WoH Brochure – 1970s, v2

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Brotherhood Spreads on Wings of Hope

A non-profit privately supported and operated air-transportation and radio communications service to isolated peoples in need in remote parts of the world


A Promise To Keep

On the morning of May 25, 1965, a group of serious-minded people gathered at Lambert Municipal Airport in St. Louis, Missouri for a great dedication. After the brief ceremony, they witnessed the take-off of a new single-engine aircraft on the first leg of a long journey to East Africa where it would serve the desperately needy of the Turkhana Desert region of Kenya. This occasion was the original inspiration for WINGS OF HOPE. This aircraft destined for African service resulted from fund raising efforts by a group of business and professional men from throughout the United States, based in St. Louis. Among them was Thomas J. McCarthy, Jr., whose attention then began once more to focus on a similar urgent need in the Amazon River Basin of South America, particularly in Peru.

Tom McCarthy had a brother Bill serving as a missionary in Peru. Bill had told Tom of the critical need for radio communications and air service there. Isolated by the “green hell” of the Amazon jungle and river basin, specialists and field workers attempting to minister to the needs of far-removed natives spent endless time in travel over the giant rivers. Waiting and traveling by boat absorbed up to the incredible figure of 95% of the professional specialist’s time.

Tom reviewed his own life as a St. Louis attorney, business executive, civic leader, ex-Navy pilot and private flying enthusiast. He considered with care his devotion to the many causes of brotherhood … Churches, hospitals, schools and his own city – as well as the famed Boys Town of Missouri. That which had attracted Tom’s response to the missionary air service needs in Africa, now drew him toward a similar situation in yet another isolated part of the world. Thus the WINGS OF HOPE program began to form.

Tolls of the South American jungle are heavy. Help is often too little and too late. Physical exhaustion and a shorter life of service befall even the strongest workers. Because of such hazards, only about 1 in 100 specialists available for foreign service even choose to serve in the Amazon River Basin. And those who do select this area can only give an average of about seven years in useful service because of the arduous conditions. Something, thought Tom McCarthy, must be done!

In recent years aircraft and radio have reduced the tragedies of living for people in some of these remote regions. But in one certain vital area of Peru, no air service now exists. Without an airplane, lives have been lost to accident and disease. A more hopeful future for these people has been sadly delayed and despair has cast its giant shadow over these hopes. Tom McCarthy could quickly envision how the swiftness of wings would solve this problem. Just one aircraft and adequate radio service would multiply the effective efforts of one specialist in this area of Peru at least 38 times!

Tom made a promise then to his friends and associates in the original African project: “I’m going to lead a drive to provide a new aircraft and radio service for the needy people in the Amazon jungle area of Peru. And I am personally going to deliver this aircraft to my brother Bill in the field!”

Tom’s devotion never waned. A critical illness did not even slow his ambitions. A serious operation and slow recuperation altered his determination little. Then, death intervened on September 14, 1967. But, Tom’s promise lives on in the hearts and determined efforts of his close friends and associates. His great promise has now become theirs! One of his closest friends is now Chairman of the Tom McCarthy Memorial Air Service fund drive.

THIS IS A PROMISE TO KEEP! It is a fitting and lasting tribute to the memory of a dear and valued friend, business associate, and servant of brotherhood – Thomas J. McCarthy, Jr.

The fund drive is the project of a newly-formed charitable non-profit corporation. This is WINGS OF HOPE, Inc., founded by Tom’s fellow St. Louisans and friends. WINGS OF HOPE is a private organization dedicated to the service of needy people in the most remote places of the world thru aircraft and radio in a true spirit of brotherhood. This service will bring new hope in life to these people. A life that more quickly promises better food and better health. A life that promises greater awareness of the world outside. A life that assures a future more bountiful with ever expanding human values.

Please accept our invitation TO KEEP THIS PROMISE FOR TOM. Add your support – today!

Contributions to WINGS OF HOPE for the TOM McCARTHY MEMORIAL AIR SERVICE are tax deductible! Mail to 2319 Hampton Avenue, Suite 105, Saint Louis, Missouri, 63139.

WINGS OF HOPE is a charitable, non-profit corporation formed to help furnish a modern type of transportation and communication service vitally needed in isolated areas. It assists various qualified efforts to provide suitable aircraft and radio facilities for the support of private medical, missionary, social, educational, scientific and other field service groups who appeal for this help.

WINGS OF HOPE is a humanitarian effort. This air service is not for hire, nor will it ever be. No foreign government agency, no field service organization, no foreign missionary group can “call the shots” on its operation. Rather, our own qualified field director programs the service according to the “priority needs” in the local area. Thus, no deserving group is ever knowingly denied this desperately needed assistance. It is rendered free of charge. It serves thru our own operational leadership where the requirement is greatest. It is an Inter-Faith airline serving the cause of international brotherhood.

By helping to provide and operate an air service, WINGS OF HOPE relieves other field service organizations of such a burdensome responsibility. This type of vital air service is not new. In many remote areas of the world similar programs are helping emerging peoples to a more hopeful future.

But aircraft are expensive to purchase and to operate. Very often only the best endowed private foreign services can provide it. WINGS OF HOPE is directing its efforts primarily to those remote areas where the fleetness and versatility of air transport have not yet made their hopeful impression.

Barren lands and towering mountains, in some places, defy the most modern land transportation. Formidable rivers, the impenetrable “green hell” of jungles, and strength-sapping climates menace and make unbridgeable gaps between others in need and those who can help. Daily, countless volunteer workers and specialists struggle against these terrible odds.

But, in every instance where radio and aircraft have been efficiently introduced, the unfavorable odds have changed dramatically in favor of local progress. Then there is more service. It is faster and longer and vastly more effective. And it brings a much brighter hope to the people it serves. That is our own reward. As we enlarge the hope of others, we strengthen our own.


WINGS OF HOPE is to Those Who Help in the Field … A quickening of their energy and efficiency. It provides new hope and encouragement and resourcefulness. It heightens the joy of more effective dedicated service to their fellow man in need.

WINGS OF HOPE is to You … An efficient modern means to help “the least of the brethern” … the “low man on the totem pole” … in some of the world’s remotest places – Immediately – without red tape!

Kindly accept our sincere invitation to join with us in this great experience of “people-to-aircraft-to-people”. Support WINGS OF HOPE … today!

1. In May, 1965, at the Remmert-Werner hanger in St. Louis, Tom (second from right) smiles approvingly as Max Conrad, the famed “Flying Grandfather,” accepts Joe Fobick’s commission to deliver the new Cessna to East Africa.
2. A specialist now spends 28 days on this boat traveling to the Estrecho Station.
3. Our aircraft will cover the distance in 45 minutes.

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