Walter A. Hamilton, Kansas City, MO, May 13, 1936 (Source: Boedy's Album)
Although an accomplished flyer in his own right, Walter Hamilton landed three times at Tucson, each time as a passenger with Jack Frye. Hamilton co-founded Aero Corporation of California in 1926 along with
two associates (Paul
E. Richter and Frye). "Aero," as their company was called, offered flight instruction and charter flights, and was the west coast distributor for Alexander Eaglerock aircraft of Colorado Springs, CO. A subsidiary of Aero, Standard Air Lines, was formed as the air transport arm if the company. Certified as an aviation mechanic, Hamilton was the Vice President of Operations of Standard Air Lines.
Hamilton's first visit at Tucson was on Friday, December 16, 1927 at 12:25PM. Based at Los Angeles, CA, he and Frye were westbound from Douglas, AZ back to Los Angeles. They flew in the Fokker Universal, NC3193. His fellow passengers were Mel Fickas, Harold Wilson, Mrs. F. D. Bubbel and R.E. Ellenwood. This was a full load for the Universal. They remained overnight in Tucson, departing the next morning at 8:00AM.
His second visit was on Friday, September 28, 1928 at 17:10PM. This time he and Frye were in Standard Air Lines' Fokker Super Universal, NC8011 carrying one other passenger, a captain Gest. They were eastbound from Los Angeles to El Paso, TX. Frye wrote in the remarks column of the Register, "Very Good." They remained overnight, departing the next day at 9:00AM. No reason was given for this flight.
Hamilton's third and final visit was on Sunday, September 30, 1928 at 3:30PM. He was the sole passenger with Frye, again in NC8011. Based at Los Angeles, they were northwestbound from Douglas, AZ to Phoenix, AZ over two legs of the Standard Air Lines route from El Paso to Los Angeles. Below, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum (SDAM), is an typical aviator photograph of Hamilton.
Walter W. Hamilton, 1936, Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)
Informally known as the "Three Musketeers",
Hamilton, Frye and Richter maintained a career-long work and social bond. They oversaw the merger of Standard Air Lines with Western Air Express, and they were instrumental in forming
TWA during the 1930s, and setting the specifications and standards
for commercial air transport over the following decades. With his background in maintenance, it was natural for Hamilton to be superintendent of maintenance for TWA. Above is a photograph of Hamilton taken in 1936 as an officer of TWA (identified as "Trans & West Air Inc." in the photocaption.
During WWII he was in the Navy with command authority in the Naval Air Transport Service. After WWII, he was also an officer with Douglas Aircraft, Inc., Burbank, CA. While at Douglas, this link offers an interesting patent for controlling a twin-engine airplane when one engine is lost. Hamilton was the inventor. He passed away in March, 1946 at age 44.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 02/24/14 REVISED: 12/03/14