Animals Aloft

Aviation can sometimes be downright inhuman.




“Roscoe Turner,” writes Janus, “winner of the Bendix Trophy and three-time winner of the Thompson Trophy, was a memorable figure of the Golden Age of Aviation. In 1930, Turner was flying for the Gilmore Oil Company, which used a lion’s head as a trademark. Thinking that a real lion would help generate publicity, Turner adopted a three-week-old cub and promptly named him Gilmore.” The cub—which liked to curl up in Turner’s lap in rough weather—eventually logged more than 25,000 miles. In 1940 the not-so-small Gilmore was retired to a wildlife park; Turner paid his food bills for the remainder of Gilmore’s life. “For a long time he paid my bills; now it’s my turn,” the pilot said. The man on the right is Donald Young, Turner's mechanic.

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