Category: Famous People Who Met My Grandfather


Roscoe Turner was a self-made pilot, race car expert, and commercial airline founder. He met Tip in 1955.

Roscoe Turner was a self-made pilot, race car expert, and commercial airline founder. He met Tip in 1955.

Continuing one of my favorite blog series that support my book “When No One Else Would Fly“, the aviation pioneering biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett… I introduce Roscoe Turner.

Roscoe Turner was a self-taught automobile mechanic who fell in love with flying but was prevented from joining pilots in the sky by his lack of education and connections. He persevered throughout WWI and bought his own barnstormer at the end of the war. Turner made his way up in civil aviation, by flight racing and stunt flying. He built himself a name and place in commercial flight through his own efforts.

His speed racing set flight records and he caught the attention of the Gilmore Oil Company, which would one day be absorbed into the Mobil Oil Company. The Gilmore Oil Company’s logo contained a lion, and so, as a publicity stunt, the company gave Roscoe Turner a lion cub to fly with – and he did. Roscoe and Gilmore, the lion cub, flew all over the United States until the cub grew into a lion and became a flight hazard in the cockpit. Gilmore stayed on the ground, and Roscoe grew in fame and set up training programs during WWII.

Roscoe Turner was 60 years old when he traded letters with Tip in 1955, discussing a commercial aviation opportunity in South American aviation – when Tip was the Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization. They enjoyed a friendship and professional connection, as well as similarities in their aviation backgrounds. Turner expressed admiration, and some envy, over Tip’s transition from conventional to jet aircraft as Tip qualified in the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star.

Read more about Tip’s aviation life in “When No One Else Would Fly” now available on Amazon.com.

Liz Whitney in the 1930s

Liz Altemus Whitney in the 1930s

Colonel C. J. Tippett’s aviation pioneering life is eloquently described, primarily in his own words, in the book “When No One Else Would Fly“, now available on Amazon.com.

The final chapters of the book describe how the Colonel, known as Tip, met Liz, who was not yet a Tippett at that time. She was visiting friends at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, and Tip was in a particularly well placed position to help her with a problem.

Tip’s own manuscript, which forms the heart of the book, ends before he married Liz, so he does not describe how he met her, or how their lives developed after 1960. So I ended Tip’s aviation story there as well. The next part of his life, spanning over thirty years, is a very different kind of rollicking adventure as he left civil aviation leadership and took up with Liz’s high society racetrack lifestyle.

Tip and Liz went on to make as many, if not more, headlines than Tip made in the cockpit. Liz had spent her life before Tip in a high profile series of marriages and adventures, and left her own mark in the margins of our American royalty.

Liz was a remarkable woman who was ahead of her time in independence, and who grew up in a time of American history where some, very few, women were pushing the assumptions regarding a woman’s role in society, politics, and industry. I believe that she did what she wanted, without a lot of deep consideration of the cultural consequences – and she followed her passions. She was strong, fractious, and didn’t follow… anyone. She was fascinating, intimidating, and valued her privacy enormously.

Tip was Liz’s fourth, and last, husband. Liz was Tip’s second wife, and their marriage lasted until Liz died in 1988. Their lives together tell a great story – which is in the works. For information on the progress of the book, sign up for our newsletter!

 

Donald Douglas Sr. met Tip in 1936 as Tip joined the Douglas Aircraft Company workforce. Thank you Boeing.com for the photo.

Donald Douglas Sr. met Tip in 1936 as Tip joined the Douglas Aircraft Company workforce. Thank you Boeing.com for the photo.

In June, 1936, Cloyce Joseph Tippett was 23 years old looking for a job in aviation.

On the one hand, it was the Great Depression and finding any kind of job was a challenge.

On the other hand, he was in California and he had connections through his fiance’s father, Harry Hossack.

Tip wrote about his ambition in a memoir that has now been turned into the book “When No One Else Would Fly,” now available on Amazon.com.

“…Aviation per se was in the doldrums. Pilot jobs were few and far between in the San Francisco area. However, things were picking up in Los Angeles. Douglas Aircraft was building the DC-3 and the airlines were buying them. Once again, Mr. Hossack came to the rescue with his good friend, Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, a potent political lawman who had been sheriff for years. Sheriff Biscailuz was a very good friend of Mr. Donald Douglas, President of Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, and at Mr. Hossack’s suggestion, wrote a letter of recommendation to Mr. Douglas for me. I presented the letter to Mr. Douglas’s secretary early November 1936 and was sent to the office of the Vice President of Engineering. I was told to start work the next day on the three o’clock shift as a junior project engineer…”

This was just the beginning for Tip and it wouldn’t be long before he would go from helping to build the DC-3 to flying it.

For more of this story, check out Amazon.com for the book, or sign up to keep current with this and other book announcements.

 

Colonel C. J. Tippett and Bob Hope in the early 1980s.

Colonel C. J. Tippett and Bob Hope in the early 1980s.

It’s true; Bob Hope met my grandfather, Colonel Cloyce Joseph Tippett.

My grandfather, Tip, was the Civil Aeronautics Authority’s pilot of the only government owned DC-3 in the country and Bob Hope needed a ride. For his whole band.

The story, which took place on May 15th, 1942, is delightfully told in Tip’s memoir, When No One Else Would Fly,  soon to be available on Amazon.com.

Bob Hope was touring to entertain the troops, and the DC-3 was the only available aircraft big enough to take them all to their next stop. Tip and Bob stayed in touch and became good friends. By the 1980s, Tip was hosting aviation related diplomatic functions, and Bob Hope would attend whenever possible.

At the time of their first flight together, each man was actively pursuing the activity that would define their lives.

Bob Hope was famous not only for his performances in movies, radio, television, and on the stage, but also for his dedication to the United Serivce Organizations (USO).

Colonel Tippett was famous for his civil aviation accomplishments and directorship in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Contact us to be notified when the book is made available or check back soon. It is in final draft and the Bob Hope story is one of the best in the entire book… it was a good thing that Bob had a good sense of humor!

 

Flight logs were a critical part of being a pilot and Col. C. J. Tippett was meticulous with his.

Flight logs were a critical part of being a pilot and Col. C. J. Tippett was meticulous with his.

This is one of my favorite blog post series about the life and times of my grandfather, Col. C. J. Tippett – and the memoir he wrote which I turned into a book by wrapping his story in research and background information.

Col. C. J. Tippett pursued his passion for aviation in a time of history that brought him across the paths of many famous people, who were then able to meet him.

Some of them are very famous, like Ernest Hemmingway and General Hap Arnold.
Some of them are less famous, but no less significant, like Ethan S. Kiehm.

Mr Kiehm met Tip in the Territory of Hawaii on October 19th, 1935 when Tip needed a notary public to certify his pledge of 69 hours nad 55 minutes of total solo flying time.

Tip was a private in the US Army and on his way to a flying career. He was already banking flight time on his own, in addition to anything he could do through the army, and getting his flight log officially recognized was an important step.

Ethan S. Kiehm was in Honolulu and ready with his notary stamp that day because he’d been born there, to Korean immigrant parents, and is now considered to be the first American-born Korean in Hawaii.

This was important to both Korea and America because, during his life, Ethan Sungkoo Kiehm went from being a notary public in Honolulu to being the aide to the first president of the Republic of Korea, Syngman Rhee – while Rhee led South Korea through the Korean War.

With a foot in both cultures, Mr. Kiehm provided a unique bridge between Korean and American leadership during a critical time. When he left the service of Syngman Rhee, Kiehm returned to Hawaii and joined the American military. There’s an entire story in that alone; of the Korean diaspora to Hawaii, Rhee’s journey to leadership, Kiehm’s participation and perspective, and Korean history.

Kind cool, huh?  I love this kind of thing.
The book, now maybe titled “When No One Else Would Fly” is almost ready for release. Contact me if you’d like to be added to the announcement list. I don’t ever sell your contact info.

I’m in the final edit stage and have discovered, with thanks to my editor, that I’ve punked all the title capitalization throughout the manuscript and must correct it. NOW I know that President Syngman Rhee of South Korea gets capitalized. But if I’m writing about how Ethan S. Kiehm was aide to the president of South Korea, then I don’t capitalize anything but the country. That doesn’t feel very respectful, but…

It is the duty of the self published writer to make sure the manuscript is as correct as we can get it, and fight the common perception that self published books are not adequately edited. So I must somehow strive to remember that Col. C. J. Tippett, USAF Ret. met Notary Public Ethan S. Kiehm when Tip was a private in the army and Kiehm was a notary public for the First Judicial Circuit, Territory of Hawaii in 1935!

 

 

General Hap Arnold met Col. C. J. Tippett

General Henry H. Arnold was Col. C. J. Tippett’s commanding officer, and pleased with Tip’s work with the CAA in Brazil, as well as his new special pen.

General Hap Arnold was also an aviation pioneer. He was one of America’s first pilots, literally. He learned to fly from the Wright brothers and was one of the first American military pilots. He was Chief of the Air Corps and then Commanding General of the US Army Air Forces – leading aviation before, through, and after World War II.

General Arnold was 58 years old on December 20th, 1944, when he wrote a letter to my grandfather, Mr. C. J. Tippett, of the CAA Mission in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

General Arnold was already one of Tip’s commanding officers, but since Tip was in a civilian post in Brazil at the time, he omitted Tip’s military salutation.

At the State Department’s request, Tip was using civil aviation to improve diplomatic relations between Brazil and America,  and General Arnold was pleased with Tip’s progress, and “… the way the Air Forces and the CAA are working together in Brazil… ”

General Arnold was also pleased with the novelty pen Tip had sent. He wrote: “I still haven’t tried using it under water, as I’m not quite sure of the best method to test this rather “unique” quality.”

How Tip came to be in a position to gift General Hap Arnold with a “Super Stratopen” is deep within the greater story of Col. C. J. Tippett’s aviation life.

Tip moved between his civilian and military roles with a flexibility that was ideally suited to this time in history – a time of political strategy and influence. His skills were useful to both the state department, and to the air force. Tip’s work in Brazil, which came to Hap Arnold’s attention in a series of Army Air Force memos, would lay the foundations for his future work in South America.

Tip would meet General Arnold again, within three years of receiving the letter, when the “The Chief” was facing a South American issue that only Tip could solve….

The book will soon be ready for release. Please contact me to be added to the release list!

 

Alfred C. Glassell and Col. C. J. Tippett

Alfred C. Glassell, Jr and Cloyce Joseph Tippett won this trophy fishing for black marlin at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, but for Glassell, these were not the biggest fish in the sea…

Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. was one of the founding members of The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, along with S. Kip Farrington, Jr.

He was a tall man, and towered above the other people in every photograph he stood for, unless he was standing next to my grandfather, Cloyce Joseph Tippett.

Tip was frequently at the Club, managing operations, and he joined Glassell on the Club boats as they fished for black marlin and giant tuna.

In 1958, Tip joined Glassell and Farrington in a fishing tournament. Together, they won the trophy seen in the photo.

Five years earlier, Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. had won a much bigger trophy. He caught the world record for largest fish caught on rod and reel – and the record still stands today.

On August 4, 1953, Glassell hooked a black marlin using mackerel as bait. He fought the fish for more than an hour, knowing it was big enough to qualify for a record.

Tip was back on shore that day, at the Club, and had suggested that Glassell take along a film crew who were visiting Cabo Blanco, hoping to catch a marlin on film. They were shooting for the film version of Ernest Hemingway’s “Old Man and The Sea” and they were certainly getting good footage.

The black marlin was 1,560 pounds and Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. entered world history. He had the fish transported home whole and had it stuffed. For a long time, it hung in the Smithsonian Institution’s Hall of Sea Life. Now, it hangs in the offices of the National Museum of Natural History.

Tip’s biography includes many stories of The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, and stories of aviation history. The book is coming soon, and you can sign up here for an email announcing the book’s release.

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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