Stultz, Wilmer | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Name: Stultz, Wilmer
Historical Note: Wilmer Lower Stultz was born on a farm near Williamsburg, Pennsylvania on April 11, 1900. In August 1917, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force and in March of 1919, Stultz was honorably discharged. On August 4, 1919 he married Mildred Botts of Middletown. Stultz enlisted in the Naval Air Service on December 22, 1919 and was honorably discharged on December 1, 1922. In his government training, Stultz was one of a group of men to receive special instruction in aviation. He personally conducted the tests made on the Josephine Ford plane in which Commander Richard Byrd made his famous journey to the North Pole. Stultz was the winner of a national airplane speed race at Dayton, Ohio. He was approached in the Fall of 1927 by Commander Byrd to be the assistant pilot on Byrd’s proposed South Pole flight. Frances Wilson Grayson employed Stultz as the pilot on her flight across the Atlantic. Grayson and Stultz turned around on their flight due to storms and Stultz ended their professional relationship. Stultz is primarily remembered today for his role as the pilot in the 1928 transatlantic flight aboard the “Friendship” airplane. During this flight, Stultz piloted the Fokker F7 (nicknamed the “Friendship”) that carried Amelia Earhart across the Atlantic Ocean. Although she was only a passenger on the flight, Earhart became instantly famous for being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Tragically, Stultz died the following year during a test flight. He was thirty years old.
Sources: Collection materials
Note Author: Sammie Morris; Shauna Borger