Gregg K. Nelson
1916 – 1986
Born in Sebeka, Minnesota, Nelson attended the University of Minnesota and worked at the YMCA where he learned to play handball. In a match, he bested Max Conrad, who in turn, invited Nelson to learn to fly. Nelson soloed after eight hours in a single day and went on to earn his Private license and several additional ratings, including FAA examiner. Nelson and Ray Ryan created the classic FBO, Nelson-Ryan Flight Service in 1948 at what is now Flying Cloud Field. The FBO showroom on Highway 169 brought in many students and aircraft buyers. The FBO sponsored Sherm Booen’s World of Aviation. Nelson retired as FBO manager and with his wife, Marva, opened Gregg Nelson Travel, providing a vital service to the Minnesota traveling community.
Orvis M. Nelson
1907 - 1976
Born to a pioneering family in Tamarack, Minnesota, Nelson became interested in aviation in 1927. He became an Air Corps cadet in 1933 and was assigned as a bomber pilot. He took a position with United Airlines in 1935 and in 1946 formed TransOcean Airlines.
The airline flew refugees, dignitaries and humanitarian support missions through Asia, Alaska and the Middle East, setting records and achieving prestige throughout the world. It struggled with the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board to achieve rights to foreign routs, but they were never granted and the airline disappeared from the scene in 1960. At its peak, TransOcean employed over 6,700 people and 57 bases around the globe.
Nelson then operated a charter air service in Europe and later in life acted as an airline consultant. He helped establish the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and set up airlines in the Middle East.
Andrew C. Neuman
1914 - 1996
Owatonna native Andrew Neuman learned to fly in the 1930’s and worked briefly for Mid-Continent Airlines. During the war he was an Army Air Corps flight instructor in Texas, logging over 2,000 hours. Following the war, Neuman returned to Mid-Continent and then Northwest Airlines before joining Gopher Aviation in Rochester, Minnesota, with which he flew charter for 25 years. In 1971 he launched Neuman Air Charter as an ambulance service and flight training facility. He and his wife, Clarice, who is a bookkeeper and flight nurse, accomplished numerous humanitarian missions.
Neuman’s students remember him as a thorough instructor. Rochester medical people saw him as a caring and dependable pilot with a reputation for safety who never injured a passenger or damaged a plane.
Daniel F. Neuman
1918 – 2007
Daniel Neuman was born in Detroit, Michigan. His interest in aviation led him to begin flying lessons at age 16, and earned him his Private license in 1936 and his mechanic’s license in 1937. He bought his first flying airplane when in tenth grade. Neuman worked for the Stinson Aircraft Company, the Warner Aircraft Company and for Floyd Floren Airlines as an instructor, building considerable time and was hired by Northwest Airlines in 1942. He was promoted to Captain after one month’s service and under the Air Transport Command contract, flew C-46s to and from Alaska. After the war, he flew as line and check pilot, ending his career as a Senior Captain on 747s. He retired in 1978 after 36 years with Northwest Airlines.
During his retirement, Neuman rebuilt several antique aircraft and his hangars became a local museum in the 1980s. He continued rebuilding airplanes until his passing.
Kenneth C. Neustel
Born in Duluth, MN, Neustel earned a university degree in Social Work. He joined the US Army and served with the 82nd Airborne Division where he was introduced to parachute jumping. His first sport jump was at Rochester in 1962 and he barnstormed the region doing exhibition jumping as a member of the Skylark Parachute Club. Neustel is a lifetime member of the US Parachute Association and is a licensed parachute packer, jumpmaster and instructor as well as holding parachute rigger licenses, including rigger examiner. He has recorded over 5600 jumps of all sorts, static line, freefall and tandem. Though he shepherded many skydiving clubs and mentored hundreds of individuals in a 40-year commitment to the sport, Neustel’s career field was teaching and he retired from the St. Paul Public School System in 1997. Neustel’s wife, Mary, is also a parachute jumper. The Neustels live in St. Paul.
Edgar T. Newberg
Born in Hector, MN, Newberg took his first airplane ride in 1964 and later soloed from the Hector Airport. He barnstormed and acquired ratings including turbine, seaplane and helicopter. He flew charter and surveillance flights for the Sheriff's office. When he learned aerial spraying in 1981, he began a busy ag career, eventually forming his own company. He mentored dozens of youth, steering them into aviation careers. He is a multi-talented pilot and has owned and flown over a hundred aircraft types, including warbirds. An able musician, singer and songwriter, he has entertained crowds at many fly-ins and aviation functions. He is the airport manager at Hector and with his wife, Connie, the Newbergs have run an FBO at the Hector Airport since 1977 where they produce one of the largest fly-in breakfasts in Minnesota each summer.
Gordon K. Newstrom
1912 - 2005
Minneapolis native Gordon Newstrom worked as a fishing guide in Northern Minnesota in the 1930s, often promoting flying fishing trips. In 1942 he earned his flight ratings and served as a war training service instructor at Albert Lea during World War II.
After the war Newstrom started Mesaba Aviation at Coleraine, Minnesota. Mesaba offered flight training, charter and corporate flight services to the Blandin Paper Company. The company expanded to Grand Rapids, Deer River and Isle, Minnesota before Newstrom sold it in 1970. Mesaba then moved to Minneapolis and became a major airlink partner for Northwest Airlines.
Newstrom continued flight instruction at the Grand Rapids airfield that now bears his name. He is known today as one of Minnesota’s premiere float flying instructors.
Born in Red Wing, Minnesota, Norstad graduated from High School with honors and received an appointment to West Point. As an Air Corps pilot, he served in Hawaii during the 1930s, but his aptitude was for staff assignments. He worked for Air Corps Commander, H.H. “hap” Arnold during WWII, helping plan for the invasion of North Africa. In 1944, he was promoted to Brigadier General and served at the Pentagon, becoming Deputy Chief of Staff for the Air Corps and passed the orders for the atomic bombing of Japan from President Truman to General Curtiss LeMay.
Under Eisenhower, Norstad rose to become Supreme Commander of NATO as a full general during the Cold War, playing a major role in the period of detente.
Marvin A. Northrop
1895 - 1950
Born in Mankato. Northrop enlisted in the Army in 1918, and upon discharge, became Sales Manager for William Kidder at Curtiss-Northwest Airport. He barnstormed a little after dropping out of college at the University of Minnesota, then opened the Marvin A. Northrop Aeroplane Company, Inc. The Company supplied parts and assemblies of aircraft to homebuilders, rebuilders, and repair stations. Northrop produced the first aircraft parts catalog in the nation. He became well-known within the aviation community and spoke on behalf of aviation around the State. He was appointed to serve as the export advisor to the Minneapolis Park Board, and again as aeronautical advisor to the state legislature. Northrop ran the Robbinsdale Airport in 1925 and 1926. His company held the only regional Ryan aircraft sales franchise in the late 1920s. He went to Europe in 1928 to buy surplus aircraft parts there, having borrowed a small sum of money from the brokerage firm of Lane, Piper and Jaffrey. While Northrop was away, Piper went through with the incorporation of the Northrop Company, leaving Northrop, himself, out. Northrop returned, and brought suit against the brokerage firm to reclaim his business, or at least be paid for it, but was unsuccessful. Undaunted, he started over as the Marvin A. Northrop Airplane Company and continued with his former line of surplus parts sales. He also sold White motor trucks. After World War II, he maintained his business, selling engines, aircraft tires, wings, and even airport crash vehicles. Northrop was an educated man whose interests ranged from American history, to gardening, to opera, travel and archeology. He died in an accident at his warehouse on Washington Avenue, when he was crushed in the building's freight elevator. In a bizarre and still unexplained turn of fate, the coroner termed his death a suicide.
Arthur Wright Noteboom
Born at Freeborn, MN, Noteboom began his working career in 1929 at age 14 with Jack Lysdale at the Mankato Airport. He moved to San Diego in 1935 to work for the Ryan Aeronautical Company and subsequently worked for the Cessna Company at Wichita, KS, and the Martin Company at Omaha, NE, as an engine specialist. In 1942 he entered the Army Air Force and was assigned to Air Transport Command as a Flying Sergeant, ferrying planes to all points of the world. In addition to 7 Atlantic crossings and 3 Pacific crossings, he made over 40 trips between Egypt and India, and hauled gasoline over the "Hump" from India to China.
After the war Noteboom bought a resort at Cleveland, MN, and promoted a private landing strip there for fly-in guests. He went back to work for Jack Lysdale, helping rebuild B-17 aircraft. There Noteboom was a very successful Cessna aircraft salesman, introducing the post-war Cessna line. He next turned his talents to selling Beechcraft aircraft for Gopher Aviation of Rochester, selling a record 26 aircraft in 1963. More record Cessna sales followed for Noteboom until his retirement in 1977.
Lieutenant Colonel Donald W. Nyrop
1912 - 2010
Nyrop grew up in Nebraska and earned a degree in law. In 1939 he joined the Civil Aeronautics Authority as a staff attorney. Later he became an Army officer and served in the Military Air Transport Command as a lieutenant colonel.
After World War II Nyrop served as a delegate to the International Civil Aviation Organization where he helped to set international air policy. He became administrator of the CAA in 1950 and chair of the Civil Aeronautics Board in 1951. Next he became president of Northwest Airlines in 1954 and led the once-failing airline to unprecedented financial success for the next 24 years.
Under his leadership, Northwest built a modern main base at Minneapolis International Airport; developed advanced piloting techniques and training; furthered meteorological research; and earned a reputation for technical excellence. Nyrop retired in 1984.