My assignment as Mr. Trippe's personal pilot was supposed to be for six months. As things
turned out, my tour lasted until I retired twenty-five years later. Over the years, the
Lockheed gave way to a DC-3, which was followed by a converted B-23 bomber, and I finished
up in a Falcon 20. But even though the equipment changed, my basic assignment remained the
same: I'd fly Mr. Trippe to business meetings all over the country.
The federal government tightly regulated all air carrier activities then, so Washington was
one of our more frequent destinations. Mr. Trippe spent a lot of time there; he seemed to
know everyone. As a result, members of Congress were among my regular passengers. Mr.
Trippe was delighted to volunteer the airplane to take them to their home districts or to
some place for a weekend of golf or fishing. You'd probably get in trouble for that sort of
service these days, but that's just how things got done.
In addition to politicians, I flew some of the most important people of the era in Mr.
Trippe's airplane. They were leaders from the military, law, medicine, science and the
media. After the war, I took Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to a meeting in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
I remember the runway there was under construction, and I had to land on a taxiway. I also
flew his former boss, Gen. George C. Marshall, all over the country.