Lloyd Sailor was born March 5, 1905 at McLean, IL. He died April 25, 1987 at Wickenburg, AZ. Below, courtesy of site visitor Al Schutte, is his obituary.
Wickenburg Sun, Wickenburg, AZ
Thursday, April 30, 1987, p 25
Lloyd Louis Sailor, 82, of Wickenburg, died April 25, 1987 in Wickenburg.
He was born March 5, 1905 in Normal, Ill. He had been a resident of Arizona for seven years.
He is survived by his wife, Tommie I Sailor; one sister, Cleo McDonald, of Carbondale, Ill., and several nieces and nephews, out of state.
Sailor served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force during World War II. After retiring as a Colonel in 1980, he moved from Garden Grove, Calif., to Wickenburg, where he and his wife made their home at Smoketree Estates.
Graveside services were April 28 at the Wickenburg Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a favorite charity.
Arrangements were made by the Wickenburg Funeral Home.
Young Army pilot Lloyd Sailor landed once at Tucson, Monday, August 27, 1934 at 1:25PM. He carried four passengers identified as TechSgt. Mick, Lt. Roscoe A. Dunahoo, Cadet A.R. Luedecke and Capt. E. Root. Based at Riverside, CA, March Field, they were westbound from El Paso, TX to March Field. They flew in the Ford C-4, 29-219 which, according to Joe Baugher's site, was a commercial 5-AT-38 trimotor acquired by the USAAC.
Sailor and his party remained on the ground for 35 minutes, continuing west at 2:00PM. He wrote in the remarks column of the Register, "Won't be long now," perhaps referring to the end of this cross-country flight.
Sailor has no biographical folder at the Smithsonian. I know very little about his flying career during the Golden Age. He has only one page of Google hits as of the upload date of this page (and two of those are to dmairfield.org!). If anyone has information, please let me KNOW.
Like many Register pilots, he did go on to serve during WWII. I have more information about this later phase of his career. For example, according to "Air Force Bases" volume I by Robert Mueller, he served as base commander at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Texas from September to November, 1942. Coincidentally, this same reference presents a succinct review of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base from the 1940s to the 1980s on pp. 97-104.
On the eve of WWII, Sailor was in charge of the first ferry flight from Brownsville, TX to Panama, C.Z. The local Brownsville Herald of August 21, 1940, below, identifies Sailor as the pilot in command of the flight. Thanks to site visitor Al Schutte for sharing this article and the linked documents below. What looks like a DC-3 actually isn't (see the article). Sailor is described as a first lieutenant in the text.
Transport Ferry Flight, L.L. Sailor, August 21, 1940 (Source: Schutte)
Later in WWII, during September-October, 1944, Sailor was involved in the support arm for Operation Matterhorn flying aircraft fuel out of India. The link provides background on the Operation. Sailor's job was to command tanker aircraft across the "Hump" to supply B-29s based in China. His transport aircraft were Army B-24s converted to C-109 tankers by stripping armament and installing gasoline tanks of 4,900 (some sources say 2,900) gallons capacity. The B-29's role in Matterhorn was to execute bombing raids from China to the Japanese mainland. Lt. Col. Sailor's role was as Base Commander of the C-109 airfield known as B-2 near Calcutta, in eastern India.
From what I can determine, Sailor was between a rock and a hard place during this short-lived assignment. The rock was his subordinates and the hard place his commanding officer. His commanding officer was one Colonel Joseph Frost. The official diary of Sailor's assignment is cited at this link, and the full text of it as written by him (PDF 74kB, 5 pp.) is at the second link. Further, insightful information about the tanker experience is supplied by two C-109 crew members of the 40th Bomb Group Association in two of the Association "Memories" newsletters number 33 (July, 1990) (PDF 27kB, 7 pp.) and number 35 (December, 1990) (PDF 35kB, 9, pp.). The "CO" described in these documents refers to Colonel Frost. I'll leave it to you to review these documents and form your own opinions and conclusions.
Further, this link to Joe Baugher's site lists by serial number all of the 218 C-109 aircraft used in the refueling missions during those two months. Baugher states, "The designation C-109 was assigned to existing B-24Js and B-24Ls that were converted into fuel transports to support B-29 operations out of China. An early plan called for ten B-29 groups to be stationed in China for operations against Japan, and these bombers were to be supported by no less than 2,000 C-109s which would fly aviation gasoline over the Hump from India for the bombers." This was to be a significant effort, which, after all was said and done, was soon reduced in scope and terminated once the B-29s were transferred to the Marianas where they were better served by Navy seaborne tankers.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 07/25/11 REVISED: