Tag Archive: Col. C. J. Tippett


Col. C. J. Tippett Rio Party 1943Tip’s story, “When No One Else Would Fly” describes a complicatedly fascinating time in history, when great change provoked extraordinary action by both people and governments. A time when technology and politics deeply affected the personal lives of people in every class and economic level.

The writing of this story has taken place across a twenty- year span of time that has seen an astonishingly similar combination of technological, economic, and political change that has likewise affected the process of researching and producing it.

Colonel C. J.Tippett finished his manuscript in 1990 and I immediately began researching. While I used as much of the Internet as I could, my main resources were libraries, archives, and other books. As the years passed, my web searches yielded more and more valuable and accurate information until, in 2012, I was able to actually sit – by YouTube – in the cockpits of the planes my grandfather flew. I was able to find out things about the people he flew with, and fill in the details surrounding his achievements in ways were impossible even ten years earlier.

I participated in a stunning change in information access and publishing technology that significantly improved the way I could present Tip’s life story. And I’ve been living through an economic and political upheaval that bears some responsibilty for the fact that it took twenty years to produce a readable version.

Tip’s museum-quality archive formed the factual basis for this book and I thank him for both protecting it over the course of his travels and for making it available to me. I am also grateful to all of the people who researched, investigated, archived, organized, collated, posted, scanned, saved, studied, transcribed, listed, wrote, re-wrote, queried, answered posted, chatted, blogged, logged, snipped, photographed, conversed, read, re-read, memorialized, and preserved their knowledge and photographs.

“When No One Else Would Fly” is now available on Amazon.com.

Cloyce J. Tippett in Rio in 1943

Cloyce and Louise Tippett in Rio de Janeiro… partying like it’s 1943!

In the summer of 1929, at age 16, Tip saw his first barnstormer land in a field in Ohio. He was captured, enraptured, with flight from that day on. Like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, Tip learned to fly in the plane that landed in his hometown. Unlike them, he lived his life of record-setting aviation accomplishment away from public attention. He pursued his American dream in classic American fashion, with hard work and by being willing when opportunities arrived.

Tip grew up in a working class family during the Great Depression. He became an instructor within the civil aviation movement, was involved in the early days of the Flying Tigers, and taught the Tuskegee Airmen what they needed to pass their pilot certification tests. He was accused of spying on South American governments during WWII while working to establish civil aviation standards, but didn’t let it interfere with his reports back to his Embassy contacts. Tip flew the first helicopters in commercial applications and in doing so, established many of the first helicopter records.

He collected celebrities of the era as easily as he logged flight hours. His friendships with leading actors, military representatives, and South American elite brought glamour to his already high-flying lifestyle. Traveling from Washington DC to South America for the United Nations, the Civil Aviation Administration, and the US Air Force (Army Air Corp), Tip made extraordinary record-setting flights over the Amazon Jungle in conditions and aircraft that would make headlines even today.

For a non-famous person, Colonel Cloyce Joseph Tippett touched so many famous people and events that reading his story is like taking a walk through history from the point of view of a single man with a single purpose: to fly – as far and as long as he possibly could.

The book also describes the people he worked with, or crossed paths with. People like Ernest Hemingway, Bob Hope, General Hap Arnold, Alfred C. Glassell Jr., Dr. George Washington Carver, Anne Sothern, Amelia Earhart, Ethan S. Kiehm, Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, and Mr. Donald Douglas. There are even more people described in Tip’s book that I haven’t yet blogged about. Tip was flying through a time in history where aviation tied the world together in ways we are still discovering, more than 75 years later. The paths he crossed are fascinating, with threads to everything else.

The book is now available on Amazon.com, and getting great reviews!

 

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!

 

What The Book Is AboutColonel C. J. Tippett’s biography, When No One Else Would Fly tells a story that will appeal to fans of:

Aviation History – for an example, check out this post about how Tip taught pilots to Fly The Hump.

Big Game Fishing – like this story of how Tip cheered on the (still standing) world record black marlin catch.

WWII History – from the perspective of a man who knew General Hap Arnold.

Celebrity History – ie: stories from Tip’s long standing friendship with Bob Hope.

and finally,

Civil Aviation History – for instance, Tip’s participation in the pilot certification of the students at Tuskegee University and his personal meeting with George Washington Carver.

When a book has this much appeal to this many different interest levels, it’s a great deal. Thank goodness it’s available on Amazon.com!

The bait of choice at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was Bonito, Mackerel, and Squid.

The bait of choice at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was Bonito, Mackerel, and Squid.

There’s a tantalizingly tasty new book trailing through the oceans of big game fishing stories.

It is When No One Else Would Fly, the aviation pioneering biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett, who did amazing things not only in aviation, but also with black marlin fishing at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in the 1950s.

The details, both researched and in his own words, are a must-read for anyone interested in the history of big game sport fishing.

Cabo Blanco, Peru was a small fishing village named for the white cliffs above blonde beaches. It was a long car ride from Lima, the capital of Peru, and an even longer flight from the USA.

But that didn’t deter the richest and most famous big game fisherman of the time from coming to Cabo Blanco to fish for black marlin and bluefin tuna.

The way these men fished was strictly regulated, because they were fishing for more than just the catch; they were fishing for world records, overseen and awarded by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).

Lines, hooks, rods, and reels were all critically important to hooking the fish and setting the record.

And the bait… the bait was the thing.

Well, actually, it wasn’t always that important. There are some accounts that I found in my research on the fishing details of Marlin Boulevard that describe how marlin, warming at the surface after hunting in the deeps, would strike at the bait thrown in front of them with no hesitation. Other stories describe hours of trolling with a live fish threaded on the lure with no results at all.

Bonito was a favorite bait, as was Mackerel.
Squid were very effective, and the Humboldt Squid hunts at The Club filled were widely enjoyed and anticipated.

Tip didn’t always fish for his own bait as he prepared to fish for black marlin, but others at the Club often did. Tip’s daughter, Sue, remembers fishing for bait that, to her, were as big as the granders her father was hooking.

The book is available on Amazon.com. It’s as close as you can get to being there nowdays.. plus, it’s really good.

 

 

Colonel C. J. Tippett’s record breaking flight is described vividly in his biography When No One Else Would Fly, and the level of detail is amazing. He not only kept a meticulous flight log during the flight, but he also preserved it throughout his life and travels. It is one of many gems in his archive.

Tip described the flight in his own words, including his first approach to the Amazon River:

“… on Saturday, February 20, I started the leg of the trip that held the most apprehension for me… “

My previous post offers more tantalizing previews. But what is even more interesting is that Tip turned around and made the flight again, in a Cessna T-50, and then AGAIN… !

For the full story, check out When No One Else Would Fly, now available on Amazon.com!
PT19A_When_No_One_Else_Would_Fly

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.

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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