Individual Record 35

Name}   Williams, David Theodore (Dave) Family History} Hancock                 
  Title}   Race} White Sex} Male
Birth:   Date} Fam 16 Jan 1907 Place} , Napa, California
Marr.: Date} Cir               1929 Place} Miami, Dade, Florida                         (Link)
Marr.: Date} Cir               1940 Place} Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio               (Link)
Marr.: Date} Exa   3 Oct  1979 Place} Mendocino, Mendocino, California   (Link)
Death: Date} Exa 18 Apr 1984 Place} Mendocino Coast Hospital, Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Calif.
Burial: Date} Exa 25 Apr 1984 Place} Ashes at sea, California
  Grave Marker} No
Source 1}     9 = Biography
Source 2}   14 = Obituary
Source 3}   26 = 1910 USA cen
Source 4} 304 = 1920 USA cen
Source 5} 164 = Geog history
Source 6} 705 = 1930 USA cen
Source 7}   73 = Birth certif
Source 8} 232 = Marriage rec
Source 9} 415 = Address list
Source 10}242 = Obituary
Source 11}696 = Photograph
Source 12}675 = Photographs
Source 13}694 = Photographs
Source 14}718 = Marriage rec
Source 15}721 = Death certif
Parents: } Theodore John Williams & Myrtle A. Bird
   Relationship No.}     8
1st Household No.} 141 = Sonoma Road, Napa, California
      Occupation 1} Radio operator
       Occupation 2} Air traffic controller
  Religion/Church}  
Spouses:    First} Vose, Jacqueline Sidney (Jackie)
              Second} Bacon, Ida Roberta
                  Third} Howard, Esther Rose
 Total Number of} 3
Notes:  Dave was born in Napa in 1907.  The photograph below shows him in 1908.
Click to enlarge Dave usually rode to high school with Duke Duhig in Duke's 1914 Studebaker four-door touring car with side curtains — beginning in the fall of 1919.  Dave and Joe Drapinski were the same age, great friends, and both were completely hooked on ham radio which was then in its infancy.  They made receivers from cat's whiskers, pieces of Galena ore, wire, and earphones.  At that time there was no voice or music to be received, but they could hear Morse code transmissions.  Dave, Joe, and a friend later got some Model T Ford coils and dry cell batteries, and with these built radio transmitters.  They all knew Morse Code and soon were talking back and forth to each other in code.  Suddenly they heard an extremely strong code transmission; it was from the Navy at Mare Island.  "Who in the blankety-blank is cutting in on us and interfering with out signals?"  Dave and his friends quickly got off the air and laid low for a while.  (Source 164, page 49)
Click to enlarge
The photo of Dave at the right was taken when he began his professional communication career as a radio operator in 1924 aboard the Alaska-Packers sailing ships — including the Star of Faulkland and the Star of India.  He later transferred to a steam schooner shortly before the Star of Faulkland was wrecked while traveling through Unimak Pass in the Aleutian Island chain.  Ships of this size were used to transport supplies from San Francisco to the Alaska canneries and then return with canned salmon.

Dave's duties included unpacking and setting up the radio transmitter at the cannery after the equipment had been sitting idle through the winter.  During the summer, he transmitted cannery reports to San Francisco during the canning season.

Dave's next job was as a radio operator on Great Lakes' ore and grain freighters which made excursions from Duluth to Detroit and Buffalo.

He then served as a combination purser and radio operator aboard ships of the old Admiral Line, cruising the West Coast from San Diego to San Francisco to Portland to Seattle.  Dave also worked with the Light House Service out of San Francisco and the States S.S. out of Portland to the Orient and other ports.

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Dave's airline service was as diverse as his involvement as a radio operator.  He worked first for Pacific Alaska Airways, a subsidiary of Pan Am.  He was a member of the crew and First Radio Officer of Pan Am's first flight from Seattle's Lake Washington to Juneau, Alaska, (see the photo at the left) in the 1930s — using four-engine Sikorsky S-42B flying boats (see the photo at the right) to traverse that new route.

Click to enlarge Thick fog allowed only a few flights to land on the Northwest waterways, so in 1940 Pan Am bought Lockheed land planes and began to fly inland "over the hump" into Whitehorse and on to Fairbanks.

Dave later flew from Miami to Havana, Cuba, and Rio de Janeiro for Pan Am, and also from San Francisco to Hawaii and back.  During World War II, he made several trips from San Francisco to Hawaii, Midway, Wake, Guam, and Australia.

Following this worldwide stint, Dave applied for a flight controller position and worked at Long Island and San Francisco's airports.

Dave, retired radio operator from the Merchant Marine and pioneer airline companies, died in 1984 in Fort Bragg, California, at the age of 77.  He had been a resident of the Mendocino coast since 1946.
Time of Birth}   Time of Death} 5:45 P.M. Fraternal/Social}  
Baptism Date}   Place}   Click to enlarge
Confirm. Date}   Photo} Dave in 1924
Immigr'n Date} N/A Port} N/A
Education: Grade} Eleventh
Military: Service} Merchant Marine     for the State of} United States
Health Condition} Anemia
 Cause of Death} Prostate cancer
Last Updated
by} Dan Hancock
Date Updated} 13 Jan 2007
Date Created}    9 Jul  1994
Copyright © 2004 - 2007 by Daniel W. Hancock.  All Rights Reserved.

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