Arthur C. Bussy Personal Papers

Arthur C. Bussy was born on April 19, 1903 in New York. He graduated from Union College in New York in 1924 with an engineering degree. In 1927, he married Elizabeth Etta Fulmer (Betty) and they had one son, Richard.

Mr. Bussy went to work for General Electric as an electrical engineer. In 1927, he learned to fly in Oneonta, New York.

Mr. Bussy went to work at Floyd Bennett Field in 1932. One of his students, "Tiny" Goddard, of Morgan Guarantee Corporation, helped finance United Air Service, a charter service that Mr. Bussy ran. From 1932 to 1939, he had a variety of other jobs in aviation while running United Air Service. One of these was air racing and barnstorming in the summers in order to make extra money and gain sponsors. Mr. Bussy piloted a Curtiss Condor and a Ford Tri-Motor and, with Clarence Chamberlain, provided airplane rides at various airports. In 1939, Mr. Bussy competed in the Bendix Air Races, in a Bellanca Tri-Motor, and placed second to Frank Fuller. He also flew a Twin Beech 18, and did some engineering work for Jacobs Engine Company in Royersford, Pennsylvania in 1938 and 1939.

Mr. Bussy competed in the famous Bendix Trophy Race in 1939, the last year the race was held until after the end of World War II. In 1932 he rescued Beryl Markham off the coast of Nova Scotia. Miss Markham was an English pilot who crashed on a small island and had been compared to Amelia Earhart.

During 1939 and 1940, Mr. Bussy flew for TWA in a DC-3. At the end of 1940, he relocated his family to San Diego to go to work for Consolidated Aircraft Company (later to become Convair and then General Dynamics). As a test pilot and engineer, he worked from 1940 to 1950 when he retired. Between 1941 and 1943, Mr. Bussy delivered Consolidated B-24s to England, and between 1941 and 1944 delivered PBYs and Coronado Flying Boats to Hawaii and the Philippines. In the late 1940s, Convair was developing the Convair 240 and 340, and Mr. Bussy had a part in selling these aircraft to countries in South America.

By the late 1940s, arthritis from an earlier leg injury had become quite severe, and Mr. Bussy could no longer fly. He continued to conduct his engineering work, and did route planning for the airlines during this time.

Mr. Bussy died of complications from arthritis on October 17, 1969. He was one of many aviators who contributed much behind the lines to further aviation. 

Link to the collection's Descriptive Finding Guide.

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San Diego Air & Space Museum

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