Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Bob Reeve

Bob Reeve

Bob Reeve was born in Waunakee, Wisconsin in1902 and was interested in flying from a young age. By 1917, he was bored with school, and wanted to be involved with the war. The 15 year-old ran away to enlist in the U.S Army and was accepted on his second attempt at Davenport, Iowa. By 1926, he had earned both commercial pilot and aircraft mechanic certificates. Finding work as a pilot was difficult, so he re-enlisted in the army. He made his way north to Alaska in 1921. He began his bush-flying career in an Eaglerock biplane that he first rebuilt and then rented from its owner, Owen Meals. His first flights would prove to be more learning experiences than money-making, but he persisted. Finally, Bob found a service that others were not providing, taking equipment and supplies to mines located in the mountains near glaciers. He bought his first airplane, a Fairchild 51. After several years flying all over the North, Bob started Reeve Aleutian Airways in 1947 to serve the Aleutian Islands. Bob Reeve was named “Alaskan of the Year” in 1972, inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1975, and inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame in 1980. He died in 1980. Biographical information from the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame website.

Date of Birth:
Mar 27, 1902
Date of Death:
Aug 25, 1980
Bob Reeve appears in the following new Jukebox projects: