|Roy Dickson 1930s Alaska Bush Pilot
|FIRST TIME PUBLISHED
|BIOGRAPHIES (W - Y) of 1920s-1930s Era ALASKA BUSH PILOTS
|OSCAR WINCHELL - Born November 19, 1903 into a farm family in Veridgre,
Nebraska He bought a Jenny in South Dakota in 1927 and founded Pioneer Airways
which became Rapid City Airlines. Came to Alaska in 1931 & started operating Oscar
Winchell Flying Service out of Anchorage. Flew to the Kuskokwim region. Oscar was
a cowboy in Arizona before coming north and was known as "The Flying Cowboy,"
which is the title of a book about him published by his daughter. Flew for McGee,
Star and Alaska Airlines. Oscar was forced down in March 1935 on a trip from
Takotna and McGrath to Anchorage with three passengers. They were trapped in
severe snow storms for 12 days before being rescued by Roy Dickson. There is a
detailed account of this rescue in the new book Roy Dickson 1930s Alaska Bush
Pilot. Oscar flew steadily until 1954 when he retired to San Dimas, California where
he died December 19, 1987.
ARTHUR GORDON "ART" WOODLEY - Born in New York February 15, 1906, educated at
Boston College, learned to fly in the Army Air Corps in1928. His brother George was a Catholic
Priest who had a Bellanca that he used in missionary work. When Father George was assigned to a
new location at Nulato Mission in Alaska, Art & George flew the plane to Anchorage. Shortly after
arriving, Father George was killed in a hunting accident. Art stayed and founded Woodley Airways
in 1932 with a four place Travel Air and a four place Waco A. Originally he flew mostly to the Bristol
Bay area & secured several mail contracts. Art renamed Woodley Airways in 1945 Pacific Northern
Airway, then Pacific Northern Airlines (PNA) in 1947. PNA merged with Western Airlines in 1967
and Art was vice-president when he retired in 1971. Art died at his home in Bellevue, WA May 28,
1990. He was inducted into the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum Hall of Fame in 2008. Art
Woodley is mentioned many times in the new book Roy Dickson 1930s Alaska Bush Pilot
and is seen in many scenes in the Video DVD's that complement the book.
GEORGE E. "ED" YOUNG - Born about 1893 in Michigan. Flew out of Fairbanks in the late
20s for Rodebaugh and flew for Anchorage Air Transport with Russ Merrill and Alonzo Cope and
flew for Pacific Alaska Airways. Died in a crash of a Fairchild 71 at Livengood in the very early
SOURCES for this BUSH PILOT INFORMATION INCLUDE:
- Honoring 100 Alaska Bush Pilots - Published June 24, 1967 by the Anchorage Centennial Commission
- The Alaska Airlines Story - by Archie Satterfield, published by Alaska Northwest Publishing Company;
- Legends & Legacies Anchorage 1910 - 1935 - by John P. Bagoy;
- Roy Dickson 1930s Alaska Bush Pilot - edited by Roy Dickson, Jr. and Dorothy Dickson McLaren, published
by Plane Truth Press LLC Nashville, TN;
- The Personal Collection of unpublished photos, movies, manuscripts, etc. of Roy S. Dickson (1901-1958).
- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History & Industry
- University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Digital Archive
- Numerous miscellaneous Internet postings
SIGURD "SIG" WIEN - Younger brother of Noel. Born November 5, 1903 in Wisconsin. In 1930 Sig accompanied
Noel on his flight in a Stinson from Minnesota back to Alaska following Ralph's funeral. Sig learned to fly in
Fairbanks in 1937. He lived in Barrow for five years & pioneered regular year-round flights to the Arctic Coast. In
1940 Sig purchased Noel's stock in Wien Air Alaska & became President. After the merger with Northern
Consolidated Airlines in 1968 he became President of Wien Consolidated Airlines. Sig died in Fairbanks December 9,
RALPH WIEN - Noel Wien's older brother, born 1897 in Wisconsin. Came to Alaska with Noel in 1924. Was
co-founder with Noel in 1927 of Wien Alaska Airways in Nome. Noel taught him to fly in Fairbanks in 1928.
He, along with two Catholic Priests died in crash of a Bellanca at Kotzebue on October 13, 1930. The Kotzebue
Airport is named "Ralph Wien Memorial Airport."
NOEL WIEN - "Dean of the Alaska Bush Pilots." Born June 8, 1899 at Lake
Nebagamon, Wisconsin. In 1921 Major Ray S. Miller taught Noel to fly in
Minnesota. He arrived in Alaska in 1924 to fly a Hisso J-1 Standard biplane for
Rodebaugh's Alaska Aerial Transport Co. in Fairbanks. He flew the Standard on
the first flight between Anchorage & Fairbanks on July 15, 1924, one of his
many "firsts." In 1927 Noel & brother Ralph bought a Stinson biplane, founded
Wien Alaska Airways in Nome & started the first scheduled air service in Alaska,
one round trip per week between Fairbanks & Nome. They sold Wien Alaska
Airways in 1929. Noel was first to reach Seattle with film of the Will Rogers,
Wiley Post wreck in 1935. After founding several airlines, Noel sold his interest
in Wien Alaska Airlines to his brother Sigurd "Sig" Wien in 1940. Noel died July
19, 1977 at Bellevue, WA. He was inducted into the OX-5 Club Hall of Fame in
1973, the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 1989, & the Alaska Aviation
Heritage Museum Hall of Fame in 2000. The library in Fairbanks is named
"Noel Wien Public Library."
SAM O. WHITE - Born Nov 26, 1891 in Maine. He was in the US Army for two years in WW I.
Came to Alaska in 1922 with a US Coast & Geodetic Survey Team mapping the Yukon River. In
1927 became a Game Agent for Alaska Game Commission. Ralph Wien taught Sam to fly in 1928,
then he did his game patrol from the air. He left the Game Commission in 1941 & started flying
for Wien Airlines. In WW II he flew charter planes for the US Air Force. After the war he
continued flying in Alaska until retiring to Fairbanks in 1964, where he died in Dec 1976.
FRANK H. WHALEY - Born August 6, 1906. Was flying out of Nome with Roust Airways in 1934. Was an active
Gold Miner. Later flew for Wien Airlines & became Chief of Publicity for Tourism with Wien Air Alaska.. Was a Territorial
Representative from Nome from 1941-46, & Territorial Senator from Fairbanks 1945-46. In 1961 was one of the
organizers of the World Eskimo Indian Olympics. Died in San Diego, CA September 15, 1997 at age 91.
JOHN E. "JACK" WATERWORTH - Born Olewein, Iowa December 2, 1906. Studied
pharmology at Univ of Washington for 3 years. In 1931 in Seattle, Jack quit college & partnered
with Steve Mills & Charley Ruttan to buy a Fleet biplane, shipping it to Alaska on the SS Yukon in
the spring of 1932. With support from local investors they founded Star Air Service in Anchorage
as a flight school & charter operation. Ruttan was business manager, Mills was chief pilot & Jack
was instructor. In 1935 Jack left Star & worked at Loussac's Drugstore in Anchorage. He went
Outside for a few years, then returned to Anchorage at the start of WW II to fly for Woodley
Airways. He moved to Seattle in 1943, opened a hardware store, then worked for Boeing until his
death in Seattle in September 1969.
CLARENCE E. "SLIM" WALTERS - Born August 9, 1914 at Wapinitia, OR. Came to Juneau in May 1935 flying
for Irving Airways. Purchased a Daviss D-1K aircraft & started Alaska School of Aeronautics, a flight school & charter
service in Juneau. When WW II started Slim joined the Ferry Command at Ft. Lewis, WA. From 1946-1950 he
owned & operated Alaska Island Airlines in Petersburg. He worked for Reeve Aleutian Airways for many years, then
joined the FAA in Anchorage as a inspector, retiring in 1976. Slim died at age 90 on July 16, 2005 at Lafayette, CO.
CLYDE WANN - "The Father of Yukon (Territory) Aviation." Clyde & pilot Andy Cruikshank purchased a B-1
Ryan they named "Queen of the Yukon" at the San Diego factory, flew it to Vancouver, B.C., shipped it to Skagway,
flew it to Whitehorse arriving October 28, 1927. The next day they flew the first commercial airplane flight in Yukon
Territory founding Yukon Airways and Exploration Company. On May 5, 1928 the plane crashed at Whitehorse
Airport, damaging it beyond repair. They purchased a B-5 Ryan they named "Queen of the Yukon II" which
crashed at Mayo, Y.T. On November 2, 1929, killing the pilot John "Pat" Patterson. This ended Yukon Airways but
commercial aviation in Yukon Territory had been established. Clyde died of a heart attack at his home near
Whitehorse in 1967.
|** Pilot's Heaven **
"NOW THERE'S A PLACE FAR BEYOND THE SEA,
WHERE WE PILOTS ALL LONG TO BE,
THE RUNWAYS ARE LONG,
OBSTRUCTIONS ARE LOW,
AND THE ENGINES NEVER FAIL TO GO."