City To Be Base Of “Flying Corps”

Date: April 27, 1965
Location: Dayton, OH
Newspaper: The Journal Herald
Page: 16

A kind of “flying peace corps,” with the Birthplace of Aviation as a training ground, was launched in St. Louis Sunday.

Brother Thomas Dwyer, SM, of the Brothers of Mary in Dayton, accepted a new specially-equipped Cessna six-seater airplane for a new organization called the United Missionary Air Training and Transport (UMATT).

The organization is an interdenominational service for missionaries who can make use of an airplane in their work.

Operation and administration of UMATT will be under the care of the Marianists who run the University of Dayton and Chaminade high school here.

“This is a real first,” Brother Dwyer said yesterday. “People in the state department have expressed great interest (in UMATT) because it is an extremely effective way to face communism.”

First target area for the flying peace corps will be missionary work in Nairobi, Kenya. Future projects are planned in Peru and Australia.

The Brothers of Mary were selected to conduct the program because of the flying experience which the group already has, Brother Dwyer said. Six of the brothers now have from 200 to 1,000 flying hours per man. Two have flight instructors ratings.

The University of Dayton will conduct a Mission Institute this summer in two parts. The first, an eight-week session beginning Saturday, will be a ground school to prepare for the Federal Aeronautics administration examination. The second will run from June 28 to July 23 and will include orientationto the light aircraft in mission work.

Three airplanes are in UMATT’s initial plans. The first was delivered Sunday in St. Louis. It was purchased through a fund drive headed by Joseph G. Fabick and William D. Edwards, St. Louis businessmen, at the cost of about $30,000.

In dayton, a fund drive is at the half-way mark for a third plane to be used here for training purposes, Brother Dwyer said.

Max Conrad, a 63-year old grandfather who holds the world’s flying distance record, is due inuis today to pick up the airplane and fly it to Nairobi.

Conrad will be met by Brother Michael Stimac, SM, whose plea for help to St. Louis businessmen started the fund raising effort there.

Brother Stimac will use the plane in his visits to missions extending up to 600 miles away from Nairobi and also will make the aircraft available for the work of medical missionaries in the area.

Brother Stimac, 40, has been in Kenya since 1962, among other things teaching African youngsters to be pilots. He envisions UMATT as a non-scheduled airline that will link together Christianity’s outposts in East Africa. He formerly taught in a Cleveland high school.

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