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Will Walter White, Ca. WWII (Source: Link)


White signed the Floyd Bennett Field Register April 28, 1933 at 1:00PM. He was solo in the Lockheed Vega he identified as NC8495 (S/N 156). He recorded the owner of the airplane as "S.O.N.J.," which was Standard Oil of New Jersey. He also recorded in the Register that he had arrived in Brooklyn from "Trinidad" and was bound for "Labrador." This was probably a spoof on the Register, much like that of Frank Hawks on the following Register line.

But, if you look at his West Point biography in the box below, it states that he did fly a Vega from New York to Buenos Aires. That flight occurred in 1930, and the airplane was NC106N (not a Register airplane). Please direct your browser to pilot Clements McMullen's link for details related to their South American flight and for additional photographs of White.

There is a West Point (class of 1923) memorial of Will White available at the link. The text is quoted below. The photograph, right, is from this link, too. Another, more brief biography is at the U.S. Airforce Web site at the link.

"Will Walter White (Chic) was born in Bozeman, Montana, on 7 April 1900. He graduated in 1923 from the United States Military Academy, where he broke the record for the 100-yard dash, and in his last year was Cadet Captain of D Company.

"As a new second lieutenant in the Army Air Service, he proceeded to Brooks Field for flight training, and on winning his pilot wings became a flight instructor at Brooks. Here, the first time he ever wore a parachute, he had to use it to save his life, thus becoming one of the first seven members of the Caterpillar Club.

"In 1925 he married Miriam Milbum of San Antonio. The next year he was ordered to the Air Corps Engineering School at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, and after graduating flew as a test pilot. In 1927 he was transferred to West Point to be an instructor in the Department of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, and Engineering Officer of the Air Corps Detachment.

"The following year he was assigned to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and received a Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. After this he was assigned to Wright Field, Ohio. He resigned his regular commission in 1930 and was commissioned a captain in the Reserves of the Air Corps. He then joined the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey in New York.

"One of his first assignments was to fly the company’s small Lockheed Vega from New York to Buenos Aires to test aviation products being introduced by the company. White and his co-pilot (the late Major General Clements McMullen, then a lieutenant) completed the 6,780 miles in 52 hours, 15 minutes flying time, a record that stood for nine years, and for which the Italian Government awarded them the Commendatore della Corona d'ltalia.

"In 1934 Chic was appointed manager of international aviation sales with an office in Paris. Two years later he moved to London as chairman of the newly-formed International Aviation Associates (Intava).

"With the outbreak of World War II, he became a member of the British Government's Aviation Petroleum Committee. Returning to the United States upon its entry into the war, he served as Aviation Officer in the Petroleum Administration for War. He was liaison officer for the Armed Forces of the United States and Allied Nations and Executive Secretary of APPAC.

"After the war Chic rejoined Intava as its president in New York, and when, two years later it was merged with the Esso Export Corporation, he became vice-president and director of that company.

"Recalled to Washington for active duty again in February 1954, he was Petroleum Officer in the Department of Defense for two years. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Air Force Reserve.

"Chic really had two simultaneous careers, Standard Oil and the Air Force, and each made him more valuable to the other. He retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1960 and from Esso in 1964. He was loyal to both, but the Service and West Point meant more to him than any civilian honors, and he was always faithful to the high standards and ethics of West Point.

"The Whites have made San Antonio their home since his retirement. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter and eight grandchildren, all of whom will always think of him with love and admiration."

NC8495 was operated by Standard Oil of New Jersey only between 1932 and 1934, so we see it briefly in that window. The airplane had an interesting life. Please direct your browser to its link, above, for further information.



The Register
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