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Million-Miler by John R. Tunis | by twomets
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Million-Miler by John R. Tunis

Julian Messner, Inc, 1942.


TWA pioneer and "Million Miler" H. J. "Jack" Zimmerman was born in 1906. Zimmerman entered U.S. Army Air Corps training in 1928. The following year, he piloted a Ford Tri-Motor in the first transcontinental air-rail service instituted by Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), the predecessor of Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. He logged more than 2 million miles and 15,000 flying hours during his career, mostly with TWA.


Dubbed "Aviation's Gift to Women" as a young pilot, Zimmerman accomplished many feats during his career, including surviving a serious mail-plane crash at Allegheny County Airport at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1933 and flying the first scheduled plane into New York's La Guardia Field in December 1939. He also piloted the plane that took J. Edgar Hoover and FBI agents to arrest kidnapper Alvin Karpis (a "Public Enemy No. 1") in 1936. In 1940, Zimmerman flew the last leg of the West-East inaugural record flight of the Boeing 307 Stratoliner. He set a coast-to-coast speed record for transport planes and was chief pilot for TWA's Eastern and Atlantic division when he entered the armed services in April 1942. This book was published shortly thereafter.


On Nov. 2, 1942, Zimmerman and a crew of eight men were involved in an airplane accident near Presque Isle, Maine, after their flying boat capsized in rough waters upon takeoff. The crew had completed the first leg of its flight and was making its return to base when the accident occurred. Zimmerman, control officer of the North Atlantic Division of the Ferry Command and the highest ranking officer aboard, was killed. Another officer and three enlisted men were also reported missing following the wreck.


Zimmerman's papers are now in the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, where Zimmerman was born (

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Uploaded on December 28, 2008