They Came From Pennsylvania
Born in Williamsburg, PA on April 11, 1900, Wilmer Stultz joined the US Army Air Force in August 1917, assigned to the 634th Aero Supply Squadron reaching the rank of sergeant. He was discharged on March 31, 1919. He, then joined the US Naval Air Service in December of that year, trining at Pensacola, FL.
He, personally, conducted the tests made on the "Josephine Ford" plane in which Commander Richard Boyd made his famous journey to the North Pole.
Following his discharge from the Navy Air Service, in 1923, he assembled and reconditioned a shipment of planes, which were purchased from The Curtiss Company by the Brazilian Navy Air Service. During his stay in Brazil, he was honored by being elected to the membership in The Aero Club of Brazil.
His reputation as a flier first assumed national importance during the fall of 1927 when Commander Byrd approached him, requesting him to serve as assistant pilot on Byrd's proposed South Pole flight.
On March 5, 1928, Stultz, Oliver Colin LeBoutillier and Mabel Boll made the first non-stop flight between New York City and Havana, Cuba. Then, he was the pilot of the Fokker Trimotor "Friendship" on June 18, 1928 when Amelia Earhart became the first woman passenger to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane. Earhart became the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air when she accompanied Stultz and mechanic Louis Edward Gordon as a passenger aboard "Friendship". The three engine monoplane had departed fromTrepassey Harbor, New Foundland and arrived at Burry Point on the southwest coast of Wales, 20 hours and 40 minutes later.
**To read the complete article, please check out our upcoming book release They Came From Blair County due out by the end of the year.
**Material for this article was obtained from the following sources
1. Souvenir Booklet from The homecoming Celebration for Wilmer Stultz from his Trans-Atlantic Flight- July 18, 1928
2. Wikipedia Article for Wilmer Stultz
3. This day in Aviation Archives article on Wilmer Lower Stultz
4. Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register article on Wilbur Lower Stultz