Alva R. DeGarmo Collection

Alva R. DeGarmo (1899-1988) enlisted in the Army Air Service, soloing in 1920 in a Curtiss JN-4 at March Field, Riverside, CA. He was in the Air Service for three years before joining the Air Reserve Corps. During his service he patrolled the Mexican boarder and spotted forest fires in Oregon. After resigning from the Air Service and a brief stint in barnstorming, he worked for two years with Western Air Lines, being one of their first four pilots, the "Four Horseman." After two years he changed to Boeing Air Transport/United Air Lines, flying with them until 1939. During World War II DeGarmo helped ferry bombers and transport planes across the Atlantic under the Pan American subsidiary, Atlantic Airways, and later during the War he took over a Pan American Miami to Rio De Janeiro passenger route. Towards the end of the war he worked for Curtiss Wright on C-46 fuel problems. He ended his aviation career with a short stint as a Lockheed test pilot after the war.