Flying Tiger Line Pilots Association
Flying Tiger Captain Bill Brunton flew west from natural causes at his home in North Las Vegas on June 12, 2008, just shy of his 77th birthday.
Born and raised in Glendale, California, Bill at 18 joined the USAF at the time of the Korean War, learning aircraft mechanics and serving throughout Europe and the Middle East. After his discharge and with the indispensable support of his first wife, Sherry Barnett Schultz, Bill launched into the passionate and ceaseless pursuit of skill in all fields of flying that he was known for throughout his decades-long career.
Starting as Navigator with several small cargo airlines and World Airlines, he graduated to Tigers, obtained his Flight Engineer Rating, then First Pilot and finally Captain, flying everything from Constellations to 747’s. Just to be sure he hadn’t missed anything, along the way he earned a Helicopter pilot rating and Instructor ratings for all of his licensed skills! (Many of us were treated to the spectacle, when ratings were mentioned, of Bill whipping out his multifold wallet and letting all those licenses flip-flop down for viewing.)
Bill was also known for his love of travel and his enthusiasm in discovering the wonders of other cultures. A deeply sentimental guy, he thoroughly enjoyed both the finer things and folksy pleasures in the human experience. He was a delighted participant in any and all gatherings, downing his share of “tiddlies” with gusto and making people happy.
With his great heart, Bill would do anything for anyone who was in need. He especially doted on his family and his Tiger buddies, but also contributed to various other good causes. (You would never hear about these things from him; but one that we did discover was a $1000 donation to buy Thanksgiving turkeys for a local homeless aid organization.)
Bill leaves his pilot/businessman son, Steven Brunton, to whom he passed on his love of flying; his daughter, Barbara Brunton Strasburg, to whom he became even more deeply attached for her selfless and loving support in recent years; six grandchildren and three great grandchildren; and his brother, Tom Brunton, whose most solid claim to fame is that he gave Bill his first ride in an airplane (an Ercoupe), in 1949.
Keep flying, Billy: you were very loved and are very missed.Back To Memorials