M.14 First Officer  Lewis Warren Hunter 

flag usa

 b. 20 Jan 1907, San Francisco, CA  26 September 1940 to 6 Jun 1941 

 ata lewis hunter  ata lewis hunter 2 ATA    


 Father: Lewis Clarence Hunter, Box 192, Ross, Marin Co. CA

Ed. Stanford University

m. 1931 Suzanne Gerdine; 2 children; divorced

US Army Corps Feb 1930 - Jun 32; May 36 - Jan 38

prev. Instructor for the Chinese National Government

prev. exp 3,700 hrs


Hunter is a good looking specimen of American manhood. He came down the broad steps of the attractive family home loaded with luggage and greeted reporters and cameramen with "Hi fellows, you're almost too late. Ask me what you want to know while I pile these things in the car... Hate to rush, but the plane leaves in an hour..."

Off sick from 1 Jan 1941 to 17 Mar 1941 after he made a bad landing in Oxford P9040, "injuring himself and causing considerable damage to the aircraft"

One further accident in Apr 1941, when "he persisted in flying in bad weather"

"This man had an extremely bad record with ATA. He was continually getting into difficulties financially and left many unpaid debts in this country, amounting to about £200."

[His file contains many letters from his creditors after he left, asking whetther the ATA could perhaps pay them (which they politely declined to do), including one from a car dealer called Edwin V Price, who said "I can ill afford to lose this amount after befriending him over a sticky patch".]

"His private affairs interfered seriously with his usefulness as a ferry pilot and his excessive indulgence in alcohol finally made him unfit to continue his duties,"

Contract Teminated 6 Jun 1941

Sailed back to Montreal with fellow pilots Hubert Timmermans, Gilbert Tobin, Irving Nelson and Clarence Goza.

Trans-Canada Airlines' agent later reported that "he went to Ottawa in an effort to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, but was not accepted in view of your adverse report. We last saw him about October 13th when he said that he had obtained a position as Instructor at an aviation school operated by Quebec Airways at or near Quebec City."

"On December 1st we learned from the newspapers that he had died suddenly in Montreal, and our inquiries at the Coroner's Court brought forth the information that he had been picked up by the radio police on November 29th in a state of collapse, and had died in hospital the following day. The Coroner's verdict was that his death was due to natural causes [pneumonia], but I surmise that his habits had a good deal to do with his untimely end."

d. 30 Nov 1941 [age 34]

 Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey


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