Towers, John H.

Pioneer US Navy aviator,with NC-3 on 1919 1st transatlantic flight, commanded 1st US aircraft carrier, deputy to ADM Nimitz in Pacific

Price: $195.00

Description:
John H. Towers (1885-1955) Pioneer naval aviator, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics 193942, commanded carrier task forces during WW II. He and Marc Mitscher were the only naval aviation pioneers to stay with naval aviation their entire careers. 1st naval aviator to achieve flag rank and most senior naval aviation advocate when the Navy was dominated by battleship admirals. USNA 1906, commissioned ensign 1908, reported to the Curtiss Flying School in Hammondsport, NY in 1911 for aviation training. Under Glenn Curtiss and Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson, he qualified as a pilot in Aug. 1911, flying the Navy's 1st airplane, a Curtiss A-1 seaplane. In Oct. 1911, he set a distance record, flying an A-1 from Annapolis to Old Point Comfort, Virginia, 112 miles in 122m. In the fall of 1912, he supervised creation of the 1st naval aviation unit at Annapolis. On Oct. 6, 1912, he set a US endurance record in a Curtiss A-2 seaplane, aloft for 6h10m35s. On 8 May 1913, Lt. Towers flew 169 miles in a Curtiss flying boat from the Washington Navy Yard to the Naval Academy in 3h5m. On Jan. 20, 1914, he led 9 officers, 23 enlisted men, 7 aircraft, portable hangars and materiel from Annapolis to Pensacola to set up the 1st naval aviation training unit. On April 20, 1914, he led the 1st naval air unit called into action with the Fleet during the Tampico Affair. In Jan. 1915, he was designated Naval Aviator # 3 and credited with development of the Naval Aviators badge in 1917. When the Navy set up the Division of Aviation, he became Asst. Director of Naval Aviation and led the buildup from a few obsolete aircraft and less than 50 pilots to thousands of aircraft & aviators. In the interwar years, he was the main advocate of naval aviation, especially carrier aviation. In 1919, Cmdr Towers proposed, planned and led the 1st transatlantic crossing. On 8 May 1919, 3 Curtiss NC Flying Boats, NC-1, NC-3 & NC-4, left Naval Air Station Rockaway, NY stopping in Cape Cod & Chatham, MA. and Halifax, Nova Scotia before reaching Trepassey, Newfoundland May 15. On May 16 they left for the Azores. NC-1 & NC-3 were forced to land in heavy seas due to dense fog, and neither could take off again. The NC-3, with Towers, kept afloat for 52 hours, water taxiing over 200 miles to Sao Miguel Island, arriving at Lisbon May 27. He was awarded the Navy Cross; 10 years later, he and the NC-4 crew were awarded Congressional Gold Medals. He commanded the Navy's 1st aircraft carrier, USS Langley, Jan. 1927-Aug. 1928. On 1 June 1939, he was named Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics as RADM and grew the Navy air arm from 2,000 planes in 1939 to 39,000 in 1942. Promoted to VADM Oct. 6, 1942, he became Commander, Air Force, Pacific Fleet, and helped develop the strategy for victory in the Pacific. He received the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Service Medal. He was promoted to Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Area (DCINCPOA) & Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet (DCINCPAC), ADM Nimitz's chief advisor on naval aviation policy, fleet logistics, and administration. In Aug. 1945, he was given command of the 2nd Carrier Task Force & Task Force 38, Pacific Fleet, then CINCPAC Feb. 1946- Mar. 1947. On 1 Jan. 1947, the US Pacific Command became one of the 1st unified commands with ADM Towers as 1st commander for 2 months before becoming Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet & Commander in Chief, Pacific Command. He retired Dec. 1, 1947. Member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame 1966, International Aerospace Hall of Fame 1973, the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor 1981. A crater on the moon was named for him by the Apollo 17 crew and Towers Field at Jacksonville NAS is named for him. WW II era b&w flat finish ISP in dress uniform as VADM aboard unidentified ship, inscribed with sentiment.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search