A Lindbergh Letter Gets Delivered

Published in Midwest Flyer – December 2018/January 2019 issue

LITTLE FALLS, MINN. – The late Howard A. Morey of Madison, Wisconsin, was a legend in aviation in Wisconsin, as a longtime fixed base operator; the first manager of Madison Municipal Airport, now Dane County Regional Airport (1938-42); a flight instructor for the civil pilot training (CPT) program prior to World War II; a prominent Cessna dealer for decades; founder of Morey Airplane Company in Middleton, Wis.; and the founder of Morey Airport, now Middleton Municipal Airport – Morey Field (C29). In 1947, Morey was appointed the chair of the Wisconsin State Aeronautics Commission, serving until 1959. He also served on the Wisconsin Central/North Central Airlines Board of Directors beginning in 1948, named Vice President in 1952, and was President and General Manager from January 1, 1953 until March 9, 1954.

When Charles Lindbergh was on a nationwide tour following his historic transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927, he stopped by his old college town of Madison, Wisconsin. Who was there to greet him but Howard Morey.

Fast forward to 2018. Morey’s son, Field Morey, formerly of Madison, Wisconsin, was doing research for his upcoming book entitled “Four Years Off the Face of the Earth” (scheduled to be released later in 2019) and happened to come across a letter Lindbergh wrote to George C. Dade, President of  The Long Island Early Fliers’ Club in Glen Head, New York. Lindbergh wrote the letter on December 31, 1973, eight months before he died on August 26, 1974 at age 72. Somehow Howard Morey was given the letter. Attached to the letter in the upper left-hand corner was a piece of fabric from his Curtiss Jenny. The letter reads as follows:

Mr. Dade: I am weeks late in writing this letter. My mail is stacked hopelessly high, and time for correspondence is increasingly hard to find. I simply want to thank you for your courtesy in taking me to your Long Island home, and in showing me the remaining portions of my old (1923) “Jenny,” and the meticulous work you and members of the Long Island Early Fliers’ Club are doing in restoring the plane.

I think there is no doubt about the identity of the plane. Your records of ownership sequence are clear, and the “Canuck” tail surfaces give confirmation.

With appreciation and best wishes,

Charles A. Lindbergh

Realizing the historical significance of the letter, Field Morey hand delivered it to the Lindbergh Museum in Lindbergh’s hometown of Little Falls, Minnesota on September 15, 2018.

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