Biographies of Aeromarine personalities

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Harry Bruno
Edwin C. Musick
Charles F. Redden
Bernard L. Smith
Inglis M. Uppercu
Cyrus J. Zimmermann
Paul G. Zimmermann

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Inglis M. Uppercu

To larger image of an Uppercu Cadillac Corporation advertisement

Inglis Moore Uppercu was born in North Evanston, IL, on September 17, 1877. He moved with his family to New York City in 1888, where he was educated at the Polytechnic School of Brooklyn and the Law School of Columbia University. He started working in the automobile industry before graduation. Around the turn of the century, he did experimental work with cars for the Duryea Automobile Co. and the Neostyle Co. In 1902, he founded the Motor Car Co. of New Jersey, selling Autocar, Packard and Cadillac cars and trucks. He took over the Cadillac agency in New York City in 1908, and at the same time founded the Detroit Cadillac Motor Car Co., also acting as president, which in 1925 changed its name to Uppercu Cadillac Corporation. The company also assembled Cadillac cars in its own factory and expanded over the next few decades to become very successful, enabling Uppercu to finance the Aeromarine venture. In 1931, he finally sold his automobile business, together with the assets of his company, to the Cadillac Motor Car Division of the General Motors Corporation.

To larger photo of Inglis M. Uppercu on top of the 'Ponce de Léon'

Uppercu took an early interest in aviation, himself an airplane pilot. He invested in the Boland Aeroplane and Motor Co., founded in 1908, and assumed control of the company after the death of Frank Boland, renaming it Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co. in 1914, and assuming presidency and chairmanship. During WW1, Aeromarine, based at Keyport, NJ, produced several hundred aircraft for the Army and the Navy. An Aeromarine flying boat pioneered air mail delivery, when on August 14, 1919, it dropped a bag of mail on the deck of the Adriatic of the White Star Line, one and a half hours after the liner's departure from New York. After the war, the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co. established the subsidiary Aeromarine West Indies Airways (later Aeromarine Airways) to develop commercial passenger and mail routes. Uppercu became Chairman of the Board. After the demise of the Aeromarine companies in 1924, Uppercu started yet another company within the aeronautical field, the Uppercu-Burnelli Airplane Co., experimenting with all-wing fuselage planes at its Keyport plant. He finally left the aviation business in 1936.

Other business interests of Uppercu's included the exploitation of gold, silver and manganese mining finds in Mexico, Montana and North Dakota. He retired from all business activities in 1938.

On his leisure time, motoring, flying and yachting were Uppercu's main interests. When young he participated in automobile races, and later owned his own yacht, the full-rigged clipper Seven Seas. He was married to Ella Krueger and had five daughters. Inglis M. Uppercu died in New York City on April 7, 1944.

Main source: "The National Cyclopedia of American Biography", 1950.

Photos of Inglis M. Uppercu on the following pages:
Photos of Aeromarine personalities
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 2 (photo of the Mendoza)
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 2 (photo of the Gov. Cordeaux)

Charles F. Redden

To larger photo of Charles F. Redden in Havana

Charles Fraser Redden was born in Buchanan, MI, on July 24, 1871. Between 1898 and 1905 he was the general sales manager of the Chasmar-Winchell Press. He then entered the automobile business, acting as the general eastern manager of the Automobile Division of Studebaker Co. of South Bend, IN, until 1912. He founded the Redden Motor Truck Co. in 1914. Through his automobile interests, Redden became acquainted with Inglis M. Uppercu, and was appointed President of Aeromarine Engineering and Sales Co. (the marketing arm of Aeromarine) in 1920 and of Aeromarine Airways in May 1921. He was also General Manager of the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co. After the Aeromarine period he was an executive with the Fairchild Aviation Corporation.

In his later years, Redden helped developing the resort community of Highlands, in the high mountains of North Carolina. Charles F. Redden passed away in Atlanta, GA, in early March 1942.

Sources: "Who's Who in American Aeronautics", 1925.
Robert Fraser Farnsworth

Photos of Charles F. Redden on the following pages:
Photos of Aeromarine personalities
Photos of Aeromarine passengers and passenger accomodations
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 1 (photo of the Miami)
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 2 (photo of the Santa Maria - photo 3)
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 2 (photo of the Gov. Cordeaux)

Paul G. Zimmermann

To larger photo of Paul G. Zimmermann on the 'Ponce de Léon'

Paul Gerhard Zimmermann was born in Iroquois, SD, on May 12, 1890. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he finished his education in 1913. He worked for Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co., Hammondsport and Buffalo, NY, 1914 to 1917 (where he co-designed the JN-4D - "Flying Jenny" - used in WW1) and then for a year for Engel Aircraft Co., Niles, OH. In 1918, he joined the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co. as Chief Engineer. He was responsible for designing several aircraft for Aeromarine, including the first metal hull flying boat and the first metal fuselage mail plane, the latter purchased by the U.S. Air Mail Service. From 1925, until joining Douglas Aircraft Co., Santa Monica, CA, in 1939, he worked in executive positions with several aeronautical companies, including Sea Sled Corporation, Mystic, CT, American Aero Corporation, Port Washington, NY, Aeromarine-Klemm Corporation, Keyport, NJ, Central Aircraft Manufacturing Co, Hankow, China and Zimair Corporation, Los Angeles. After leaving Douglas in 1943 he settled down in Fort Worth, Texas, to became head of the quality control department of Convair Division of General Dynamics Corporation. From 1945 he ran his own welded wire products company.

Paul G. Zimmermann died in Forth Worth on March 28, 1962.

Main sources: "Who's Who in American Aeronautics", 1925.
"Who's Who in Aviation", 1942.
Obituary, "New York Times", March 30, 1962.

Photos of Paul G. Zimmermann on the following page:
Photos of Aeromarine personalities

Cyrus J. Zimmermann

 To larger photo of Cyrus J. Zimmermann on the 'Miami'

Cyrus Johnston Zimmermann, the younger brother of Paul Gerhard Zimmermann, was born in Iroquois, SD, on August 16, 1892. Like his later colleagues at Aeromarine, he started his working life in the automobile business. He became involved in aviation during WW1 and learned to fly. In 1917, he worked for Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co., Buffalo, NY, where his brother was already employed. After a year as a flight instructor, he joined, again like his brother, the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co. in 1918, becoming the company's Chief Test Pilot.

Cyrus J. Zimmermann retired from aviation after the demise of Aeromarine and getting married. He then returned to Puerto Rico where he was raised and ran a pineapple plantation.

Sources: "Who's Who in American Aeronautics", 1925.
Carolyn Zimmermann Speight

Photos of Cyrus J. Zimmermann on the following pages:
Photos of Aeromarine personalities
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 1 (photo of the Miami)
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 2 (photo of an unidentified Model 75 at anchor w/group of people)
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 2 (photo of the Mendoza)
Aeromarine baggage labels

Harry Bruno

To larger photo of Harry Bruno (left) and Ed Musick on the 'Vanderbilt'

Henry Augustine "Harry" Bruno was born in London, England, on February 7, 1893. He moved to the U.S.A. at an early age, learning to fly already 1910-11 and began designing and building gliders and motordriven monoplanes. He organized the New Jersey Division of the British-American Brigade and became a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) of Britain. After the war, he served in publicity functions for the New York Aeronautical Show and the Pulitzer Air Race, before becoming the Sales and Publicity Director of Aeromarine Airways in 1921. Bruno designed a baggage label for Aeromarine, one of the first in the world. After the Aeromarine years, he continued in the publicity field, working for several well-known aviators, among them Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Charles A. Lindbergh, Wiley Post, Harold Gatty, Dr. Hugo Eckener and Jacqueline Cochran. He founded his own Public Relations company, H.A. Bruno and Associates, in New York City.

Author of several books, including "The Flying Yankee", 1918 and "Wings Over America", 1942, Harry Bruno died in 1978.

Main source: "Who's Who in Aviation", 1942.

More information on Harry Bruno at Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. website

Photos of Harry Bruno on the following pages:
Aeromarine ticket office
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 1 (photo of the Vanderbilt)
Aeromarine baggage labels

Edwin C. Musick

To larger photo of Ed Musick on top of the 'Santa Maria'

Edwin Charles "Ed" Musick was born in St. Louis, MO, on August 13, 1894. He moved with his family to California where he learned to fly at the Schiller Flying School at Venice, near Los Angeles, in 1913 and earned his living as an exhibition and commercial flyer until 1917. He then joined the Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps at San Diego, CA, where he, as a civilian instructor, trained pilots for war duties overseas. In 1918, Musick enrolled as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Marine Flying Corps in Miami and continued as an instructor until he left in 1919 for a job as a pilot with the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co., where he started in 1920. He was transferred to Aeromarine Airways, then back to the factory, before leaving in early 1924. During the next few years, he worked for several other commercial aviation ventures, including his own service in Miami and New York. During 1926, Musick flew as Chief Pilot with Philadelphia Rapid Transit (PRT Air Service), working closely with the Dutchmen Anthony Fokker (the aircraft designer and builder) and André Priester (later Pan American's Chief Engineer).

The newly-formed Pan American Airways employed Ed Musick as a pilot in October 1927. On the 28th of that month he was the navigator on the first true Pan American flight, using a Fokker tri-motor, between Key West and Havana, and piloted the return leg later that day. Having become the Chief Pilot of the airline's Caribbean Division in 1930, he pioneered over-water flying in the Caribbean and in the Pacific. He set ten world records on trial flights with the Sikorsky S-42 flying boat. His most legendary achievement was the air mail flight of the Martin M-130 China Clipper starting on November 22, 1935, from San Francisco, stopping at Honululu, Midway, Wake and Guam, and ending 7 days later in Manila, Philippines. He also pioneered the route to the South Pacific, with the terminus in Auckland, New Zealand, during 1937. It was during the second scheduled flight bound for New Zealand that the Sikorsky S-42 Samoan Clipper exploded shortly after take-off from Pago Pago, American Samoa, on January 11, 1938, tragically ending the career of one of the foremost pioneers of the early days' of aviation, together with the rest of the crew. The plane was never found, only some debris.

Ed Musick was one of the first pilots to log 10,000 hours of flying, and, during a career extending over a quarter of a century, he piloted aircraft over 1,000,000 miles. He was awarded the Harmon Trophy for 1935 (presented in 1936) for his pioneering work in aviation. The trophy had been established by Clifford B. Harmon, sportsman and aviator, in 1926, to be awarded annually to the world's outstanding aviator. Other early recipients were Charles A. Lindbergh, Air Marshall Italo Balbo, Wiley Post and Howard Hughes. Ed Musick was jokingly called "Cautious Ed" by his co-workers at Aeromarine, because of his single-minded devotion to air safety. As Harry Bruno says in his "Wings Over America", Musick sadly became a martyr to air safety. In recognition of his work, the City of Auckland has been awarding the "Edwin C. Musick Trophy" to honour pioneers in advancing safety in aviation.

Main source: "Contact!: Careers of U.S. Naval Aviators Assigned Numbers 1 to 2000", 1967.
Other sources: "From Crate to Clipper with Captain Musick, Pioneer Pilot", by William Stephen Grooch, 1939.
"Pan Am - An Airline and Its Aircraft" by R.E.G. Davies, 1987.
Smithsonian Institution: National Air and Space Museum (website on the Harmon Trophy).

Another biography of Ed Musick at Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. website

Photos of Edwin Musick on the following pages:
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 1 (photo of the Vanderbilt)
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 2 (photo of an unidentified Model 75 at anchor w/group of people)
Photos of Aeromarine aircraft - page 2 (photo of the Santa Maria - photo 3)
Aeromarine baggage labels

Bernard L. Smith

To larger photo of 'Barney' Smith

Bernard Lewis "Barney" Smith was born in Richmond, VA, on June 19, 1886. He was educated in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg. He was enrolled as 2nd Lieutenant with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in 1909. After having attended the Marine Officer School at Port Royal, SC, he was stationed at the USS Louisiana until 1911. On September 18, 1912, he reported to Naval Aviation Camp at Annapolis, MD, for aviation instruction. This date determined his precedence as Naval Aviator #6, besides being USMC Aviator #2. He received his Seaplane Certificate in 1913 and Pilot Certificate in 1914. After service as a test pilot among other duties, he was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Paris in 1914, visiting French aerial units with flights over German lines during WW1. After a variety of assignments for the Navy both in the U.S.A. and Europe (including the delivery flight of Navy dirigible C-1 from Akron, OH, to Rockaway, NY, in October 1918), he resigned as Captain USMC in January 1920.

"Barney" Smith became Superintendent and Chief Engineer of Aeromarine Airways at Key West, in 1921. Later, he took up work with the USMC again and was appointed Major USMC Reserve in 1937. He was advisor to the Major General Commandant in setting up the Marine Corps barrage balloon program for WW2 and responsible for the training of the barrage balloon personnel. From 1943 to 1945, he was Naval Attache for Air at the American legations of several Central American nations. Further duties included Air Base Commander at Yokosuka, Japan, until April 1946. He retired as Colonel USMC Reserve in December of that year.

"Barney" Smith was killed when his car collided with a train in Coral Gables, FL, on February 2, 1947.

Source: "Contact!: Careers of U.S. Naval Aviators Assigned Numbers 1 to 2000", 1967.

More information on B.L. Smith at Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. website

(Biographies compiled/written by Björn, March 2004, based on material provided by Daniel)

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See also the following pages:
Photos of Aeromarine personalities
Uppercu Cadillac Corporation
Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company - Organization chart
Aeromarine management and operational personnel (includes - or links to - a few more biographies).

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This page last updated February 12, 2012.