This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
ORGANIZING THE JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
H. R. 4336
JANUARY 23, 1936
GOVERNMENT PAINTING OFFICE
TO PROMOTE NATIONAL DEFENSE BY ORGANIZING THE
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 23, 1936
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS,
Washington, D. C.
The committee was called to order by the Hion. John J. McSwain,
chairman (presiding), at 10:30 a. m.
The CHAIRMAN. Let us come to order, please, gentlemen. This
is a joint meeting or conference called for consideration of a bill that
I have described as one to set up what is called a junior air reserve.
The bill itself is H1. R. 4336 as follows:
(f. R. 4336, 74th Cong., Ist seSS]
A BILL To promote national defense by organizing the Junior Air Reserve
Be it erected by the Senate and House of Represenlatire of the United Stoles of
America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby,
authorized and directed to organize a civilian component of the United States
Army, to be known and designated as the "Junior Air Reserve", and to establish
such rules and regulations as he shall deem fit and proper for carrying out the
purposes and objects of this Act.
SEC. 2. That all persons between the ages of eighteen years and twenty-one
years, of sound physical condition, and with a minimum education equivalent
to at least a full high-school course, shall be eligible to be listed as cadets of the
Junior Air Reserve and shall be entitled to receive such emblem or designation
to wear upon the clothing as the Secretary of War may prescribe while receiving
such course of instruction and training in aerodynamics and in the art of flying
as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War.
Stc. 3. That the Secretary of War is authorized to use all proper means and
agencies for the encouragement of said Junior Air Reserve, by detailing either
Regular flying officers or Reserve flying officers, called to active duty, to engage
in the instruction and training of cadets of the Junior Air Reserve in such private
flying schools and centers of air training as may be selected by the Secretary
of War for that purpose, where the number of cadets shall not be less than twenty
and where the standards of instruction and training shall have been approved
by the Secretary of War.
SEc. 4. That the Secretary of War is further authorized to encourage the devel-
opment of said Junior Air Reserve by permitting the use of such Army air fields
from time to time as may not conflict with the work of the Air Corps of the Army
and further by permitting the use of airplanes, aircraft generally, and equipment
belonging to the Air Corps of the Army, if and when, In the judgment of the Sec-
retary of War, such use is wise and proper in promoting the art of flying and in the
training of said Junior Air Reserve.
Sxc. 5. That upon the completion of suoh c urse of training as shall have been
prescribed by the Secretary qf War arfd upon the satisfactory passage of final
examination and te*ts by u.rcte . -id Junior Air Reserve, the Secretary of War
shall issue certificates of graduation that shill evidence full membership by all
such graduates in the Junior Air Reserve, and said graduates shall then be en-
titled to wear, et pleasure, such uniform as shall be prescribed h-" the Secretary
of War, and such insignia and other designations an deco, ationo upon said uni-
form or civilian clothing as the Secretary of War shall prescribe. A% such grad.
2 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
uates of the training prescribed for cadets of the Junior Air Reserve shall be kept
listed as to their addresses, business occupations, and other pertinent facts so
that the same may be available on shortest notice for service in the national
defense in the event of a national emergency.
Stc. 6. That the Secretary of War is authorized to select each year three hun-
dred of the most promising and efficient graduates of the primary instruction
hereby authorized and to give said three hundred graduates instruction at any
school or flying field of the United States Army for a period not exceeding six
months and then to offer at least one hundred each year of said graduates in the
primary instruction, Reserve commissions as second lieutenants in the Air Corps
eserve and to call said second lieutenants to active duty as Reserve officers in
the United States Army Air Corps, for such time as the Secretary of War may
from time to time prescribe.
I want to welcome you gentlemen who have come here and others
who may come hereafter in connection with this bill and the idea
that it represents. Now, let me say to all who are present that I
am not wedded to any particular feature of this bill, and we are not
inviting a critical and legalistic discussion of any particular features
of it. We are, however, inviting a sympathetic consideration of the
idea, and the fundamental idea is to enlist, organize, and utilize the
enthusiasm of the young manhood of the day for aviation, in order
that it may be more available for defense in the event of a national
I want to recognize the presence of Maj. Gen. Oscar Westover, Chief
of the Air Corps of the Army; Brig. Gen. Harry E. Knight, G-1 of
the General Staff; the Honorable Eugene Vidal, of the Department
of Commerce, and of Col. J. Carroll Cone, of the Department of
Commerce, both of them being from the Bureau of Air Commerce,
Mr. Vidal being Director of the Bureau of Air Commerce and Colonel
Cone being his assistant; Lt. Col. 11. S. Burwell, liaison officer in the
G. H. Q. Air Force, representing that office, and particularly General
Andrews and other gentlemen whose names will appear in the record
at this point as follows:
Mr. E. W. Wiggins, Providence, R.I., commercial aviation operator;
Mr. Harry H1. Blee, representing National Aeronautic Association,
Air Reserves, Washington, D. C.; Mr. Henry E. Moore Marianna
Fla., attorney at law; Mr. C. Wylie Alien, 6750 North Campbell
Avenue, Chicago Ill.; Mr. 0. P. Herbert, 83 Suffolk Lake, Garden
City, N. Y.; Mr. Louis R. Inwood, 832 Shoreham Building, Wash-
ington, D. C.; Mr. B. Ii. Merchant, Washington, D. C., Air Reserve
Association; Mr. George U. Hardin, Greenville, Pa.; Lt. Col. Fred B.
Rvons, chairman, national legion committee, Military Order of the
World War; Mr. Earl N. Findley, United States Air'Service Maga-
zine; Mr. R. S. Bautelle, Bureau of Air Commerce, Washington, 1). C.;
Mr. W. D. Strohmeier, Amherst College; Mr. J. B. Hartrajant, Jr.,
University Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.; Mr. J. M. Workman,
Winnsboro, S. C.; Mr. R. V. Waters, Miami, Fla.; Mr. W. D. Taylor,
Baltimore, Md.; Mr. Fred Vilsmeier, Washington, D. C., Philadelphia
Rising Sun Aviation School; Mr. Floyd E. Evans, director of aviation,
Lansing, Mich.; Mr. Sumnter Smith, Birmingham, Ala.; Mr. Tex
Rankin, Portland, Oreg.; Mr. Dudley M. Steele, chairman, National
Aeronautics Commission, American'Legion; Mr. W. N. Raymond,
Macon Ga .Elmer G. Myers, Raleigh, N. C.; Mr. Dexter G. Martin,
Columia, A. C., Director of Aeronautics; Mr. Cyril Thompson,
Chicago, Ill., United Air Lines; and Mr. Robert Wilson, Trenton,
N. J., State director of aviation.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 6
They have been invited to register on the book on the outside to
save the time of this meeting at this time from having to give their
Now, gentlemen, I want this meeting to be as informal as possible,
and I want everybody to be perfectly free to give his full views upon
the general proposition of the best way of taking advantage of the
splendid enthusiasm that the young manhood of America have for
this art and science of aviation.
I want to say that, I have gotten, since sending out this letter about
2 weeks ago, over 100 responses from those whose nenes were given
to me as gentlemen having knowledge of the situation mrk this country
with reference to aviation, both military as affects the Regular Estab-
lishimiit and the Reserves in aviation, as well as the commercial in-
terests in aviation. By that I mean private and private-flying schools.
I have not made any effort to contact the industry, and as far as I
know the industry is not here. Of course, if there is any one here
representing the industry they are perfectly welcome, as this is a wide-
open meeting, but I have not contacted any one from the industry.
However, I think I can see how, if this idea goes through, it will be
indirectly a great help to the industry of making aircraft, it will in-
crease thie demand, in my judgment, for private craft. I have not
counted the letters, but manifestly there are over 100 letters and some
telegrams in this envelope, and all of these approve the general idea,
some of them in most enthusiastic terms, all except one.
There is one letter that does not approve the idea, the writer of
this letter says not on the ground that it is not good and desirable,
but he says that he thinks that other things are now more desirable,
and that the more desirable should cofl first. Well, I am for all of
these more desirable things, and we gentlemen of the committee
have done all we can to get more money for the Air Corps and more
money to help encourage private flying and commercia flying, and
we, of this committee, are unanimous for promoting aviation in every
respect, because we believe that the air is the first line of defense,
whether the air force be based upon the ground or be based upon some
floating base like an airplane carrier. It is the air force that will
meet the first impact in the event of hostilities and will continue to
meet that impact, and may ultimately be the deciding factor. If that
be so, then, undoubtedly, we will need in the event of anything like
a major mobilization, a very large number of military pilots. The
small number that we have now, as we recognize, will hardly be a
drop in the bucket. There will have to be thousands more in order
to meet the washing out due to conflict, and, of course, the younger
men are prepared for this better. It is not only a young man s game
but we recognize the fact that all of us are daily becoming older, and
the youngsters now in their teens will, probably, by the time we may
have to meet any emergency situation, be just in that maturity when
they will be best available for military flying and for combat fighting.
I want to also note the presence of two gentlemen representing the
Association of College Flyers. I do not have the exact name of the
Mr. STROHMEIER. The National Intercollegiate Flying Club.
The CHAIRMAN. The National Intercollegiate Flying Club?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir.
JUNIOR AIR RE-SERVE
The CHAIRMAN. You are from Amherst College?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is your friend's name who ii with you?
Mr. STROHMEiER. He is Mr. Hartrajant.
The CHAIRMAN. He is from where?
Mr. STROmEIER. From Pennsylvania.
The CHAIRMAN. From the University of Pennsylvania.
MR. STROHMEIER. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any one else here representing this asso-
ciation of intercollegiate flyers?
MR. STROIIMEIER. No, we are the only ones representing the
The CHAIRMAN. You are the only ones here?
MR. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is an organization that ought to be
encouraged, and when I say encouraged I do not mean financially
encouraged, but I mean it ought to receive the commendation of all
of us who are interested in this proposition so deeply. One idea that
I have back of this is that young men of college age, from along 16 to
21, could very well spend two or three of their summer vacations in
one of these private flying schools in ground work, in studying the
fundamental principles of aeronautics, certainly, some elementary
actual flying work, though not military formation work, it is true.
They could not spend their vacations better than in that way, and
it is my belief that the program contemplated here will encourage
thousands of them to do it. How much better would it be for them
to be doing this during their vacation than lying around some sea-
shore or some mountain resort or hanging around a drug store in
their home town. How much better it would be for the boy himself
and how much his life would be wounded out by thus improving it.
Now, if you will pardon me for having one other word to say, it is
this: I visualize this proposal as having the same relation to the air
force as the R. 0. T. C. now has to the ground force, and a very good
suggestion was made to me, that I have the wrong name for this
proposition. I am perfectly indifferent to the name. It is suggested
that instead of calling it the "Junior Air Reserve", that it might be
more properly called the Air Training Corps or the Air Training
Reserve Corps by a more complete analogy with the Reserve Corps
training which is going on in various schools and universities of this
country. We all know what magnificent work they are doing, how
they are turning out every year approximately 7,000 young second
lieutenants who will be available in the event of an emergency to help
carry on, to go right out on the front and command platoons, and in
a few years to command companies.
As each gentleman rises to discuss this I want to ask him to Five
his name, because while I know the names of most of you, I might
miss some of them, and I want the record to show just who speaks,
because sometimes what is said is reinforced by who says it.
I am also going to include in the record these letters, and then it
is my expectation to extract from some of those letters certain por-
tions and extend my remarks in the Congressional Record, including
them in there, so that the whole country can get an idea of just what
representative men, college professors, heads of flying schools, Reserve
officers, and patriotic citizens generally, have to say with regard to
the general proposition. I will start off with Mr. Strohmeier.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE a
STATEMENT Of W. D. STROHMEIER, AMHERST COLLEGE, REPRE-
SENTING THE NATIONAL INTERCOLLEGIATE FLYING CLUB
The CHAIRMAN. What class are you in in Amherst College, Mr.
Mr. STROHMEIER. I am a senior, sir, the class of 1936.
The CHAIRMAN. A senior at Amherst College?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Tell us about your intercollegiate flying associa-
tion, and then lead from that to this proposition before us here,
Mr. STROHMEIER. All right, sir. Last April, or before that time,
as most of you know, the National Aeronautic Association gathered
together soine of the college flyers throughout the colleges in the
country, and they felt that a general association of these college
flyers would lead to a more thorough interest in college flying, feeling,
I imagine, among other things, that a group of young men actively
engaged in flying would be a help to the Nation in time of war, and
that also it would be a great help to the encouragement of aviation in
general to have so many people, young people becoming interested
in flying. As a result in April the Nationa Intercollegiate Flying
Club was formed. This organization is made up of the regularly
organized flying clubs that existed at the time, and each week and
each month we are getting in more colleges. One of the largest
activities of the National Intercollegiate Flying Club is to start new
organizations. One of our chief objectives is to see a flying club in
every college in the United States. As those clubs are organized
they are brought into the National Club. It is mostly missionary
work, and so far we have been going about a year, and we have had
some rather extraordinary results. We have started clubs in from
12 to 15 colleges and students are actually flying now that never
thought of flying 2 or 3 years ago. I can state from my own experience
what happened at Amherst. Two years ago I was the only one in that
college who had any interest in flying at all. I decided that I could
make an experiment there to see if I could get a flying club going,
and actually get some of the students in the air. The result is that
since that time we have bought two airplanes, and have turned out
approximately 20 new pilots in a college with a membership of 800.
I think that shows rather conclusively that an organization like that
can accomplish a great deal. But I can also say that there are a
great many people in the colleges today who would like to fly but who
cannot because of financial difficulties. I know at Amherst, for
instance, that there are for instance, 50 or 75 students who would
like to fly somehow or other if they could afford to do it.
Now, my plea here, of course, is not to have this flying subsidized
for the purpose of giving us boys an opportunity to fly. I think that
could be tied in, however, with this problem of building up an air
reserve. I think we would find that with such a provision in existence
we might very well see as mhny as 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000 students
flying on the various campasses throughout the country rather than
400 or 500 as at the present time, if it is that many. Now, there are
a good many of them fhat can afford some of the expense incident to
flying, but cannot afford all of it. I might just briefly outline what
the National Club would feel, or how it would feel toward a proposi-
0 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
tion like this, but first of all, before going into a discussion of that, I
would like to say a word about the R. 0. T. C. I do not know how
many of you have read in the papers about the general student atti-
tude toward the R. 0. T. C. There is a league, called the National
Student League, which is made up of Communists, some Socialists,
and what not, who somehow or other have gotten a rather strong hold
on the minds of some of the college students, and they have raised
quite a bit of objection to the R. 6. T. C. Some of their work has
been taken in by some of these students. I would not want to say the
general student attitude is adverse to the R. 0. T. C. However, I
would say that there is an underlying objection to it. Now, if such a
bill were passed or proposed for work along these lines, I should not
exactly suggest that it be coordinated with the R. 0. T. C. in any
way. If it is something new, I think the National Student League
and all of them would let it go by until they saw what it was, and then
it would be too late for them to come in and interfere, which would
mean it would work out all right. That is just the attitude on the
part of some of these students that I would like to bring to your
Now, my idea is this: During college the students have a good
amount of leisure time, and they have. a chance during collcge--
The CHAIRMAN. They did not in my days.
Mr. STROHMEIER. They have a chance during college days to take
certain courses which might be tied in with this work of the Reserve.
For instance, I imagine the Army, as the Nav does in some places,
couid send out instructors with a staff to coil eges where there are
enough students interested in flying to institute a regular course in
fundamental tactics, and what not, and perhaps also provide a little
flying time, and then during the summer, as the chairman said, the
students could go out to a regular school or something like that and
pick up their flying. I feel that in this way, and this, of course, is
just sort of an outline, the students would not only be getting a good
deal of knowledge, but they would be getting practical flying expen-
ence at the same time. We would be accumulating so many new
flyers that way, that in the time of emergency, we would have been
experienced, not only just in flying, but men who have been taught.
the fundamentals of military flying, not, of course, suitable to, or
up k the standards of a pursuit pilot, but they could be developed
much more quickly in that way than by generally subsidized flying
as is done in England and France. That is about all I have to say,
The CHAIRMAN. That is very fine. Do you have an R. 0. T. C.
unit in your college?
Mr. S7ROHMEIER. No, sir; we do not.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, let me ask you this: What arrangement is
made by the college or by the students voluntarily to obtain instruc-
tions in flying?
Mr. STROBMEIER. The Amherst Flying Club is strictly a student
organization in our case.
The CHAIRMAN. How do you get your instructions? Do you hire
Mr. STRORMEIER. We hire an instructor and he does the instructing
in a plane.
The CHAIRMAN. How many members are there in your club?
JUNIOR AM RESERVE 7
MI'. STROHMEIER. There are 72 member: in our club, Mr. Chair-
The CHAIRMAN. Do you study the principles of aeronautics?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Very, very vaguely.
The CHAIRMAN. Very vaguely?
Mr. STROHMEJER. Yes, sir; since we have our own plane with
actual flying as well as the chief activities of the club. However, I
have had contact with a lot of other flying clubs. We are the only
one that has a plane. Most of them devote their time to activities
in the meetings at which flying problems, aerodynamics and what
nots are discussed, and ground school course are arranged for.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, do you think that most college students
have enough knowledge of maihenaiics to be able to at least gather
the fundamentals of aerodynamicE and aeronautics?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir; I believe so.
The CHAIRMAN. If they had adequate instruction and an adequate
opportunity to learn it?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir; I am convinced that they could. You
see, most of the colleges require algebra, trigonometry, and higher
mathematics like that as a requisite for entering.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. STROHMEIER. Which would make practically every student in
college eligible and capable of taking courses in those subjects.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. STROHMEIER. I might bring up another point that Kenyon
College out in Ohio owns its own airport, and its own airplanes, as
well as an aeronautical library and laboratory, and the college has
a regular course in aeronautics. It has a strong library association
and each year they have this course giving flying instruction, and at
the same time it 'is costing the student very little money to do it.
It is giving the student very good training. That is an example of
The CHAIRMAN. I wonder if some of the other members of the
committee have not thought of some pertinent questions to ask Mr.
Mr. FADDIS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Faddis.
Mr. FADDIS. Speaking of this National Students League, do they
seem to have any financial backing at all in your observation?
Mr. STROHMMEIER. You mean from any newspapers or something
Mr. FADIJIS. No; do they have any organization that furnishes
them with money, or do they seem to have?
Mr. STOU011mEIER. Not that I know of.
Mr. FADDIS. They do not seem to have any funds that you know
Mr. STROHMETIER. I think their only funds are from dues from
Mr. FADDIS. You made the observation that college students now-
adays !,ave a considerable amount of leisure time, I believe.
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir; they have.
Mr. FADDIS. I would just like to make a comment based on my
own observation and on that of other Members of Congress in regard
to the applicants for appointments to the Military and Naval Acad-
8 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
emy, many of whom were college students at the time: It would seem
as if practically all of their time was leisure time, from the grades
they make in their examinations laughterr.
Mr. STROTIMEIER. I do not know what to say about that. I think
you are right.
The CHAIUMA-N. I want to make the observation that away back
yonder, in ancient days, when I was in college, we did not have very
much leisure during the college year, but we did have that 3 months
during the summertime, and a lot of us ought to have improved it for
ourselves as well as for the sake of the country. I did not improve
my own time, then, unfortunately, and I see the mistake that I made.
I want to be helpful in assisting the young men of today to use that
extra time. It would be just as restful from their ordinary studies
to devote their time to training such as this as it would be to be
Now, I am sure that my friend, Colonel Plumley, las a question, as
he is an old edueator as \vell as a business man and an able lawyer.
Mr. PLUMLEY. Mr. Strolmmeier, can you give the reporter a list of
the institutions at which these clubs are now established?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Why, yes, sir. I could read them off.
Mr. PLUMLEY. You can hand it to him.
Mr. STEOHMEIER. I would say offhand, that there are about 40
flying clubs in the country.
Mr. PLUMLEY. At educational institutions?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir- 40 college flying clubs.
Mr. PLUMLEY. If you wouid make tip such a list and hand it to the
reporter we would be obliged to you.
Mr. STROHMEIER. The colleges listed here are those where some
flying exists. Practically 'all have some form of a flying organization:
Ohio State University Northwesteni University
University of New Hampshire Columbia University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology University of Alabama
Howard University Boston University
University of Detroit Catholic University
Case School of Applied Science Trinity College
Brown University University of Colorado
Cornell University Rollins College
Purdue University Lehigh University
College of Williatm and Mary Princeton University
Dartmouth College Stanford University
Middlesburg College Swarthmore College
Norwich University Syracuse University
Smith College Colgate University
Lake Erie College for Girls University of Virginia
Amherst College Kenyon College
Yale University Villanova College
Northwestern University Bryn Mawr College
University of Illinois Drekel Institute
Mr. DORSEY. I am wondering about this age limitation of 21 years,
as provided in the bill. Would that prove to be any restriction on the
activities of these flying schools?
Mr. STROHMEIER. I think it should be raised to 22 years or 23
years, because the average freshman in college is about 18 years old,
or even 19, so that they are graduated when they are 23 years old or
24 years old, and if the restriction was put at 21 years there would be
no reason for having it 21, I do not think, since it is restricted to
college students or something like that, but I think it would be much
more satisfactory to make it 22 or 23.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 9
The CHAIRMAN. I want to say that I have been urged by other
people to reduce it as low as 16 and to raise it as high as 24. That is
a detail I am not insisting upon and probably I will be persuaded to
Mr. SCHAEFER. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Schaefer.
Mr. SCHAEFER. Did I understand you to say that there are some
students who are against the R. 0. T. C.?
Mr. STROIMEIER. Yes; very definitely so.
Mr. SCHAEFER. What university or college do you attend?
Mr. STRORMEIER. Amherst College.
Mr. SCHAEFER. That is an eastern school?
Mr. STROHEMEIR. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. SCHAEFER. The information I have in the West is that enroll-
ment in the R. 0. T. C. is increasing.
Mr. STRORMEIER. That may be so. I brought that out merely
to state that there is certain agitation against it, and I think for the
interest of this bill it would be well if we stayed away as much as
possible from R. 0. T. C. connection. It would go a lot further,
ecause I know at Amherst there is a great deal of agitation against
the R. 0. T. C. on the part of some students.
Mr. SCHAEFER. Isn't it a fact that some universities now have a
branch of aeronautics in their schools?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir. Of course, all the technological colleges
and universities, practically all of them have regular laboratories
and courses in the aeronautical engineering.
Mr. SCHAEFER. That applies mostly to the State universities?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes. Now, some other colleges are bringing
out courses in elementary aeronautics. I just had a wire from
Middlebury College, which is a small college up in Vermont, stating
that they are starting up a course in elementary aeronautics in their
next semester, chiefly through their flying club. They are getting
an instructor and everything else.
Mr. SCHAEFER. Do you think it is advisable or not for all of these
colleges to have a branch of aeronautics in their schools?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes; it would be very beneficial to the aviation
industry if they could get a knowledge of flying and aeronautics while
they are in college.
Mr. FADDrs. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Faddis.
Mr. FAnryS. I just wonder if the gentleman realizes in connection
with the question of divorcing this measure from the R. 0. T. C. as
much as possible, that this Student League will know just about as
much about what goes on before the committee here as we do?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. FADDIS. It will be up to the students interested in this matter
to conduct a campaign in order to prevent this National Students
League from doing anything to destroy it. You gentlemen will have
to be on your guard in that respect.
The CHAIRMAN. Referring to the National Students League, do
you refer to an organization that had some convention, I think,
during the holidays, out somewhere in Ohio, and the newspapers
carried it that they adopted a resolution pledging themselves and their
members not to engage in war under any circumstances?
lU JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
Mr. STROHMEIER. I am not sure whether that is the National
The CHAIRMAN. It seems to me that crowd had the word "union"
in it. Is that same sentiment taking hold among a good many college
students and universe students?
Mr. STROHMEIER. No; that sentiment is not widespread, but I know
there are an awful lot of students who feel they would sign a pledge
The CHAIRMAN. I think we might as well bring all of that stuff out
in the open. We have got to meet it somewhere and the American
people have to decide that issue, as to whether they are going to be
torpedoed by a lot of disloyal people or whether they are going to
bat them right between the eyes and have the issue out. I am very
glad you mentioned that, because it is a question so subtle that we
would not know of it otherwise. Most of us have been so long out
of college that a sentiment of that sort was unheard of in our day.
Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the gentleman
Mr. CHAIRMAN. Mr. Rogers.
Mr. ROGERS. Is there any activity of this Student League going on
in the New England colleges?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. ROGERS. There is?
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes; both in Amherst and in Harvard. They
had quite a riot in Harvard last night. They have a riot every May
Day of sorn i kind.
Mr. TURNER. They have a socialistic club in Harvard.
Mr. STROHMEIER. Yes; they do. I do not know what it is; I do
not know what its name is, but I understand they have one there.
Mr. ROGERS. Do they have them in any of the other State colleges?
Mr. STROHMEIER. I do not know so much about the other large
Mr. FADDIs. Do you believe the authorities of these colleges are
trying to do their part to keep it down or to discourage it among the
Mr. STROHMEJER. They are not doing anything at all.
Mr. FADDIs. Are they doing more to encourage it than to dis-
Mr. STROHMEIER. As far as I can see they have a very disinterested
attitude. They shiply feel they had better step out of it. I know
there was a petition at Amherst to call classes off the morning of May
Day so that they could have a peace demonstration, but that was
denied, and so they had the demonstration anyway; the boys did not
go to classes.
Mr. FADDIS. They have a peace demonstration and it ends up in a
Mr. STROHMEIER. That is what it usually does; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. IS there any gentleman back there who would
like to ask this most interesting young man any questions?
Mr. STEELE. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. This is Mr. Steele who heads the Coimmission on
Aeronautics of the American Legion.
- Mr. STEELE. I just want to point out to you, Mr. Chairman, that
if you want full information concerning the activities of this National
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 11
Students League, and other organizations, including the one you men-
tioned, Capt. Homer Chaillaux, chairman of the Americanization
Committee of the American Legion, at Indianapolis headquarters,
has everything about it in his hands, which he will gladly furnish to
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Steele. Thank you very much,
Mr. Strohineier. Now, what is the name of your associates?
Mr. STROHMEIER. J. B. Hartrajant.
The CHAIRMAN. We will hear Mr. Hartrajant.
STATEMENT OF 3. B. HARTRAJANT, JR., UNIVERSITY OF PENN-
SYLVANIA, PHILADELPHIA, PA., REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL
INTERCOLLEGIATE FLYING CLUB
The CHAIRMAN. You are a student at what school?
Mr. HARTHAJANT. University of Pennsylvania.
The CHAIRMAN. In which class?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. The junior class.
The Crr A . You are taking a general academic course?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. No, sir; I am in the Whartbn School of Business
The CHAIRMAN. I see.
Mr. HARTRAJANT. My remarks would be very similar to Mr.
Strohmeier's. We have talked this thing over, and I think we agree
in almost every detail.
The reason I arose a moment ago is that I would like to include
one thought in regard to this matter of the R. 0. T. C. wlich has not
been previously mentioned. The University of Pennsylvania does
have an R.O. T. C. unit. I happen to be armember of it myself. We
have this in connection with the R. 0. T. C., the flying club. I might
preface my remarks by saying that the flying association there has
been in existence for a period of 2 years. We now have 30 active
flying members, quite a few of whom are also members of the R. 0.
T. C. unit, many of whom when they graduated, that is, from their
4 years R. 0. T. C. work, went to summer camp up there and trans-
ferred into the Air Corps Reserve. So, there is that one other factor
I did wish to include in that trend of thought.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much. Let me ask you this,
Mr. HARTRAJANT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Does your university furnish a course in aero-
dynamics and aeronautics?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. The Town Scientific School at the university
does offer a preliminary course in aeronautics, but we are in no way
affiliated with the university course. We are a flying club. The
work of our club, as of Mr. Strohmeier's club, is truly a student
club. We have meetings at which matters of aeronautics and air
navigation and those things are brought out by prominent speakers
from time to time in the meetings to educate the pilots. I might say,
also, that our unit differs from, perhaps, quite a few of the others, in
that we require all members of this flying organization to have a
Department of Commerce student license or better, so that they are
all active flyers rather than representing enthusiasts. They are
actually active flyers.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
The CHAIRMAN. Do you hire your own instructor?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. Yes, sir. I night add a remark or two in that
respect. I have recently conducted a survey of all of the college
flying activities among those which are now in existence in the
colleges and universities today. I brought it up to date within
about some 3 or 4 months ago. I found, with the exception of three
cases, all colleges operate with a commercial operator agreement, with
some commercial operator at a nearby airport where they are usually
given special rates for instruction by the hour or solo time by the
hour. In other words, by presenting themselves in numbers, they
are able to get a little reduction in the price of the time.
Very few ships, as Mr. Strohmeier has already pointed out, are owned
by air college organizations. Their main objection is that there is a
3-month period in the summer in which the ship would remain
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any suggestions to make Nith reference
to this proposal of trying to develop a great reservoir of young men
who would be niore quickly available for instruction and training in
military flying in the event of an emergency?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. Nothing except that which has been already
stated. I do think if I presented to the college flying clubs that the
groups would respond very enthusiastically to such a proposal. I
think, perhaps, we can guarantee a good deal of cooperation.
The CHAIRMAN. Is membership in the R. 0. T. C. unit in your
Mr. HARTHAJANT. It is optional.
The CHAIRMAN. Optional?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. Yes, sir; it is optional. It is not a land-grant
The CHAIRMAN. What percentage of the undergraduates are
taking R. 0. T. C. work?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. We have an enrollment in the R. 0. T. C. of
around 350 or 400. I cannot tell you what the enrollment of the
The CAIRMAN. Don't you know how many there are in the college
proper, in the undergraduate classes, leading to ordinary degrees?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. I am not prepared to state that, Mr. Chairman.
I do not know what the enrollment of the university is at the present
The CHAIRMAN. They drill twice a week?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. Yes, twice a week. The classes the first 2
years are one-class hour and the last 2 years are three-class hour's
work, plus extra time on the range, rifle work, and the summer
course, which comes during the junior year, at which time they go to
The CHAIRMAN. How do you feel, as a college student, that the
college students generally over the country would react to the oppor-
tunity of training in the summertime with the hope of becoming
recognized as graduates of approved schools, so that they would
be authorized to wear some sort of wings, or insignia that would be
awarded by the War Department for having finished this preliminary
ground work and the elementary flying course? Also of having a
certificate to that effect that they could frame and put on the wall at
home, and have the privilege of wearing, if they bought it them-.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 1l
selves, the prescribed uniform that would naturally appeal to the
pride of a young man? How do you think the young men in the
colleges wo uld react to that suggestion to use their summer vaca-
tions in order to acquire that distinction and that ability?
Mr. JIARTRAJANT. From my observation, sir, I think that the
enthusiasm would be very great indeed, and that if a uniform or an
insignia or anything else for flying could be put within the reach of
the average college student, I believe he would take advantage of it.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions by the members of the
Mr. RoGERs. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Rogers.
Mr. ROGERS. How many members do you have in your university
flying club at the University of Pennsylvania?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. Thirty active members at the present time.
Mr. ROGERS. Thirty active members?
Mr. HARrRAJANT. Yes, sir.
Mr. DoRsEY. You have had an R. 0. T. C. unit at the University
of Pennsylvania for quite some time. What hqs been the trend in
your opinion? Has it been increasing or decreasing in membership?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. I think it has been remaining fairly steady. I
believe there was an increase this year, but it has not fluctuated very
much in a number of years. They are limited to the number of men
they can take in, and they always have a surplus. It is a matter of
striking some off of the list every year. They are just allowed to
have so many in the unit.
Mr. DoRsxy. Has there been any agitation against the R. 0. T. C.
at the university?
Mr. HARTRAJANT. There have been some acts of the National
Students League, such as were referred to here a short time ago,
but there have been no scenes of violence. As a matter of fact, there
have been several occasions when both groups, the members of the
R. 0. T. C. unit and the members of the National Students League
have met together and they have had informal debates on the subject.
To my knowledge there have been no outbreaks there which would
be classed as a student riot.
Mr. DonsEY. I understand that some time ago this group had a
meeting, and it finally turned into an enthusiastic defense meeting
due to the activities of some of the members of the R. 0. T. C.
Mr. HARTRAJANT. Yes, sir; that is true; and that might point out,
incidentally, that is is possible to counteract some of those things.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, the presence of the R. 0. T. C.
may be helpful in preserving the proper sentiment, of patriotism in our
Mr. HARTRAeANT. I believe so; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
Mr. SCHAEFER. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask this gentleman
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Schaefer.
Mr. SCHAEFER. Do you have a weekly or monthly circulation of
communistic literature in your university?
Mr. HARTHAJANT. I do not believe there is -any regular periodical
circulation of their literature. There is, however, quite frequently,
14 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
Particularly in the summer, preceding the various rallies (hat they
old, wide distribution of various kinds of literature. It seems to be
an unfinished form, not in mimeographed form, but it is turned out
in great numbers. I have checked up between the University of
Pennsylvania and Columbia Associates and find that tile same form
is in use in both places.
Mr. SCHAEFER. As a matter of fact, I think they are used all over
the United States, the same literature.
Mr. IIARTRAJANT. I think perhaps that is so.
Mr. SCHAEFER. I would like to ask tile young man from Amherst
the same question if he would not mind answering it.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Strohmeier.
Mr. STROHME!ER. The answer would be the same as Mr. Hartra-
jant's. There is no definite propaganda at regular periods.
There is one other thing that has just come to my mind about this
National Students League that I would like to mention, which might
bring to your mind what they do. Several of the National Student
League members, 2 years ago, about 15 of them, got together and had
,a rally out between the dormiitorieast which they sang the Interna-
.tionale and burned the American flig, As the result of that three
of .them were dismissed from college.., I think that will give you an
.idea of what their activities
- The CHAIRMAN. I will not call on the official persons at the present
time in the order of their rank, but, rather, in order to try to conven-
ience them as to time. I have no doubt that Mr. Vidal is such a busy
man that he would like to be heard at this time, so that if he should
* be. called back to the Department he could go.
Mr. Vidal, would you mind speaking to us and to our fellow
witnesses on the general subject of trying to utilize this enthusiasm
of these youngsters, of which we have already had a very slight evi-
dence here this morning, in the interest of both military and com-
.STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE EUGENE VIDAL, DIRECTOR
O..OF AIR COMMERCE, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Mr. VIDAL. Mr. Chairman, as you k now, the activities of our
Bureau are confined almost entirely to civil and ennmercial aviation,
and I personally would not be as well qualified to discuss this bill as
others here, particularly those from the Air Corps. However, the
Air Bureau feels that this is a splendeid step in the right direction,
* and without questioning any of the details of the bill itself, we feel
,thatlit night prove very, very important. We happen to be inti-
mately acquainted with the attitude of the five leading foreign
nations as to their military aviation at this time. Up until the last
2 years thesq five leading nations were interested in quality of
.aircraft, and the quality of pilots, and I think in this country up
to now we have been interested in quality, and we are very proud
to be able to say that the quality.of our aircraft'and of our flying
* personnel "a of a higherstanding than those in foreign nations. Right
now, however, these five leading nations are much more interested in
*quantity, in numbers..: I think you all probably know which nations
they are, and just the other day I was talking 'with a representative,
to one'of the air ministers from abroad, and his country had just put
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 15
out an order for 1,500 planes. In fact, they are in such a hurry for
the plane equipment that they have passed up advertising for bids.
They are simply negotiating the contracts and are buying the air-
planes from blueprints without waiting for the performance tests.
Sothat, I think not just from our interest in industry, but from a
national defense standpoint, this is a good time to start in on numbers.
We are, of course, directly concerned with the industry itself.
We would like to see the aviation industry rank some day as one
of the great industries in the country, and the only way that can be
done is by having more planes, more pilots, fnd more airports, and
that will come along with the quantity. So that, is why we wouil
be interested in any plan that would result in more planes and more
I would like to inject one thought without sidetracking you from
this particular point. We have spent a lot of time and thought on the
possibilities of the Civilian Conservation Corps for developing of num-
bers of both planes and pilots.
The CHAIRMAN. The possibility of using what?
Mr. VIDAL. The numbers already enrolled in the Civilian Conserva-
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes.
Mr. VIDAL. I just bring that up at this time, because we would
like at some time to be able to talk with yourself or any other member
of the committee that might be interested in what we think is a plan
with merits for making the most of those several hundred thousand
young men in adding numbers to the total pilots and planes for the
'country. I am throwing that in at this time, Mr. Chairman, but I
do not care in any way to mix that up with this bill.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to hear it. I am always willing to
get new ideas.
Mr. VIDAL. We have planned it out in dollars and cents as to
what we need, and having talked with those who are very much
interested, this and that organization, and it has a little more of a
civilian touch to it than military, which is probably a good idea, it is
,simply a question of taking these 1,500 camps and doing practically
' what we aredoing with these, but not with the military aircraft or
military policy, and as you know they spend a number of million
every year for vocational training, it is included in that program.
I think you might be interested in this because your objective here
is exactly that, only you happen to be thinking of college students
instead of that great group in these camps which are under Federal
On this bill I think the word "junior" might not prove as good a
word there as others. The "Junior Birdmen of America" has now
enrolled several hundred thousand youngsters, and the name of that
group is very attractive, "Junior Brdmen of America", but if you
use "junior" in this bill I am afraid it would run too close to that
other title. -
The CHAIRMAN. I confess I got the idea from that. I confess that
I copied that, or at least, the name came from that. My idea was the
Junior Birdmen and they are to be followed by the Boy Scouts, and
the Boy Scouts followed by the high-school boys, and the college boys
of this age that I am seeking to include here. in this, who are really to
become actual flyers and others to be available either for commercial
pilots or military pilots, to start away back there with them.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
While you were speaking a moment ago, Mr. Vidal, about what
these five other nations were doing, I wondered if you had read the
article in December Aviation as to what Germany is doing to enlist all
of her boys?
Mr. VIDAL. Yes, sir; I did.
Tile CHAIRMAN. They are starting in the grammar schools to give
the same sort of instruction that our Junior Birdmen are getting, in a
way, and carrying right on through the grammar schools, the gym-
nasium, and the university, until they are going to come out, from
there as experts in aerodynamics, and, therefore, possibly will con-
tribute to the development and great growth, and evolution of the
science and the art of aviation. That is tied up right in my mind with
this suggestion here.
Mr. N IDAL. I see.
* The CHAIRMAN. At least, from what you say, we are thinking some-
what along the same lines.
Mr. VIDAL. I can understand why you would like to have carried
on there, but I have been in contact with the Junior Birdmen, and
when you see a group of youngsters around 10 or 12 years of age in
that group, maybe the title should be a little different for those from
20 to 24 years of age.
The CHAIRMAN. I am not wedded to the name or insignia, except
Mr. VIDAL. I do think where it reads "and centers of air training",
it should be extended in a way so that the colleges would be used more.
Maybe you have already had that thought. It sounds more like
private flying schools there and centers of training, but the word
Is not used there.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, that is a good idea.
Mr. VIDAL. If you carry it right to the colleges it might help there.
Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask one question.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Rogers,.
Mr. RoGERs. Do I understand you to sal' that there are now five
of the leading foreign nations who have discarded competitive bidding
Mr. VIDAL. Oh, no; it just happened that I heard this from a
member of the Air Ministry from this one country. He was in the
office 2 or 3 days ago and he told me about the same thing, about this
quick order for 1,500 airplanes, which is a good sized order for any
Mr. ROGERS. You just spoke of that as one country in five?
Mr. VIDAL. Just as one, but I do know definitely that these other
nations are more interested in numbers just now. That is, they are
not stepping up development work; they are not paying much atten-
tion to it. They are not waiting for these developments, but they
are going ahead, and they are only interested in numbers of aircraft.
It is strange that it was not done before, because the airplane with
its pilot is not much different from the infantryman with his rifle.
Numbers are almost more important than quality.
Mr. ROGERS. They are doing it by negotiation rather than by
Mr. VIDAL. Yes.
Mr. SHORT. At the present time, what is the maximum total
capacity of our airplane factories in this country?
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 17
Mr. VIDAL. Of our factories?
Mr. SHORT. Yes.
Mr. VIDAL. I think we could supply that information to you. It
might be quite an estimate, but I think we can find out. You mean
what it could be; the maximum?
Mr. SHORT. Yes; in case of emergency I would like to know how
many planes we could turn out in a day or a week.
Mr'. VIDAL. I would be very happy to supply you with that in-
formation as quciklv as we can.
Mr. SHORT. I would like to have comparative figures over a short
period of years, say for 5 years.
Mr. VIDAL. We have all the figures on our airplanes built in the
country in the last 10 ycrs, but how many could have been built, or
built tip to this time, we would have to chaeck that with each manu-
Mr. SHORT. Could you also include information that would also
exhibit a sort of a comparative table with these five military powers
Mr. VIDAL. No, sir; I could not. I do not think there is anyone
that has been abroad to check that could give you that information.
It is too difficult to get.
Mr. SHORT, To ascertain?
Mr. VIDAL. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Vidal, recently, I was informed by the De-
partment of Commerce that there are 23,000 student pilot licenses in
the United States. I suppose that 23,000 must mean all those that
have been issued from the first up to the present time? It does not
mean that there are 23,000 persons now seeking to learn to fly, as
students, does it?
Mr. VIDAL. The 23,000 figure is accurate, but we have not checked
recently, recently checked on what permits have been dropped.
Now, there will be a number of those, from those where the student
has given up his flying, but it is the largest total we have ever had.
Up until about 2 years ago the numbers of pilots and planes both were
decreasing. Even though you have read considerably about the
growth of aviation, the number of planes and pilots were actually
Mr. SHORT. That is what I wanted to zet at.
Mr. VIDAL. Starting about 2 years ago the curve goes up, and this
past 6 months has been the best increase we have had since 1929.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you prepared now, or would you mind check-
ing, please, how many youngsters you think there are in the United
States that are at the present time seeking to learn to fly or with
student, pilot licenses?
Mr. VIDAL. Who would like to have a student license?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; say those who have this license and propose
to try to learn.
IDAL. Our license list of 23,000, that total is correct. We do
not know whether all of those 23,000 are still flying, or not. We did
a year ago, but this last year's has not been checked. There are about
7,500 civilian airplanes in this country, and about 550 - f that total
are air-line planes, so-called transport planes, and theie are 14,000
pilot licenses, and 600 of those are air-line pilot licenses; they are
called S. A. T. R. licenses.
JUNIOR AIR RE.ERVE
Mr. SHORT. But, at the very time we are decreasing our number,
Great Britain, Gerniany, France, Italy, Japan, and Russia are
Mr. VIDAL. No; I am tati'ing about civilian planes, not military
Mr. SHORT. But that is true of both military and civilian planes,
Mr. VIDAL. I cannot speak for your military planes as well as your
Army officers can.
Mr. WILCOX. When you referred a few moments ago to the orders
that were being given for immediate delivery of planes, did you have
reference to military planes or commercial IpIanes?
Mr. VIDAL. 'Military planes.
Mr. WILCOX. Military Planes?
Mr. VIDAI,. Yes.
Mr. WILCOX. One nation, you say, gave an order for as many ns
Mr. VIDAL. Yes; that is what was told me just 2 or 3 days ago
by a man from the Air Ministry, yes, sir.
Mr. WILCoX. And the rush was so great that they waived coni-
petitive bidding on thiem?
Mr. VIDAL. Yes, sir. You might cheek that. This is one person s
story, but I had already heard it though several times from other
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, gentlemen, are there any other ques-
tions? Thank you very much, Mr. Vidal.
Mr. VIDAL. I would like to leave one last thought with you, Mr.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; certainly.
\Mr. VIDAL. I would like to stress this one point, that while avia-
tion is supposed to have grown so much it has not grown so muDIC in
numbers. There are still very few more planes right at this time than
there were -1 or 5 years ago ini the United States, and very few more
pilots, but there are a good many more student pilots licenses, and
we are very interested in that crop because they are the newcomers.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
Mr. ROERS. You say that the list is going up each year?
Mr. VIDAL. Yes; very nicely. The past year the aircraft factories
produced and sold about 25 percent more airplanes than they did in
the year before.
.Nfr. RoGERs. And it is higher now than it has been since many years
Mr. VIDAL. I think the last better year was in 1929 or 1930. It is
about a 5-year period.
The CHAIRMA. Than you very much indeed for your statement,
Mr. Vidal. Now, I happen to know that Mr. Inwood agrees with
Mr. Vidal, at least, in one respect. So, I will ask him to come up
now if he will, to make a statement.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
STATEMENT OF LOUIS R. INWOOD, REPRESENTING THE AERO
CLUB OF WASHINGTON, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE INDE-
PENDENT AVIATION OPERATORS OF THE UNITED STATES
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Inwood, will you give your first name?
Mr. INWOOD. Louis R. Inwood.
The CHAIRMAN. Whom do you represent?
Mr. INWOOD. I happen to'have taken this bill up at the annual
meeting of the Aero Club of Washington, and was designated by that
body to represent them at this hearing. I also have been requested to
represent. the president of the Independent Aviation operators of the
The CHAIRMAN. That is Luther Parks?
Mr. INWOOD. Yes, sir; Luther Parks of St. Louis. 1 agree very
thoroughly with Mr. Vidal in one respect, particularly, that what we
need is more quantity. The 5-year period that he speaks of showed
quite a decline, and during that period there was one time when the
total of civii aircraft production in the United States dropped close to
300, if my memory serves me correctly. With all of the activity
throughout the world in preparing tur war which we find daily evidence
of in our newspapers, and with all of thai confusion and activity in the
various countries of the world, v, in America, who boast that we
originated this arm, aviation, cannot afford to lose sight of its develop-
ments, and cannot afford to in aLy wt y deviate from our line progress
in that respect. I feel very strongly about i his business of interesting
the youth of America in forming, or, rather, not interesting them in
flying, because I think if you provided the means, there would be
more of them inimediatelv ihat would gladly take advantage of such a
situation. The interest is already there. -But, unfortunately, flying
entails certain costs that at the present time have restricted its
general practice throughout the United States to a considerable extent.
I want to point out to the committee that there is possibly an
obligation on the part of you gentlemen of Congress to these yGung-
sters as well as the youngsters' obligation or patriotism er interest in
aviation to the United States. In other words, these young men are
willing to take their time, and end any risk that may possibly be
involved, willingly and gladly, in the interest of national defense. I
believe that you, on your part, should make it possible, for the proper
grading and selection of them by reason of education and by reason
of ability, is well warranted. I believe you should make it possible for
the young man of moderate means to pursue this aviation education
as w cll as the young man who has unlimited means to pursue it,
and who is now pursuing aviation in many cases.
In the bill which we studied fairly carefully, I agree with the sug-
gestion which has already been made that thie word "Junior" is not
advisable. All of you gentlemen or any of you gentlemen who
happen to have in your family youths of from IS years of age through,
say, 24 years of age, now that such youth or young men, better called
rather resent being "Juniored." That age is past, and they feef
perfectly capable of taking the position of senior, and I think from
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
a psychological standpoint it would be very advantageous to the
promotion of the Reserve system such as is indicated by this bill to
eliminate the word "Junior" and replace it with any otler advisable
name such as "Reserve Air Training Corps", for example, or any
other similar name.
In the matter of ages specified ir the bill, the bill as it now stands
has the ages 18 to 21. We have heard testimony from the Inter-
collegiate Flying Club of America that college boys at the present
time somewhat exceed the age of 21, and I think it would be very wise
to change the age limit. I would suggest in that regard possibly from
17 to 24, so that this group establish a spirit of esprit de corps within
the university where those Reserve organization training groups are
fostered so that they could go forward. I think, perhaps, if they were
made into commands acquiring commandership in their senior year
by diligent practice, not only in living, but by diligent studies of the
various phases of ground training, in iation, navigation, and other
If this situation as embodied in this bill meets with the approval, I
think it ' would be well to add certain other factors. We have a situa-
tion which I think there is not anyone present, in the room, even
amongst you gentlemen of the committee, or amongst the people that
are here to testify is familiar with, and that is the Reserve itself.
The Reserve itself in the United States has been handicapped, as has
the Air Corps, by lack of equipment. That applies to many of the
Reserve units. Some of them I am familiar with and some that I
am not. We have a gentleman present today who is more familiar
with the Reserve than myself, and I am not going to say much about
it, but I do know in some cases they have one or two airplanes and
as high as 40 or 50 reservists who would like possibly to use that air-
plane over the week end, but can secure very little flying practice due
to time demand that there is on the small amount of equipment avail-
able. Now, that is a very serious problem, but I do not believe that
that problem should stop in any way the promotion of this very nec-
essary step that will be very soon needed, and that is tile replacement
of the Reserve. Some of the reservists are reservists from tile time
of the last war, and in time of emergency they certainly could fill
executive positions and fill training positions totrain other men, but
in an emergency it is the youth that we must look to for the actual
Much has been said at one time or another about the United States
having tile finest, air-transport system in all the world. You have
heard Mr. Vidal state, and I repeat it, that that represents about 600
pilots. They do not constitute a reserve, do not in any sense of the
word. As to those G00 pilots on those air lines, it would probably
take longer to train men to replace the air-line pilots than it would to
train military pilots from the start. They would be needed in the
service of supply. Their number would have to be expanded tre-
mendously, so they do not constitute a reserve. Well, in time of
emergency, of national emergency, what is our reserve? It is our
regular Air Service, the National Guard, and the Reserve, and from
then on it will have to be filled in with the youth.
Now, if we provide this youth, and if we provide our National
Guard as well as our Reserve, we have the entire system in a rounded-
out unit, an adequate system of national defense. This is my belief,
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
and I cannot urge too strongly that this committee, in considering
this proposition, not only consider this, but place at the disposal of
the War Department, who would direct this activity in the bill,
facilities, if it is necessary, to enable the War Department to assist
these young men in some way. Our neighboring nation, Canada,
pays a bounty for graduate pilots. They assist them in some way
financially to acquire this education. To make it possible for more
people to try, and as a consequence, they get a very, very high grade
of pilots in the long run due to selectivity, the numbers from which
they may select.
Just a word about the past before I finish. If we had today the
money that was spent, given to foreign governments to train United
States nationals in aviation, we could finance this program 10 times
over. Are we going to do the same thing again? We must take
cognizance of it, and install schools or use the universities and every
other institution that is able to train pilots for vs. They are not
oing to turn out military flyers, but they are going to turn out a
ver who knows the difference between a tail skid and the engine,
ahd they are going to turn out a man who understands the controls,
and I am very sure the Army Air Corps can takd that man who knows
the various terms and aerodynamics, who is able to fly, and convert
him into a military flyer in a very short time.
Furthermore, in the event we have no national emergency in the
near future, which praise God, I hope we won't, but if we do not have
one in the near future the Reserves of the National Guard, we will
take the graduates from this Air Corps and train them a few steps
further in military training and make tbeni members of it. If they
complete that military training in a satisfactory manner and can
pass all the qualifications and examinations required we would then
increase our National Guard Reserve. I cannot urge that too
strongly on all of us who have an interest in the welfare of aviation
in the United States, the development of aviation in the United
States, and we want to see America stay first in aeronautical develop-
ments. If anybody thinks that we have not competition on this
they are badly mistaken.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, on this matter of the Reserves that we have
now. As I understand you, in the event of an emergency, rather than
being able to draft these commercial pilots now flying these transport
planes into the military service, we would not only need all of them
that we have, but we would actually need more of them to conduct
the transport service that would be necessary in the event of an
Mr. INwOOD. That is an undeniable fact. Furthermore, I made
one other statement in that connection, and that is this, that it
would probably take as long, if not longer to replace that man if you
took him away from that service, to train another to properly do
that job, the service of supply flying in all kinds of weather, and so
forth, it would take jutst a long'as it would take to train a military
ilot, and you have gained nothing by it.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the numerical strength of the present
Air Corps Reserve?
Mr. INwooD. I cannot answer that, Mr. Chairman, but there are
several gentlemen here I know who can.
22 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
The CHAIRMAN. Right in that connection, General Westover, can
you or Colonel Burwell tell us those figures?
* General WESTOVER. Mr. Chairman, we have today 3,075 Reserve
The CHAIRMAN. In the Air Corps?
General WESTOVER. In the Regular Army. That includes our
active flyer group and also the nonrated group, which numbers 548.
The URHAIRMAN. I wonder where I got the idea, or is my recollec-
tion so bad, that we had only about 1,400 Reserve pilots who would
be available at the present time for an emergency?
General \VEsTOV' _We have about 1,439 pilots that we know are
frine-so flittIhey could go to a unit and carry on and function
in that unit. The remainder of that group of pilots our men would
have to take about a 3 or 4 weeks refresher course on the latest types
The CHAIRMAN. One other question, General, if you do not mind,
while you are on your feet.
General WESTOVER. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. What part, roughly or approximately, of the
1,400 that are now capable of functioning as military pilots in the
event of emergency, are left-overs or brought over from the war-
time training, and are, therefore, getting around the neighborhood
of 40 years, anyhow?
General WESTOVER'. I should say from this figure, judging from
the readings, about 486 of them.
The CHAIRMAN'. That would leave something between 900 and
1,000 younger men?
General WESTOVER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And are those practically all graduates of our
Air Corps Training Center?
General WESTOVER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMA i. Who have not been abl3 to get a commission
the Regular Army?
General WrVSTOVEn. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, our air force would stand, in the event of
an emergency at the present time, as about 1,300 Air Corps officers
in the Regular Army, and 1,450 Air Reserve officers ready to take
the air now and fight, and about how many in the National Guard?
Mr. INWOOD. I could not answer that, either, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Does anybody here know?
General WESTOVER. In the neighborhood of about 320 or 325.
The CHAIRMAN. All right; thank you. Then, we have, approxi-
mately, 3,000 ready to function, and a certain percentage of them
would be compelled to be kept on the ground for administrative
purposes. I do not know whether this military critic that I am going
to quote is well informed or not, but he says that in anything like a
major emergency we would need to start with 18,000 military pilots.
Mr. SCHAEFER. Where would we get the ships to fl ?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, we can build ships in time otwar as fast, or
maybe faster, than we can train men to fly them.
Mr. SCHAEFER. We have not suitable ships for the number of men
available today, have we?
Mr. INWOOD. I take that very seriously, that statement that was
made just now. We not only need ships, but the plea I am making for
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 23
this organization is not while we possibly could not furnish the $30,000
type of military craft for their use, there are some 2 or 3 thousand
dollar civil craft that could adequately train potential reserves who
could later step into the Air Reserve and the National Guard ships
as they become available. We not only need materiel all of the way
through, but we must have ships for these men. I do not believe this
junior air reserve or whatever it is going to be called, is going to be
effective at all unless you gentlemen provide some means for these,
boys to acquire this education.
The CHAIRMAN. Nov', let me ask you one other question: Are you
acquainted with the fact that in Canada they furnish air reservists
inexpensive planes for their practice flying and formation flying
rather than very expensive military planes such as we undertake.to
furnish to them?
, Mr. INWOOD. Oh, yes; if a group of sufficient size gets together and,
wants to form a flying club they will give them an instructor annd an"
airplane. Now, tlat is a civil group, and it is possible in many cases
that it is a civil airplane, but they are learning to fly just the same. "
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I am informed that the Canadian Govorn-
ment furnishes its air reservists these inexpensive moths to fly with,
and therefore, they furnish safe planes to the men and they ca'n b
trained to be safe flyers at relatively little cost, whereas the expensive
planes such as we undertake to furnish cost as much as, I do not know,
from 8 or 10 of these moths. Are you familiar with that fact?
Mr. INWOOD. That is quite a true statement; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you gentlemen any questions to ask Mr.
Mr. WILcox. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Wilcox.
Mr. WILcox. I would like to ask the gentleman what his idea
would be for the formation of these flying clubs, or these groups'
whether it should be restricted to the colleges, or whether there
would be some other means for selecting these young men for training?
Mr. INWOOD. I would recommend that at least a fully accredited
high-school education as set forth be required.
MI-r. WILcox. I understand that, but what I am trying to get at is
this: Would the personnel be selected only from the students in eol-
leges and universities, with the headquarters of each group at some
college or university, or would you provide some other means of
selecting them in definite areas?
Mr. INwOOD. It provides in the bill for certain of the private
schools and in addition to that it ays centers of air training. If
young men of proper education who will work and band together in
groups of 20 or more, as is provided in the bill at some center, such
as a municipal airport, if the interest is sufficient, and 20 is not nee-
essarily the figure, but if there were sufficient interest to warrant the
estabhlislunent of it that would be a training center. I do not read
the bill as necessarily restricting it to a university entirely, and I do
not believe it necessarily should be, but out of that group, perhaps,
you might get one or two who are competent to go on.
Mr. WILCOX. You made a statement a moment ago that interested'
me very much, in which you said that young men of means were
able to fly and to provide themselves
24 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
Mr. INWOOD. That is right.
Mr. WILCOX. I am very much interested in seeing the spirit of
Mr. McSwain's bill put into effect so as to give the young man who
does not have means an opportunity to get this training and the
experience. Now, it occurs to me also that there are a great many
young men, who, through no fault of their own, are not financially
able to provide themselves with a college education or university
Mr. INWOOD. That is right.
Mr. WILCOX. They have finished high school and they have had a
year or two of college, and they have had to retire from college, and
they would like to have this same training, but it may be that they
are located in cities where there is no college. Would it be your idea
that in centers of that sort that the young men with the necessary
educational background and character could form themselves into
some kind of a group or club of some kind and get advantage of this
sort of training?
Mr. INWOOD. Yes, very decidedly; and as I read the bill that is
already in the bill at the present time. I believe that very strongly.
Furthermore, I should think it would have a beneficial effect on
certain groups, because they would probably continue ground studies
and other studies evenings and possibly fly during the week-ends and
secure further education which would be of benefit, to them as well.
Mr. WILCOX. I am sure that is Mr. McSwain's idea. I just
wanted to get your reaction on that.
Mr. HARTE B. Do you believe, Mr. Inwood, that there are enough
planes available at public expense or governmental expense for the
use of the'boys who would be enrolled in this type of undertaking?
Mr. INWOOD. I believe some progress could be made even without
an item of public expense. I do believe it might be possible not to
fully provide, but if, perhaps, this group might be able if supplied
with equipment, might be able to supply maintenance and gasoline,
or if they were supplied with gasoline and maintenance, they might
possibly be able to supply the civil equipment. In other words, some
MDR and assistance, not necessarily a program of the Government to
buy airplanes to these groups. I do not intend that, but some sim-
ilarly effective means of lending slight assistance that would enable
more young men to take advantage of their desires.
Mr. lIARTER. You feel there is enough enthusiasm among the
youth of the country that if they are given help they will answer this
Mr. INwoon. I know there is.
The CHAIRMAN. I might illustrate what I have in mind by also
saying that the proposal to utilize this enthusiasm in the interest of
is similar to the old Militia or National
Guard in the days
before the World War when National Guard organizations got no
drill pay whatsoever, no help from the Federal Government, except
to furnish arms, w1ich sometimes were very old. Yet, the men were
patriotic enough to try to get ready to serve their country in the
event of an emergency, and I believe now without spending any
money worth while, not to mention any great subsidy at all, we can
capitalize on the desire of these young men to know about aviation
and to be able to practice it in a civil way so that they will be avail-
able for any kind of an emergency, and as Mr. Inwood said such young-
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 25
sters could be very quickly converted into military pilots. As I have
tried to illustrate, and I believe it is a fair comparison, at least, I
believe it myself, anyway, that as between a young man raised on a
ranch in Texas, who is also raised on the back of a horse, and another
otLng man raised on the sidewalks of New York City, whc when
e gets on a horse shows he is afraid of it and holds onto the pommel
of the saddle, that the fellow from Texas will make a calvalryman
about 10 times as quick as the other one. You will probably remem-
ber when the Rough Riders were given notice by newspaper that
they could meet General Wood and Colonel Roosevelt at San Antonio
on a certain (late, they came from all parts of the West, and in 26
(lays from the date of mobilization they were equipped, organized,
had their own officers and were entrained and headed for the port of
embarkation in Florida, in 26 days, and those fellows were a regiment
of men in less than 60 days after they had entrained, fighting.
Mr. WiLcox. They were trained in the business of fighting.
.Mr. DoIISEY. There are many men not equipped with the neces-
sary education to make pilots, yet,who have the mechanical ability to
make excellent flyers or do ground work.
The CHAIRMAN. In this connection we must not overlook the
necessity for ground work and instniction in the art of aerodynamics.
I am glad to see a note here stating that there has been a meeting
in the city for the last 2 or 3 days of various State directors of avia-
tion. I am sure that these gentlemen are carrying on aviation work
in their several States in promoting aviation, in assisting and en-
couraging in the improvement of landing fields, airports, and so on.
I see the director from South Caiolina, Mr. Dexter Martin, is here.
Are there any directors from these other States here, Mr. Martin?
Mr. MARTIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I am going to ask each of you gentlemen to make
a very brief statement if you will.
Mr. MARTIN. That has been taken up with the National Associa-
The CHAIRMAN. You mean this suggestion was taken up in your
Mr. MARTIN. Yes, sir.
The CIIAIRMAN. Was anyone authorized to speak for the associa-
Mr. MARTIN. Yes; Mr. Evans, from Michigan, and Mr. Wilson;
they were on the committee that talked that over.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you come around, Mr. Evans.
STATEMENT OF FLOYD E. EVANS, DIRECTOR OF AVIATION OF
THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
Mr. EVANS. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee, this
bill was taken up in quite some detail at our subcommittee meeting
the other evening, and we drafted a bill with some changes. I might
read that through hurriedly, but generally the bill is very acceptable
and the principle is received very cordially and we were very enthusi-
astic getting it.
This matter of the "Junior" question was taken up and it was
stated that the name might be somewhat changed to the "Reserve
Air Training Corps", or something like that. We are not wedded
21 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
to that name, but the "Junior" seems to be out. In principle it is
The age limit was again changed, as previously stated, from 17 to
24 years. The rest is minor detail, and y would like to leave with you
the thought that we are very, very much in favor of the principle of
Speaking for myself personally, and I think that I also represent
the thought of the meeting and of the other State aviation officials,
we think that generally this should be more or less a continuation of
our R. 0. T. C. work and confined to college students. It is true it
is not quite fair, but this is going to take some money to finance it,
and we must limit it, and to start with, I believe it would be very
desirable to get what is reasonably considered a little higher type
intellectually which is the man enrolled in college, who has completed
2 years of college work in an accredited university, making him then
eligible for enrollment in an actual flying course.' The matter of the
ground school work will also be taken care of.
We are going to build up not only a perpetual young Reserve Corps,
but one of the finest civilian flying organizations in the world. We
are not going to have a vocational training course. What we must
do today is develop the prospective purchaser and user of the aircraft,
the user of the air-mail service and air transport lines, and if we can
get these men who are graduating from colleges educated in following
,an air career through their junior and senior years by taking 50, 75
or 100 hours of flying they will be qualified as pilots, and they will
be enthusiastic airmen. They are not graduating as professional
pilots. That is just one of their finishing courses. We will then be
turning out graduate doctors, lawyers, engineers, professional men
who are going to be associated with others of that profession, and
we believe spread the gospel of aviation, and at the same time build-
ing a perpetual young Reserve Corps in aviation.
It occurs to me that they comprise, if anything, the great majority
of graduates, outside of the young Reserve officers and commercial
flyers who will use the airplanes and who will be purchasers of them
for their own pleasure and for business purposes and who will use the
airplane and the transport services. May I say, Mr. Chairman, that
the State aviation authorities are enthusiastically back of this bill
. long the right line.
Tle CHAIRMAN. Are there any members of the committee who
would like to ask any questions?
Mr. SCHAEFER. Would it be your idea to use university students
- Mr. EvANs. Yes; because of the financial situation. I believe this
must be financed to a certain extent by the Federal Government.
Students at universities who take ordinary laboratory work or any-
thing else must pay a small laboratory fee, and they must pay part
of the cost for these airplanes, but I believe it would have to be
financed part of the way by the Federal Government, in any event
from having instructors assigned there from the Army or the National
Guard or civil instructors in aviation.
* Mr. SnORT. If the Federal Government finances it we are going tt
-do that with the main purpose of having a Reserve Corps there for
military purposes rather than commercial use.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 27
Mr. EVANS. Yes; but they go hand in hand, as a civil pilot is
potentially a military pilot.
Mr. SCHAEFER. The reason I spoke of that is I have an air field in
my city. It seems to me if we could purchase two or three planes
pretty cheap and have a school right at that field, I do not see why
an honor graduate student from high school should not be permitted
to go out to that school and take-that course. We do not have any
State University or college in that vicinity, and yet, it seems that these
boys should have that opportunity.
Mr. EVANS. I think your idea is a splendid one, but it is a matter
of the finances
Mr. SCHAEFER. It would not be much expense because we have the
officers right there.
Mr. EVANS. All the Government would be doing then would be
merely putting its stamp of approval on such an operation, but I
believe they must go further than that. We have our flying clubs
outside of the realms of the universities particularly, and like the
most of the time they are going out of existence.
Mr. MAVERICK. Mr. Chairman, unfortunately, I did not get here
in time to hear the testimony of the proponents of this bill. I would
like to hear a discussion on this point: The Government is contin-
uously asked to do what amounts to subsidizing business, and then if
we accidentally get into that field at all we are damned for interfering
with business. In other words, if this amounts to a subsidy of the
aircraft business and their commercial business, then it seems to me
the usual commercial schools ought to take care of that item of cost,
although I think it is a wonderful thing, and I think we will probably
need eventually from 5 to 25 times as many flyers as we have now.
However, I would like to have the witness clear that point up because
the Democrats are especially told we are interfering with business,
but it is all right when we go in and make a subsidy. However, when
we do something, like the T. V. A., where we get a return they say,
"You are running business." I would like to have you explain this.
Mr. EVANS. I believe this gentleman's idea here to establish a
school outside of the work of the universities might possibly bring up
that question. While I am inclined to think if it is confined to the
university strictly, it is not so inclined to stay in the commercial, it
will work to the betterment of commercial operators who are in the
training business, because of the word-of-mouth publicity of these
students in the universities that they are going to bring back to their
associates and colleagues and as a result stimulate more flying students.
Mr. SCHAEFER. As to the Parks Air College, what would be their
reaction to that proposition?
Mr. EVANS. I believe Mr. Parks would be very enthusiastic on the
college end of it. Just what he would do outside of the actual training
I do not know.
The CHAIRMAN. I happen to know that Mr. Parks approves of this
bill heartily. He told me so several times, and his representative
was here this morning, Mr. Inwood. He has already spoken in the
very strongest terms in favor of it. .
Mr. EvANs. Yes; he has indicated it was satisfactory outside of the
Mr. SCHAEFER. I wanted to ask whether we could not buy two or
three thousand dollar ships down there to take care of this training,
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
rather than purchase $60,000 or $80,000 Army planes, whether we
could not purchase the cheaper type of planes for this initial work?
Mr. EIANS. Yes, sir; absolutely.
Mr. INWOOD. May I just interject, in answer to another question
asked and I will say that if anybody wants to know how the United
States feels on this subject, there is a syndicate that is conducting a
Dumber of national po Us on prominent questions, and as a result of
that poll, 74 percent of the citizens of the United States, participating
in that poll which was conducted by the New York Herald Tribune,
the results of which appeared in the Washington Post the other Sun-
day, 74 percent of our citizens believe in our air defense enough they
wanted to see them grow.
. -Mr. EVANS. I want to emphasize two points particularly. My sug-
gestion that this be confined to the university is mainly with the
thought of finance. However, I think it would be splendid to go out
of that if we can. h a a
Mr. SCHAEFER. I have field and an Ar pos in my
and it seems a crime that we do not utilize that field for the education
of the young men in flying. Instead of the officers sitting around all
day smoking they might be doing something useful.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other observations?
Mr. EVANS. The second point is to emphasize Mr. Imwood's
thought, not to go to the expensive military plane, which is a fine
plane for a military plane, but for this preliminary training to go to
the lighter, cheaper type of commercial plane, which is on the mar-
ket now, and as compared to the warti'-ie training plane it is very
Mr. WIooIs. Did the Society of State Aviation officials go on
record as saying this should not apply to anything except colleges?
Mr. EVANS. No, sir.
Mr. WIGGINS. That is just your individual view.
Mr. EVANS. Yes, sir.
Mr. WIGGINS. They simply go out and hire planes that the coin-
mercial operator uses.
Mr. EVANS. I think every means should be taken to utilize our
present commercial equipment as far as we can.
Mr. SCHAEFER. I am interested in this bill, because I believe I have
about three or four hundred boys that wanted to enter West Point
and Annapolis. They took the examination, and evidently I have
got some pretty smart boys from the way they passed the entrance
examinations. I know those boys would be glad to get into this if
they had an opportunity to do so, but they have not the finances to
go to universities or colleges. I think 'they would make model
students for a proposition like this.
The CHAIRMAN. The bill does not limit it to college students, you
understand, and I agree with you that there are lots of very, very
capable young men who have not been able to go to college, yet,
they would be able by hard work to take the required course that
would be prescribed under the direction of the War Department, and
unless they came up to scratch, perhaps they could not get it, and
if they did pass they would be entitled to it.
a Mr. SCHAEFER. Why couldn't we put that in the bill that they have
a regular physical examination like they do for NVest Point and
JUNIOR AIR IIRSERV
The CHAIRMAN. The bill says the War Department shall prescribe
all of these regulations, and we know that the Watr Department will
Mr. DoRs:v. There are a number of requests for training to get
into the Army Air Corps by men who cannot go to college.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. DonsEy. I am wondering if any one here can give us an idea
of the number of planes in these private aeronautical schools which
can be used for this type of training purpose?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Inwood, would you be able to approximate
* Mr. INWOOD.
I would say throughout
there would be
at least 3,000 or more available.
Mr. WIGGINS. There would be more than that.
Mr. INWOOD. More than that?
Mr. WIGGINS. Yes.
Mr. INWOOD. I was trying to strike a rough guess. Of the com-
mercially and privately owned planes there are possibly 5,000 planes
available that could be used at very reasonable figures. I was not
suggesting any particular method of Government help. They might
buy the gasoline for them, or might contribute a very small amount
toward the leasing of commercial planes. It would be very well to
take into consideration the economy of leasing their available equip-
Mr. EVANS. I will submit for the record our proposed draft of this
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
(The proposed bill is as follows:)
H. R. 43385, AS REVIEWED BY STATZ AVIATION OrFICIALS
A BILL To promote civil aeronautics and national defense by orgalaing the Resorve Air Training Corps
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby,
authorized and directed to organize a civilian component of the United States
Army to be known and designated as the "Reserve Air Training Corps", and to
establish such rules and regulations as he shall deem fit and proper for carrying
out the purposes and objects of this Act.
Stc. 2. That all persons between the ages of seventeen years and twenty-four
years, of sound physical condition, and with a minimum education equivalent to
at least a full hifh-school course, shall be elibible to be listed as cadets of the
Reserve Air Training Corps, and shall be entitled to receive such emblem or
designation to wear upon the clothing as the Secretary of War may prescribe
while receiving such course of Instructon and training in aerodynamics and In the
art of flying as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War.
SEC. 3. That the Secretary of War Is authorized and directed to use all proper
means and agencies for the encouragement of said Reserve Air Training Corps,
including the leasing or purchase of necessary equipment and facilities; also to
detail either Regular flying officers or Reserve or National Guard flying officers
called to active duty, and other necessary personnel, to engage in the Instruction
and training of cadets (and repair and maintenance of equipment) of the Reserve
Air Training Corps in such private flying schools, colleges, universities, and centers
of air training as may be selected'by the Secretary of War for that purpose, where
the number of cadets shall not be less than twenty and there the standards of
instruction and training shall have been approved by the Secretary of War.
SEc. 4. That the Secretary of War is further authorized and directed to en-
courage the development of said Resrrve Air Training Corps by permitting the
use of such Army air fields from time to time as may not conflict with the work
80 J UIOR AIR RESERVE
of the Air Corps of the Army and further by permitting the use of airplanes, air-
craft generally, and equipment belonging to the Air Corps of the Army, if and
when, in the judgment of the Secretary of War, such use is wise and proper in
promoting the art of flying in the training of said Reserve Air Training Corps
and not in conflict with the work of the Air Corps of the Army.
Szc. 5. That upon the completion of such course of training as shall have been
prescribed by the Secretary of War and upon the satisfactory passage of final
examination and tests by cadets of said Reserve Air Training Corps, the Secretary
of War shall Issue certificates of graduation that shall evidence full membership
by all such graduates in the Reserve Air Training Corps, and said graduates shall
then be entitled to wear such uniform as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of
War, and such insignia and other designations and decorations upon said uniform
or civilian clothing as the Secretary of War shall prescribe.
SEc. 6. That the Secretary of War is authorized to select each year the most
proficient graduates of the primary instruction hereby authorized and to offer
to Maid graduates further instruction at any school or flying field of the United
States Army for such period as he may deem necessary to qualify such Reserve
Air Training Corps graduates for commission in the Air Reserves.
The CHAIRMAN. Isn't there someone else here who represents these
State directors of aviation?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Tex Rankin, of Portland, Oreg.
STATEMENT OF TEX RANKIN, STATE DIRECTOR OF AVIATION,
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I
have been in the training end of aviation for a good many years. I
have put through better than 3,500 students in my school. I am not
saying that for advertising purposes, because I have closed my school
up, and I do not expect to ever run one again, but I want to say few
things here that might help some of the fellows who have not closed
up, some of them whose creditors are a little more lenient than mine
were. We have been talking about this thing back and forth and
someone has suggested that this be confined strictly to colleges.
Colonel Evans, I believed, mentioned that. That is not my opinion.
I believe that these students should be given some assistance by the
Government, and that they should receive their primary training, at
least their dual training and give them a few hours solo in civilian
schools, and I think those civilian schools should be approved by the
Department of Commerce, and, possibly, by the War Department.
I believe that the method of training should be checked into very
thoroughly, because I firmly believe that the majority of accidents in
civilian flying in the past, and clear on back to where it started from
has been due to lack of knowledge on the part of the pilot, and f
believe even today that lack of knowledge of flying exists more gen-
erally than it did 6, or 8, or 10 years ago. In other words, I believe
that the majority of pilots today with as much as 50 hours of flying
know a whole lot less about flying than the majority of pilots who had
50 hours of flying 10 years ago.
Mr. ROGERS. YoU believe that applies to both civil flying and
military and naval fl ing?
Mr: RANKIN. No, I do not believe it applies to military flying,
and I believe military and naval pilots do know a great deal more
about flying at the end of 50 hours or 100 hours than they did 10
years ago, or 5 years ago. They keep progressing. The point that
I am trying to bring out is this, that civilian flying expanded so
"UMIOR AR RESRRVV, 31
rapidly during the boon years of 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930, that
people were teaching flying that really did not know a great deal
about it themselves.
I believe an instructor is born, you might say. He is not made.
A good instructor is a mighty hard man to find. I know people who
are instructing, and who have as many as 5,000 hours of flying to
their credit, and who cannot go out and make a safe spin. I know
one chap-I got hold of one of his students, when the Department
of Commerce put in this 50-hour requirement for private pilots,
which, understand, I think was the finest thing that has ever happened
because it has already saved many lives, but I got hold of one of
those students. He was a student no more, because he had had 200
or 300 hours flying, and the man had never had a spin. He had
never had any stalls, and he had never had any advance maneuvers
of any kind, and when I took him up to teach spins which was a
new requirement, had he been alone, he would have spun right on
to the ground, he never would have come out. I think it was a
mighty fine thing that the Department of Commerce brought out
that requirement when they did.
But, I believe this, that in developing this new idea, which is
undoubtedly a splendid idea, that we ought to be very careful of
the type of instruction that these youngsters get. I believe it should
be thorough instruction. I believe that the men who give these in-
structions should themselves have an instructor's rating given by the
Department of Commerce, in order to insure that these chaps do
get good instruction. In my own school I have tried in every manner
possible to teach these chaps to fly properly, and I believe we did
do a good job of it, because of all the students we put through there,
who have flown more than 2,000,000 miles on our ships and not one
ever had a fatal or either a serious accident in the solo stage or the
primary stage. It just shows that you can give safe instruction if
you will only settle down and study it out.
That may sound boastful, but I make that assertion merely to
emphasize the point of safety that is desirable. I think that if we
can get this proposition worked out so that the civilian schools that
now exist, and many of them are splendid schools, they can have a
little help, it will help them to keep them from going broke, and in
time of war we need those people, need them badly. They have the
equipment, they have the instructors, and they have everything that
is necessary, and all they need is these students, and I think that if
the Government would subsidize these students in some way, not
100 percent, by any means, but with some slight subsidy you would
get plenty of them to take up this job of training.
I further believe that the training should be confined to students
who have at least a high-school education. I have found that students
16 or 17 years of age, in my own work, do not prove out so good. The
fellows 18, 19, or 20 years old made much better pilots than the stud-
ents 16 or 17 years old. They are just a little bit too young.
I am not advocating turning over all flying instruction to civilian
schools and then chasing from those civilian schools candidates for
Army or Navy trainig, because the Army and Navy have their own
type of training, and I can see that they have many problems that
the civilian schools do not get, but I do believe that if these boys
receive their primary instructions in some of these schools in good
3UVIOR A RPAEREVE
schools, that the Army and Navy may find that many of them will
be good material for the training schools at Pensacola and Kelly
Field. That is all I have to say.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Rankin, let me ask you this: Out of your
vast experience would you approximate the length of time, the
number of months necessary for this course to continue through in
order to take a high-school graduate, that is, the minimum require-
ment you yourself set to take an exceptionally competent high-school
graduate, and advance him to the point where he would be a flyer
with training and instruction in elementary aerodynamics and
aeronautics so that he would be availahlA in the evetit of Amergency
for quick training for military flying?
Mr. ANKIN. I would say this, that the first summer vacation,
which I understand to be about 3 months' duration-I would recom-
mend that that entire 3 months' period be given over to ground school
instruction the first year, and that the next 9 months be followed up
by that chap with ground school instruction of an extension type;
and that the next year, the second year, that he then be given his
primary flying instruction of dual flying, about 10 hours of dual
instruction before he reaches the solo stage and approximately 2 or 3
hours of solo flying; and that during all this time the extension-course
ground school work be continued, with the assistance of the War
Department and the Air Corps furnishing suitable material, and that
the third year he be given super-iised solo flying.
All of diat, I think, should be worked out by the Air Corps, the
type of flying, and the type of ships, and so forth. Incidentally, I
do think that there are several airplanes on the market today, at
least, two or three, that would be suitable for training of this kind-
ships that would not cost over $4,000 or $5,000 apiece and that would
be suitable for advance training on his second or third year of training,
particularly his third year.
The CHAIRMAN. So your idea is that assuming that a college boy
would spend three vacations, three summer vacations, in the flying
school, and then, during the college term of 9 months he could be
taking that correspondence course in aerodynamics, and if they had
a course of instruction in the college on that subject he could be taking
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. So that at the end of the third summer in this
flying school he would be-if lie had been diligent and were naturally
adept--he would be entitled to this certificate and these wings?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes, sir; and I would further suggest that if you
find, and if your committee finds, that it is impossible to bring out
a bill that will take care of the actual flying end of it, that at least
this idea be carried on with the flying left out of it, but providing
the ground school instruction and providing a skeleton organization
for a reserve aviation training corps, which later on could be added
to the actual flying. I think it is a splendid idea; and from the
standpoint of national defense, I know of nothing better.
The CHAIRMAN. Because, in the event of an emergency, we not
only need large numbers of pilots to fight in combat, but we need
leadership, and we need men trained when on the ground to take care
of the work, and the more they know about planes and about the
principles of aerodynamics the more quickly they could be whipped
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
into shape to take care of the ground work of an army or of the Air
Corps, couldn't they?
Mr. RA-NIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions, gentlemen? I thank
you very much, indeed, Mr. Rankin.
I want to call on our friend, Mr. Steele, who is chairman of the
Aeronautics Commission of the American Legion.
STATEMENT OF D. M. STEELE, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL AERO-
NAUTICS COMMISSION, AMERICAN LEGION
The CHAIRMAN. All of you gentlemen understand that this gentle-
man is head of the American Legion committee on aviation appointed
by the national commander. Mr. Steele resides at Los Angeles, Calif.,
and he, himself, has been, since the war, an active pilot and flown
hundreds of hours. He was a wartime pilot and a wartime instructor.
Mr. STEELE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, just a word before I
start to read this short letter here--a word about the words "Junior
Air Reserve." I have a boy that will soon be 18. 1 know from
experience that he won't joiri what they call the Junior Birdmen of
America, because he feels that he is just a little bit above junior. I
would just like to go on record as agreeing with the others that the
word "junior" might not be the proper word to use. I am going to
read this, and then I will be glad to answer any questions. [Reading:]
The following is offered as a suggsetion in connection with the subject bill.
Fundamentally, it is not believed that the best interests of national defense
would be served in any plan embodying the training of pilots which does not
have a follow-up program permitting these pilots to continue their flying. Further,
it is not our belief that it is economically sound to spend a great deal of money
training a pilot and then to permit that pilot to go out into civilian life without
an opportunity to carry on his flying.
Directly, therefore, with respect to the subject bill, the following is specifically
(a) That the age limit in your bill be changed to read "from 18 to 24."
(b) That all physical requirements be identical and conform to present Air
Corps regulations with respect thereto.
(c) That educational requirements be reduced to the point where each appli-
cant must either have graduated from a high school or its equivalent and have a
sufficient number of credits to warrant his admission to college.
The CHAIRMAN. You are speaking of the Air Corps?
Mr. STEELE. Yes, sir.
General WESTOVER. There is a minimum of 2 years of college if
you want to get in without taking the examination.
. Mr. STEELE. My suggestion is that it be limited with graduation
from a high school with" the credits equivalent necessary to get into
(d) That of those between the above-mentioned ages who by virtue of this
plan are induced to take a course in flying In schools approved under this plan by
the Air Corps be required to take a course sufficiently long to enable them to
obtain a limited commercial pilots license.
(e) That upon their successful graduation and completion of this course they
be given a pair of wings by the Air Corps, together with a diploma announcing
their successful completion of the course and permission to wear a uniform pre-
scribed by the War Department.
(f) As an inducement to young men to take this flying at their own expense
and to pay for their uniform, let the following inducements be offered:
When the young man has completed his flying training let him be admitted to
the ranks of either the United States Army Resrve Corps or the National Guard,
with the status of a student officer. Under the supervision of either of these two
34 -UVIOB AIR RESERVE
groups he will receive his postgraduate course in flying. During the time he
receives such postgraduate course he shall retain the status of a student officer
without pay. As a further inducement, let it be known that at the completion
of his postgraduate course in flying it will be possible for him to take an examin-
ation for regular Reserve Officers, and if successful, to be given the rank of second
lieutenant and automatically passed into the United States Army Air Corps,
where he will enjoy the same privileges accorded to the officers in this branch.
To offset the opposition to the use of Reserve and National Guard facilities,
let me offei the following suggestion:
Civilian commercial airplanes are often flown as much as 600 and 800 hours
per year with complete safety. It is believed that the average number of hours
flown per year by either Reserve or National Guard airplanes is materially less
than this figure. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that with the same number
of airplanes double the amount of flying could be done if the personnel were
available to use them. This group of young men coming in could very easily
use these planes which are already available for Reserve and National Cuard
activities in the manner prescribed below:
Usually National Guard and Reserve activities are carried on over Saturdays
and Sundays, for the reason that most of the men in those branches are business-
men. Let these young student officers be restricted to the use of these planes on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays of each week only. This will allow Sat-
urday and Sunday for the regular groups, with Friday and Monday devoted to
engine-check and airplane-inspection period.
Doubling the amount of flying will necessarily require appropriation for both
gasoline and maintenance, including additional spare parts. This should be
taken into consideration, naturally, when drafting your bill.
It is not known as a fact, but it is believed that most Reserve and National
Guard planes reach the obsolescence period without having flown over 40 per-
cent of the maximum number of hours possible to fly them. In other words,
instead of flying a maximum of 3,000 to 3,500 hours, they probably go out of
service as obsolescent with a maximum of 1,200 to 1,500 hours, or in approxi-
mately this proportion.
Conclusion: The above suggestions are exactly that; they are not a national
policy of this commission, but if you see fit to adopt all or part of these sugges-
tions it is believed that same can be formally approved by the members of this
commission without delay.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Steele, I certainly thank you, and I believe
the committee will, for these very constructive suggestions you have
made. I do not now see a single thing in your proposal that person-
ally I would not approve of, and I hope that the committee will finally
prepare and report such a bill as the American Legion can approve of
and help us to put through in the interest of the national defense.
Now, I am interested in this, primarily, you might say, solely for
national defense; but, of course, these flying schools and the industry
will be an indirect beneficiary of this, just like the colleges are bene-
ficiaries of the R. 0. T. C. work. Lots of colleges have been almost
kept alive, have been able to have enough students there to carry on,
because of the financial help that the R. 0. T. C. gave them, and I
think in that way these flying schools have been doing, and may be
able in the fature to do, a great service for the country in the nature of
training for national defense.
Gentlemen, have you any questions to ask Mr. Steele?
Mr. STEELE. I have one thought that I want to explain.
The CHAIRMAN. There are some of your neighbors here, Mr.
Costello, of Hollywood, and Mr. Collins, of Fullerton.
Mr. STEELE. Yes. Our National Guard and Reserve facilities-
planes stand sitting in the hangars the greater part of the week, with
the exception of Saturdays and Sundays. Many of these members of
the National Guard and Reserve do not get sufficient opportunity to
use them. We already have those planes, so why not use them tN ice
as much as we do, by letting theso young fellows come in and use
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 35
them? Many of us are getting too old to continue our flying; and
at the completion of their course, let these young fellows automati-
cally go into the Reserve; and as they go into the Reserve and others
are moved up, why not have other young fellows come in afterward
and move up? So it keeps up, with a continual bunch of youngsters
in the Air Corps Reserve. Our flying days are practically over, and
the most of us who were in the war have already reached the age where
we could not do much as combat pilots. We might be no good for
fighting. There are a few pilots in the Reserve today that would
be fit for combat work in the event of another war. I myself would
not want to go up against a youngster in combat, and I know a lot of
other- that would not want to.
The CHAMMAN. Just to emphasize again that splendid thought
about utilizing these planes we have. They are becoming obsolete
not only because of the number of hours they have been in the air,
but because of their age and by the introduction of more recent models
of equipment, accessories, and so forth.
Mr. STEELE. We use in the Reserve at Long Beach, Pt's with a
five-cylinder motor, the cost of operation of which is practically
negligible per hour compared to our modern bombing planes and
the higher-priced pursuit job. I do not believe that five-cylinder
planes use much more than 11 or 12 gallons of gasoline per hour. If
we use them for a maximum of $1 000 for training-for the training
of these students-multiplied by the number of hours you give, the
cost of the gasoline and the'spare parts would be negligible, compared
to buying new equipment, when we have this already. We can use
all of those planes much more than they are now being used at very
little additional cost.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, very much indeed, Mr. Steele. I
think that is a very constructive suggestion. I understand you have
to take a plane now, and we thank you for attending our meeting.
Isn't there another one of the State directors of aviation present
that would like to say a word or two to us? Mr. Martin, you have
not expressed yourself.
Mr. MARTIN. Mr. Raymond, from Georgia here, wants to talk to
you briefly if lie may.
The CHAIRMAN. ,fr. Raymond.
STATEMENT OF W±SLEY N. RAYMOND, MACON, GA.
Mr. RAYMOND. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen, I am not a State
aviation official, and I do not know whether I am in order in being
here. I was invited here by my friend, Mr. Martin. I have been
engaged in the aeronautical industry, and particularly airplane sales
for many years. I have been interested in the methods of manufac-
ture in the industry a great deal, and that is my interest in being here.
I have recently taken over the operation of the Macon Airport in
. A great many of the inspectors
of the Department
down there are
riling around in automobiles, and they like the facilities to travel
and check up on our present requirements in the way of aviation
equipment and facilities. What we need is a uniform method of in-
struction. It has been just recently that the Bureau of Air Commerce
put out a bulletin on uniform training. Up to that time no one taught
36 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
any particular way. One instructor taught one way and another
another, and thus we had a great many accidents as Tex Rankin has
pointed out to you.
Having traveled all over the United States, and having sold planes
to a dozen of the large operators throughout the country, some of the
most outstanding, I believe that if we come forward'with ground-
school training and the Government subsidizes that ground-school
training, that that will be absolutely free to any- one and the Army Air
Corps and the Reserve Corps suply the instructo's, that will be an
inducement to have the young boys enroll in this school. Then, when
they graduate from that school they can come up to the private school
to get their training.
Right now I know we have enough planes today available to train,
to give those pilots free training. There is another reason why we
should keep in mind those commercial schools, which is because it
has been the backbone of the industry. If we do not do something
to encourage the commercial operators they are going to fall by the
wayside, and many of them have fallen since 1930. We must'have
airports for the improvement of flying. Riglt now cities are faced
with the problem of maintaining those airports. The colleges have
already been given a lot of consideration, but we must keep the com-
mercial activities of the municipal airport in the hands of the com-
mercial operator whose equipment can qualify to conic up to these
Army regulations which are prescribed. I believe inmediately if the
plan is included to have Army supervision so that we are following
through from the beginning the general course or trend, we can have
a bureau of maintenance that would carry on the same as they are
now keeping the airplanes in shape. Our Bureau of Commerce has
prepared plans and proper facilities to lessen the accidents among
private owners and air lines. Funds must be provided for this super-
vision, or otherwise these accidents will continue.
When it was proposed we were going to have a school at Macon we
had something like 1,000 students that came into that area to find
out about it. If they could have the funds appropriated so as to
enroll these students, many of them qualified, I believe, they would
avail themselves, and I believe there are thousands that would come
in and avail themselves of that training.
Then there is another thing, and that is the matter of cost, if you
will check the statistics you will find in the last 2 years if we had not
gotten two or three other small airplanes we would have been out of
usiness. It was a matter of cost in training. That is ., matter that
is going to have to be adopted.
At this time the Government, it seems to me, could organize these
ground schools and support them, or several in each State, so that each
section could be taken into it, and carry on the great work that has
been continued in this commercial field, using commercial airplanes.
The CHAIRMAN. You say there was a report that there would be
established by the Government, or somebody, a school at Macon, Ga.,
and you say there were 1,000 applicants?
Mr. MARTIN. That was an F. E. R. A. school, and there were
thousands of students all over; every town you went to. They go
all enthused about it, but the funds didn't come through. The reply
from it was enormous.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
The CHAIRMAN. What class of young men applied for enrollment?
Mr. MARTIN. Of course, there were all classes of them. I will say
that probably 25 or 30 percent of them really would have been good
materiall-coJld have qualified. They were the high-school boys with
education and intelligence, about 25 or possibly 30 percent that would
have qualified if they had gone into the school.
The CHAIRMAN. 'there was a feeling that the F. E. R. A. might
establish such a school there?
Mr. MARTIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. To give instruction and training to unemployed
youngsters like they do in the Civilian Conservation group?
Mr. MIARTIN. No; an neronautical ground school, including all
The CHAIRMAN. Where was tho relief factor involved in it?
Mr. MARTIN. To give employment to pilots and instructors. We
had hundreds of transport pilots that can qualify that were going to
The CHAIRMAN. I see.
Mr. MARTIN. But I do not know why it did not go through.
Mr. SHORT. Since the Government furnishes all the supplies and
equipment to boys who go to Annapolis and West Point and, in
addition, pays then money, don't you think it would be fair for the
Government to take care of thcsc boys who want to avail themselves
of this training?
Mr. MARTIN. I think it would be fine if they could, before you
arrive at your ultinmte results of training these efficient pilots, of
bringing them up to the point as Mr. Steel stated. Bis procedure was
excellent, so that the class who had qualified could be put, in the
Reserve, and then as they moved up others could come in.
I believe according to hi, plan it would follow up very efficiently.
Tile CHAiRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Martin.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. McSwain, Colonel Evans, who has already talked
to you here, is the father of that idea that Mr. Martin just spoke to
vou about, of these schools subsidized by the F. E. R. A., and later
by the WV. P. A., and it is a wonderful idea.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I think so.
M\ir. RAN KIN. You can get the details of it from him, because he is
the man who originated the idea.
The CHAIRMAN. It is a pity we did not use it.
Mr. EvANS. Under the V. E. R. A. program, in Michigan, we
organized these ground schools, with an enrollment of 2,200 students.
Under the W. P. A. the restrictions are such that we must operate a
little differently because the instructors must be on relief. Under the
F. E. R. A. regulations the instructors could be needy unemployed.
We have the funds and we have the unemployed. It is just a matter
of getting the restrictions changed with the NV. P. A. set up in order to
allow us to go ahead. We are going ahead under the ruling that they
made that instructors employed in the F. E. R. A. training from
September 1, 1935, may be again employed under the W. P. A.
without qualifying for relief. As a result our State is the only one
able to go ahead on this program, and with little cost; if the IV. P. A.
rules would let the bars down we could go ahead with this work and
it would do a great deal of good. We expect to have 3,000 enrolled
65JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
this winter. We have a minor number of the lower bracket, truck
drivers, and so forth, and a tremendous number of former engineers
employed in the automobile industry. Our average enrollee is 27
years old and they are high-school graduates or more.
The CHAIRMAN. That is very informative and I am glad to hear
that. Had you thought of hooking some instructions in aviation onto
this youth administration?
Mr. EVANS. That is it.
The CHAIRMAN. It is just as vital to this Nation that these young
men know about, aviation, and perhaps more so, than that they
should know about Latin, Greek, and Shakespeare.
'Mr. EvANs. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Would the youngsters who are not able to take a
college course at their own expense be assisted as part of this youth
Mr. EVANS. We can do it very nicely.
The CHAIRMAN. I wish you would work out something along that
Mr. EVANS. I worked it out as far as field instruction is concerned.
I see no other way, but I see it will cost something.
Mr. SHORT. These instructors will be practical men or Army men,
practical men instead of brain trusters?
Mr. EVANS. We have three colleges in Michigan, and, consequently,
we have a pretty good field to draw from. We can go further and try
to get aeronautical engineers who are also transport pilots, who are
also licensed, and that makes a splendid type of instructor.
The CHAIRMAN. Colonel Suninter Smith, State Director of Aero-
nautics of Alabama.
STATEMENT OF SUMNTER SMITH, STATE DIRECTOR OF
AERONAUTICS OF THE STATE ')F ALABAMA
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman, I am at the present time with the
W. P. A. temporarily. So, with Mr. Tall in charge of the Division
of Airways and Airports, I- have listened with a great deal of interest
to the discussion this morning, and there are only one or two points I
would like to add to it.
As a member of the National Commission of Aeronautics of the
American Legion, I am in hearty accord with what Mr. Steele has
said, along with what several others have said, but there is a begin-
.ning which should be put ahead of that program, and that was brought
out by Colonel Evans and others in the fundamental instruction of
these youngsters before they actually start their flying.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean the fundamental ground instructions?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, the fundamental ground instruction relating to
aviation, and, of course, the other school work.
The CHAIRMAN. Aeronautics and so forth, and physics, and so
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir. I am particularly interested in the program
as they have it, primarily to the highway construction, the road pro-
gram, the automobile program and, of course, that resolves itself
into more or less the question of the egg and the chicken as to which
one came first. At the present time it is necessary in the interest of
aviation for all three to be cared for together. That means that we
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
must have more pilots, more planes, and more airports. One sup-
plements the other. Without any one of the three of them the other
two are not of much value. As a practical suggestion, I think that
these ground schools as brought out by Colonel Evans are a wonderful
thing in measuring this temporary period. As to this youth adminis-
tration or other activities of that nature, it is a splendid time to use the
supply of the leadership of those who have had experience in passing
those things on to the youngsters who have not the means to get it
otherwise. The ground school training should be carried on through
the high school because, as a matter of fact, I do not think we will get
the full benefit of aviation uAtil the present generation, which was
born after thlip airplane became_ more or less common reaches maturity,
because anyone who can remember when the airplane was a novelty
will always have a hesitancy of flying, thinking it is a novelty.
Along the line of suggestions of a practical nature, while it is
absolutely fair and necessary, I think, that every youth should have a
fair chance to get this education without regard to his means. It is
necessary to began in a small way, and to get an ultimate or a compre-
hensive plan, if it is going to be successful in the long run, it is just
my personal opinion that if the R. 0. T. C. units were expanded in
the colleges where they have an aeronautical engineering course to
the extent that they would include further training in aviation, includ-
ing flying training, we would be able to more or less establish a labora-
tory that would indicate to us or show us which corner to take in
There are two distinct types of training, although the fundamentals
may be the same, and that is civilian flying and the milita7 flying.
I do believe that the colleges should leave the actual flight training i
the preliminary trainings to the civilian schools and to private indus-
try. I think that those schools approved certainly by the Bureau of
Air Commerce, and if it is then indicated that graduates of those
schools who by further course qualify for military training they
should be approved by the Air Corps also.
The National Guard, of course, is one of our heads, having been in
it for about 15 years. We are constantly getting new pilots in our
Air Corps squadron. At the present time about one-third of the
pilots are wartime pilots, who, as Mr. Steele has said, are getting up
into years as far as combat flying goes. About one-third of them are
men from private schools, who received private instruction, and about
one-third are graduates of the Air Corps Training Center. One of the
most pathetic sights I know of is a youngster who has done everything
he could to get his friends and his Congressmen and everyone else to
get him into the Air Corps Training Center, who has served his year
or 18 months and gone out and has had to give up his active training
and go back to some town where he cannot get any additional flying.
He cannot get a job in the aviation industry flying, and at the pres-
ent time, frankly, in a good many cases, that training is practically
The CHAIRMAN. This committee has often asserted its belief that
every one of those youngsters ought to be in the Regular Army now.
We have done our best to get them there.
Mr. SMITH. I believe in having a comprehensive plan in mind for
the ultimate achievement of the objective, and then working that
along practical lines in a small way until we find which way is good.
40 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
If these students have preliminary training in the civilian schools
and training in the ground work, at the same time some of them will
stand out above others. If they can qualify at the end of their
college course for advance practice and graduate courses in military
flying, then, they can take a course in the Air Corps Training Center
just the same as these groups do at the present time. Some of them
would eventually get into the Regular Army. Most of them would
have to come back to civilian status or be added to the reservoir of
potential Air Corps officers, had the education and the other require-
ments that it takes to make a first-class officer, or these men, when
they graduated, could be shifttedl to National Giard Reserve Squad-
rons, and if we had sufficient funds to give them training we would
have a continuing reservoir of flying officers who would he available
for any emergency.
I do not think it is a debatable question, but it is something that
comes up. I do not think any one of us would want to fly in a trans-
port plane where the pilot was only given 4 hours flying a month, or
we would not want to ride in a Pullman car or a railroad coach if the
engineer of the train only took the train out once or twice a month,
but through the force of circumstances, hundreds of these reserve
officers, and up until recently a large number of the Regular Army
officers, got practically no flying time throughout the entire year, I
mean comparatively speaking. After all, it comes down to the
question of practicability, which involves a plan of financing, and I
think that will be a determining factor.
I am heartily in favor of the principle of the bill, Mr. Chairman,
and I feel confident some way caq be worked oui to put it i ito w,'ac-
tice, because that is what weneed to get-action.
" The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged, Colonel. You have
certahily given us some very constructive suggestions. As I visualize
it, not all of these young men who desire to get this training would
be ultimately available for commissions, either emergency commis-
sions or regular commissions, but we must remember that we have
got to have noncommissioned officers, and we have got to have me-
chanics, and we have got to have thousands of them.
These men that may not be available by reason of insufficient
education, or by reason of insufficient qualities of leadership, can be
very easily whipped into shape as noncommissioned officers and as
mechanics to work on the ground so that the planes and equipment
of the pilots may be in proper shape to go into the air.
* It is now 1 o'clock, gentlemen. We are goig to recess until 2:30,
but it is my hope that all of you will come back this afternoon, because
we are goipg to give everyone here who has an idea and wants to
offer it forthis record, an opportunity to advance it and contribute
-in that way to making more secure the cause of national defense.
If any of you have to leave and you have a written statement, submit
it to me or to the clerk and I will see that it is included in the printed
record of the hearings. We will adjourn until 2:30.
(Whereupon, at 1 p. m., a recess was taken until 2:30 p. m., of the
JUNIOR AM RESERVE 41
The committee met at the expiration of the recess, Hon. John J:
MeSwain (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will now come to order.
Mr. Dudley M. Steele, will you please come forward?
STATEMENT OF DUDLEY K. STEELE
Mr. STEELE. Mr. Chairman, there was some misunderstanding of
some of the remarks that I made pertaining to the plans which I read.
It appears that some of the gentlemen who were present think that
hiy plan has io do only with letting these boys fly in Government-
'The first part of my plan was that these boys N ere to learn to fly
in commercial schools at their own expense and when and if they
completed that commercial training at their own expense and bought
their uniforms, let an added inducement be made so that when they
had completed it that they be permitted the use of and be enlisted
in the United States Air Corps Reserve and the National Guard as
student officers, and then let them get their post-graudate course in
the branch of the service.
I d d not want anybody to think I was not anxious that these
boys should use commercial schools. Wherever they do their train-
ing, let them use commercial schools, not let the boys get their train-
ing in the Government service. And then after their training in the
commercial schools give them a post-graduate course and continue
their flying in the branches of the service I mentioned at Government
T'he CHAIRMIAN. That is the way I understood you.
Mr. STEELE. I wanted to make that clear, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I am glad it is now perfectly plain to all.
Mr. STEELE. Thank you for the opportunity of explaining it.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Ilartranft has an additiona fact lie thinks
might be valuable to the committee.
STATEMENT OF J. B. HARTRANFT
Mr. HARTRANFT. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my addition is in
the form of reading a notation of the policies committee of the Uni-
versity Flying Club which was adopted at our last conference. I
bring it up at this time because at that particular time the con-
ference considered the possibility of Army and Navy training and
R. O. T. C. groups. With your permission I would like to read the
notation made at that time.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to have it.
Mr. IIARTRANFT. There were two or three other things which were
suggested. I will not rea,4 the entire report but only this mich
which happens to apply here.
That the Chair consider the committee's action of passing without approval
the suggested recommendation to back an amendment to the Air Act of 1926-
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
That act, as you probably recall, permits the release of flying
equipment from the Army and Navy to recognize the schools and
colleges provided that such equipment shall be accounted for yearly;
that cost of shipping be paid by the receiver; that the equipment
shall not be returned; that the equipment shall not be used for fly-
ing, and so forth.
The committee submits the following as reasons for their action in this matter.
The flying equipment is usually of service type, large, high-powered, and not
suitable for use by other than experienced pilots.
Operation and maintenance costs will be prohibitive for their operation.
The equipment has been declared unfit for further flying by a competent
board of survey.
The advantage gained would probably be lost by provoking the military
authorities with the proposal of such a plan, and would necessitate preassigimnent
of equipment before survey.
All that is with regard to the act of 1926, which was the first step
in considering a possible linking-up with the military end.
The House of Representatives bill no. 8400 and Senate no. 2992
of the Seventy-third Congress, second session, were reviewed, and
at that time the committee sent two of its members to briefly investi-
gate the possibility of Army and Navy training to R. 0. T. C. groups
in the university and the possibility of assignment of Government
ships and/or pilots to flying groups-and recommend the appoint-
ment of a committee to investigate the possibilities of these two
That was last year. Nothing has been done about it since, but
I did want to put it down in the record as to our having made efforts
It probably was approved and submitted April 3, 1935.
I mention this at this time because our organization has been
built through the efforts of many of the gentlemen all over the
United States representing the various universities with the hope
that some day it might be used as a vehicle for such a program as
has been discussed here this morning. I would like to suggest that
possibly we might be able to cooperate, and we are quite willing in
every way possible to turn over any information in our files to the
committee that might be of help in connection with the colleges
are in existence
at the present
The CHAIRMAN. When you furnish that information, send it to
me. Thank you very much.
Mr. R. V. Waters, will you please come forward?
STATEMENT OF R. V. WATERS, SECRETARY, AIR FRONTIER
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Waters, are you director of aeronautics for
Mr. WTrns. No, Mr. Chairman. My capacity here is as secre-
tary, Air Frontier Defense Association. Mr. Dudley wired me to
come and help that association here. I am the aviation representa-
tive of the city of Miami, however, in my local contact.
The CHAIRMAN. I did have a wire from Mr. Dudley saying that
you would represent him. But I thought you were director of
aviation down there.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 43
Mr. WATERS. No, sir. Major McMullen is, but it was necessary
for him to go down to Langley Field today.
The CHAIRMAN. You heard this discussion this morning, Mr.
Waters, so will you please state what your reaction to those suggestions
Mr. WATERS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, the attitude and the
function of the Air Frontier Defense Association has been to work
toward increases in all phases of the aeronautic facilities of the Air
Corps and assist in any practical way we can in the increase of bases,
personnel, equipment, and the like. We are, of course, naturally
interested in this new movement because we believe it is basic in the
definite increase of personnel. Of course, we realize that that is going
to throw into the lap of the Air Corps and the War Department a lot
of new problems in the working out of a practical method of handling
I am impressed by this possibility that may grow out of this move-
ment that will have a very definite and favorable reaction in solving
some of these problems that we are working on for .the expansion of
the air force and properly equipping it.
All of us remember that prior to the World War very few Americans
paid any attention whatsoever to the extent that our armed forces
were equipped. They paid very little attention to their training or
the size of our armed force. But when war was declared and the
boys were brought out from the highways and byways and brought
out of the community, off of the farms aid out of the woods, like I
was, and brought into the Army, the Army started to equip us and
to change us. And immediately our fathers anti mothers, uncles,
and aunts, and other relatives and friends began to wonder whether
the boys had blankets enough, whether they were properly clothed,
whether they had arms that were equal to the arms of the other
nations, whether when they met the enemy they would be on a par
with him in training and in equipment. And our home folks bought
Liberty bonds and they did everything on God's world that they could
to properly equip and contribute to the comfort and the training
of those boys.
This movement gets under way and several hundred or several
thousand boys from all over the United States come into this picture.
Every community will have a few boys in it, and the parents, the
relatives, and the friends of those boys are going to begin to wonder
what kind of equipment they' are flying, how they are taken care of,
and what their background is. When they are told you have about
10,000 boys and you will actually have qualified 100,000 boys to flv
but no equipment to fly in, those home folks will want to know why.
The answer is that our own air force is not properly equipped, nor
our National Guard, nor the Reserves. We do not have adequate
funds and we have inadequate personnel to properly operate. There-
fore., this new group coming into the picture, possibly have adequate
The result is that you Congressmen will hear from the folks back
home suggesting not onl that these boys be properly equipped but
that our air force be. lF or the first time many of those people will
realize we have an inadequately equipped and manned air force.
You know as an actual fact, I dare say, that the people who are
actually personally interested in aviation in the United States out of
44 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
the 130 millions is probably not more than 2 or 3 percent, and perhaps
not even that many who are personally occupied in some form of
aeronautics. It is a very small group.
If this plan comes into being it will spread that out and give a per-
sonal contact either through relatives or friends throughout the
United States. They will be interested through relatives or friends
throughout the United States in aeronautics, in the training of these
boys and, in the training of those boys they ill become interested
in our air force and interested in seeing that it is adequately equipped.
Now, gentlemen, as to the bill as drawn, I sat in with a group of
State aviation officials and helped redraft the bill by making sug-
gestions, for instance, to extending the age limit, and so on. I
favored starting with 17, because many boys graduate from high
school at 17 years of age, and some even earlier. And it is so as not
to leave-a hiatus in there and leave the the chance for him to lose
interest and so that Ike can step right into this air training and air-
school work. Eighteen to twenty-four is good. I personally favor 17
to 24. I concurred in the various changes that we'e imde in the bill.
I believe, Mr. Chairman, that is all I have to say, except this. In
Miami we have had several very definite calls for this sort of thing.
One of our most prominent citizens, who was himself in the Navy
during the war, called me up one day and said, "I want to get my
boy Ed in the Naval Reserve."
I said, "Has he a college education?"
"No; he is just out of high school anti going to college. Ile has 3
months' vacation on his hands, and I don't want him spending his
time around town spending a lot of money and fooling around. I
want him to be in training."
I said, "Ed, your boy can't get into this because he cannot meet
I referred him to the commanding officer of the base. lie was
actually resentful because of the fact that his boy had nothing to do
for 3 months of the year and did not have an opportunity to fly a
military airplane and'properly qualify himself as a military aviator.
And this thing that is sought to be accomplished here, if it can be
worked out in a practical way, will actually fill that very definite gap,
that is, the vacation period of boys who have passed high school or are
engaged in college.
I thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN.' Are there any questions, gentlemen?
Thank you very much, Mr. Waters.
Is Mr. Moore, from Florida, present? (No response.)
Is Mr. Allen, of Chicago, present.? (No response.)
Is Mr. Heber, of Garden City, N. Y., present?
STATEMENT OF 0. P. HEBER, OF ROOSEVELT FIELD, GARDEN
CITY, N. Y.
The CHAIRMAN. MH. lieber, you are from Roosevelt Field, I
Mr. HEBER. Yes; Mr. Chairman. I am operating at Roosevelt
The CHAIRMAN. Please tell us your views on this, if you will.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 45
Mr. HEBER. I just want to concur in the bill, as it has been outlined
by you, sir. I also want to express Mr. Orr's opinion as particularly
in favor of the bill.
The only thing I have to add to that which has been discussed
already is the problem of the approved school in the line of this
particular type of training.
About the 18th of November 1935, the Department of Commerce
sent out a memorandum to the effect that from the period of July 1,
1933, to June 30, 1935, there had been in the neighborhood of some
82 accidents in just general commercial flying up to the grade of the
private licensed pilot.
The question was asked of the statistical branch of the Department
as to whether or not any of the private schools had any of those
accidents specified in thai memorandum, and the reply just returned
about 2 days ago was to the effect that none had occurred in the
private schools. So I maintain the private schools are competent
approved units of instruction by the Department of Air Commerce.
And they have done an excellent job in the past, and I see no reason
why they should not be given the opportunity of doing it in the future.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions? (No response.)
If not, I wish to thank you very much, Mr. Heber.
Is Mr. E. W. Wiggins present?
Mr. WIGGINS. Yes; Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF E. W. WIGGINS, RHODE ISLAND GOVERNOR FOR
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS ASSOCIATION
The CHAIRMAN. This is E. W. Wiggins, Rhode Island governor for
the National Aeronautics Association, of Providence, R. I.
Mr. Wiggins, you have been here and have heard what has been
said and are in general familiar with this proposition. We will be
glad to have you express your views.
Mr. WIGGINS. Let me say first that I have talked with Governor
Greene. He is known as the flying Governor of the United States.
He wanted me to express to you hi§ willingness to cooperate in every
way possible in promoting this bill. He is generally in favor of it.
I am in favor of the bill as you have it. I do think we should bring
out pretty clearly one or two things. Mr. Steele had a very well
thought out program here for taking care of the student after he had
gotten a commercial license, or something to that effect. But he
points out that up to that point the student should pay for his own
training. It is my understanding from this bill here, particularly if
you are talking about college students and others getting much train-
Ing during the 3 months' vacation period, that there will be some
provision made for taking care of that primary instruction in the
commercial and aviation schools.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to say that my personal idea is that if
that were expressed in the face of the law we would have difficulty'
in getting it through now. MK idea is to get it through on the volun-
tary basis. I believe that is the only way we can get it through right
now. We might, after years of education, put it through on the other
basis. But now there would be very serious opposition to increasing
the burden of the military appropriation.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
Mr. WIGGINS. How can you take care of the college students during
the summer months if they want to go out and learn to fly? You
cannot Pu, them in the military schools then, can you? They would
not be mified for it. They would not take them in for a 3 months'
The CHAIRMAN. In a flying school?
Mr. WIGGINS. In a flying school of any kind.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't know exactly what you are referring to.
It would seem to me if he wanted to learn to fly and his father was
willing to pay the expense, that it might be (lone.
Mr. WIGGINS. He can do that without any bill being put through
The CHAIRMAN. However, this, it seems to me, will add an incen-
tive in that lie will get this official governmental recognition of the
fact that he has taken training in an approved school and will be
eligible, as Mr. Steele points out, upon his finishing to apply for
training as a student officer in either the Air Reserve or the National
Mr. WIGGINS. That will take care of it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the incentive held out.
Mr. WIGGINS. I think there should be a distinction made between
approved schools now, as they are known, and approved schools
under this act by the War Department. For instance, there are
several schools in the country now which, for various reasons, par-
ticularly because of the red tape, have not applied for a license as an
approved school, which would be approved by the Department for
giving this instruction probably away ahead of some of the regularly
approved schools now. For instance, we have two ourselves that
have as good a reputation as any school in New England. We have
kept out of it because of the red tape involved. We probably have
had as good results as any of the schools Mr. Heber mentioned.
I think there should be a distinction between the present approved
schools and those that will be approved by the War Department
The CHAIRMAN. That distinction will be taken care of, because
this class has to be passed upon by the War Department. They
may or may not be by the Department of Commerce. That would
be up to them. We cannot legislate all of the details. We have to
leave discretion somewhere. To legislate all of the details we would
have a bill as long as from here to the Potomac River and back.
M Mr. WIGGINS. I am interested very much in this. As I said this
morning, I do think there should be a tie-up in some way so that
they could hire a plane from amongst the planes that are idle now
that commercial operators own, that is, for some of this work. There
are plenty of them, and the operators are almost dying by inches.
As Mr. Angel pointed out this morning, he is out of the business,
but some are still hanging on. If there could be a tie-up to buy these
planes that are now not being used one-tenth as much as they should
be, it would be a great help in general.
- Aside from that I do not have any further comments to make.
The CHAIrMAx. Are there any questions of Mr. Wiggins? (No
We thank you very much, Mr. Wiggins. If any suggestions occur
to you please don't hesitate to let us know.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 47
Is Mr. Meceer present? (No response.)
Is Mr. Harding present? (No response.)
Is Col. Fred D. Ryon, of the American Legion, present? He is a
man who has been in two wars, and I think he is ready for a third one,
if it has to come. Ile has already volunteered for two.
STATEMENT OF LT. COL. FRED D. RYON
Colonel Ryox. Mr. Chairman, I listened this morning with a great
deal of interest to what was said. I believe there is a concurrence
on one item, and I believe that is the vital item; and that is that
something should be done in order to give these boys opportunity to
prepare themselves in case their country needs them for military
service. I think that is probably the point we all agree on.
The ways and means seem to be at variance. I think that is the
fundamental thing. So I think the conference has gone a long way.
If you had it in your minds to prepare these young men for military
service, certainly the way that is indicated would be to give them
military training. And the way to give them that military training
is to have the training under ihe jurisdiction of the officers of the
Regular Army and the Regular Navy, because both of these services
will require additional aviation personnel.
I believe that in order to put the thing over it must have a popular
appeal. I appreciate that our air fields and our airplanes an our
personnel all go together. If at the present tine our air fields and air
schools are in need of help, I think we could very well prescribe that
for 3 months the first summer these young men could be trained at
their local airport by paying a nominal amount to the person in charge
of the airport who owns the plane and gives the instruction, probably
an item of $30 for the 3 months' training per trainee. If Ile had 20
trainees, that would be $600 for the summer's work.
Assuming you have 5,000 airpoFts that would give this training,
with 20 men in each port, it would be a matter of $3,000,000, a
matter which could be handled very nicely by the Department of
Commerce, as it would assist in saving these airports and air schools
to the country. At the present tiie all of them are in a very pre-
After the first year a great elimination is indicated. And that
elimination rightfully takes place at that time. Then, during the
second year-and I think 2 years is sufficient. At the end of the
second year 5,000 trainees from the C. M. T. C. could be allocated to
this kind of work, and these 5,000 trainees would be the ones who were
,Vproved from this eliminating school of the first 3 months' training.
hey would be sent to fields where Regular Army officer personnel
and Regular Navy personnel is available in order to get their training,
and they would be given 3 months' training in such a school under the
direction of an Army officer or officers or Navy officer or officers.
And at the expiration of thht time they would be given an examina-
tion and commissioned in the Air Reserve of the United States Army
of the Air Reserve of the Navy.
I say 2 years is sufficient. I think you are stressing the matter of
the basic training rather unnecessarily. These boys want to fly.
They are bright, they are young, and in most cases you will find they
will be college graduates. This work can be all given to them either
48 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
in the college in the study of aerodynamics or 3 months' work at this
primary school. And Ibelieve sufficient work can be given there
in that time to cover the groundwork.
The second year woull be training in flying. At tile end of that
year they would be eligible, if they passed the tests under the observa-
tion of tile Regular Army and Regular Navy pilots to either be washed
out or commissioned in'the Air Reserve of the Army or the Navy.
It is a very simple process. I think it accomplishes all of thoseele-
mentc which were brought out this morning and produces what you
want, and that is personnel for the military forces of our country.
The CHAIRMAN. Does any member of tle committee desire to'ask
Colonel Ryon any questions? (No response.)
Thank you very much, Colonel Ryon.
Is 'r. Findlev here? (No response.)
Is Mr. Bartell present? (No response.)
T Mr. Workman
here? (No response.)
-Jr. Taylor, of Baltimore, present this afternoon? (No response.)
These gentlemen were here this morning and we got their names,
but they do not seem to be present this afternoon.
Mr. Billsmeyer, of Philadelphia?
STATEMENT OF FRED BIJLSMEYER
MNr. BILLSMEYER. Mr. Chairman, I have one of these approved
schools, a mechanical school in Philadelphia. I believe a bill of this
type, if it does go through, will mean that the commercial operator
will have to get some of the business. If he does not, with what little
he has now, and if you take some of this away from him, I guess he
will have to close up altogether.
I think some of these commercial schools and these flying fields
could train a boy to 50 or 75 hours, and he could easily be converted
over to tile military flying later on. That is my idea of it.
The CHAIRMAN. What kind of a school do you conduct?
Mr. BILLS MEYER. A mechanical school.
The CHAIRMAN. A school for mechanics in aviation?
MNr. BILLSMEYER. Airplanes, yes, sir; airplanes and engines.
The CHIAIRMIA-. And that alone?
Mr. BILSMEYER. We have the flying also, but we specialize in
The CHAIRMAN. How much education do you require that these
boys have? How much do )ou think would be best?
Mr. BILLSMEiER. Just a'high-school education. That is all we
The CHAIRMAN. Just a high-school education?
.Mfr. BILLSMEYER. Yes; just a high-school education.
The CHTAIRMIAN. How long is the course in mechanics?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. We have two courses, a day couisq and a night
course. It takes the day course anywhere to 14 months for the boy
to get through as a mechanic. In the night school it takes 2 years.
It takes some a little longer. It depends upon how regularly they
come in, and so on. But I don't think this course would have to
go into it so thoroughly to make these pilots, as is the case with
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
The ChAIRMAN. You mean you undertake to train these young
men in mechanics so that they are prepared to go into an aircraft
factory and go to work?
Mr. BILLSMEYF.R. That is right.
The CHTAIRMAN. Do they do it? Ale they able to get jobs?
Mr. BILLSMEYEI. Right at present they are. It seems to be
pretty good right now. There have been new contracts let out and
it seems to be all right. But a year or so ago it wasn't so good.
The CHAIRMAN. I mean the manufacturers consider them qualified
to do the work, provided the manufacturer has the work to do?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. Yes, sir; they do. That is for a certain extent
of the work they have. We do not cover everything in the airplane
end of it. The Department of Commerce will issue a license an
airplane and engine mechanic's license today to a graduate of a school
if lie can pass their requirements. It is the same as a pilot's license;
but this would be a licensed mechanic.
The CHAIRMAN. You say in connection with your schoci you also
have a flying school?
Mr. B1LLSMEYER. Yes; we do.
The QH AIRMAN. Do you have anything to do with that personally?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. I personally? I am connected with three differ-
ent fields. When we take the flying student we take him to the field
and let him fly there.
The CHAIRMAN.,. Are you a flier yourself?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. Yes, sir; I am.
The CHAIRMAN. What is your idea as to about how long it would
be necessary to give the instruction in flying after the ground school
work is all over?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. I believe a boy should have anywhere from 50
to 100 hours of flying. Then I think they could take them in the
average military airplane and with a day's instruction in checking
him out on it they could make a pretty good pilot out of him.
The CHAIRMAN. How many weeks or how many months would it
be necessary for him to be at the school in order to get the 50 hours?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. I guess that would depend a great deal upon
what part of the Unittd States he is and also upon the weather
conditions, and things of that kind.
Tile CHAIRMAN. lie would be sure to get the 50 hours in 3 months
in almost any part of the United States, would he?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. I don't think so, sir. I would say 6 months.
The CHAIRMAN. You would say that it would take 6 months for
Mr. BILLSMEVERI. Yes; it would.
The CHAIRM..,. Let me ask you this question. Would it be prac-
ticable and feasible to carry on both the ground school work and the
primary flying instructions at the same time and shift from one to the
other in the day time?
Mr. BILUSMEYER. I would not think so. If you start a bunch of
students, I think you should have at least 3 months of groundwork
first. And then the student could start in on work in between, and
then he could start his flying and finish both of them as they go along.
The CHAIRMAN. I suppose your judgment is confirmed by most of
50 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
Mr. DoRsEY. I presume the gradur-tes of your school find employ-
ment in the Philadelphia naval aircraft factory?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. We have some in there. They are building a
new factory there. There are a lot on the list. We have some in
there, and there are quite a number on the list.
Mr. DORsE:Y. They seem to qualify for that work?
Mr. BILLSMEYER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anyone else who has any questions? (No
Thank you very much, '.Mr. Billsmeyer.
Col. Harry H. Blee, I have a memorandum here that you represent
the National Aeronautic Association.
Colonel BLEE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And you are also an officer in the Air Reserve?
Colonel BLEE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you please make any statement you care to
STATEMENT OF COL. HARRY H. BLEE, REPRESENTING NATIONAL
The CHAIRMAN. Formerly, for several years, you were Director of
Aeronautics Development of the Department of Commerce?
Colonel BLEE. Yes, sir; I was.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, at the request of
the National Aeronautic Association I have made a study and analysis
of this bill.
In my opinion'the measure' presents some very sound and con-
structive principles which, if carried out, would contribute materially
to- the national defense and also to the advancement of civil aero-
nautics in the United States.
-There are a few suggestions and observations I should like to pre-
sent. "The bill provides for- the setting up by the Secretary of War
of a Junior Air Reserve. I believe it would be better if the wording
were changed to provide for the setting up of an Air Reserve Training
Corps, a training corps to provide primary training for prospective
Air Corps Reserve officers and officers of the air units of the National
" I would suggest that the age limits be changed from the present pro-
vision of 18 to 21 years to include the limits 18-to 24.
The primary ground instruction and primary flying training should
in my opinion, be given by civilian instructors. From an adminis-
trative standpoint, it would probably be advantageous, in the begin-
ning, at least, to initiate the program in the colleges, universities, and
ap roved commercial aviation schools of the country.
r Would recommend that the primary flight instruction include at
least 50 hours of actual flying training and that it be given in each
case at approved civilian flying schools in relatively inexpensive,
light-weight commercial olanes of a type approved by the Air Corps
and under the general supervision of the Air Corps. - -
- The primary ground instruction should include such subjects as
the elements of aerodynamics, the general principles of airplane and
JUNIOR ItR RF.SERVE bI
en-ine construction and operation, and the fundamentals of air
navigation and meteorology. -
As the Air Reserve Training Corps expands, units could be estab-
lished at various civilian flying centers throughout the country.
I suggest the establishment of initial units at the colleges univer-
sities, and existing approved aviation schools from the standpoint of
simplification of the initial administration of the organization.
The graduates of the Air Reserve Training Corps could advanta-
geously be encouraged to continue their training in the enlisted Air
Reserve Corps and with air units of the National Guard. Those
graduates offering the most promise could well be selected as student
officers for training in military subjects and in military flying.
We should not lose sight of the fact that the Air Corps is very much
handicapped through lack of funds and by the shortage of personnel
and equipment; also that there is a shortage of funds and equipment
for the training of the Air Corps Reserve. Hence, from the stand-
point of the practical application of the provisions of this bill, it is
very desirable that the committee have in mind the matter of funds
that would be needed by the Air Corps to handle the administration
and supervision of the several activities involved.
This concludes my statement, Mr. Chairman, unless there are
questions someone would like to ask.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much for this very helpful
What requirements are there now for the commissioning of a young
man as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve? That is,
assuming he is not a graduate of the Air Corps Training Center but
he comes up and says, "I want a commission as a second lieutenant
in the Reserve"? Of course, lie has to take the examination. But
,what minimum requirements do you think he would have to have in
order to pass that examination? "
Colonel BLEE. Do you.mcan what are the minimum requirements
of the regulations at the present time?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; at the present time.
Colonel BLEE. I would prefer, Mr. Chairman, that this question
be answered by one of the Regular officers who are here. It les ben
some time since I have had-occasion to look into those requirements,
hence I am sure the Regular officers here would be in a position to give
you fuller and more com prehensive information on that. subject.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions by any members of the
committee? (No reponse.) -
. Thank you very much, Colonel Blee. And let me add this, Colonel.
'After you have slept over what has been said here today, if there is
something which you are satisfied would be helpful to us, I would be
glad to have you communicate it either by letter or telephone or by
coming in person, because I know how unselfish and patriotic you are
in this matter. * - .. -
Colonel BLEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I shall be very glad
to do so.
The CHAIRMAN,. Is Mr. Elmer G. Meyers, of Raleigh, N. C., pre8-
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
STATEMENT OF ELMER G. MEYERS
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Meyers, what is your official connection
with aviation in North Carolina?
Mr. MEYERS. I have been appointed by the Governor to represent
the State of North Carolina in aviation matters. However, I do not
have a regular aviation committee in the State.
The CHAIRMAN. We would be very glad to have you state to us
what your reaction is to this suggestion.
Mr. MEYERS. I am also a commercial operator at Raleigh, N. C.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, of course, I concur with the general
idea here, and I can say that it is the most progressive step, probably,
that has ever been taken since I have been interested in flying. I
think it has great possibilities. But, since there have been several
ideas advanced, I would like to throw in one or two for good measure.
Raleigh is ideally situated and lends itself to this idea because we
have three great colleges and universities there. We have Duke
University, at Durham; North Carolina University, at Chapel Hill;
and Carolina State College, almost right in Raleigh.
The CHAIRMAN. All are within a radius of 20 miles, are they not?
Mr. MEYERS. All are within a radius of probably 20 miles by air
from Raleigh. As I say, we have a picture there that would'lend
itself beautifully to this idea.
However, I can say that from a practical standpoint there are
going to be some problems here which I am afraid will give this bill
Under Mr. Steele's plan it would call for additional National
Guard and Reserve units almost as soon as some of these boys would
be ready to take on that advanced training. Of course, only 19
States now have National Guard squadrons. And, as has been
stated, the Reserve facilities are very inadequate. I happen to be a
Reserve officer, and I would find it fairly difficult to go to a place
where I could get a ship when I got there, and also to get the type of
ship or do anything at all in flying from the Reserve angle.
I would like to see this idea worked out along the lines visualized,
that is, tv-o lanes of boys coming up to this point where they are
ready to take on Mr. Steele's advanced training, one set being the
boys to be recruited from the colleges, that is, where they are attend-
ing college, and the other being the boys to be taken from the civilian
status or boys who are not attending college but who would be well
qualified, and providing for that the requirement of a high-school
education and who are able to pass the required examination of the
War Department or Department of Commerce. My idea would be
that these boys who are civilians and are not in college would take,
let us say, a 6 months' training course, which would be very much
in line with the course that was formerly given by the Air Corps.
I think they call it a Junior Air Pilots' Course. It was rather a short
course given for the benefit of the National Guard officers who were
in business and vho could take just a short course and then return
and receive further training with their squadrons until they were
ready to recee the regular rating.
In other words, my idea would be to have the college boys, on the
one hand, receiving their training possibly during the 3 months
vacation periods, and te. other set of boys olght to get their training
JUNIOR AIR RFERVE
at any time; in either event, the War Department to prescribe the
requirements, and, when the boys graduate at this civilian flying
school, and have met all of the requirements there, then to go up before
an Army board and pass this Army board and then be given their
unior air pilots' rating. Then, of course they would be in line for this
Reserve and National Guard training. One of the serious problems
there would be the establishment of these additional National Guard
and Reserve units.
In the main, I believe that expresses my ideas on the matter. As I
say, it is the grandest thing and the most progressive step that has
ever been taken. I think it is a great thing.
The CHAIRMAN. Along the lines of the suggestion by Mr. Waters
of contacting and encouraging these thousands of young men, which
would, in itself, indirectly create the demand for additional National
Guard units and Reserve units, for which there is a considerable
demand; I happen to know about that, because I traveled all over the
West, to the Pacific coast, this past fall, and everywhere I contacted
Governors and asked them generally about it. They were all asking
for more authority to increase their National Guard air units.
I think I see where the National Guard units will ultimately be
charged with the responsibility of the local defense in air matters, and
the National or Nation-wide defensewill devolve upon the headquarters
air force, thrown here or there as the point of attack may threaten.
So we will need more National Guard air units. And [think the
movement we are here starting will help out.
Mr. MIEYERS. I certainly do think so also. But last year there was
introduced in the House by Congressman Peterson, of Georgia, and
Senator Bailey, of Raleigh, N. C., a bill to create additional National
Guard units. But it died a slow death. We are badly in need of it.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me say something about that. That bill was
referred to this committee, but I never heard of it until either yester-
day or the day before yesterday. So there wasn't very much pressure
put behind it. We are going to put some pressure behind it from now
on. There ought to have been some agitation for it from those who
were interested in it. We just can't get things going without it. It
takes a lot of pressure.
Mr. M EERS. Of course, most of us were operating on our own
capital and our own resources, and we were limited in our ability to
The CHAIR AIN. That is true. But it does not take much to buy a
3-cent stamp to write to your Congressman; or lie will be around to
see you in 2 years, anyway.
Thank you very much, Mr. Meyers. You have been very helpful,
and we appreciate it.
Is Mr. Thompson, of Illinois, present?
Is Mr. Robert Wilson, of Trenton, N. J., present?
General Westover has been good enough to remain here all day and,
listen to these many views and if the General cares to make any
observations at this time, we will be glad to hear them. If he does
not, it will be all right, because we know that his Meart is in the subject
of national defense and the air pilot, and that if this should become
law he will give it a most sympathetic administration.
JUNIOR AIR RBeRVB
Are you prepared now to make any discussion, General?
The general is Chief of the Air Service.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. OSCAR WESTOVER, CHIEF OF THE
General WESTOVER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee
when I called the attention of the Chief of Staff to your letter and
asked whether any War Department representative had been desig-
nated, he expressed great interest, of course, in the proposed confer-
ence with regard to the bill.
As you know, the War Department last year found it necessary to
take a certain stand with reference to the bill and did not report
favorably on it. They understood, however, that the bill was to be
reconsidered in a conference like this and be given much further
consideration, perhaps, with a view to modification, and in some form
that it might, perhaps, after due study by the War Department,
receive some measure of support..
Of course, I am not authorized at this time to give any commitments
of the War Department, because they would like to study the modified
bill in that regard.
The CHAIRMAN. And see it in its final form?
General WESTOVEn. Yes; see it in final form.
The CHAIRMAN. In that connection I would like to say the com-
mnittee will go over all of these views that have been presented here
today and I will ask the committee to give its approval or make
changes and modifications, but, whatever they decide, there will come
out a new bill and then we will submit that to you for your study;
that is, we will submit it to the War Department and, of course, they
will submit it to you for study.
General WESTOVER. I would like to make a few observations at this
time based upon points which have come up.
The CHAIRMAN. Perhaps that will help us in modifying the bill.
General WESTOVER. Of course, from the Regular Army standpoint
or the War Department standpoint we have by law certain objectives
already fixed. Those objectives are the three components of the
Regular Army as they exist today. This bill, as it now stands, would
seem to provide a fourth component. And knowing that appropria-
tions for the War Department as a whole are generally budgeted,
naturally, when you create a new component it means that within the
budget fi xed by the President there will have to be les, then, for some
of the fixed three components that constitute our first and primary
We have in the Air Corps Reserve today what we consider almost
enough pilots to meet immediate requirements. We will need some
more, but we are gradually increasing the number in the Air Corps
Reserve by reason of the men who have graduated from the training
school and who have reverted to the Reserves. Aircraft are being
manufactured, and there is, of course, a length of time that is neces-
sary for us in meeting the war problem, the problem of mobilization
on a national scale for a major emergency. During that time our
requirements for pilots can be met by existing agencies but we will
have to provide increased training facilities, naturally, to meet the
total number we will need, let us say, at the end of a year. At the
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE Do
end of a year our requirements will be big, and our airplane program
at that time may not be able to keep pace with our pilot requirements.
That is a matter which is now under study. It is very thoroughly
under study. We have found out recently in the beginning of this
new study that our requirements for Reserve pilots at the end of a
year of a major emergency are undoubtedly nowhere near as much as
we have previously pictured them to be, that they are going to be
greatly reduced. They will be somewhere near the figure which you
quoted this morning, Mr. Chairman, of 18,000 to 20,000 pilots.
To meet that requirement we are making this study. Undoubtedly,
when that study is complete, the. War Department would be in a fine
position to make constrictive recommendations with regard to how
to process and bow to obtain and then to build them.
I bring that out only to let you know what is going on in the way of
study to meet the situation.
With regard to the way in which men can come into the Reserves
today from the National iOuard or other sources, we require 400 hours
of certified flying time on the part of those pilots, and we require them
to pass an examination, both flying and on certain mental subjects, to
be passed before they can be taken in.
Under that present system there is naturally quite a gap between
the training that has been spoken of by various gentlemen here this
morning that they hope to acquire as a result of taking one of these
flying courses, and the 400 hours.
There would have to be a tremendous number of planes made avail-
able to keep those men in flying trim and to give them some oppor-
tunitv to continue to fly.
Tle use of the regqrifr Army, National Guard, or Reserve equip-
ment as suggested today would appear to be impracticable, because
everybody has stated that we are short of planes for our Reserve units.
It is a recognized fact. We are certainly short of planes for our
regular units; we are short of personnel for all three components.
So a bill of this kind being put into effect at this time would be a
further diversion of limited personnel. You would have to scatter
them still thinner, and, in the accomplishment of the organization
and training of your regular Army component, your National Guard
and your Reserve component., you would be delaying their effective
training if you tried to do it without some other provision.
A thought occurred to me as I listened to several of the talks this
morning that there are two phases involved in the matter: One is
clearly a phase which is in support of civil aeronautics-not the com-
mercial snlelv, but civil aeronautics, covering the entire field. That
phase would'take up, let us say, to the completion of or graduation
from the school. Perhaps something could be worked out which
would recogni ce and put Government effort behind the phase of
civil aeronautics so that when a worthy person has completed its
requirements in aeronautics, in a major war he could fill in the gap,
with such constructive suggestions as the War Department nught
There are many other phases of this that I might discuss from my
own personal standpoint, but I think that involves the highlights and
gives some pointers on the side of the War Department wich, perhaps
ave not been presented previously.
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
The CHAIRMAN. I thank you, General. But I want to ask you
this: If you are too busy to do it, please detail someone from your
headquarters to keep in contact with this committee, as we shall be
considering these amendments to the bill, and see if we cannot get
just as close together as possible, so that we will understand each
other as we go along. If you are too busy to do that, won't you please
consider having some officer from your headquarters do it? We do
not ask for him now, but it is so that, at least, we can partially have
your point of view. Then, through him and through what you have
heard, you will begin to see our point of view, and, ultimately, we
will get together.
I will say this, General, that I gather you and I and others are not
nearly so far apart now on this proposal as those who were then in
command of the War Department, the Chief of Staff and Deputy
Chief of Staff and other chiefs of branches. We are not nearly so far
apart as they were from this committee in 1926 when we set up the
Air Corps. It is a matter of record, and the records all show it. We
had no cooperation and no help, but every difficulty and objection
was set up in our faces, but, finally, we just said, "We believe we are
right and we will go on." And I tlink the experience of the last 10
years has shown that this committee was right in 1926.
General WESTOVER. Mr. Chairman, I believe I speak the War
Department's view when I say there is the deepest sympathy with
the main purpose of the bill, which is to foster the interest and stim-
ulate the interest of the young people. I think that is fine. 1e are
all in sympathy with that. The question is as to the practical way
to work it out and still accomplish it.
The CHAIRMAN. And the question of money is one difficulty.
General WESTOVER. Yes; it is.
The CHAIRMAN. But I believe, like Mr. Waters said, this will be
widespread, and will help us raise the money, and will put some fire
under each Congressman when we come to vote.
Is there any question of General Westover?
Mr. COSTELLO. How much flying does the ordinary Reserve officer
get in at the present time?
General WESTOVER. The allowance averages are about 20 hours a
year. It is planned to be increased to about 4S hours a year.
Mr. COSTELLO. All of the officers belonging to the Reserve would
amount to 3,500?
General WESTOVER. It is 3,075.
Mr. COSTELLO. Do all of those officers get in that amount of
General WESTOVER. There is quite a distribution of flying time
within the Air Corps. Some get more than others. You will find in
certain places near big cities there will be some who will always be
looking for it. As long as there is flying time available, it is better to
have it for those the more qualified. But out of the total number
there are about 846 on a nonflying status, 640 hold ineligible appoint-
ments, and 150 hold other than airplane pilot ratings or need further
military training. They have been pilots in their day but nc.-,, for
physical or other reasons, they are not flying. We can use them on
administrative or supply duties.
Mr. COSTELLO. How many of those in the Reserve at the present
time are really active to such an extent that they would be able to
step into the Army?
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 01
General WFLTOVER. 1,439 we consider today ready to go to the
front tomorrow, if they have to.
Mr. COSTELLG. They keep up with all the modern problems?
General WESTOVER. Yes, sir; they do.
The CHAIRMAN. 1,439 are provided in three groups-the wartime
pilots, the airport-training directors, and then the other groups from
other sources, 33% percent each, I believe.
General WEsioVE. The 1,439 pilots of today, regardless of their
past history, whether they are wartime pilots or recent graduates,
are physically fit and trained to go to a combat unit today.
The CHAIRMAN. I agree with you right now; but every year is
working on those fellows who were in there during the war.
Time is trimming down their chance to fly in a future war.
General WEsTovz. But each year we are getting a bigger accretion
through the training centers The men who revert to civil life today
complete their active duty.
The CHAIRMAN. In other w,)rds, your accretion is greater than your
General WESTOVER. That is right, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Or your dimnution?
General WESTOVER. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, General.
I observe General Knight is present here. Would you care to say
Brig. Gen. H. E. KNIGHT. Mr. Chairman, I am not representing
the War Department at this conference. I am simply here as a
spectator. I am now on the General Staff, and have simply come up
here to become oriented.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. W. D. Tipton.
STATEMENT OF W. D. TIPTON, LIEUTENANT COLONEL, MARY.
LAND NATIONAL GUARD
Mr. TIPTON. In order to identify myself, Mr. Chairman, I %-ill say
I hold the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Corps of the Maryland
National Guard. I am also operator of the Curtiss-Wright Airport,
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Colonel Tipten. We will be glad to
have a statement from you.
Mr. TIFTON. Mr. Chairman, I think anyone will approve the gen-
eral idea behind this bill, but it seems to me that the bill in its present
form is a little bit vague as to bringing the mental picture of the plan
to the minds of everyone. After reading it over rnd hearing the dis-
cussion, I have a fairly definite idea of ,vh t, to me, the plan should
look like when put into effect.
I think we have to assume, first, that it will cost woney. I do not
believe it will go over on a voluntary basis. It will cost money, be-
cause it costs money to keep people in the air.
My idea would be that some responsible agency o the Federal
Government would first set up some sort of a training program. To
my mind, that training ptograni might be, in the first year) the giving
to these candidates w~iat is equivalent to a private pilot's course as
laid down by the Department of Commerce. The candidates would
have to meet certain requirements. It seems to me the a-e limits
58 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
might be 16 to 24; 16 is the minimum age at which a student pilot
can obtain a student pilot's permit.
From the physical standpoint, I think the candidate should pass a
physical examination prescribed by the service schools.
I think the 50 hours training, which is the private pilots' course,
and the ground training which is associated with it, could be done
coincidentally. There is no reason why the student should be given
ground training and then flying training. The services start them on
ground training and flying training at the same time. So I see no
reason why flight training should be delayed at all.
During the first year, what is the picture? It seems to me that
this Federal agency. should arrange practically to subsidize the flight
training of these candidates. It could be done by paving a certain
percentage of the hourly flying cost as now established by the various
civil flying schools throughout the country. It certainly seems to me
that 50 percent of that is about the limit. If it were a lesser percent-
age I think the picture is simply this: Suppose we take 25 percent.
Suppose all of the flying schools in the country were reduced by 25
percent; how many more would take advantage of the training? I
think there would he very many more. I think you have to make a
reduction in rate to these applicants to substantially increase the
number who will take advantage of this training.
I say this 50-hour course would require about 1 year. It does not
seem to me that the course need be given in any concentrated periods.
The man may be attending school, lie may have a job, and he can get
in his 50 hours just as though he were purely a civilian buying time as
his pocketbook would permit. After buying the 50-hour period, it
seems to me his training should be further subsidized each year for
about a minimum of at least 10 or 15 hours. The. Department of
Commerce regulations require a pilot to get in at least 10 hours a
year thereafter in order to hold his pilot's license. I think such a plan
should meet that requirement also.
The requirements for entrance into such a training plan, it seems
to me, should be high-school education, or the equivalent, as the bill
provides. I do not think there is any reqcn for limiting it to uni-
versities, because there are plenty of high-school graduates who will
make excellent students for this training and who, eventually, will
drift into military service through the proper channels.
One point I would like to bring out, which I believe has not been
mentioned up to now, is that such a plan would be a real economy
to the service schools. You gentlemen realize that when a student
goes to one of the service schools a great many of them are washed
out. I don't know what the figures are now, but I imagine, out of
every 100 candidates who go to our service schools, not more than
40 of them are graduated; 60 are washed out. The high percentage
of them are washed out in their initial stage. In other words, they
take them to Randolph Field or to Pensacola to train them 8 hours,
and then find that they will never learn to fly. It must cost some-
where near $100 an hour to do that, to obtain the washout training.
If you contracted with the civilian schools in the country, certainly
the rate would be one-fifth of that. So, for a dollar, you could get
five times as much washout
as in the service
If the service schools draw on the graduates of the plan tor their
students, they get men who have at least 50 hours in the air and it
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE 09
goes without saying that, given 100 men, they are going to graduate
a much higher percentage of those initial trainees than they would
under the present plan, where they take a man who, perhaps, has
never seen an airplane before.
I do not think this plan should be limited to the Army alone. I
do not see why it cannot be made available to both the Army and
As to the National Guard, I have had quite a lot of experience
with National Guard aviation. I do not consider men who graduate
from one of these 50-hour courses fit personnel for the National
Guard. He has had no military training. Our National Guard
officers want to get them from the regular Army training school; that
is, graduates front a regular Army training school. We do not want
to compromise on that a bit. After all, there are only 325 National
Guard officers. The law limits the number of officers and squadrons,
and we want to get the highest type possible without leaving a back-
door entrance into the National Guard that would let in personnel
not so well trained.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you get enough applications to fill all vacancies?
Mr. TIPTON. Speaking for our Iaryland squadrons, we always
have a waiting list. As a matter of fact, we are weeding out per-
sonnel from time to time.
The CHAIRMAN. You are right in taking the very best.
Mr. TIPTON. Yeg; we know we are.
Another item General Westover mentioned is this ap between a
man who might be a graduate of such a plan as this andthe minimum
requirements of the Army Air Corps Reserve-400 hours. And we
wl3l presume a man may have 3 years under this plan and would come
out, perhaps, with 100 hours. How will you bridge that gap from 100
to 400 hours?
The CHAIRMAN. You heard Mr. Steele's suggestion as to the stu-
dent officers from the time they finish this course until they acquire
that 400 hours. Then they will be eligible for commissions in the
Mr. TIPTON. I think the National Guard planes would be due in
there, because they are service-type airplanes, and, under the regula-
tions, no one is permitted to fly them unless they hold the rating of
airplane pilot, which is the 400-hour set-up.
I think some thought should be given to filling this gap. Personally
I do not wish to start any controversy with General Westover, but I
think 400 hours is too high. I know that in my experience with the
National Guard we have taken officers who were commissioned and
have becn sent to the Army training school for training and they com-
pleted what was then the primary course, something like 70 hours. A
number came back to us with commissions and what was then known
as junior airplane pilot ratings. We could pick them up where the
regular Air Corps left them off in the primary stage and give them the
advantage of training on our regular Army aircraft. That gap is a
matter to be overcome-starting at the age of 16 years, and finally
getting him where lie is a fighting pilot.
Although I have listened in all morning, I have heard no plan up to
now that would bid e that gap.
The CHAIRMAN. Iou have been very helpful, Colonel.
Are there any questions of the colonel?
60 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
Colonel BLEE. A little while ago, and shortly after the opening,
you called for Mr. Merchant who is here representing the Air Corps
Reserve Officers Association. He was out of the room at that time
but has since returned. I thought perhaps you would be glad to calf
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; we will be glad to hear from Mr. Merchant.
STATEMENT OF B. H. MERCHANT, OF THE AIR RESERVE
Mr. MERCHANT. I had just one other thought which is somewhat
of a compromise proposal: We feel we need a little more equipment
for our present Air Corps Reserve.
The CHAIRMAN. We know that, too.
Mr. MERCHANT. It has been brought out here a great many times,
but I feel if we bad enough equipment with which to work and enough
money that we could very readily train or help to train a number of
additional men through an enlisted reserve. If these men are
sufficiently interested to come in and work with us, they could ride
with us on tactical missions and training missions, and get in a great
deal of training. They could be termed "Enlisted Reserve" or
"Reserve Cadets", or something of tht sort. I think there might
be an idea which would meet the objections of the War Department
and also possibly save some money. Of course, we are interested in
anything that will help the Air Corps Reserve. I do think we can
help a great deal with this idea if we have more to work with.
The CHAIRMAN. If you had more what?
Mr. MERCHANT. If we had more equipment with which to work.
This idea of using the Reserve planes and National Guard planes
for this project-the number is so limited now that I do not think it
would be very practical.
For instance, in the Third Corps Area I think there are two air-
planes assigned to the Reserve use. They happen to be in Pittsburgh.
That is not the Air Corps' fault. They do not have them to give to
us. I do not think you can depend upon a great number of planes
to be available for the use of this Junior Reserve.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Merchant, did you hear Mr. Steele's state-
ment this morning?
Mr. MERCHANT. Yes, Mr. Chairman; I did.
The CHAIRMAN. Tell us whether or not your observation is similar
to his, to wit, that these planes which have been assigned to the
Reserve officers are generally not used, along, let us say, on Tuesday
Wednesday, Thursday, and so on, but are used Saturdays and
Mr. MERCHANT. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. The principal
use is on weekends, when we have the spare time to use them. I
think generally they are idle a good part of the week, that is, during
the middle of the week. I do not see why it would not be practical
to use them for other purposes during the week.
Of course, that would also fit in with the idea I just mentioned,
that is, bringing in these men as enlisted reserves.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I had in mind.
Mr. MERCHANT. That plan is working perfectly at some points.
For instance, at Louisville, they have practically 30 enlisted reserves
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
who come out voluntarily on their own time without pay, service
their ships and work on them for just what experience they can get.
I think the present regulation is that these enlisted reserves must be
considered as officer material. That is about the only additional
suggestion we have to offer in addition to the ones already given.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions?
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much, Mr. Merchant.
I notice Mr. Strohmeier indicates he has something to say.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM D. STROHMEIER
Mr. STROHMEIER. Mr. Chairman, this morning when I brought up
my ideas on tile intercollegiate angle of this flying business I did not
outline any particular program which the organized collegiate flying
interests of the country would recommend. I have now this outline,
but I am sorry to say that it does not exactly agree with what has
been brought out here today.
The CHAIRMAN. You say this outline is something which has been
already approved by your association?
Mr. STROHMEIER. This represents an agreement between us.
The CHAIRMAN. Something you arrived at today?
Mr. STROHMEJER. This is an idea I thought of, and I would like to
make a few remarks on it.
In the first place, the suggestion has been that most of the training
be done in the summertime for the period of 3 months. Well, I do
not like to contradict your statement about standing around on the
street corners, but I think you will find a great many of the college
studies spend their summertime in jobs. A good many of them rely
on those jobs for the purpose of going through college.
If they want to take this aviation training enough to spend their
own vacation in doing it, they would not have 3 months. If they
had to spend this whole summer at a training camp, or something
like that, I am afraid that a good many of them would not find it
po"sible. A great many of them are eligible and capable men who
would not find it possible, because a great many of them rely on the
vacation period in which to earn part of their tuition.
There is another thing that seems most important to me which
apparently has not been considered This refers back to my remark
o this morning that students still have spare time, and there is no
reason why they cannot use that spare time for this work of learning
aviation and things like that.
As I understand it, this waA chiefly a discussion of the establish-
ment of a reserve for college flyers and other men of that type. As
Colonel Bloe suggested, it seems rather logical that when we start in,
that colleges should be considered first, and then branch out after-
ward, because in colleges we already have these organized clubs and
groups that could fit very well into a picture like this.
My first suggestion, therefore, would be that the chief emphasis on
thu actual operation of this bill, after it is approved, if it is approved,
would he that a standardized course be instituted in these colleges
where there is enough student-interest and where it is deemed practical
to have a course. This course could become a part of the regular
62 JUNIOR AIR RESERVE
In that respect you have several at Harvard who are in the naval
training course there. At Harvard they have the naval training course
which prepares men to become part of the Naval Reserve. That
course is counted as an official cuiriculum course and they are given
credit for it toward their diploma. They have a whole building
there devoted to this work. They have a large staff, and the course
is very popular.
The men take this regular 3-hour course a week, and in the suner
they spend 2 or 3 weeks on shipboard, durin,, the training period.
That stikes me as being a very nice analogy to what might happen
regarding the development of this Air Reserve for college boys.
My suggestion, therefore, would be that starting in there might
be 4(1 or 50 colleges throughout the country which would be in a
position to take in an Army instructor on their faculiv, the -alory to
be paid by the Army, of course, plus a few assistants, if necessary.
Generally, all of these colleges have very fine physics laboratories,
anti the Army instructor could fit right in the physics department.
A regular course could be brought out in aerodynamics, as might
be prescribed by the War Department. that would be given as an
official credit on the degree.
I think that is a very important point, because I think, really, to
be worked out properly, it will require a great deal of time on the part
of the students, if we really want results and really want to get men
in the Reserve who are capable of being there. In other words, we
would have to deal with the college administration.
That leads me to the point of such organized groups taking their
instruction under training from commercial operators. I do not
quite see why the United States should have to rely upon commercial
operators to'train its Reserves. It has never been done before, so
far as I know, and it just does not seem to fit very well into the
Along that same line, if this instruction is to be primarily of a
military nature, what, may I ask, can an instructor in civil aeronau-
tics do to properly train these students in military tactics and other
phases of military flying, about which very few of these commercial
flyers know very much?
That statement may antagonize some of the people present hero
today, but, frankly, tlat is my idea on the subject.
If that were possible in these various colleges where there is enough
interest, it strikes me that the simplest and most economical method
of giving these men flight instructions is to give them an airplane.
That may sound like too much of a gift. They would not have to
give it to them; the airplane would be owned by the Army; of course.
Well, that would be the suggestion I would mak,. The airplane would
be used strictly for instruction by the same instructor wh3 is doing
the Army instruction.
Now, it seems to me one man could handle all of that in one college.
They could use an airplane which does not cost $30,000, as has been
state(l here. They could use one which costs three or four thousand
dollars. They could be given regular, systematized training while
they are in college and right thee on the campus, rather than having
to rely upon commercial operators at approved schools to which they
would have to go, quite a distance from college in some cases. For
MYMUOR AIR RESERVE 63
instance, there are sonic colleges out in the country that would have
to go quite a ways for an approved school.
Near Amherst, and near Purdue University out in the west, there
are few schools, and it would be difficult for the students to go to the
schools from those colleges. How can they carry on a decent system
of military instruction in a situation like that?
Then, in the su mmertme I would suggest that they be given 4 or 5
weeks' training, in a regular air base, where they could learn formation
flying, and things like that.
Very roughly, Mr. Chairman, that is what I have to suggest on
behalf of the National Intercollegiate Flying.
The CHAIRtMAN. Thank you very much.
Of course, you must not think that I am thinking that by this
elementary course we can make military pilots. I am only thinking
that we can give certain fundamental instruction which will make it
easier for the Army, when it does take these youngsters, to make
military pilots out of them.
My 'dea is that since it would be under the control of the Army,
if it could be enacted into law, the Army would keep the records that
these young men make in these various approved schools. There
would be a record indicated by a card, or, perhaps, a more complete
record than the card, that would tell about his education, about his
particular aptitudes in these schools; and these cards could be arranged
and classified so that in the event of an emergency or when we wanted
to get ready for an emergency, all you would have to do would be to
pull the cards out of those who are'the most apt at flying, those most
apt for ground work, mechanical work, and so on. And you would
start right out getting ready for a great emergency. That is part of
the picture as I see it, of course.
I do not think the idea is to make immediately military pilots
capable of being commissioned as either the National Guard or the
Reserve, out of the men we propose to have in this Air Reserve Train-
Ir. STROHMEIER. I can see your point on that, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. That is my idea.
Mr. STROHMEIER. It strikes me that if the Government h. going to
put in any money, I cannot see why they cannot apply that money
to the best advantage. The ultimate end is to establish men in the
Reserves who know something about it. Why not teach them right
off? Everybody says they have to go through some kind of a course.
I do not see why they cannot go through such a course right in their
own college. I think that would be viuch simpler and much more
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much, Mr. Strohmeier.
Perhaps we will hold a round-table conference of the various college
authorities to see if they will not agree to cooperate.
Mr. WIGGINS. I agree with Mr. Strohmeier's first remark that the
college students should not bo limited to the summer vacation only,
but should be allowed to get tl.is primary instruction during the col-
lege year for the reason that so many of them are earning their way
through college and have to work during the summertime.
Further, they all have plenty of time during the college year to
take this flying course.
64 JUNIOR AIR RNERVE
The main thing is that I strongly disagree with his remarks about
having this considered as military training and having an Army officer
connected with each college to give this instruction, as against what
has been advocated by the committee of having this given by t civil
or commercial operator. That would take away 50 percent of the
commercial operators' business.
Mr. MERCHANT. Mr. Chairman, we have here Major Borre, of
Boston, Mass., representing our Air Reserve Association, who woAld
like to say a few words.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to hear from 'Major Borre.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. PETER BORRE
Major BORRE. I merely want to add to what has been said already
by emphasizing that probably the objective of this bill might best be
achieved by passing bill no. 4348. And I refer to it in this manner:
If you seek to create efficiency in a structure it can best be done by
creating the fundamental structure and strengthening that, rather
than by creating a superstructure, which this seeks to create, before
we have strengthened the Reserve element.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the bill to which you referred?
Major BORRE. The Chief of Air Reserve. That is bill no. 4348.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the bill I introduced.
Major BORnE. That is it, exactly. That is why I am bringing it
to your attention.
The CHAIRMAN. To permit the national air defense to establish
and reorganize within the United States an air reserve. That is the
bill I introduced at the request of your association.
Major BonRE. It is, sir. Inasmuch as that bill contemplates
strengthening that component, the Air Reserve component, I feel
that that should first be considered, before you seek to create the extra
structure, or thii additional structure, which this bill here seeks to
create. In other words, if you create efficiency of the Reserve unit,
that reserve unit will itself be a nucleus and a'force to carry out the
tenor of this present bill. In other words, it will furnish the neces-
sary instructors who will carry it out and see that the plan is furthered
through their efforts. Inasmuch as that is one of the essential ele-
ments of our plan of air defense, I say that that merits the considera-
tion of the Congress in the first instance, and that secondary con-
aideration only should be given to this present bill.
I feel that the bill itself is a very good one, in that it does provide,
as you have said, a reservoir for selection of future pilots and future
students and cadets at the air school. But, if we want to have
efficiency first, I say let's contemplate the creation of the Air Reserve
itself, and then add ',, it the child, if you can call it such, which this
bill seeks to create.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions?
Mr. RooEsRs. Have you discussed this with any other officers in the
Air Corps, regarding their attitude toward bill no. 4348?
Major BOinE. I have, sir. I have discussed it not only at the
convention which was held in Louisville but at our own chapter,
which is the Corps Area Chapter, held in Boston. I think we con-
template a visit Monday to Manchester, N. 11., where we will have
JUNIOR AIR RESERVE fib
our next meeting. Several of the officers who reside in New Ihamp-
shire are in full accord with bill no. 4348.
I think I have written the Congressman on that point.
Mr. RoGERS. Yes; I have your letter.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions?
The CHAIRMA . Thank you very much, Major Borre.
Of course, you know Major Beattie, of Birmingham?
Major BoRRE. Yes; Mr. Chairman, I do.
The CHAIRMAN. We wrote him sometime ago that whenever you
gentlemen were ready to ask for a hearing on the bill, that we would
be very glad to have the hearing.
Major BoRnE. May that be considered by the committee? I
would be very glad to check it up with then and let them know.
The CHAIRMAN. Whenever you gentlemen ask for it and are ready
Major BORRE. We will have a letter in your office by tomorrow.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything else? Is' there any other
gentleman who ca p to say anything? X
The CHAIM . #. If not, I wish to thank all of you for your attend-
ance. The coference is now concluded. --
(Thereupon, at 4:20 p. m., the committee adjourned.)
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