Roy Dickson 1930s Alaska Bush Pilot
FIRST TIME PUBLISHED
Third Printing
BIOGRAPHIES (K - L) of 1920s-1930s Era ALASKA BUSH PILOTS
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.
BERT LIEN - Came to Alaska to fly for Harold Gillam. Flew out of Fairbanks on weather contract. Later flew mail
Fairbanks - Bethel. Joined Pacific Alaska Airways, which became Pan American. Flew 707's on the San Francisco -
Honolulu run. Died in 1966 in San Francisco.
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.
JOHN H. "JOHNNY" LITTLEY - Born August 22, 1903. Partnered with Ray Petersen in 1935 in founding Bethel
Airways which closed in 1936 after both its planes crashed. Flew Fairchild 71's and Travelair 6000's. Moved to States
in mid-1940's & died Jan 8, 2004 in Vancouver, WA at age 100.
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.
AL LYLE - Came to Alaska in mid-1930's. Flew out of Copper Center and Valdez and into the 40 Mile Country.
Formed Lyle and Dorrance Airways with Ed Dorrance & after Dorrance was killed in a plane crash in 1937 founded
Lyle Airways out of Gakona, Alaska. Left Alaska early 1940's & later returned to live in Copper Center.
JOHN LYNN - Arrived in Alaska in mid-1930's. Flew out of Fairbanks and Nome with Northern Air Transport and
continued with Wien when Noel Wien took over that company and changed the name to Wien Airlines. Flew
commercially as a pilot on F-27's for Northern Consolidated Airlines.