AKA Fred Korstad
Fred DeKor
PILOT LICENSE #72 - 1911
     We are happy to report that J. R. Hutchinson and Fred DeKor have been elected to membership in the Early Birds, according to announcement by the Membership Committee. The EB organization bids these new members welcome and wishes them all the joy and satisfaction which come from fellowship and association in this pioneer pilot's fraternity.
     Fred DeKor was born on a farm in Lyon County, Iowa on February 24th, 1878. Shortly after, his family moved to South Dakota and thence to Washington and Oregon.
     DeKor attended the North Idaho State Teachers College for four years, then the University of Washington, and still after, the University of Wisconsin Law School. He passed his bar examination in 1910.
     He is reported to have made his first solo flight early in 1911 at Santa Ana, California, flying a Glenn L. Martin plane of the Curtiss type with a Hall-Scott engine. This was a plane built by Martin for his own personal use. In the following years, he barnstormed all over the United States and the islands of Cuba and Jamaica, and is said to have been the second person in the country to loop the loop. He was one of the foremost stunt flyers of his era and gave thousands of people their first view of acrobatic flying. His real name was Korstad, but he changed it to DeKor so he wouldn't worry his relatives.
     He holds pilots license #72, Aero Club of America, and license #8, Aero Club of California, L.A.
from the Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, March, 1957, Number 56

Fred DeKor
Fred DeKor
A Recent Photo, 1957
Fred with his stunt plane.
     Just in case you didn't recognize Fred DeKor in the story of new members last month, we give you here a picture of him with one of his early planes and another of Fred as he looks today. We also have a copy of his early stationery which promoted him as an acrobatic flyer. In the upper left and right corners are pictures of his plane in flight, and the upper center portion bears the words, Fred DeKor, License No. 72, and the following description of his services; "Looping the loop guaranteed or no pay. All kinds of flying contracts filled. Looping the loop --- Sensational 1000- foot dive --- Night looping with fireworks --- Aerial war bombardment --- Flying upside down --- Spiral dive --- Wing over wing --- And other new thrills." Sketches of a plane looping appear down the left hand side of the sheet.
     He designed and built several planes incuding the one shown on the right, which he used for acrobatic flying. His first solo flight was taken in 1911.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, June, 1957, Number 57

Fred DeKor
Collection of John H. Bloor, 4-19-06
I encountered your website (although I'd heard of it before) when I was doing some research on Fred DeKor. Recently I purchased a real photo postal card (see attached scan) with his name on it. I thought that you might be interested in the picture. I know nothing about the scene depicted except for what it says in the legend. If you know anything else, I'd appreciate it if you could send it to me. The brief biography on your website was very helpful.
John H. Bloor
Englewood, Colorado
Editor's Note: I have contacted the Big Timbers Museum in Lamar, Colorado who have the archived copies of the local paper, the Lamar Daily News. They have offered to search their collection for any report of the event and will share it with us.

     If you search for "Fred DeKor", using the Google search engine, (4-20-06), you will find about 9 links. Perhaps the most helpful is the following.

Fred DeKor in Jamaica - 1916
     "Fred deKor "looped the loop" at Knutsford Park and other venues around the island in January and February 1916."
     This paragraph from Joy Lumsden's "First Flight...... Jamaica - 1911" website, includes a brief story of Fred's activities on the island. It includes a beautiful photograph of him and his aeroplane. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
     If time permits, I suggest that you go to the homepage of this site and learn more about the beginnings of aviation in Jamaica. Of special interest is the story of Jesse Seligman

Fred DeKor
May 19 - 21, 2006
John H. Bloor, M.D., Ph.D.
via snail mail, May 22, 2006
Dear Ralph
     Please find enclosed four copies of the cachet based on the Fred DeKor postcard. Two are unused and two are cancelled on the last day of the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show. The cacheted envelope was one of three designs sold at the show. The other two pictured railroad scenes. There are many more railway buffs in Denver philately than there are airplane/airmail enthusiasts! These are yours to keep, to do with as you wish. I wouild have had one mailed to you directly from the show but I forgot to take your address with me to the show.

Note also the card instered into each of the envelopes. (see below) The information from your website was invaluable in preparing these inserts. Thank you very much.

Please let me know if you find out anything else about the event. My wife and I may drive down to Lamar, Colorado and visit the Big Timber Museum. They may have some additional information.
Best regards,
John H. Bloor
Fred DeKor

       The only reference to Mr. DeKor that I have found to date comes from the obituary of L. L. Walker, Sr. It is mentioned that Mr. Walker was associated with Fred DeKor in exhibition flying in the Southwest. I hope that any of my visitors who have more information on Mr. DeKor will share it with us.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, March, 1961, Number 65
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