Dec 08 2018

Updated: The 1940 Membership of the Long Island Aviation Club

In my effort to collect everything related to the Vanderbilt Cup Races and the Long Island Motor Parkway, years ago I purchased the 1940 membership book of the Aviation Country Club of Long Island (Long Island Aviation Club). It turns out to be an important research tool for Dr. Katherine Sharp Landdeck of the Texas Woman's University.


Howard Kroplick

Dr. Kate Landdeck:

Dear Mr. Kroplick,

I am a historian writing a book on the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II - following the women from the 1920s to 2017. I have been working on the  project for about 25 years now (I'm also a history professor at Texas Woman's University) and am in the final stages of finally getting it published (Crown Publishing - a division of Penguin-Random House).

I write to you today to thank you for your terrific work on the LIACC on your website. I knew very little about it and loved the pictures and good information you provided. I also teach American History and loved learning the connection to Levittown - which I have taught about for years but never knew this connection to aviation or to the women I've studied for so long.

As I work to prove how well so many of the early women pilots knew each other before World War II I've come to realize that several belonged to the Club - particularly Nancy Love and Betty Gillies. You have peaked my interest though, in your posting of two pages of the Club's membership book from 1940. I am anxious to know who else might have been a member.
Do you know where I might access the membership book? The Cradle of Aviation Museum says they do not have a copy.
Again, thanks for your terrific website. It has been both fun and educational!

Take Care,
Kate Landdeck
Katherine Sharp Landdeck, Ph.D.

In response to Dr. Landdeck's request I provided her copies of the following membership list. Dr, Landdeck kindly provided a brief summary of several of the elite members.

Dr. Kate Landdeck:

I cannot begin to tell you how important this document is to me and my work.

I am still going through the list, but will happily share the "who's who" with you when I am done. For now, here are a few to get you started:

I think you get the idea! An incredibly elite group!! -- I will send you the entire list once I go through it.

1940 Membership List of the Long Island Aviation Club

Walter Beech- who began Beechcraft Aviation - still fabulous airplanes.

Wallis C. Bird

Jacqueline Cochran- First woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean leading to the formation Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs)

Powel Crosley, Jr. - of Crosley Radio (nearly everyone's radios in this time period were Crosley's and he innovated radios in cars) and owner of Cincinnati Reds

Four members of the Du Pont family: Louisa Carpenter, Felix Du Pont Jr. and his wife, and Richard Du Pont. Felix and Richard were both pilots and went on to found Allegheny Airways which became U.S. Air.

Sherman Fairchild

Marshall Field III - heir to Marshall Fields, founder of "Chicago Sun" newspaper, owned Simon & Schuster Publishing for a time

Robert L. Gardiner

L. R. Grumman - founder of Grumman Aviation - terrific planes and today Northrop-Grumman

Roger Wolfe Kahn-   Jazz musician and son of Otto Kahn

Col. Charles Lindbergh

William L. Mitchell- Vice-President,Design for General Motors

Henry S. Morgan - son of J.P. Morgan and founder of Morgan-Stanley

Elmer A. Sperry, Jr.- the son of inventor Elmer Sperry

Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney

Gar Wood - inventor and championship motorboat builder


Dec 09 2018 Roy M Warner 10:48 AM

I noted Elmer A. Sperry, Jr. I checked to determine if he was “Sperry’s” son (Sperry Gyroscope).

Dec 09 2018 S. Berliner, III 6:08 PM

You whizzed right by Roger W(olff/olfe), Kahn (noted jazz musician and aviator, Otto’s son), Wallis Bird (recent posts), and Jackie Cochrane (founder of the WASPs), Robert L(ion). Gardiner (Island - “Lord of the Manor”), Grover Loeing (“father” of Grumman A/C), William L. Mitchell (GM Design VP), and Gar Wood (mahogany speedboats), not to mention a wonderfully-apt Mr. “Vroom”!  Sam, III
Howard Kroplick I

Sam III, great catches!

Dec 09 2018 Howard Kroplick 10:55 PM

Updated bios of more members based on below comments.

Dec 10 2018 Art Kleiner 12:47 PM

Another great piece of history/memorabilia, Howard. 

Thanks for sharing.

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