Richard Monroe Hofmann
Richard Monroe Hofmann
"Test pilot for...Early 1930's, 24yrs old."
Richard Monroe Hofmann
Richard & Friend
"Left to Right: Ervin Blatt, Richard Hofmann
Chicago, Ill., Ashburn Field, Early '30's"

Collection of Darren Hofmann

Via email from Darren Hofmann - 12-15-03
     My Grandfather was born in Chicago Illinois, Cook County Oct. 10 1909. He passed away Sept. 13, 1990 in Holdrege NE.
Father: Charles F. Hofmann,
Born: June 25, 1870 Germany, Died: November 24, 1945 Chicago, IL.
Mother: Louise "Lucy" Suessmann,
Born: Oct 13,1885, Died: February 13, 1916
Sister: Grace Emily Hofmann,
Born: March 15, 1908 Chicago Ill., Died: Aug, 1937 Chicago, IL.
     At the time of Lucy's death she and Charles had been separated, so Richard then went to live with Lucy's half sister and husband, Sophia Theile and Charles H Thompson. He lived with them for several years while attending school and in his teens learned how to fly. I don't know where he went to school or where he learned to fly, except that it was in the Chicago area.      In 1926 Richard went to work for the Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company (CPS&Co) in Chicago. For extra money he flew every chance he got, for whom I don't know. All the information I have on the time period between 1926 and 1942 is still somewhat sketchy. I have few photos but I hope to find some more.

Richard Monroe Hofmann
Richard Monroe Hofmann
Richard in his Plane
Richard M Hofmann, Chicago, Ill. Early '30's. He always had a "love" of planes & flying. Ajmk.
Milwaukee, 1931-32
Left to Right: Roy "Tex" C. May,
(also an aviator),
Richard Hofmann,
Hofmann flew mail for Govn.
Skyroads Flying Club
Skyroads Flying Club

        I do know that he eventually settled down a little and was married on June 12, 1935 to Annie "June" Meese. She was a sweet little farm girl from Ericson NE. After the marriage I believe June and Richard remained in Chicago until the late 30's. I don't know when he eventually gave up flying, but I know he slowed down a little after some crashes and the marriage to my Grandmother.  

Richard Monroe Hofmann
Richard Hofmann, ca 1934
"I wonder if Grace has been waiting for me to saw this log. Ever since she glanced at that picture you snapped of me sawing, (or trying to), she has had some funny notions. Poor me. Richard Hofmann, Bro of Grace. Date added later...1934?"
Collection of Darren Hofmann
        In 1942 Richard went to work as a bookkeeper at the Blaine Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) in Hastings NE. He remained there until after the war, and eventually took the position of Junior Accountant for Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation. In 1963 they moved their headquarters to Holdrege NE, where he retired.
     That's about all I have for now..As I turn up new stuff I'll keep you posted.
I'm hoping with the pics that I can identify the planes and the uniforms. Anything that could be a clue to his aviation background.
Thanks Again!!
Via email from Darren Hofmann - 12-15-03
Don't know if I have any information on Lester Bishop but I was hoping you might be able to help out my research. My name is Darren Hofmann and I am researching my Grandfathers flying days. I really didn't know much about his early days because he never talked about it, but I recently ran across some photos while visiting my Grandmother and it peaked my interest.
His name was Richard Monroe Hofmann. I ran across your site while searching for people and things to do with Ashburn Field. One of the few clues that I have to his past is the photo I have sent to you. My Grandfather has his foot on the wheel and Ervin Blatt is one of his buddies in the photo. My Grandmother has told me that he did some testing for what she thought was the 33rd division of something. Not sure what branch.
To my knowledge he was never in the military, and my Grandmother thought this was under a private contract. He may have been working for some outfit in the Chicago area at the time because she also said that he occasionally flew mail out of Chicago to St Louis as well. Not real sure about any of it, but I would like to find out more if I can. Any ideas where I can do some looking? Name of companies in the Chicago area at that time? He hung around with three other gentlemen that were also pilots there. Their names are Lou or Louis Skala, Ervin Blatt, and Roy May. If you have heard of any of these gentlemen or know of anything that may help me in my search it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks a Bunch

Richard Monroe Hofmann died in 1990.
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this early flyer,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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