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There is no biographical file for pilot Moreau in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.

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Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

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http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.

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Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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WEST EDWARD MOREAU

West E. Moreau, Ca. Late 1920's (Source: Moreau)
West Moreau, Ca. Late 1920's (Source: Moreau)

 

West Edward Moreau visited Tucson once on Monday, January 18, 1932. Based at Oakland, CA, he arrived in the Great Lakes 2-T-1A NC11337, S/N 250, carrying as his passenger Kenneth Steward. They were westbound from El Paso, TX to Oakland. They cited no reason in the Register for their flight through Tucson. At left, Moreau's photograph that is stapled on his student pilot permit (see below). He was twenty years old.

The information and images provided on this page, which give us intimate insight into pilot Moreau's life, were shared by his grandson (cited, right sidebar). Included with his documentation is this autobiography of West Moreau (PDF 178kb, 15 pages) downloadable at the link.This document, and one penned by his wife, Beth, available in a link below, open a window for us into what it was like to live in the early 20th century, and to succeed as an aviation entrepreneurial pair into the 21st century.

West Moreau was born on July 24, 1909 in Lander WY. When he was in the 8th grade, he and his parents moved to Ft. Collins, CO.  He went to High School in Ft. Collins and in his senior year he broke the school record for the discus throw which stood for 18 years. He is listed in the 1929 Spaulding Athletic Almanac.

In his year of graduation from High School, he went to Cheyenne, WY and worked for the Cheyenne Air Service. On August 1, 1929 he received his pilot’s permit: #20946, below. Notice that it was signed by Register pilot Clarence Young.

West E. Moreau, Student Pilot Permit, August 1, 1929 (Source: Moreau)

He took flying lessons and soloed that summer. In the spring of 1930 he traveled to California and enrolled in the Boeing School of Aeronautics. Two undated and unsourced news articles allude to the success he had with his Boeing training. These articles are ca. 1930.

Undated, Unsourced News, Ca. 1930 (Source: Moreau)
Undated, Unsourced News, Ca. 1930 (Source: Moreau)
Undated, Unsourced News, Ca. 1930 (Source: Moreau)
Undated, Unsourced News, Ca. 1930 (Source: Moreau)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In September, 1930, West’s father bought him a Spartan biplane. I have no information on the registration or model information of this airplane. Does anyone KNOW?

In the fall of 1930, West flew to Ft. Collins, CO to spend Christmas with his girlfriend, Beth Sarcander. Beth's autobiography, written sometime later and shared with us by her grandson, is at the link (PDF 414kb, 6 pages). Two of West's friends, who lived in Hayward, CA, wanted to go to Omaha so the three went flying to the Denver Airport. After Christmas, a storm blew in which delayed flying his friends and himself back to California. West stayed in Denver and set up a flying service, but the weather was too extreme. Grandson Marcus Moreau supplies the following narrative.

On March 17, 1931, in the morning, West married Beth and by noon they and a friend of Beth’s brother, Keith, flew to Albuquerque, NM to spend their honeymoon. Their friend wanted to go to California to become a cadet in the Air Corps so he hopped that ride. On March 18, 1931 the weather was clear, but the wind blew hard in New Mexico. They set out for California that morning anyway. West’s plane drifted off course quite a bit and after some time he could not see any roads OR landmarks. He finally located a little airport with no hangar and he couldn’t see a town around. He landed here for a short time. There was a plane there with a license on it: Prescott, AZ.

Then he went on to Kingman, AZ and landed around 1:00PM. The wind was so strong that two men had to help West park his plane. The two men had to make a “balloon run,” so they let a balloon go and found the wind was blowing 50 miles an hour on the ground and 70 miles per hour 2,000 feet in the air. It was impractical to fly to California that day (because, as any pilot knows, the winds aloft are always headwinds, or at least is seems that way). He would have only been making 20 miles an hour at a cruising speed of 90 MPH. They stayed in Kingman overnight. On March 19th they took off for Los Angeles. As they came in off the desert and flew into the valley around San Bernardino and Riverside, they all could smell the orange blossoms that filled the air.

West landed his plane in Los Angeles and Clifford Hoffman, their passenger, debarked and went to the military. West and Beth took off and flew into Oakland Airport at about 9PM that night. Beth and West lived in San Leando on Best Ave.

West set up the Moreau Flying Service, located initially at Hangar 2 at the Oakland Airport. A four-page brochure describing his operation (PDF 371kb) appeared in the June-July issue of the Port of Oakland Compass, a monthly magazine published by the Port Authority. No year is cited on the brochure, downloadable as a PDF (371Mb) at the link. You'll see some of the photographs from the brochure enlarged, below.

His grandson writes, "... West and Beth had a son named Joe. In 1934, thirty-four students made their first solo flights under Moreau Flying Service and more than 2,000 passengers made scenic and business trips in Moreau planes."

Below, West Moreau standing in front of a Great Lakes airplane, probably 11337, but not certain. Tantalizingly, we can see only the "NC" under the starboard wing. Note the Moreau livery.

West Moreau With Great Lakes Airplane, Date Unkown (Source: Moreau)
West Moreau With Great Lakes Airplane, Date Unkown (Source: Moreau)

Below are some of the aircraft used by the Service. At left, NC14782 (not a Register airplane) is a Taylor E-2 Cub, S/N 165. A sister Cub, NC14707, S/N 129, was flown to Tucson by William T. Piper, Jr. The two Great Lakes are unidentified, and the Stinson at far right is NC948W (not a Register airplane) that is shown in closeup further below, as well as in the motion picture film cited and described below. The location could be the Navy Reserve hangar at Oakland.

Moreau Fleet, Date and Location Unknown (Source: Moreau)
Moreau Fleet, Date and Location Unknown (Source: Moreau)

His grandson continues, "Moreau Flying Service at this time also had a base in San Francisco. The going rate to learn to fly was $2.00 per hour; this later on went up to $5.00 an hour. At Oakland, he also moved from Hangar 2 to Hangar 4 [see photographs and texts below]." The high-wing monoplane in the photo below is NC14782, the Taylor Cub, above.

Moreau's Oakland Hangar, Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)
Moreau's Oakland Hangar. Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)

Below, an undated photograph of a group of students at Moreau Flying Service. It appears their spirits are high. The one at right is identfied as Dexter Smith.

Students at Moreau Flying Service, Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)
Moreau Fleet, Date and Location Unknown (Source: Moreau)

West owned and operated his Flying Service at Hangar 4, Oakland Airport. One online source contains a compilation of minutes from the regular meetings during 1933 of the Board of Port Commissioners of the Port of Oakland, CA. The page numbers in the box below refer to the PDF page numbers downloadable at the link. The following are three occurances of actions taken by the Board through that year on behalf of the Moreau Flying Service, Moreau's business at the Oakland Airport.

REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS of the
PORT OF OAKLAND, CA
January 9, 1933

From Page 10:

"RESOLUTION NO. 2592
RESOLUTION GRANTING ASSIGNMENT TO
SPACE IN HANGAR NO. 4 TO WEST E.
MOREAU, DOING BUSINESS AS THE MOREAU
FLYING SERVICE.
RESOLVED that the President of this Board is hereby authorized to
execute a license agreement for the assignment of 9,000 square feet of space
in Hangar No. 4, with 384 square feet of additional space in the lean-to
thereof, at the Oakland Municipal Airport, to West E. Moreau, doing business
as the Moreau Flying Service, at a monthly rental of $101.52, for the calendar
year 1933, said agreement to be drawn in the customary form covering such
assignments heretofore made."

*****

REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS of the
PORT OF OAKLAND, CA
August 14, 1933

From Page 182:

Communications from Moreau Flying Service and Duck Air Service, lessees
at the Oakland Municipal Airport, requesting that they be relieved from the payment
of commercial charges on their airplanes operated at the Oakland Municipal Airport
was read and after discussion the Port Manager was directed to advise these lessees
that the commercial charges which are assessed for the purpose of maintenance of
the flying field would have to be made.

*****

REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS of the
PORT OF OAKLAND, CA
December 26, 1933

From Page 312:

"RESOLUTION NO. 2876
RESOLUTION GRANTING ASSIGNMENT OF SPACE
IN HANGAR NO. 4A TO WEST E. MOREAU,
DOING BUSINESS AS THE MOREAU FLYING
SERVICE.
RESOLVED that the President of this Board is hereby authorized
to execute a license agreement for the assignment of 9,000 square feet
of space in Hangar No. 4A, with 384 square feet of additional space in
the lean-to thereof, et the Oakland Municipal Airport, to West E. Moreau,
doing business as the Moreau Flying Service, at a monthly rental of
$101.52, for the calendar year 1934, said agreement to be drawn in the
customary form covering such assignments heretofore made."

While his flying service was in its prime during the 1930s, West Moreau took a series of movies at his operation. These movies, from different years, are merged into one film that may be viewed at the link (click on the link, then on "Moreau Flying Service" to view the film).

Some highlights of the film are tabulated below. The movie will open in a separate window that you can place beside this one and follow along with the timings and contents listed below. This is a 20+ minute film that covers most of the decade.

MIN: SEC -- CONTENT

00:00 - 03:55 -- Amelia Earhart visits Oakland with her Lockheed 10A, NR10620 (not a Register airplane). This segment shows Earhart arriving at Oakland, deplaning and posing for photographs with various unidentified people. Husband George Palmer Putnam in fedora appears between 2:00 and 2:48. Final scenes show Earhart performing flyovers at Oakland under a cloudy sky.

We can speculate on the possible date for this segment. Earhart's first attempt to circumnavigate the globe with NR10620 began at Oakland on March 17, 1937. The flooded runway and warm clothing on the people suggest somewhere near that date. Likewise, her second attempt departed Oakland for Miami sometime late in May. Again, with local humor, the flooded runway and warm clothing on the people suggest somewhere near that date.

Although this Lockheed, along with Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan, disappeared over the Pacific Ocean July 2, 1937, the airplane earlier shows up in the flight log book of Register pilot Elmer McLeod. Please direct your browser to McLeod's link to learn why, and to review page 9 of McLeod's flight log book.

03:55 - 05:00 -- This segment shows typical flight operations at the Moreau Flying Service. We see training aircraft taking off and landing on a wet runway.

05:00 - 05:28 -- Shows starboard aspects of an unidentified Boeing Model 40 during taxi operation. Oakland was an airmail terminal, so this craft could very well be an airmail plane.

05:29 - 06:00 -- Shows an unidentified Sikorsky S-38 at rest on the ground.

06:01 - 06:30 -- Features more scenes of the everyday operations at the Moreau Flying Service.

06:31 - 07:35 -- Features the Noonan Aeroplane, "First California-built plane to fly. Built in 1910 at Santa Rosa, Calif." Note the young boy sitting in the cockpit wearing a sailor cap.

07:35 - 12:56 -- Presents aerial views of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay harbor. A flying boat is seen taking off, climbing and entering into formation flight with at least three other aircraft. On 12/29/12, site visitor and author Stephen F. Tomajczyk identifies the flying boat as follows, "I can identify the seaplane as being Pan Am's China Clipper (NC-14716) on its inaugural flight across the Pacific on November 22, 1935. Pilot Edwin Musick realized he didn't have enough speed to fly over the Bay Bridge, so he flew under it, followed by the chase planes.... the chase planes following the China Clipper (even under the unfinished Bay Bridge with suspension lines dangling everywhere!!) were filled with aviation enthusiasts and journalists. Moreau was obviously in one (and took the high ground). The Oakland Tribune was in another. And famed SF photographer Clyde Sunderland was in still yet another. The transpacific flight was the biggest news of the year, making headline news worldwide. Beginning the next year in 1936, Pan Am began routinely flying passengers across the Pacific, hopping from one island to another."

A special feature of this segment is aerial and water-level views of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge under construction. This dates the film to before 1936 (corroborated by Mr. Tomajczyk's comments, above) when the bridge was opened to traffic. You can see views of the newly erected west bay towers, Yerba Buena Island and the east bay cantilever spans while they were under construction. Another online video of bridge construction is at the link. Scroll down that page and click the video at the bottom of the screen, "Bridging San Francisco Bay." The Oakland Tribune of November 6, 1936 published an article outlining the acivities for the opening celebration. The opening ceremonies, including air shows and military fly-bys, took place over November 11-14, 1936.

12:57 - 13:24 -- Shows more scenes from operations at the Moreau Flying Service, including one of a Moreau Great Lakes trainer during taxi and takeoff.

13:24 - 13:46 -- Scenes of an unidentified Boeing 247 during taxi and takeoff. This footage is post-1933, the year the 247 was introduced.

13:47 - 15:03 -- Two pilots with parachutes entering a Great Lakes for flight. Hand-propping a Great Lakes with the cowling off demonstrating the inverted engine. The Moreau Flying Service logo is visible on the fuselage of the running airplane.

15:04 - 15:17 -- A panning view of the Ford trimotor NC437H (not a Register airplane) sitting on the ramp.

15:18 - 15:59 -- A panning view of an unidentified Boeing 247, with closeups of the engine and cowling.

16:00 - 16:21 -- A panning view of a Martin B-10 bomber of the 11th Bomb Squadron. It wears the 11th BS logo, right, with the cartoon character "Jiggs," and the squadron number "140."

16:22 - 18:05 -- This segment shows a rubber band model of the Great Lakes NC11337, a trainer in the Moreau stable of aircraft. It is contrasted with the real airplane.

18:06 - 22:30 -- Presents views of Navy aircraft on the ground and taking off in twos and threes. Shown are a single-engine amphibious craft, a Marine Ford trimotor and a large group of fighters. The Bureau Number of the Marine trimotor appears to be A-8840, a Register airplane which was ferried through Tucson Thursday, December 13, 1934.

To my knowledge this footage has never been seen by the public before placement on dmairfield.org. Thanks to Marcus Moreau for sharing with us this rare window into an historic flight training operation at one of the most important Golden Age west coast airfields.

Beyond the motion pictures, Mr. Moreau continues, "From 1934 to 1941 I have no information with the exception of newspaper clippings that West saved." One such article is below, left, from Los Banos, CA on April 26, 1935.

Unsourced News Article, Los Banos, CA, April 26, 1935 (Source: Moreau)
Unsourced News Article, Los Banos, CA, April 26, 1935 (Source: Moreau)

 

From this article, it is clear that Moreau was among the Golden Age boosters of general aviation for the public masses. It would be hard to envision elsewise, since his business was to provide flight training to the public.

The 20-30 Clubs cited in the article were comprised of young men with the desire to engage actively in service to their communities. As far as I can determine, the Gustine and Dos Palos, CA clubs mentioned in the article are no longer in existence, although the parent organization still has regional clubs around the U.S. and in foreign countries.

From the Oakland Tribune, July 8th 1937:

"West Moreau and three friends didn't have the time to travel to Yellowstone Park on a fishing trip so they took a plane to Idaho Falls. West Moreau and his friends, Jim Worts, Bill Read and Homer Cain, flew to into Idaho traveling 700 miles in 4 hours and 50 minutes. From Idaho Falls they went with rod and reel into the Jackson Hole country, returning 5 days later with a limit of trout."

From the Oakland Tribune, August 13, 1937:

"License Received: First official act of Reuben Gilbert when he received his private pilot's license this week was to take his father, D.M. Gilbert for his first plane ride in celebration of his 85 birthday. Young Gilbert received his flight training at Moreau Flying School at Oakland Airport. Another of West Moreau's students Joe Bailey, a sophomore at University of California received his pilot's license this week."

Below, a later article that cites the role of Moreau Flying Service in encouraging pilot training on the cusp of WWII.

Undated & Unsourced News Article, Ca. 1940 (Source: Moreau)
Undated & Unsourced News Article, Ca. 1940 (Source: Moreau)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Moreau continues, "I do know that one time West was coming in to land and his landing gear would not come down so he had to spend 30 minutes in the air so he could cut a cable to lower the landing gear, he wasn’t hurt upon landing. And on August 25, 1935 another son Roger was born to Beth and West."

 

 

 

 

 

Below, a seasonal greeting card from the Moreau family. A couple of Great Lakes aircraft and the Stinson pictured below are in the photograph on this beveled card.

Moreau Greeting Card, Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)
Moreau Greeting Card, Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)

Below, a photograph of the Oakland Bay Bridge taken sometime after 1936 when the bridge was completed. San Francisco is in the foreground, Treasure Island midground, and Oakland in the distance. This photo was among pilot Moreau's possessions; it is not clear whether he took the photo himself.

Oakland Bay Bridge After 1936 (Source: Moreau)
Oakland Bay Bridge After 1936 (Source: Moreau)

Beginning in January, 1937. Moreau produced an internal publication that provided news of Flying Service activities. Below, the January, 1937 issue of the Moreau News (notice v.1, no. 1). Note that he has five training planes now: a Rearwin, two Taylor Cubs, Stinson and Great Lakes, and they have become an authorized Rearwin dealer.

Moreau News, January, 1937 (Source: Moreau)
Moreau News, January, 1937 (Source: Moreau)

Below, right , an unsourced news article dated November 17, 1939. At left, photos of four Moreau students.

News Article, November 17, 1939 (Source: Moreau)
News Article, November 17, 1939 (Source: Moreau)

 

Frank Hostetter, 1934 (Source: Moreau)
Frank Hostetter, 1934 (Source: Moreau)

The student above was identified on February 23, 2012 by his son and daughter as Frank Hostetter. His son says Frank, "... traded West his brand new '33 Dodge for 35 hours of instruction. After dad got his license and appropriate ratings, he went to work for West. In 1939, West had dad go to Hagerstown, MD to pick up a low wing Fairchild at the factory and fly it back to Oakland. My mother went on the trip and they flew back together in the open cockpit plane. It took 10 days to make the return trip because of weather. After 12/07/41, dad became a Army Air Corp instructor at the base at Dianuba, Ca. In 1942, dad then got a job at Bell Aircraft in Niagara Falls, NY as a factory test pilot until the war ended."

Hostetter is mentioned in the Moreau News, above, as receiving his transport pilot license (see the article in the upper right of the News).

 

 

 

 

Unidentified Student, Ca. Late 1930s (Source: Moreau)
Unidentified Student, Ca. Late 1930s (Source: Moreau)

 

 

 

 

 

Unidentified Students, Ca. Late 1930s (Source: Moreau)
Unidentified Student, Ca. Late 1930s (Source: Moreau)

 

 

 

 

 

Below, a Chinese student enrolled in flying school in anticipation of WWII. Moreau is at left.

News Article, Moreau Flying Service, W. Moreau (L), Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)
News Article, Moreau Flying Service, W. Moreau (L), Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)

Women were also enrolled as well as the undated article below states.

News Article, Moreau Flying Service, Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)
News Article, Moreau Flying Service, Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)

Below, a school plane, the Stinson SM-8A NC948W.

Moreau's Oakland Hangar. Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)
Moreau's Oakland Hangar. Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)

Below, a Beech B17L Staggerwing, NC15404 (S/N 42). It is not clear if this airplane was used by the Service, but it was among West's collection of photographs. This aircraft was damaged beyond repair on October 28, 1942.

Beech B-17L Staggerwing, Date Unknown, But Before October 28, 1942 (Source: Moreau)
Beech B-17L Staggerwing, Date Unknown, But Before October 28, 1942 (Source: Moreau)

Mr. Moreau states further, "When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Oakland Airport was blacked out and the government closed down Moreau Flying Service. West still had pilots to train so he set out for Utah, but again the weather was not good for flying so West bought a place from American Airlines (AA) in Douglas, Arizona. Moreau operated at Douglas for about a year and a half." Below, a photo of the AA building he bought at Douglas.

Arizona Operations of Moreau Flying Service, Ca. Early 1940s (Source: Moreau)
Arizona Operations of Moreau Flying Service, Ca. Early 1940s (Source: Moreau)

Below, a view of the hangar at the then Douglas International Airport.

Hangar, Douglas International Airport, Ca. Early 1940s (Source: Moreau)
Hangar, Douglas International Airport, Ca. Early 1940s (Source: Moreau)

At Douglas, Moreau kept his student load with the Civilian Pilot Training program that brought young men and women to his school. Business became intense as WWII approached. Below, a galley proof sheet for his Douglas business that appeared in Western Flying magazine in 1943.

Advertisment Proof, Western Flying Magazine, 1943 (Source: Moreau)
Advertisment Proof, Western Flying Magazine, 1943 (Source: Moreau)

Below, a sheet of Moreau's business stationery. The citation in the lower right corner, "FOR 18 YEARS," suggests this stationery if from 1948 or so.

Moreau Flying Service Stationery, Ca. 1948(?) (Source: Moreau)
Moreau Flying Service Stationery, Ca. 1948(?) (Source: Moreau)

Below, a letter from "Chuck." The context of the letter explains the reason for it being sent. How great it is that Moreau would be remembered over forty years later.

Letter from Chuck, December 9,1986 (Source: Moreau)
Letter from Chuck, December 9,1986 (Source: Moreau)

Below, a photograph of West Moreau in his office, date unknown, but probably during the 1940s. He wears a leather jacket, but the quality of the photo is such that it is difficult to see any details from his desktop. As for any entrepreneur, the paperwork is never done.

West Moreau at Desk, Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)
West Moreau at Desk, Date Unknown (Source: Moreau)

Below, West Moreau appears at center with two unidentified gentlemen and a Taylorcraft NC39950 behind them. The airplane was manufactured in 1945 and it still exists, but its airworthiness certificate is revoked. Can anyone IDENTIFY the other people?

West Moreau (C), Taylorcraft NC39950, Ca. 1945 (Source: Moreau)
West Moreau (C), Taylorcraft NC39950, Ca. 1945 (Source: Moreau)

Moreau Flying Service at the time was the oldest and largest flying schools on the west coast. They not only taught men and women to fly but sold and serviced airplanes as well as took people on business and pleasure trips. After WWII and Douglas, AZ, West went back to Oakland when in 1950 he sold his Flying Service to Transocean Air Lines (Taloa). Below is a record of that sale from a Taloa News Magazine (page 6) of November, 1950.

Taloa News Magazine, November, 1950 (Source: Web)
Taloa News Magazine, November, 1950 (Source: Web)

Moreau's grandson provides the following account of how West occupied his time after he sold his business.

"To write about what West did after Moreau Flying Service I have to go back to the date of July, 1945. That summer one of West’s friends asked West and his wife, Beth to travel by car to Lake Tahoe and check on a house that this guy owned. West agreed to do so. Gasoline was rationed to most people but not to West, his flying service gave him all the gasoline he needed. So they went up to Tahoe from Castro Valley.

"One day Beth and West went for a walk along the shore of the lake and met a man working the dock. West asked this guy if any places were for sale around Zephyr Cove. The man said yes but if he showed the place to West and West bought it he would have to agree to rent it to him for the rest of the summer. West agreed.

"This small one bedroom log cabin was like something out of a fairy-tale. West bought it for $3,000.00. This one decision made a huge difference in our family’s life and the lives of a lot of people West knew. The boatman rented the place till September and Beth and West stayed in it that fall, then they winterized it and went back to Castro Valley.

"All of the cabins at Zephyr Cove had names on them and at that time most of them were just summer homes. West named the cabin Good Medicine after his favorite artist, Charles Russell.
Two years later West bought a lot across the street from Good Medicine and built a vacation house on the lot in 1950, the year he sold his flying service. West named that place, Spare Time. Beth, West and their two boys, Joe and Roger lived and went to school in the bay area and spent their summers at Tahoe working at Harrah’s and playing at the lake. My father, Roger, was photographed waterskiing for Nevada Magazine and is on page 2 of the 1956 issue. West had a boat that he built and it was one of the few boats on the lake, at that time. Roger was into Rock Climbing and made many first ascents on the peaks around Lake Tahoe.

"West knew a lot of people from his flying business and from high school and he had them come up to the lake. One family rented Good Medicine for the whole month of July, every year for over 10 years. Another friend from high school bought the house behind Spare Time, and the family still owns it. West also had friends who became airline pilots who stayed at “the cove”.

"West worked at a Hardware store he owned in Castro Valley, after selling Moreau Flying Service. He didn’t care for the business much and left the oversight mostly to his father until he passed away on Jan. 22, 1952. West sold the store.

"In 1960 my father got a job teaching art at a high school in San Diego. His brother, Joe found a beer distributing business for sale in San Diego and got his father, West to buy it. Moreau Distributing Company sold Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and a few others. It turned out that Pabst didn’t sell well in San Diego like it did on the east coast. During this time West sold his place in Castro Valley and rented a house in Pacific Beach. (San Diego)

"In 1969, West sold the distributing company and became a Real Estate agent. In 1970, they bought a house in San Carlos, (San Diego). They lived there for two years. The only house I think West ever sold was the one he sold to my father.

"In 1972, my Grandmother was getting things ready to travel to Lake Tahoe so they could spend the summer there and while doing so thought: why don’t they just sell the house in San Carlos and moveinto, “Spare Time”? After they winterized the house they moved and changed the name to “Full Time”. They lived there until West passed away, Dec. 22, 2004. He was married to Beth for 73 years.

"Beth Moreau is still alive at 99 years. Joe Moreau went into working E.F Hutton. Roger Moreau retired from teaching and wrote children’s books up until his passing.

"Tahoe Magazine did a write up on my grandparent’s life at Tahoe. Our family has a rich history at Zephyr Cove as well as all the countless lives of the families of the friends of Beth and West."

West Moreau passed away December 22, 2004 at age 95 in Douglas, NV. His obituary from the January 3, 2005 Tahoe Daily Tribune is below.

Tahoe Daily Tribune

January 3, 2005

West Edward Moreau, 95, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died in the early morning hours of Dec. 22, 2004, peacefully in his sleep in the arms of his wife of 73 years in their home at Zephyr Cove, Nev., of heart failure.

Mr. Moreau was born July 24, 1909, in Lander, Wyo. During his early years he lived the life every young boy yearns for, summering in the meadows of the Bighorn Mountains with the quaking aspens and beautiful streams, living on sage chickens, cottontails, and trout as his father tended their sheep.

After he completed eighth grade, Mr. Moreau's family moved to Ft. Collins, Colo., where he lived until he finished high school, which was a very memorable period for West. He was on the track team putting the shot and throwing the discus. The coach was exceptional and took the team to Chicago to compete at Alonzo Stagg's University of Chicago National High School Track meet. In 1929, West's senior year, he broke the record in the discus throw that had stood for 18 years.

After graduating from high school, West returned to Wyoming, where he worked for the Cheyenne Air Service and took flying lessons. In 1930 it was out to California where he enrolled in the Boeing School of Aeronautics, which was the start of the 20-year aviation business. West owned and operated one of the largest flying services on the West Coast at Oakland Airport for 20 years. Eventually, West sold his business and moved to San Diego, where he owned a beer distributorship. West retired in 1973 and moved to Zephyr Cove, where he had owned property since 1945. Again, it was an idyllic place for him since he loved fishing, boating and golf. He belonged to the Men's Bridge Club.

Survivors are his wife, Beth Moreau; sons, Joe Moreau and his wife Robin of Rancho San Rafael, Calif., and Roger Moreau and his wife Gayle of El Cajon, Calif.; six grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren, who remember West for his fascinating storytelling of his history and his great sense of humor.

West Edward Moreau is another of just a handful of Register pilots who are known to have lived to see the 21st century (see also Harold Boddorff, John Miller, Bobbie Trout, Bill Piper, Jr., Ken Rearwin, Jesse McClure, Cameron Briggs, Busch Voights, and Bob Buck).

UPDATE OF 01/02/14 Mr. Moreau, cited in the right sidebar, sends the article the below from the San Diego Union-Tribune regarding Nancy Stratford. Mr. Moreau contacted her through the newspaper and discovered that she was one of the pilots trained at Moreau Flying Service.

San Diego, CA Union-Tribune, December 22, 2013 (Source: Moreau)
San Diego, CA Union-Tribune, December 22, 2013 (Source: Moreau)

Ms. Stratford's accomplishments as a Moreau-trained aviator are clear. I include this article in the spirit of how our Register pilots, including West Moreau, have ongoing effects on hundreds of other aviators up to the present day.

---o0o---

Dossier 2.1.77

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 12/21/11 REVISED: 02/23/12, 12/29/12, 01/02/14

 
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I'm looking for photographs of pilot Moreau and his airplane to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.
Marcus Moreau, West's grandson, provided the images, motion picture film and some of the texts on this page. Thanks to Marcus!
 
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