Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Great Uncle Van went on to become an airline pilot -- first for Essair Lines - then for Pioneer Airlines when it merged with Essair - then with Continental Airlines when it acquired Pioneer Airlines. He was one of the first pilots to fly a DC-3. During World War II, however, he went back to flying biplanes (primarily Stearsman biplanes) when he became the chief pilot for a flying school to train British pilots as part of lend-lease. For his service during World War II, he was knighted by King George of Great Britain.