PIONEER PILOT
WALTER E. LEES
1887 - 1957

(Click On Name For Brief Biographical Sketch)
 
 
From his collection of photos, news clippings and his journals
 
Many from the book
"Pioneer Pilot"
edited by his daughter
Jo Lees Cooper
 
  Ralph & Jo Lees Cooper
 
Walter E. Lees  
  Walter E. Lees, Pioneer Pilot, soloed in 1912 and continued in aviation until 1945. He flew approximately 12,000 hours and handled over 60 different types of aircraft. In 1931, he set a non-refueling endurance record in a Packard-Diesel powered Bellanca which stood until 1986
 
Click on any colored text to go to next page.
 

PicoSearch
  Gallery 1,
1911-1912
Early Years
Gallery 2,
1912-1915
Early Years &
North Island
Gallery 3,
1915
Chicago &
Lake Geneva
Gallery 4
1915-1917
Newport News
World War I
 

 
  Gallery 5
1920-1925
Johnson Airplane & Supply
Gallery 6,
1923-1924
Barnstorming
Air Races
Gallery 7,
1927-1931
First Diesel Flight
Stinson, Buhl
Gallery 8,
1931
Endurance Flight
Packard Diesel
 

 
  Gallery 9,
1931
Post Endurance Flight,
Gallery 10,
1931-1993
Early Birds
Miscellaneous
Gallery 11,
1940-1946
War Years
South Pacific
Gallery 12,
1947-1957
Post War
Turlock, CA
 

 
  Biographical
Briefs
Chapter
Excerpts
Ordering the Book Links  

 
 
ENDURANCE FLIGHT, 1931 THE MOVIE, A PREVIEW
 

 
 
PIONEERING PILOT INSPIRES GRANDSON TO SOAR
 

 
 
THE EARLY BIRDS
OF AVIATION, Inc.
An organization of pioneers who flew solo before December 17, 1916
 

 
       We, The Early Birds of Aviation, Inc., in order to encourage, promote and foster international interest in aeronautics and astronautics, and to preserve the history of all pioneers in aerospace, and for the purpose of advancing and promulgating all forms of human related flight do ordain, establish and adopt this constitution.
From the preamble of the Constitution of The Early Birds of Aviation, Inc.

 
     In Walter's collection of memorabilia I found some 25 issues of the CHIRP, the official organ of the Early Birds. The issues extend from June, 1936 through July, 1995, with many missed copies in the sequence. In spite of this, I found much information, both photos and stories, which I used in the building of my Pioneer Pilot website. Now I am building a new website which features information on all of the original members of the Early Birds. In addition, I have entries for some 20 or more non-members, who were important in the early days. I hope this will prove to be a valuable online resource to the friends, relatives and other interested researchers of the group. To that end, I have already added a page for each of the 598 Original Early Birds of Aviation. So far I have been able to add biographies, some very brief, some extensive, for more than 450 of them. More will be added as time and materials permit. If you are interested in the subject, I invite you to click on the logo or titles and visit the site, still under construction. If you have any photos or stories which you would like to share or inquiries which I might help you to answer, feel free to contact me.
Thank you, Ralph Cooper
(7-6-2003)
 

 
Copyright © June 18, 1997, Ralph Cooper
Revised -- June 4, 2006

E-mail to Ralph Cooper