This book is about aviation history, the pilot, and behind the scenes of the air traffic controller. It starts with the Wright brothers and covers the early days of the airplane manufacturers, airplanes, the beginning of airmail and air traffic control, pilot hero's during war, test pilots, the jet age, X (experimental) airplanes, the century series jets, and the first jet airlines, and into outer space.
I write about my air force service, 1955-1959, working in the control tower at Edwards AFB, then with the FAA, working in the towers at Indianapolis, Lansing, Kansas City International, Dallas/ Fort Worth (DFW), the FAA Headquarters in DC and returned to DFW.
After retirement, I was a contractor supporting the FAA needs. I worked at the FAA headquarters and I supported the air traffic control Futuristic Branch.
On December 8, 1937, I was born in a farmhouse along Sand Creek, near Quailtown, Indiana. I was the youngest of four siblings. I still have a few memories of living there. A creek ran along the property line, and I recall spending some time there. I started school when I was five years old. My oldest brother, Joed, had to help me tie my shoes. One day, I recall he said, "I'm going to teach you how to tie your shoes!" He walked down this graveled road to a culvert. We got underneath it, and I practiced and practiced tying my shoes until I was able to tie my shoes. World War II started while we lived there. I recall the aircraft flying in formation and the blackouts, where all lights were turned off and you could hear airplanes flying above. My father was concerned that the draft board might call him. We were tenant farmers. He decided to move into town (Shelbyville, Indiana). He worked for DePrez, a company driving a coal truck in the winter to fire up the heating stoves. In the summer months, he drove an ice truck for residential iceboxes. My brothers were eleven and nine. My sister was seven, and I was six. My brothers would ride, from time to time, along with my father on his route. At times, they would be on the side running boards. I rode inside the truck. One-day Ralph, my nine-year-old brother, fell off the running board. My father ran over him, and he died. The viewing was in our house. I remember, I thought his chest was crushed, and I did not want to see him. We were all very close! My father received information that he was exempt from the draft. He had been previously kicked by a horse and wore a truss around his waist. At that time, he had four kids, so he was rejected from the draft. After this and the loss of my brother, we moved back to the country, just south of the town of Fairland, Indiana. We eventually moved into Fairland, and that's where we all graduated from. The rest of my story is included in my book. I hope you enjoyed it! I have used the male gender throughout this text. But the person on either end of the mic-to-mic communications link may be female. There is no gender distinction in aviation.