Richard H. Depew, Jr.

     So frequently we are asked: who attended the first EB meeting, where was it held, and when? You also might like to have this information, so we are listing below the time, place, attendance, and officers on that first occasion.
     The meeting was held in Chicago on that famous date in history --- December 17, 1928 --- the 25th anniversary of the first Wright flight at Kittyhawk.
On hand and elected to membership were;
  *Ernie Jones
*Capt. Horace Wild
L. A. Vilas
*Richard H. Depew, Jr.
Ivan J. Gates
*Col. Chas. de F. Chandler
*P. G. B. Morris
Capt. J. F. deVillard
*Anthony H. B. Fokker
Dr. H. W. Walden
Chas. Dickerson
Marjorie Stinson

Members elected to office were as follows:
*P. G. Morris, President
Gen. B. Foulois, Vice President
*A. H. G. Fokker, Vice President
J. F. deVillard, Vice President
Lt. Col. H. C. Richardson, Treasurer
*E. L. Jones, Secretary
*R. H. Depew, Jr.
Raffe Emerson
*Earle Ovington
Dr. H. W. Walden
*Walter Brookins
     The asterisks indicate those who have passed away --- a vivid example of how the ranks are thinning.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP
July, 1956, Number 54


Richard Henry "Dick" Depew

     Still with us in our minds and memories is Richard Depew who succumbed to cerebral hemorrhage at his home on January 28, 1948, aged but 60
     But two nights before, Captain Barnaby writes, Dick was in full health and vigor at the IAeSc banquet. The spring of 1947, however, he had had a previous heart attack and had quit his work with Ludington-Griswold to rest. Currently he was director of domestic sales for the Frank Ambrose Corporation.
     He was born in Plainfield, N.J., May 20, 1892. Educated at Taft School and Sibley College of Engineering, Cornel, he was a charter member of the Cornell Aero Club (1909) and built and flew gliders 1910-1911.
     For further study he went to Europe where he took a course on the Maurice Farman and was awarded French FAI brevet 641 of Oct. 6, 1911, after soloing on August 13. Later he is on the Expert aviator list of the Aero Club of America, 1918; and an RMA in World War I.
     After a period (1911-1916) as a student of aeronautics while engaged in other occupations he entered the engineering department of the Curtiss organization, January, 1917. In 1918 he was flying instructor at Plattsburg, test pilot for Curtiss and then, as Captain, Air Ssrvice, test pilot at McCook Field. Here in 1918 he tested one of the six air mail planes of the Washington-New York route.
     He was in charge of the Curtiss flying school, Mineola, 1919-1922, and Argentine manager of the export company 1922-1923. In the latter year he became head of the flying division of Fairchild and from 1924-1932 he served in various capacities with the Fairchild companies.
     He demonstrated the Pitcairn autogiro in 1932 and became manager of the Aviation Country Club at Hicksville. In 1934 he was co-distributor of Fairchild airplanes at Roosevelt Field. From 1938-1943 he was vice president of Taylorcraft, and, 1943-1945, manager of special projects for Fairchild at Hagerstown.
     Next he was in charge of aircraft disposal section of the War Assets Administration, after a trip to Germany on a technical intelligence mission for the Government. After a period with the Ludington-Griswold Company he entered upon a short vacation before taking up his last work.
     In the course of the years he had flown 141 types of models of American and foreign airplanes, land and water, autogiros, with 60 kinds of engines. He held transport pilot license No. 188 of 1929. He was a founder member of the Early Birds, the Institute of Aeronautical Science, the QBs, Caterpillar Club, S.A.E., American Legion, Radio Relay League and other organizations.
     Surviving are his widow, a son, John H., a stepson, Mazel Merrill, and a brother, John D.
     A host of friends paid the respects at his funeral on January 31, among them; Rohlfs, Havens, Pickerell, Myers and members of the QBs, Catepillar Club and the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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