Roy Dickson 1930s Alaska Bush Pilot
FIRST TIME PUBLISHED
|MORE ALASKA BUSH PILOT
INFORMATION page 3
DON GLASS - Born San Ramon, CA, came to Alaska in
1934 with Frank Dorbandt as co-pilot in first Ford
Tri-motor in the Territory. They founded Ptarmigan
Airlines which lasted only a short time. Don flew for
McGee, Star and in 1938 went with Woodley Airways.
In 1943 died in a crash in Gastineau Channel on a
scheduled flight from Juneau to Anchorage in a
Woodley Tri-motor Stinson A.
DON H. GOODMAN - Born April 6, 1909 in Modoc County, CA, learned to fly with Al Horning at
Hancock School of Aviation, Santa Maria, CA; came to Alaska with Horning in 1934. Worked for
McGee Airways on mail runs from Anchorage down the Kuskokwim & Yukon Delta. In 1937 Goodman
and Oscar Winchell formed Alaska Interior Airlines in McGrath & Anchorage which only lasted three
months, selling to Star Air Service when Mac McGee returned to Star management. In 1937 Don
enlisted investors & acquired Star Air Service renaming it Star Air Lines. He was active in Star
management in efforts to expand to routes from Alaska to the States and was prominent in
development of Alaska Star Airways during war years. Joined the Royal Air Force Ferry Command,
then the Naval Air Transport. Quit the aviation business to become a contractor after World War II.
Retired to Freemont, CA & celebrated his 100th birthday on April 6, 2009.
WILLIAM R. "BILL" GRAHAM - Born about 1898 in Washington. Learned to fly in the U.S. Air
Service at Arcadia, Florida. Was a bush pilot in Nome in the very early days of aviation. After leaving
Alaska was for a period the personal pilot for movie star Wallace Beery.
CHARLES "SLIM" GROPSIS - Pilot for Yukon Treadwell Mining Company of Juneau in early
1930's. Flew Bellanca float planes. Slim & his passenger died in October 1936 in the crash of a Bellanca
that once belonged to actor Wallace Beery. They crashed in British Columbia on a flight between
Seattle and Juneau.
WALTER HALL - Early parachute jumper and pilot. Came to Alaska and worked for Bob Reeve out of
Valdez. Then moved to Fairbanks and flew for old Pacific Alaska Airways to Bethel and Nome. Also flew
briefly for Hans Mirow. Left Alaska with Pan American to fly international routes to Central and South
America. Died in South America of natural causes.
ROY J. HOLM - Born Dec 17, 1913 Boise, ID. Learned to fly in 1935 at St. Louis,
MO. Came to Anchorage in the summer of 1937 delivering the first Taylor Cub
and giving flying lessons. He had a mechanic's license as well as a pilot's license.
He worked for Ray Petersen then Woodley Airways. In 1941 Roy went with Pan
American flying in Alaska, then flying the Pan American Clipper out of San
Francisco. Retired to Seattle area as Chief Pilot for Pan American. Died of
natural causes March 21, 2000 at Enumclaw, Washington.
MURRAY HALL - Aircraft inspector, Department of Commerce CAA came to Alaska in 1934 as the
permanently assigned CAA inspector replacing Hugh Brewster who had been temporarily assigned. He
was inspector at the time of Post-Rogers crash in 1035.
DICK HAWLEY - Flew Curtiss Robin in Fairbanks and Chicken Creek area; later went with Pacific
Alaska Airways, then Pan American Captain in Seattle.
JACK HERMAN - Flew for Ferguson Airways in Ketchikan & Wien in Fairbanks and Nome. Was a
partner in Lavery Airways with Bill Lavery in Fairbanks. They had a monocoupe and an open cockpit
Standard. Known by some as "Smiling Jack".
ART HINES - Partner with Percy Hubbard in Fairbanks. Died in airplane accident while returning
from Dawson. Burned plane was found years later.
ALEX HOLDEN - Born Victoria, BC; Learned to fly with the RCAF during WW I. First flew in Alaska
out of Fairbanks on the mail run Nenana - Bethel. Also flew for Pacific International Airways out of
Anchorage. In 1936 Alex partnered with James V. Davis starting a new service in Southeast Alaska,
Marine Airways. Their first plane was a Bellanca Pacemaker dubbed "Shakey Jake." In 1940 Marine
Airways merged with Shell Simmons' Alaska Air Transport to form Alaska Coastal Airlines, which
merged with Ellis Airlines in 1965 to become Alaska Coastal-Ellis Airlines which became a part of
Alaska Airlines in 1968.
ALLEN E. "AL" HORNING - Born about 1908 in Washington. Learned to fly in Anchorage in early
1930s. Flew for McGee Airways and Star Air Service until joining CAA in Flight Section when first
established in Alaska. Later was Airways Facilities Division Chief with FAA in Los Angeles.
PERCY M. HUBBARD - Born about 1899 in Wisconsin. A Fairbanks businessman
who spent much money, time and effort in developing aviation in the Interior. Pilot
and operator of numerous air services including Service Airways of Fairbanks. After
Alaska lived in Bellevue, Washington.
JACK JEFFORD - Born in Nebraska September 6, 1910. Got his
private pilots license in 1931 & flew in Nebraska before coming to
Alaska. He first flew for Mirow Air Service, then joined CAA when
first established a flight division & was Chief Pilot for the Alaska
Region from 1940-1972. First to fly instruments over new range
routes. After retiring in 1972 he & his pilot wife Ruth Martin Jefford
opened Valley Air Transport, a charter operation out of Merrill Field
in Anchorage. Jack died at his home in Wasilla August 12, 1979
JERRY JONES - Was a Pacific Alaska Airways pilot in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Later reassigned by
Pan American Airways to South America - Miami route. Retired to Miami, FL after outstanding record
with Pan Am.
ROY F. JONES - Born October 16, 1893 in Washington. Was a US Army pilot in WW I. In July 1922
flew a four-place Curtiss MF Flying Boat named the Northbird with an Hispano-Suiza 180hp engine
from Seattle to Ketchikan & founded Northbird Aviation Co. the first commercial aviation company in
Alaska. Used carrier pigeons as a means of communication from remote locations. He was a partner in
Ketchikan's Pioneer Airways in 1930. Later he flew in Alaska during WWII as an Air Force officer,
stationed for awhile at Ladd Field, Fairbanks. He retired as a Major in the Air Force Reserves. Died Feb
17, 1974 in Vancouver, Washington.
HERMAN "HERM" JOSLYN - Born April 2, 1905. Flew for Wien and Pollack Air Service in early
1930's. Went with Pacific Alaska Airways in early 1940's. Flew Lockheed Electras on early route
Fairbanks - Juneau. Retired as a Pan Am Captain to Seattle area. Died in Seattle in November 1969.
BILL KNOX - Pilot for Pacific Alaska Airways in early 1930's. Flew Fairbanks - Nome and Fairbanks -
Bethel mail routes. Continued flying with Pan Am eventually out of New York.
MAURICE KING - James Maurice "Maury" King born Dec 17, 1900, learned to fly in
Portland, OR. Came to Alaska as a pilot for Archie Ferguson in Kotezebue in
mid-1930s & also flew for Wien and Alaska Airlines. Flew a Norseman for the Arctic
Institute of North America, and was lost with two passengers on a flight in St. Elias
Range from the Institutes research station on Seward Glacier in Canada to a base
camp at Yakutak on July 27, 1951. Both American & Canadian search efforts failed to
ever locate a wreckage.
MERRITT D. "KIRK" KIRKPATRICK - Born 1902 in Cowley County, Kansas,
came to Alaska as pilot-mechanic for Harold Gillam in early 1930's. Founded Cordova
Flying Service in 1934 with a group of businessmen and was first president & often the
only pilot. Cordova Flying Service pre-dated Cordova Airlines. He flew a Bird biplane
and an open cockpit Stearman. Operated Bellancas on floats, wheels and skis from
Cordova to McCarthey, Chitina, Katalla and Yakataga. Died in aircraft accident near
Cordova on April 10, 1939.
HERMAN LEARDAHL - Born February 26, 1906. Came to Alaska to fly for his brother, Ed Leardahl,
in Fairbanks in mid-1930's. Then flew for Wien Airlines out of Fairbanks. During WW II began flying
for Northwest Airlines, from which he retired to Fox Island, Washington. He died in January 1983 at
Desert Hot Springs, California.
WILLIAM L. "BILL" LAVERY - Born March 16, 1914 in Fairbanks and raised in Fairbanks. At age
15 went to California to learn to fly. Was flight mechanic on rescue of Russians stranded in Arctic
Ocean & was decorated with the Order of Lenin by the Russian government. With funds from his
award, at age 19 started Lavery Airways and established first Fairbanks - Anchorage route. Lavery
Airways became part of Alaska Airlines in 1942. Later flew for Wien in Fairbanks. After retiring as a
pilot in 1970 was manager of Fairbanks International Airport from 1973 - 1975. Died in Fairbanks at
age 69 in December 1983.