Extracts from Under My Wings by Basil L. Rowe
""My eyes caressed every detail of the open, uncovered spruce and bamboo frame, the bamboo struts, the bicycle-wheel landing gear and the long skid underneath. A lean, grimy, hatchet-faced man with a wide mouth and a nose like a cleaver was working around the machine with oil can and pliers, chewing furiously on a cigar butt. He'd take up on a turnbuckle here, let out there....."
"I was convinced that the aeronaut would be a heroic figure dressed in leather jacket, helmet and goggles. While I waited for him ot appear I started asking the cigar chewer questions. What make of motor was it? How did the controls work? What kind of airhsip was it? The worker straightened up and face me. He wore greasy work pants with the legs tucked into a pair of long socks. He removed the cigar butt from clenched teeth, looked at me disdainfully for a moment, jerked his head to one side and said, 'Beat it.'"
This was Basil's introduction to Turk Adams and to aviation. He went on to work with him as "carpenter, roustabout, water boy, leg man and mechanic." Ultimately, Turk taught him to fly with the admonition, "Well, go ahead and bust her up."
These recollections from Basil's book are the only references I have found to the life and career of Turk Adams to date. If you are interested in learning more about him, I heartily recommend that you obtain Rowe's book and complete reading that chapter. If time permits, I recommend that you read the rest of the book in which he details his fascinating career.
|UNDER MY WINGS
by Basil L. Rowe
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Ams Pr Ams Pr (July 1, 1987)
Description: from the front flap of the book.
"Captain Basil Rowe has flown more miles than any other man who ever lived - a distance equivalent to more than 223 trips around the world. Under My Wings is his adventurous autobiography, the story of a great airlines pilot, of a man who started as a barnstorming kid just before World War I and has made flying a passport to five continents and an eventful life.
Stunt flying, racing, early work with seaplanes, pioneering his own airline through the West Indies, mapping new air routes in South America, working through World War II and the Korean War as a MATS pilot--Captain Rowe has flown everything, has flown everywhere. He ended his career as number-one captain for Pan American Airways.
Never in those millions of air miles has he ever lost his love of the clean freedom of flying. His story gives you the feel of it, and for the first time gives the book reader a real picture of what the pilot of a big passenger airliner actually does--and a clear understanding of the kind of man who makes so fine a pilot."
Editor's Note: You will find a few copies of this book are being offered for sale on the net from time to time. You can find them by entering "Under My Wings" +Rowe in a search engine such as Google. I also discovered that a library in my vicinity, Glendale, CA, has a copy for loan.
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper