Capt Joseph F. Trtek, USAF (Ret.)
April 4, 1911 – June 19, 2005
In 1927, he flew an OX-5 with Tex Rankin and in 1929, at the age of 19, he flew the plane he designed and built, the Trtek Midwing. Later he built a second plane, a G2 Aeronica, which was featured in Popular Science magazine. In Oregon, he was recognized as an “Oregon Air Pioneer.”
During WWII, he was a flight instructor in secondary and advance aircraft. In March 1944, Captain Trtek helped pioneer a cargo and passenger route over the North Atlantic to England, flying the Douglas C-54 Skymaster and later he flew transports from England to Casablanca. He also served as command pilot of a B-17 squadron in the major European battles beginning with D-Day. He was the recipient of several medals, including the Purple Heart.
He belonged to many aviation organizations and was a life member of Silver Wings. At the age of 80, he was inducted as a member of the United Flying Octogenarians. He owned and operated many general aircraft, including a Papered Wing Stearman, Challenger Robin, Ford Trimotor, Cessna 140-172, and a Piper Cherokee.