HE FLEW LIKE AN ANGEL
This U.S. Air Mail
Service birdman flew with the stars, the celebrity stars.
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Juanita Pomeroy
Pomeroy traced the origins of his aviation career to 1913 when he worked
as water boy, keeping the grass wet for a couple of crackpot flying
machine addicts who needed a soggy field to land their craft on skids.
Their names, Orville and Wilbur Wright. Eventually, he talked one of
them into giving him a ride, and from that point on, as he told a
journalist, "I knew that flying was for me."
his career with the Army Air Service in France during World War I, then,
after peace was declared, took tours of duty in Florida and Texas. He
joined the Air Mail Service in 1924, flying between Omaha and Cheyenne.
For two years
after the Service disbanded, he flew as a private pilot, ferrying sugar
manufacturing magnet B.G. Dahlberg and his wife all the way from Baffin
Bay, north of the Arctic Circle to South America and back in a Sikorsky
In 1930, he
signed on with Ludington Airlines (eventually became Eastern) and
inaugurated the first scheduled passenger service between Washington,
D.C. and Newark, N.J.
In the course
of his duties, he flew such celebrities as George Ripley of Ripleys
Believe It Or Not and Rudy Vallee who pronounced him the "best
pilot in the world."
now famous in his own right, took a job as executive pilot with Cities
Service Company, flying their new DC-2 executive plane. Fast becoming an
expert, he entered the Bendix Trophy Race between New York and Los
Angeles in a DC-2 and nosed out Amelia Earhart by 18 minutes, taking
War II, he flew in Hawaii and the South Pacific for the Air Transport
Command. In this capacity, he ferried Admiral "Bull" Halsey on
an island-by-island inspection trip and later carried Winston Churchills
delegation to the Montreal Conference.
war, Pomeroy became chief pilot of the Swiftlite Aircraft Corporation, a
Cities Service subsidiary.
Air Mail Pilots