Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Walter Braznell, 86; Leader in Aviation

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Walter Braznell, 86; Leader in Aviation

Article excerpt

Walter W. Braznell, an aviation pioneer and former American Airlines executive, died Aug. 11, 1994, at his home in Longboat Key, Fla., after a long illness. He was 86.

A native of St. Louis and a longtime resident of Ferguson, Mr. Braznell learned to fly in 1926 in the Missouri Air National Guard and soloed when he was 18. He flew with the guard's 110th Observation Squadron until 1934.

He then began a career in commercial aviation as a flight instructor and airmail pilot with St. Louis-based Robertson Aviation, flying mail between St. Louis and Chicago.

Robertson was one of several regional air carriers that merged in the early 1930s to form American Airways, and later American Airlines.

Mr. Braznell's career with American spanned 40 years. He began flying mail in open-cockpit biplanes; eventually, he directed the airline's flight operations.

He was appointed chief pilot of American's Midwestern operations, based in Chicago, in 1937. From 1942 until he retired in 1967, he served in senior management positions. …

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