Happily, the problem is not unique. All manufacturers of Navy aircraft fall victim, only sometimes much worse, to unpredictable strength moments not required by contract. Skyraiders are responding to face lifting with alacrity while filing the experience under painful progress in the increasingly complicated aeronautical world.

*****

D-558 SKYSTREAK. #3 airplane, continues final performance demonstration flights with test pilot Gene May. Meanwhile, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics received first two Skystreaks last October and November. NACA pilots fly them in the great scientific research program for which they were built. Eminent scientists predict that D-558, product of El Segundo . . . 



McCook Field P-Numbers Revisited

    In the mid-1950s AAHS member Warren Bodie with the assistance of Ms. Jennie Reeves (custodian of the Wright Field still photo files), Peter M. Bowers, William T. Larkins and John Sloan compiled an index of the aircraft tail numbers (P-number) for McCook Field (and later Wright Field). The period covered was 1918 through 1930. P-numbers were assigned to aircraft used in engineering and research evaluations during this period. Even at this date no one is sure what the “P” represented – plane, project or procurement. Aviation historians and photograph collectors have long noted these identifier numbers painted on the rudders of various aircraft. The original list was published in Vol. 1, No. 4, of the AAHS Journal (October-December 1956).
     The following is an updated listing of the McCook Field P-numbers. It includes additional aircraft that were not in the original listing, as well as information regarding the engines installed (in many cases including their Air Service number). A notes column has been added that contains additional information about the aircraft.
     In addition to this printed listing, this information has been converted into a searchable database that is accessible to AAHS members under the “Research” tab in the “Members Only” area of the AAHS website. Members may search by P-number, aircraft manufacturer, type or serial number.  



P-472, Douglas XA-2 Attack Bomber


Forum of Flight

     The FORUM is presented as an opportunity for each member to participate in the Journal by submitting interesting or unusual photographs. Negatives, black-and-white or color photos with good contrast may be used if they have smooth surfaces. Send submissions to the Editorial Committee marked "Forum of Flight," P.O. Box 3023, Huntington Beach, CA 92605-3023. Mark any material to be returned: "Return to (your name and complete address)."

     Please include as much information as possible about the photo such as: date, place, names, etc., plus proper credit (it may be part of your collection but taken by another photographer).



Douglas DB-7A Boston


Kase Dekker, in Memorium
1930-2012

     In February, after a brief combination of health issues, our “Flying Dutchman,” Kase Dekker, took his final flight. Kase has been a member of the AAHS Board of Directors for a couple decades. He is survived by his wife Willie, his daughter Corinne, and his son John. Kase was a Dutchman. We found, after he died, that his given name was Cornelis. Kase grew up in German-occupied Holland. He shared memories of having German troops quartered in his family’s home and what it was like to be on the receiving end of OPERATION CHOWHOUND, the Allied food-drop mercy flights into occupied Holland at the end of WWII.
     Kase worked for KLM in Holland before coming to the United States were he began working for American Airlines.  Kase was an entrepreneur. He established and operated a travel agency. For a period of time, he also operated a business that marketed airliner display models.
     Kase loved all aspects of commercial aviation and influenced the Society in this area through his volunteer efforts.  Over the years, he filled a number of roles at AAHS headquarters. Most recently he has been in charge of the photo collection. The organization of the photo collection has advanced significantly under Kase’s stewardship and he was a major contributor in efforts to update the photo catalog. Prior to this he had coordinated book reviews.  Kase impacted the editorial content of the Journal and FLIGHTLINE during his years on the Board of Directors. As our new president, Jerri Bergen, has said, “Kase is up to his neck in commercial aviation history.” This passion brought numerous articles and pieces of art to the Journal through Kase’s contacts and effort. 
     The Society will miss his pragmatism and contributions and wish his family well.



Kase Dekker


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