|THE DETROIT NEWS, JUNE 6, 1931
FAMILY GREETS RECORD HOLDER
|Left to Right, Burt, Walter, Billie, Jo, Loa, Loa Betty|
Flying to a New Record, Just More Flying to Him
When Walter Lees reached the Detroit City Airport Friday and was welcomed as co-holder of the world's non-refueling endurance record, made last month in Florida, in a Bellanca Packard-Diesel motored monoplane, he was greeted by his wife and four daughters to whom his return was just part of the day's work.
Walter Lees has been flying since 1911 and is one of the oldest pilots, in point of service, who is making similar flights. Only Mrs. Lees, of the Lloyd family, has known a time whe he was not a flier, when his daily life was not of the utmost hazard and his return home each day problematical.
To Loa Betty, 15; Burt, 13; Billie, 12;and Jo, 2, he has always been a flier, but one of such skill and care that his work, to them, is just a job, no matter how thrilling it may seem to others. Lees taught himself to fly, for when he started, there were no instructors. One of his most noted students was Brig-Gen. William Mitchell, former assistant chief of the Army Air Service.
Lees, now a test pilot for the Packard Motor Car Co., lives at 2019 Seward avenue. His associate in his record breaking flight of 84 hours, 33 minutes, was Frederick Brossy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis E. Brossy, 981 Burns avenue.
|WALTER & FAMILY, 1944|
|Left to Right, Billie, Loa, Walter, Burt, Betty|
The family was living in Oakland, California during the war. Walter had been ordered to report to San Francisco, California, Twelvth Naval District, to Air Squadrons Pacific, on 10 Jul 1943. He remained in the bay area until ordered to report to Comdt Fleet Air South Pacific, as Commander CASU 41 on 18 Apr 1944. The family remained in Oakland while he was overseas. It was shortly after he returned from the war that the family moved to Turlock, California. As luck would have it, I moved into a tiny house right across the street from the Lees' residence in 1963.
|Left to Right, Jo, Billie and Loa Betty|
This picture was taken at a reunion in January, 1997 in Modesto, California.
Loa Betty is now Mrs. Ralph Woodbridge and lives in Waterford, California.
Burt is now Mrs. George Hicks and lives in Three Rivers, California.
Jo is now Mrs. Ralph Cooper, my wife, and lives in Pasadena, California.
The fourth of Walter's daughters, Burt, had passed away in 1970