7.33 Cubic feet (3 records center boxes, 3 flat boxes)
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 4 scrapbooks detailing Rowe's life, several drafts of his autobiography, as well as Rowe's logs and a number of radiograms. The collection also includes several magazines, drawings and posters concerning Rowe.
Biographical / Historical:
Basil Lee Rowe (1896-1973) was born and educated in Shandaken, NY. Two years after his high school graduation, he began his flying career in 1914 as an apprentice to Turk Adams. As a barnstormer and a talented racing pilot from 1919 on, he toured the US until 1925 when he moved his planes to the West Indies. Rowe organized the West Indian Aerial Express in 1927, only to have it absorbed by Pan American Airlines where he became the senior pilot. During his first ten years, he flew record hours and surveyed most of the new routes, often flying with Charles Lindbergh. His aeronautical abilities had been claimed by the US Air Service during WWI and he served again in WWII, on the Cannonball Project. He married Florence May Sharp in 1925, but her early death left him a widower at his retirement in 1956. At their Coral Gables home in Florida, Rowe wrote his autobiography, 'Under My Wings' and played tennis until his death.
Basil Lee Rowe, gift, 1969, XXXX-0019, unknown
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