Established in 1942, service pilots were civilian pilots who were recommended by a board of officers to fly only transport, liaison, and other non-combat aircraft outside the theaters of operation. Service pilot duties included flight instruction, ferrying aircraft, flying transport and cargo aircraft, and performing messenger and courier duties.
In 1942 civilian pilot Henry M. Lewis was assigned by the Airman Procurement Board to Anderson Air Activities as a flight instructor in their Pre-glider Program at Antigo, Wisconsin, and to the Primary Program at McBride, Missouri.
In 1943 he was an Air Transport Command (ATC) civilian pilot and completed the instrument course at Cochran Field, Georgia, and the twin-engine AT-9 course at Blytheville, Arkansas, and pursuit school at Brownsville, Texas.
In 1944 he entered the US Army and was assigned to the 5th Ferry Group at Long Beach, California, as a service pilot with the rank of flight officer. He ferried single and twin-engine pursuit and bomber aircraft.
In 1945 after receiving C-46 Commando aircraft training, he was assigned to Sookerating Air Force Station, India, an ATC transport base from which C-46s flew north into China over “the Hump” to resupply Allied Forces.
On VJ Day on 2 September 1945, he was assigned to Lalhat, Calcutta, and Karachi, all in India.
He was discharged from the US Army Air Force in February 1946.
Donated by the family of Henry M. Lewis
Question about this artifact? Email the Collections Manager, Hal Sellars.
Every artifact in the Air Mobility Command Museum, including this one, is part of the United States Air Force Heritage Program. We are not able to loan artifacts in the museum's collection.