Did you know we had a "million-mile" pilot from Kosciusko county? Dean of local airmen is undoubtedly Louie Meredith, hailing from Burket.
Meredith is a first-pilot and captain at American Airlines. In the flying game, these boys are the aristocrats of the business. They don't come any higher.
He has the honor of receiving American's merit award, for flying their passengers more than 1,000,000 miles safely.
Louie is the son of the late Orlando Meredith, was reared on a farm east of Burket. His mother lives in the town of Burket at the present time.
He first started flying in Fort Wayne, went about it in a business-like manner. Finished up on the west coast in an accredited flying school.
It was Louie, taking weekends off his work with American Airlines, who taught many of our early airmen around Warsaw to fly. He was the instructor for the group of clubmen who bought the first Porterfield here. Jake Menzie used to fly into Chicago, pick Louie up, so the rest of the gang could have the benefit of his instruction over Sunday. Then flew to work on Monday.
Louie is now on the multi-engine, Chicago-Washington-New York run, lives in Illinois. He is married to the former Ruth Leifer, cute little registered nurse from north of Pierceton. They have three fledgling eagles who wait at home for this "Casey Jones" of the air to finish his round trip to New York. Yes, in every field, Kosciusko county has put forth leaders.
We must move over a little bit for North Manchester: Johnny Wright, from down there also holds a highly-coveted transport license, is a first-pilot for United Airlines. Johnny came up the hard way. He hitch-hiked to Fort Wayne to take lessons from Airman Pierce in the early days.
He loved to fly and acquired an old OX-5 upon which he worked for two weeks to fly two hours. the old OX-5 would "conk-out" quit cold, and Johnny would have another forced landing, then work two more weeks to get it in the air.
The elder Wright, with a rare understanding of boys, finally said: "Johnny, we either have to get an airplane that will fly or quit." So a Waco F was purchased, followed by an Aeronica. Johnny finally passed the qualifying exams with United to become a transport pilot--one of the few who could without a formal college education first.
Johnny Wright is now flying four-engine passenger ships. North Manchester can well be proud of their fly-boy, too!
Here and There
(Flaps are little sections of the wing which can be pulled down to slow the airplane in flight. You know, like a duck twists his wings in the wind to land).
Using the latest, most modern means of travel, George Hauck and Bob Orcutt, tucked their tootsies under the toast-table at Bunker Hill --just one week late! Last week Bob and George, taking a breakfast flight to the new airport restaurant at Bunker Hill (south of Peru) turned back because of fog. So this Sunday they made it. Such determination. Tch, tch.
Herbert Felkner, nephew of Milford's genial postmaster, soloed this week at Municipal.
And Charley Lemler crowded the glory-line when he soloed Wednesday evening.
Lowman's seaplane will move to Tippecanoe lake after the fair, in order that G.I.'s may add seaplane ratings to their licenses.
Warsaw Daily Times Fri. August 29, 1947