Tag Archive: history


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.

 

Tom Berto creates aviation paintings, both beautiful and accurate.

Tom Berto creates aviation paintings, both beautiful and accurate.

There is an added dimension to the history of aviation, a thread that runs throughout stories of aviation pioneering. It is passion.

Colonel C. J. Tippett’s passion was for flight, and for aviation safety. While he admired the planes, he was enraptured by the process of flying. I can’t tell which aircraft as his favorite, although I’d guess it was the Beechcraft C-45.

And that admiration was not left behind as time, and technology, moved forward. Restoration, study, photography, modeling… and artwork, all keep the aircraft flying in our present day imaginations. Often, tangibly.

Tom Berto’s passion is for the aircraft themselves. The individual ships, or the models and types, and he expresses it through his art. His aviation paintings bring the aircraft back to life with exquisitely accurately detail.

Tom writes:

“I started painting in the late 70’s.  It was a natural offshoot of modeling – I already had the paints, thinner, X-acto knives, brushes, airbrush, and compressor.   In addition, I had developed airbrush and masking skills that are fundamental to making paintings.   Paintings are obviously different from plastic models, but they have some technical processes in common.  With “Mustang”, which I finished this year, the subjects matched, too.   Here’s the what, why, and how of “Mustang”.

The performance, looks, and positive historic roles of the Mustang and Spitfire have made them my favorite airplanes for as long as I can remember.   The range and performance of the P-51 gave the pilots of the 8th Air Force the bomber escort they needed to break the back of the Luftwaffe in early 1944.  This hastened the end of the most horrible war in human history.  My painting is based very closely on a WWII USAF black & white photograph of a P-51. The subject is “Tika IV”, flown by Vernon R Richards, an ace pilot of the 374th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group, 8th Air Force.  The photo shows off the wing planform and radiator scoop of the P-51, as well as the elegant drop tanks and four-blade propeller churning out power. The black/white invasion stripes have historic and moral significance as a symbol of the liberation of Europe from Hitler and his Nazis – as well as being a striking graphic element.  The clouds and receding fields of the background help convey the height and space of the scene.  There is also some “abstraction” to the image, in that the canopy is not visible – very unusual for aircraft photos!   It’s a unique, spectacular, and beautiful photo – a great starting point for a painting…… read more about Tom’s process…”

Tom’s articles, on www.modelingmadness.com, step through the process of creating two of his paintings.   They are symphonies of specialized knowledge, vision, historical perspective, and then there’s the paintings themselves: “Hurry Home Honey” and “Mustang”

I was already fascinated by Tom’s landscapes and flowers, and now I am an even bigger fan of his aviation paintings. Visit Tom’s site to see all of his paintings, including the B-17G, “Floogie Boo and Little Friends”.

 

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!

 

Col. C. J. Tippett at his ICAO desk in 1956. His window looks out over Limatambo Airport, in Lima, Peru.

Col. C. J. Tippett at his ICAO desk in 1956. His window looks out over Limatambo Airport, in Lima, Peru.

The International Civil Aviation Organization was formed in 1947 by the United Nations to standardize civil aviation worldwide, primarily for increased safety. In most books about aviation history, or the history of planes, there are few details about how ICAO achieved that mission.

Col. C. J. Tippett was the first Director of the South American Office of ICAO. He had already made great progress standardizing civil aviation in South America, primarily by increasing safety. As he performed his daily work, he knew that he was contributing to the history of aviation, and he kept things. He built an archive.

One of the many fascinating things about Tip’s document archive are the letters, memos, and reports that describe his daily civil aviation work. This letter, written on March 13, 1956, to his air force reserve commander, is one of those details.

(In a previous post, I included the final paragraph, deleted here, which talks about being at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club during an exciting fishing day.)

The letter, along with some background information gleaned from other documents, gives us an inside look at the workings of ICAO in 1956.

“To Col. Samuel Galbreath,
Director, Operations Headquarters
Caribbean Air Command
Albrook AFB, Panama CZ 

Dear Sam,

I had expected to be up to see you before this but we’ve been overwhelmed by work. We’ve just completed drafting plans for the new communications system for Peru as well as a SAR unit (search and rescue) and ATC procedures (air traffic control). Everyone got the fright of their lives here a week or so ago with a couple of near air collisions between jets and the commercial carriers. Anyway, I’ve been working for CairC through the mission whether you were aware of it or not.

I’m wondering if you are planning to attend the Caribbean Regional Air Navigation meeting at Ciudad Trujillo commencing April 3rd and continuing for about three weeks. I plan to attend for only a few days and I thought perhaps you might be able to go along. It’s a real important meeting for CairC. I plan to come to Panama on an official ICAO mission (and some active duty I hope) arriving about the 7th of next month leaving for Ciudad Truijillo via Miami about the 12th. I can make my schedule very fluid so if you can go we could leave anytime. How’s about setting up a T-bird!  

Hoping to see you soon, best wishes,

CJ Tippett
3 13 1956 ”

The near air collisions that Tip refers to were the result of a new military technology, jet aircraft, crossing paths with established commercial traffic. Tip had already successfully standardized a language for international aviation. He was directly involved in getting South American countries to agree to use English in air traffic communications. He was now working on standardized altitudes for routes in and out of airports throughout his region. But military jets were often using the same airports as the commercial air liners, and their altitude needs were very different.

The speeds that jet aircraft could achieve and sustain threw a loop in air traffic patterns. Several commercial pilots had to unexpectedly change course to avoid jets that were flying any way the pilot chose.  To prevent a mid-air collision, Tip had to develop air traffic procedures not only for multiple civil governments and military installations, but now also for aircraft with hugely different capabilities.

ICAO headquarters had mandated that the worldwide offices focus on solving the safety issue posed by jet aircraft immediately. Tip complied by going to Albrook Air Force Base in the Canal Zone, Panama, and becoming certified in the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. It was his is first jet aircraft certification.

More details and stories of his flights in the T-bird are in the book, When No One Else Would Fly. Tip’s first person account, surrounded and supported by history and research will be available very soon. Sign up here to get the book release announcement – we never sell contact information and we don’t hammer our list with spam of our own.

 

Alfred C. Glassell Jr, on Aug 4 1953 in Cabo Blanco, Peru with his world record rod and reel Black Marlin.

Alfred C. Glassell, Jr., on August 4, 1953, in Cabo Blanco, Peru, with his world record rod and reel Black Marlin.

Every big game fishing catch has a big game fishing story, and the biggest are the Black Marlin of Cabo Blanco, Peru.

Col. C. J. Tippett was the Director of the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in 1953, when Alfred C. Glassell, Jr., caught the world-record black marlin on rod and reel on August 4th, 1953. Tip was present at the Club, although not on the boat. He had hooked several black marlin of his own, but none as big as this one.
No one else has hooked one as big as that since then either!  Glassell’s record still stands.

Big fish stories are notorious for their re-telling, and it just gets better when other people’s perspectives of the day can be collected and shared. Tip was on the sidelines for that catch, and he remembered it for the rest of his life. He described it three years later in a letter to his air force reserve commander:

“To Col. Samuel Galbreath,
Director, Operations Headquarters
Caribbean Air Command
Albrook AFB, Panama CZ

Dear Sam,

I had expected to be up to see you before this but we’ve been overwhelmed by work….” (I’ve cut out two paragraphs here of Tip’s letter to feature in an upcoming post about flying and ICAO and CairC…) … “I trust Mary is fine and that you are bearing up under the rigors of the tropics. I spent a couple of days at Cabo Blanco a short time ago and fished for the studio group who were filming “The Old Man And The Sea” and hooked into a new world’s record fish that we estimated at 1800 – 2000 lbs. The Warner Bros boys tell me it looks real pretty in cinemascope. It jumped several times about 40 ft. from the boat.

Hoping to see you soon, best wishes,

CJ Tippett”

The black marlin was actually 1560 lbs, and the “short time ago” was three years previously, but that’s normal for a fish tale.

The rest of the story of Tip’s time in Cabo Blanco, and why the Warner Brothers film crew was at the Club that day, and his work as Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and more, is coming very soon now – as I finish the final edits on Tip’s biography When No One Else Would Fly. To sign up for the book release notification, simply contact us. We never sell our readership lists.

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!

 

 

Cloyce Joseph Tippett and The Westchester Press

What was Cloyce Joseph Tippett doing on January 11th, 1935? And who else was doing something remarkable just ten miles away on the same day? Aviation pioneer enthusiasts want to know!

(I was going to release this post right ON January 11th, but the system missed the post. So instead, let’s pretend today is January 11th.)

On January 11th, 1935, Cloyce Joeseph Tippett was doing something interesting.

Tip was 22 years old, in the Army, stationed at Luke Field, Hawaii, trying to get into the cockpit of just about anything that would fly – and on his way to becoming a legendary aviation pioneer.

As a private at the HQ detachment, 5th composite group, Luke Field TH (Territory of Hawai’i – because Hawai’i was not yet a state in 1935 – and they spell their state name like that, both now, and then… plus that’s how the military spelled it in 1935), Tip was busy doing KP and cigarette-butt detail, and studying hard.

In addition to night courses at the University of Hawai’i, Tip successfully completed a course titled “Military Law – The Law of Military Offenses” as well as “Military Sanitation and First Aid.”

He was making progress.

On the same day, less than ten miles away at Wheeler Field, another legendary aviation pioneer was taking off on a record-setting flight.

Amelia Earhart climbed into her Lockheed Vega and took off to begin the first successful solo trans-Pacific crossing. Not just the first solo crossing by a woman, but the first ever.

It was success all round at Pearl Harbor on January 11th, 1935.

Tip’s memoir is full of soaring stories like these, and more, and is coming soon!  

 

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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