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This information comes from the biographical file for pilot Love, CL-803000-01, -20, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.

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Robert McClure Love, Date Unknown
Robert McClure Love, Date Unknown

Robert M. Love landed with passenger Mrs. N.H. Love under special circumstances at Tucson on January 28, 1936.  He and Nancy Harkness were married in Boston January 11, 1936, and took a 3-week honeymoon to California. 

We find them visiting Tucson in the middle of their honeymoon.  They were flying a new Beech B-17-L Staggerwing NC14415 that was purchased to operate on Robert Love’s Inter City Airlines.  Based in Boston, MA they were enroute from Phoenix, AZ to El Paso, TX, probably on the return leg of their honeymoon. NC14415 is still with us and is being restored by Ranley Nelson near Pittsburgh, PA. Follow the link to learn more about this interesting airplane.

If you examine page 212 of the Register, you will see that Nancy signed the Register three days earlier during a solo round robin Phoenix to Tucson in the same airplane.  There is no notation as to why she might have flown to Tucson without Robert, unless it was just to stretch the legs of the new airplane.  She signed the Register as “Nancy L. Harkness”, perhaps not yet used to her married name, which she later adopted as Nancy Harkness Love.  Image, below, of log page 212 with the Love’s signatures under the actual ignition key of their Staggerwing.

An interesting note on their airplane is that it still exists, is registered with the FAA and is being restored to flying status in Butler, PA.  Please follow this link for images (scroll down that page a bit).

NC14415 Ignition Key From Ranley Nelson's Collection Signatures of Love and Harkness in the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register are Just Above the Key
NC14415 Dataplate & Ignition Key

Robert Love was born in Brooklyn, NY March 5, 1909.  He was educated at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He taught flying in the early 1930s and sold airplanes.  He developed a small regional mail and freight airlin and molded it into Inter City Airlines in Boston in 1932.  In 1938 he became president and director of the company’s successor, Inter City Aviation.  After WWII his postwar company, All American Airways, Inc. eventually became Allegheny Airlines.

During WWII he was an Army Air Force pilot and then deputy chief of staff of the Air Transport Command, with the rank of colonel.  At the same time Nancy headed Women in the Air Force from 1942 to 1944.

Below, a sunny, breezy day photograph of Nancy and Bob.

Nancy Harkness and Robert Love, Date Unknown
Nancy Harkness and Robert Love, Date Unknown

Robert was named president of Allegheny in 1948, retired as chairman in 1956, but remained a director until 1975 when he was named director emeritus.

Love was a yachtsman, and at his death was treasurer and director fo the Vineyard Yacht Corporation, which he had founded.  He won a couple of races around Martha's Vineyard in 1958 and 1960. He passed away on October 9, 1983 at Pomfret, CT. Nancy had predeceased him in 1976.


Dossier 2.1.111

UPLOADED: 06/06/07 REVISED: 02/13/08

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