Major Al Williams
In memory of my beloved father, John Edward "Jack" Williams, this website is an appreciation of his father, Major Alford Joseph Williams. Major Al played an important role in my father's life. He advanced our country in the world of aeronautics, he was a patriot and an innovator. Few men walk this earth with such power of character, strength of conviction, and hard determination. I remember the stories my grandmother Alice Williams would tell me about him. How he commanded presence in a room, how he was determined to prove himself. My father's stories too, confirmed that bit of strength in his own character and I guess mine as well.
In the 1940's when Major Al wrote for Scripps Howard Newspaper, an article series on "Teaching Young America to Fly",... on the way to work there was a car accident causing a traffic jam on the Brooklyn Bridge. With no words my father and grandfather both got out of the car, walked to the front of the collision to find two bumpers locked. Each picked up an end of the car, unlocked the bumpers and dropped it down. The crowd's confusion ceased, and the cars began to move again. Perhaps that was his philosophy... shut up, fix it, and move on.
We, the Williams family, hope you enjoy these pages.
Michael Kerry Williams
Grandson of Major Al Williams
Son of John Edward "Jack" Williams
Major Al Williams
Birth: Jul. 26, 1896
Death: Jun. 15, 1958
Aviation Pioneer. In his military career he served in the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Army Air Corps. One of the pioneers of military aviation, he broke world air speed records during the 1920s while a test pilot for the Navy. In the 1930s, while serving in the Marines, he worked on developing new fighter tactics, and was responsible for the development of the technique of "diving bombing", a maneuver that would prove to be of immense value during the upcoming World War. In 1940 he advocated an independent Air Force, and was forced to resign from the Marines due to his outspoken views of the subject. When the United States entered World War II In 1941, he volunteered to served in the Army Air Corps, where he trained and demonstrated the techniques he developed to thousands of Army pilots. Today, his Grumman "Gulfhawk" bi-plane can be seen at exhibit at the United States Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC
Arlington National Cemetery
Major Al Williams' Test Flight With Bf-109D
US Marine Corps Major Al Williams, Schneider Trophy competitor with his own Kirkham-Williams aircraft, Pulitzer winner from '23 and a head of the Gulf Oil Company's aviation department, had a chance to fly the latest aircraft in the German Luftwaffe's arsenal, Messerchmitt 109 D in summer 1938. Major Williams' view on the capability of the fighter gives an interesting view on the usual commentary about flying and the capabilities of the Bf 109 fighter.