Biographical / Historical
Percy George Brockhurst Morriss (better known as P. G. B. "Bud" Morriss) was born December 13, 1885, in Bromsgrove, near Redditch, Worcestershire, England. Morriss went to sea at age 15, and spent his teenage years travelling aroung the world as a merchant seaman. At age 23 he emigrated to Canada, and in July 1909 crossed the border into the United States, giving his occupation as "wireless telegraph operator" and was soon employed as an assistant engineer by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company. Morriss became interested in aviation, and in early 1911 soloed in a Bleriot aircraft. He joined the American Eagle Aircraft Company and flew with John A. D. McCurdy in Palm Beach, Florida. In February 1911, Morriss made use of his wireless skills , and—with McCurdy as pilot—became the first man to send and receive radio signals from an airplane in flight. After a brief association with the Curzon Aviators, Morriss joined the Benoist Aeroplane Company of St. Louis, Missouri. Morriss spent three years with Benoist as an aviator, then left to become the managing editor of the weekly aviation journal Aero and Hydro. Six months later he returned to Benoist as sales manager. In 1917, Morriss organized the Bud Morriss Airplane School in Chicago, Illinois. When the United States entered World War I, Morriss enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was detailed to the Great Lakes Aviation School near Chicago as Executive Officer of Aviation. Morriss was discharged in 1919 following the end of the war, and returned to his civilian aviation activities in the Great Lakes area. In 1928, Morris became one of the founding members of the Early Birds of Aviation, an organization of pilots who flew solo in an aircraft prior to December 17, 1916, the 13th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' famous first powered flight. In the 1930s, Morriss managed the Hotel Clark in Los Angeles, and remained active in the Early Birds. Morris died in 1944.
Anthony "Tony" Stadlman was born in Kourim, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia in January 12, 1886, and emigrated to the United States in September 1905, settling in Chicago. In 1911, Stadlman was employed by Sam Dixon, who had formed the International Aeroplane Company to manufacture airplanes, do exhibition flying, and run a flight school. In 1912, Stadlman joined the Milwaukee School of Aviation, learned to fly, and soloed in a modified Curtiss aircraft on October 28, 1912, at West Allis, Wisconsin. In late 1915, Stadlman rebuilt a Benoist flying boat for Bud Morriss, who was in the process of organizing his flying school. Stadlman became Chief Engineer for the Michigan Aircraft Company in 1917, and then in the fall of 1918 moved to California to join the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company (later Lockheed Aircraft Company), where he worked with Allan Loughead and Jack Northrop on the development of the monocoque fuselage. Stadlman stayed with the company through the 1920s into the 1930s. During World War II, Stadlman came out of retirement to work for North American Aviation; he died in 1982.