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This information comes from the biographical file for pilot Jack, CJ-004000-01, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.


Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available here. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.


Jack, William S. 1943. Jack & Heintz: Blueprint for Labor Relations. Public Opinion Quarterly, volume 7, page 413.


http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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Equipment like magnetos, starters, governors, oil pumps, hydraulic and vacuum pumps are loosely termed "accessories" in the aviation game. Our pilot William Russell Jack worked for his father, William S. Jack, whose company was a supplier of a selection of accessories during the Golden Age, into WWII and beyond. Young Jack was Vice President of Jack & Heintz, Inc. of Cleveland, OH (sometimes referred to as J.&H. or Jahco), which his father ran with egalitarian brio.

Based in Cleveland, OH, W.R. Jack landed twice at Tucson, on August 14, 1932 westbound, and again on August 22, 1932 eastbound, on what looked like a week-long business trip to the west coast. Both times he flew Great Lakes NC863K. There is no notation in the Register to suggest the purpose of his flight.

William Russell Jack was born November 3, 1909 at Cleveland, OH, making him a youth of barely 23 when he visited Tucson as a private pilot. He married in 1934 (Paula Gerstenberger) and had one son. From 1933 to at least 1938, he was Treasurer and a Sales and Service Engineer for The Pump Engineering Service Corp. (PESCO), his father's company at the time, before he organized Jahco.

He had a life of privilege, attending private secondary schools and being educated through college at Southern Methodist University. He attended the Dallas Aviation School for his transport and ground training. He used his education and training in his work, writing various reports on service problems on aircraft accessories and use of special equipment in manufacture and testing.

Whereas the information at the NASM (left sidebar) is sparse for William R. Jack, there is online information about his father William S. Jack. During WWII, Jack the elder stood out as an innovative and charitable boss. An in-house angel, he showed up to competitors and the U.S. government as a maverick. In the press, Time Magazine of December 14, 1942 had this to say about him:

Even when the outlook was blackest, short, cocky William S. Jack always knew everything would turn out all right. The worst was nine months ago when the profit-probing Vinson committee rooted out the fantastic salaries and bonuses of Jack & Heintz Inc., catapulted President Jack smack into the biggest and juiciest profit scandal of the year. But last week the scandal was forgotten, and upstart J. & H. was riding high as the world's largest maker of aviation starters and automatic pilots.

The Methods. For this snappy comeback all nosegays go to production-ace Jack and his incredible business policies. J. & H.'s five plants — four in Bedford, Ohio and one in Cleveland — are a nifty combination of a college campus, a workman's paradise and zooming production. J. & H. has a band to rival Ohio State's, victory song and cheerleaders, boisterous parties to celebrate production records.

Every employee is called an "associate," is known only by his first name as soon as he gets on the payroll. There are no time clocks and no docking for tardiness. The associates talk and smoke whenever they like, paste Petty girls on their machines if the curves inspire them, get popular jazz over the loudspeaker system, drink free coffee or nibble free candy bars. To top it off Host Jack hands everyone vitamin pills and anti-cold tablets daily, gives free medical and dental care, hands out modest bonuses with calendar-like regularity.

The Results. Most Cleveland munitions makers think the customs and working habits at J. & H. are as preposterous as the bonuses which put the company in the national spotlight. Bill Jack has only one answer — production. Roars he: "We're turning out more per man than anybody . . . and more stuff per square foot of plant than any other plant in the country." J. & H. started exactly two years ago with 90 employes, a handful of machines in a small Bedford factory and a newly designed aviation starter. The War Department liked it well enough to order 1,000 at $600 each. Next the Army asked J. & H. to mass-produce the famed Sperry automatic pilot. J. & H. countered with an offer to design and produce its own automatic pilot. In no time at all J. & H. had a Government O.K., was mass-producing an accurate light-weight automatic pilot costing one-third less than Sperry's. Meanwhile Jack slashed the price of starters to $350, made a deal to cut contract prices by a total of $9,500,000.

Now J. & H. has 4,000 associates, and its 1942 output will hit $40,000,000. That is not all. At Government request the company is producing flight instruments, aviation accessories and potent 400-amp. generators for planes still on the drawing boards. All this work has pushed J. & H.'s backlog to a mighty $240,000,000, got Jack predicting production of $120,000,000 next year. And at J. & H. haste does not mean waste—the delivered product is so perfect that on Nov. 12 the Air Corps discontinued separate inspections, gushed: "Testing equipment and production methods used are especially commendable."

The Man. Bill Jack quit grammar school to learn the die-cutting trade, later took turns as a magician's helper, a baseball catcher, a prize fighter. Then he became business agent for Local 83, International Association of Machinists, proved his organizing knack by boosting membership from 61 to 3,600 in four years. But he liked manufacturing better than union-eering, quickly bought, developed and resold half a dozen small companies. Most successful—outside of J. & H.—was Cleveland's Pump Engineering Service Corp., which Jack swapped for 34,666 shares of Borg-Warner Corp., just before he organized J. & H. with tall, bald Ralph Heintz, a born engineer who had some snazzy ideas about aviation starters.

A real success at 54, Jack still likes the floppy, open-collared shirts, breezy sport shoes and pungent phrases picked up in his prizefight days. A prodigious worker, he rarely sleeps more than four hours a night. The Vinson committee did change Jack's ideas about salaries. Said he of the salary-limitation order: '. . . We'll back [this] to the limit. If [President Roosevelt] says no salary at all it will be no salary. . . . There's only one thing we'll be satisfied with—that's winning the war.'"

Jack the elder published an article describing his management methods (reference left sidebar), but, post-war his relationships with the powers that be were no better, as this (December 23, 1946) article in Time Magazine illustrates. In the early 1950's, William S. and his wife endured a tax adjudication (PDF download).

The National Air & Space Museum (Dulles facility) exhibits several examples of accessories produced during the 1930s by Pump Engineering Service Corp. Namely:

PESCO Equipment at the NASM
Type C-7 Fuel Pump Cutaway
Pump Engineering Service Corp. (PESCO)
U.S., 1930s
Hydraulic Oil Pump
Pump Engineering Service Corp. (PESCO)
U.S., 1930s-1940s
Gear-Type Oil Pump Cutaway
Pump Engineering Service Corp. (PESCO)
U.S., 1930s-1940s
Type B-1A Vacuum Pump Cutaway
Pump Engineering Service Corp. (PESCO)
U.S., 1930s

On the cusp of WWII, Flying and Popular Aviation (PA) magazine, September, 1941, featured this full-page advertisement.

PESCO Advertisement, Flying & Popular Aviation Magazine, September, 1941 (Source: PA)

I have no information about pilot Jack's personal life or a date of his passing. If you can help, please let me KNOW.


Dossier 2.1.103

UPLOADED: 05/19/07 REVISED: 07/14/14

The Register

I'm looking for images of pilot Jack, and of his airplane NC863K, as well as additional biographical information. If you can help, please use this FORM to contact me.



Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register, 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.


Art Goebel's Own Story by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-1-8.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. What was it like to fly from Oakland to Honolulu in a single-engine plane during August 1927? Was the 25,000 dollar prize worth it? Did the resulting fame balance the risk? For the first time ever, this book presents the pilot and navigator's stories written by them within days of their record-setting adventure. Pilot Art Goebel and navigator William V. Davis, Jr. take us with them on the Woolaroc, their orange and blue Travel Air monoplane (NX869) as they enter the hazardous world of Golden Age trans-oceanic air racing. ISBN 978-0-9843074-3-2.


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