2010-09-03 / Society

Paul Redfern toasted 87 years after flight

By Warner M. Montgomery Warner@TheColumbiaStar.com

Toasting Paul Redfern at the Annual Meeting of the Paul Redfern Aviation Society were (first row, l–r) Billy Rawl, Ron Shelton, Tom Savage, Xen Motsinger, (back row, l–r) Fritz Hamer, Louise Riley, Dr. David S. Keisler Jr., Debra Bloom, William G. Keisler, and Dr. Warner M. Montgomery. (Photo by Billy Rawl) Toasting Paul Redfern at the Annual Meeting of the Paul Redfern Aviation Society were (first row, l–r) Billy Rawl, Ron Shelton, Tom Savage, Xen Motsinger, (back row, l–r) Fritz Hamer, Louise Riley, Dr. David S. Keisler Jr., Debra Bloom, William G. Keisler, and Dr. Warner M. Montgomery. (Photo by Billy Rawl) The Paul Redfern Aviation Society met on August 25 and toasted Redfern’s ill–fated flight from Brunswick, Georgia, to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, in 1927. Redfern, a graduate of Columbia High School and the founder of Columbia’s first commercial airport, attempted to be the first person to fly non–stop, solo from North America to South America. The 25–year–old pilot reached Venezuela but disappeared over the jungle. Neither he nor his plane were ever seen again.

At the meeting of the society at Grecian Gardens in West Columbia, President Tom Savage announced that

• The nomination of Redfern to the Aviation Hall of Fame was proceeding on schedule,

• Warner Montgomery was in the process of writing the biography of Paul Redfern with information collected by Savage and Ron Shelton over the past 20 years,

• Rachel Haynie had published a book on the Columbia Army Air Base and was completing another on Myths and

Legends of South Carolina,

• Savage was continuing his research on the Redfern documents placed in the South Caroliniana Library by Redfern’s late sister, Ruth, who resided in Sumter.

• Savage and Shelton had authored an article on Redfern in the

Golden Isles Magazine,

and

• A symposium honoring the 85th anniversary of Redfern’s flight will be held in 2012 at the SC State Museum.

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