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Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.


According to his family, Hefley donated all of his memorabilia to LSU Shreveport. The Louisiana State University at Shreveport Library Archives (LSUSLA), Noel Memorial Library Archives & Special Collections hold many documents related to Hefley's life in aviation, including photos, newspaper articles, and a pamphlet from a flying school at which he was an instructor. His collection is described by the Library as:

"134 EDWIN HEFLEY PAPERS, 1907-1947. 4 linear ft.

Edwin Hefley was an aviation pioneer and former pilot for; N. C. McGowan, Sr. of United Gas, Henry Ford II of Ford Motor Company and John D. Ewing, Sr. of the Shreveport Times newspaper. Papers include; photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and assorted additional; materials relating to aviation from the 1920's to the 1950's."

LSU also has an oral interview on tape but Hefley was starting to suffer dementia at the time and he was slow to recall.


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Edwin Joseph Hefley, Sr., Early Portrait (Source: Woodling)
Edwin Joseph Hefley, Sr., Early Portrait (Source: Woodling)


Eddie Hefley landed once at Tucson, Friday, November 7, 1930 at 6:00PM. He was solo in the Stinson he identified as NC460H (a Model SM-6B, S/N 2004). He arrived from El Paso, TX. He remained overnight and departed the next morning at 9:30 westbound to Los Angeles, CA.

Hefley was born July 26, 1908 in Emmetsburg, IA. He began his aviation career early at age 15 in St. Louis, MO, where he attended the Sweeney School of Aeronautics. He studied both mechanics and piloting, and earned his pilot license in Rapid City, SD. Hefley was a veteran pilot, with wide commercial experience. He and his employers were early adopters of aviation for business travel.

From the early 1930s on, Hefley was the corporate or personal pilot for, in chronological order, the O'Neil brothers, Cutbank, MT, Norris Cochran "N.C." McGowan, Sr. of the United Gas Corporation based at Shreveport, LA, Henry Ford II of the Ford Motor Company, and John D. Ewing, Sr. of the Shreveport Times (LA), for whom he worked ten years.

During World War II, Hefley was first a test pilot and then chief pilot at Ford's Willow Run factory, and as such he test-flew upon completion most of the B-24s built there.  Post-WWII Hefley continued with his executive flying.

A year before his Tuscon visit, Hefley landed at Clover Field, Santa Monica, CA on Friday, November 15, 1929. He flew the same airplane, carrying two unidentified passengers.

Hefley's complete biography, including many photographs and U.S. Census information, is over on his Santa Monica page at the link. Hefley died August 25, 1993 at Shreveport, LA. He flew West with Transport pilot certificate T2960.



The Register

I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot Hefley and his airplane to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.


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