Friday, July 26, 2013

1920 Delaware Aviation


1918 enter John 'Jack' White and his steel worker family to Delaware as employees of the new Claymont Steel Plant in New Castle. This was a time that aviation was a proven value and planes were built with wood, wire and canvas, but now with powerful engines. World War I had shown America that air travel was here to stay.
'Jack' did not stay with the steel industry but took a job with the John Jacob Raskob family as a maintenance worker on his estate. Raskob was the ram rod of General Motors Corporation in the 1920's and had established a flying school to train WWI pilots. This is where Jack White was assigned to work and while there he became enamored with flying and became friends of J. Allison Buck, better known as “Allie, Delaware's first licensed pilot who taught White to fly. During the 1920's White and other pilots flew over Delaware farms, performing and doing stunts and such. This was called 'barnstorming'. Also they would take passengers for short rides.
1928 White and Buck organized Air Service which prospered for several years but then came the Great Depression and Jack left aviation for more stable pursuits.
World Way II saw one of his sons become a pilot and it was a great experience for Jack White to pin the 'wings' and Lieutenant bars on his son William.
John 'Jack' White passed away in 1956 when aviation was just 50 some years old.
The source of this abstract is of Michael Morgan and his conversation with Harold White , who has lived in Delaware for several decades and was an office manger for Diamond State Telephone Company at Georgetown.

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