HUGH L. GRUNDY (1916 - 2011)
(CNAC 194? - 1949)
July 19, 2008
Hello Tom, Grundy here,
Regarding your CNAC page on me, I wasn't aware it even existed until you mentioned it and I pulled it up for a look. It certainly needs a redo (and here is the beginning of that redo, thanks to this information from Grundy).
I will put together a small package of background, CNAC and other aviation career history, a few related papers and photos and mail it to you, as soon as I can get to it. That may help you put together a better page. Meanwhile, I comment;
I worked for PAA and PAA Africa Ltd....after time out for military service during WW II in the U.S. Army Air Corps / Air Force as engineering officer / air crew member.... I returned to PAA HQ in the Chrysler building NYC to help with their project of converting surplus military C-54 transports to civil DC-4 airliners for affiliate CNAC's postwar fleet and to prepare a special "Air Force One" DC-4 for the president of china. Later, I was manager of that CNAC conversion project at Glenn Martin plant at Baltimore while also assisting PAA's program evaluating Martin's 202 vv Convair's 240 postwar airliners for PAA's anticipated domestic operations. Upon completion of the CNAC /presidential plane conversions and their delivery to china, PAA sent me to CNAC (Shanghai).
Captain Len Parish was a great friend who gave me aerobatic flying lessons in CNAC's AT-6 primary trainers at shanghai, flew my personal Stinson (just out of major work and untested) from Shanghai to Hong Kong during the Shanghai evacuation (while I was busy with evacuating CNAC property) and later checked me out in it at Kai Tak, and in a critical Hong Kong housing situation, generously offered my wife and me our choice of a couple of housing accommodations he had had the foresight to reserve. His demise in the Cathay Pacific airliner shoot-down by the reds was a tragedy deeply felt.
Secondly, rather than a mechanic, I was chief engineer of CNAC until the defection in Hong Kong in 1949 and CNAC's subsequent dissolution. (at the urging of the new red masters. And with approval of the U. S. Govt., I continued as chief engineer of the new red airline for sometime, until accepting an offer from General Chennault to join CAT as chief engineer. It's a long story after that and I will offer you more on it in the promised supplemental material.
I am nearly 93 now and just returned home after trike flying lessons at Jasper, TN. Learning to transition from some eighty years flying and association with conventional three axis aircraft to the 180 degrees opposite control movements of the weight shift trike.
September 19, 2011
My name is Jamie Russell I was doing a Google search on Hugh L. Grundy and the “CNAC 194? – 1949” page you did on him and the response he sent you came up. Mr. Hugh passed on Sunday night September, 18 2011. Mr. Hugh was a friend of mine and he would call me from time to time for help on his computer (mainly his flight simulator) and although he was old enough to be my grandfather we would talk about what was happening in technology and how things had and would change. I work in IT (Information Technology) for a small college here in Springfield, KY, St. Catharine College. Mr. Hugh frequented my father’s machinery repair shop with his very detailed drawings of repairs or projects he needed or wanted. In return we were welcomed to fish in the lake on the ridge behind his house and I would also hike on the farm.
Ms. Frankie (Hugh's wife) finally got her new kitchen after years of hinting and finally telling him as much. He and my grandfather Walker were quite fond of each other and Ms. Frankie and my grandmother Walker were schoolmates.
He never dismissed me or didn’t have time to talk. His family history was important to him as was his privacy. I respected that and if he felt like talking we would talk. Nothing juicy or history shattering but just how he loved what he had done in his life, what he was doing in what was supposed to be retirement and how he missed his family and home while he did it. He once told me that when he was a boy outside working he saw an airplane fly over and he thought to himself…”I am going to do that one day…I am going to fly” and he did…boy did he fly.
These were the wishes of the late Hugh L. Grundy born January 7, 1916; died September 18, 2011. He is to be cremated with no public service and to have his ashes spread over the family farm “Grundy Home Plantation” which has been a continuous working Grundy farm since the original land grant was issued sometime around the Revolutionary War.
After reading Mr. Hugh’s greeting…”Hello Tom, Grundy here” I figured that this is something you may want to know.
Jamie A. Russell
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