Transport Pilot, President of Air Services, WWII Veteran, Distinguished Flying Cross
Richard Morgan Richard Dorsey Morgan first entered aviation as a hobby and sportsman pilot. When Bellanca Airfield opened in New Castle in 1928, he became a transport pilot for Air Service, Inc. that operated the field, became President of the corporation, sold airplanes, provided air transportation, and gave flying lessons.
He and his younger brother, John, flew Mr. R.R.M. Carpenter and his family in the family’s Lockheed Electra 10-A, until the airplane was commandeered by the Air Corps after Pearl Harbor. The plane was similar to the plane that Amelia Earhart was flying on her last flight in an attempt to fly around the world along the equator.
In 1939 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve and was called to active duty in June 1941. He trained pilots and was soon flying and delivering fighters and bombers to Europe and Australia and points in between for Air Transport Command.
At Bengal, India, he commanded the airbase for nearly a year and a unit of fifty, with four engine variations of the B-24, ferrying supplies across the “Hump” to the air forces in China. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1945 for participating in more than 500 hours of operational flight over impassable mountainous terrain through areas characterized by extremely treacherous weather conditions, flying by instruments for long periods of time through icing conditions, and faced by frequent mechanical failures. He personally flew forty-five missions as pilot. He left the Air Force in 1946 with the rank of Colonel and retuned to his position as president of Air Service at Bellanca Airfield.
When Bellanca retired in 1954 and sold his company, Morgan moved to California and continued to fly, devoting much of his time to flying gliders.