1924 - August 30, 2004
The following comes from Fran Drew Whitesides, his wife and former FTL Stewardess from
Carl W. Whitesides flew with the Flying Tiger Line from 1955 to 1957. He was Co-Pilot and a brilliant pilot at that. Many of the Flying Tiger pilots knew of his skills and ability. He knew how to navigate from the stars in territory where there was no map to refer too on the Dew Line. Throughout his career he had accumulated over 20,000 hours of flight time as an experienced top aviator. One of the best!
- His career in aviation started as a young man who dreamed of flying over the mountains he saw from his front yard. He saved enough money to start flying lessons and got his license to fly.
- Upon graduating high school, he was one of the very few who was selected in a long line, to be accepted into the Naval Reserves and begin flight training and graduated in 1944 at the Naval Training Center in Pensacola, Florida, as a Naval Aviator.
- He served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserves in World War II flying the Large PBM Sea Planes off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts patrolling and sub watching during the war.
- After the war, he continued to fly as a top Naval Aviator around the world.
- In 1955, Wayne, as everyone called him, was hired with the Flying Tiger Line as Co-Pilot flying missions on the Dew Line in Canada and Alaska, in Europe, Asia and the United States.
- Wayne got married in 1956 to Fran Drew, the number one flight stewardess.
- In 1957, he was furloughed from the Flying Tigers and was hired with the FAA, in Oklahoma City where he taught and worked in flight inspection. He flew test flights of many aircraft before the aircraft were put out on the line including all the Constellations.
- Flying with the FAA around the world, he helped to commission and set up the airway systems around the globe including the United States, Europe, and North Africa. They would fly with a plane filled with electronics to do this. His missions with the FAA airway system led him to fix an airway on the boarder of Russia where he almost got shot down by three Russian MIG jets on his tail. Wayne pulled back his engines into slow flight. The MIG jets could not fly that slow and let him go with the airman’s salute. Wayne fixed an airway where many civilian commercial flights had been shot down by the Russian’s.
- Wayne served with the State Department in Washington DC from 1965 to 1968.
- He retired from the FAA in 1970, then became a Hospital Administrator.
- On August 30, 2004 at 80 years young, Wayne flew West.
At left is a copy of a past Tigereview article with the following caption:
Flying Tiger lost one of its best known stewardesses recently when glamorous Fran Drew, who ranked third on the airline's seniority list, disappeared over a week-end and returned from Las Vegas to her San Fernando Valley home with a husband. And who did she marry? Why, a pilot, of course -- another Flying Tiger airman -- Co-Pilot Wayne Whitesides. An FTL stewardess for six years with service all over the world, Fran will live with Wayne in Burbank. They spent their honeymoon in Utah. Here they are after the wedding.
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