William G. Fuller Collection

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10735.1/8268

William G. Fuller was born on 11 February, 1895 in Trenton, New Jersey. His extensive experience in aviation began in 1915 when he was employed by Wright Aeronautical building Hispano-Suiza engines. In 1916 he enlisted in the Signal Corps and was later among the first class of Flying Sergeants at Love Field in Dallas, TX. Soon after he was assigned to the Air Service’s Model Airway System at Kelly Field, San Antonio, TX. In this posting he was responsible for the movement of personnel and supplies in Waco, Dallas, Fort Worth, Muskogee, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Fort Worth proved to be a troublesome location as enlisted members of the Army were constantly being court martialed for being derelict in duty, intoxicated or selling government supplies. As the Army was on the verge of closing the air field in Fort Worth, the mayor at the time, Henry C. Meacham requested that Fuller be assigned to Fort Worth to manage the air field and keep it open. In 1927, when Fuller’s enlistment was up he was hired as the first Airport Manager of what would be named later that year, Meacham Field.

As World War II broke out, Fuller stepped aside as Airport Manager to become Vice President of Globe Aircraft Company which had a contract building AT-10 trainers for the United States Army. In 1946 he was appointed as the Chief of Airport Management for the Civil Aeronautics Administration in Washington D.C. In 1950, Fuller would return to Fort Worth as the Director of Aviation and would remain in that position until he was forcibly retired in 1961 at which time he would become the Director of Aviation for Grand Prairie and later Mayor of Euless, TX.

Aviation grew rapidly in North Texas, as it did around the world, during Fuller’s time in aviation. He was on hand as Charles Lindbergh made a stop at Meacham Field on his “victory” tour in 1927. According to Fuller, during his time at Meacham Field he oversaw the first glider to be towed by an airplane anywhere in the world. His wife, Evelyn, was the first passenger on a scheduled flight out of Texas in 1928 and Reg Robbins and James Kelly set the endurance record out of Meacham Field in 1929 in their Ryan Airplane “Fort Worth.” Fuller was also involved in the airport controversies between Dallas and Fort Worth which eventually saw the creation of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. In 1933, he was also instrumental in the solving of the kidnapping of business man Charles F. Urschel and subsequent capture of J. Harvey Bailey. The episode is depicted in the book Robbing Banks Was My Business by J. Evetts Haley.

Fuller married Evelyn Rhodes, commonly referred to as Jackie, of Dallas, TX. They had one daughter, Evelyn Fuller and one son, William G. Fuller Jr. The latter would lose his life piloting a B-29 in support of the world flight record of the Lucky Lady II in 1949.


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