Written by Jim Cunningham
As Told By Bill Brennand
When we think of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, we think of EAA, the Poberezny family, inventor and air race legend Steve Wittman, Warren and Pat Basler of Basler Turbo Conversions, aircraft inventor John Monnett, and another air race legend, Bill Brennand.
While working for Steve Wittman in 1947, Bill Brennand won the “Goodyear Trophy” at the National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio without ever flying a practice course, out-flying veteran air race pilots of the times. In the years that followed, Brennand flew many more races and was in the winner’s circle over half of the time. At age 28, Brennand retired from air racing and airshows to fly a Beech 18 for Marathon Paper Corporation. Later, he built and ran his own public-use airport – Brennand Airport (79C) – located north of Oshkosh, and 4 miles west of Neenah, Wis., after the family farm where he flew became part of Wittman Regional Airport.
In the early 1970s, Bill Brennand oversaw one of the most remarkable aircraft restoration projects of all time – a 1931 Stinson Tri-Motor. Brennand and his team took the airplane from rotting wreck in Alaska to better-than-new condition, flying it at aviation events across the country for years. He also lent his personal seaplane base to the Experimental Aircraft Association in the early 1970s and developed it into one of the world’s busiest seaplane bases for one week of the year during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
“Bill Brennand” told his story to aviation author, Jim Cunningham, in 148 pages, accompanied by 210 photos: $24.95 softbound, or $29.95 hardcover, plus $4 shipping. Check, Money Order, Visa or Mastercard accepted (include card number and expiration date). Mail to Airship International Press, P.O. Box 1543, Bloomington IL 61702-1543, or call 309-827-8039.