“They Had What It Takes – Part 21: Jack Knight” by Alden McWilliams
Alden McWilliams’ They Had What it Takes was a series of illustrated tributes to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation that ran in Flying Aces from 1937 through 1940.
In the October 1938 issue, McWilliams rendered the air career of James H. “Jack” Knight, best known as an early pioneer of the US Air Mail. He signed on to the Air Mail service in 1919 often flying treacherous legs like the aptly titled “Hell Stretch” from Cleveland to New York over the Alleghenies. Flights like that prepared him to take part in the first night runs for that service in 1921. He eventually moved on from transporting the mail to transporting people with United Air Lines in 1927 and moved on to help out the war effort until he contracted malaria in South America while trying to find new ways of harvesting rubber and transporting it back to America and died in 1945.
- Download “They Had What It Takes – Part 21: Jack Knight” (October 1938, Flying Aces)