"Speed" Holman 1898 - 1931
Charles Holman was raised on a farm in Minnesota.
Speed Holman raced motorcycles under the nickname "Jack
Speed", and later when doing 'daredevil' parachute jumps in
an flying circus, his father was amazed to find that 'Jack
Speed' was his son. In return for a promise to never jump
again, his father bought him is first airplane. Speed broke
the promise and also broke the airplane.
This is Speed at the Spokane Airport after winning the 1927
His name became
a household word, and when the newly organized Northwest
Airways looked for its first pilot, they hired Speed. He
became Operations Manager and pioneered air mail routes
across Wisconsin and into North Dakota. His airline career
was punctuated by wins in national air races, including the
prestigious Thompson Trophy Race in 1930, part of the
National Air Races in Chicago.
He won this flying the Laird "Solution". Holman set a
looping record that stood for many years; visited every
corner of the State, lobbying the cities to build airports;
was considered one of the country's top aerobatic pilots;
and every fragment of his life was spectacular.
Such was his death during an impromptu aerobatic performance
at the dedication of the Omaha Airport. His funeral was the
largest in state history, with a hundred thousand persons
turning out along the funeral route and at the cemetery.
Tired and oil-covered after completing a 1928 record of
1,433 loops (then doing an impromptu aerobatic routine for
the gathered crowd).