Lockheed 18-56 Lodestar
Waterman Airlines was an
Alabama intra-state airline division of the Waterman Steamship Company.
It was founded by Caroll B. Waterman, son of
the company's founder and a Navy flyer during WW II..
Intra-state services were provided in the 1945-1947
era from Mobile, Alabama's (then new) Bates Field
Airport to Dothan, Montgomery, Birmingham,
Huntsville and Muscle Shoals using a couple of Lodestars,
one of which is seen above
in this image from the Mike Sparkman
collection. Services were later up-
graded to DC-3s, and four of these ex C-47s
were acquired. The only illustration of one of these latter
aircraft I have is on the
advertisement below also furnished by Mike Sparkman. In those
days the CAB did not take too kindly to granting small upstart carriers
with inter-state licences, and
since there was not too much money to be made
in intra-state Alabama routes, Waterman
later got into
non-sked (and ITC, or Air
Cruise, as they called them) operations with DC-4s, primarily from New
to Puerto Rico (q.v.). Finally, to gain
entry into the broader airline industry, Waterman purchased TWA's
share in TACA International Airlines and went
on to virtually run that airline and also to set up other Latin
American and Caribbean concerns such as Aerovias Brasil, BWIA et al.
seen above was a former USAAF C-60A-5-LO (42-56029) and was
civilianized in 1946.
When sold by
Waterman it went
to the University of Southern California and, in August 1955 became