Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Marshall E. 'Babe' Headle 1893-1945

Paul Mantz, Amelia Earhart and Marshall Headle

Marshall Headle was born March 21, 1893 at Winthrop, MA. He attended the Massachusetts Agricultural College and graduated with a B.S. in 1913. He served in WWI, learning to fly at Tours, France in 1917 and served as a flight instructor until 1919. His resume tersely cites “misc. flying” between 1920 and 1924 (although the Blue Book of Aviation, 1932 cites him as serving with the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France between 1919 and 1922), and “U.S. Marines” from 1924 to 1929.

Beginning in 1929 he resigned from the Marines and flew for the Lockheed Aircraft Company, succeeding Wiley Post as test pilot. He became Chief Pilot in Charge of Flight Operations in 1930 and served in that capacity throughout the decade.

He made several first flights including the Lockheed YP-38 on the 17th September 1940.

As of mid-1941 he had accumulated 7,200 flight hours and had flown over 300aircraft types. He died May 4, 1945 of a heart attack at Burbank,California.