Paul Weaver oral history interview (Part 1 of 2)



Paul Weaver oral history interview (Part 1 of 2)


Born-digital video recording of an oral history with Paul L. Weaver and interviewer Steve Little, recorded as part of The Museum of Flight Oral History Program, March 11, 2019. Part 1 of 2.


In this two-part oral history, Paul L. Weaver is interviewed about his decade-spanning career as an aircraft mechanic and pilot. In part one, he describes his military service with the U.S. Navy; his career with the Boeing Company during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s; and his involvement in the Pacific Northwest aviation scene. He also shares stories about other aviation enthusiasts and the early days of the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation (PNAHF), the predecessor of The Museum of Flight. Topics discussed include his World War II service aboard the USS Lexington (CV-16); his flight demonstration and mechanic work at Boeing; and his experiences maintaining, restoring, and building aircraft.

Table Of Contents

Introduction and personal background -- Joining the U.S. Navy and assignment to the USS Lexington (CV-16) -- Early interest and experiences with aircraft -- Family background -- Navy experiences, part one -- Flying the Boeing 367-80 (Dash 80) and experiences with Howard Hughes -- Navy experiences, part two -- Experiences as an A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) mechanic -- Seaplane operations, part one -- Stories about Pete Bowers and other aviation enthusiasts -- Organizing a fly-in fundraiser -- Aircraft restoration work -- Navy experiences, part three -- Story about Eddie Rickenbacker -- Aircraft restoration and maintenance -- Discussion of Boeing career, part one -- Stories about John Glenn and Jimmy Hoffa -- Flying boom program -- Discussion of Boeing career, part two -- Seaplane operations, part two -- Experiences with the Volksplane, Fly Baby, and other homebuilt aircraft -- Involvement with PNAHF and The Museum of Flight -- Closing thoughts




1 recording (2 hr., 32 min., 38 sec.) : digital



Bibliographic Citation

The Museum of Flight Oral History Collection/The Museum of Flight




Biographical Text

Paul L. Weaver is a World War II veteran, aircraft mechanic, and pilot who worked for the Boeing Company for almost thirty years. He was born in 1922 in Roseville, Ohio to George and Hazel Weaver. As a young adult, he worked for the Ohio State Patrol as a radioman and at Wright-Patterson Field (Ohio) as a radio electrician for the Douglas B-18 Bolo.

Around 1940, Weaver joined the U.S. Merchant Marine as a radio operator. He soon after transferred to the U.S. Navy and received training at Naval Station Great Lakes (Illinois). Assignments from his service include serving aboard the USS Lexington (CV-16) as a radioman and plane captain and serving in a squadron support unit at Sand Point Naval Air Station and Naval Auxiliary Air Station Quillayute (Washington). He remained in the Navy Reserve after the end of World War II and later served as an ECM radarman aboard the USS Yorktown (CV-10).

After World War II, Weaver attended college under the GI Bill and received his certification as an A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) mechanic. In 1951, he was hired by the Boeing Company. Over the course of his career, he maintained, modified, and repaired a variety of Boeing aircraft, including the 367-80, 737, and 747. He retired from the company in 1980.

Outside of his professional work with Boeing, Weaver was also heavily involved in other aspects of the Pacific Northwest aviation scene. He built and flew homebuilt aircraft, participated in seaplane operations on Lake Union, and contributed to restoration efforts of vintage aircraft. He also was involved with the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation (PNAHF), the predecessor of The Museum of Flight.

As of 2019, Weaver is an active Museum volunteer, participating in the Living History program.

Biographical information derived from interview and additional information provided by interviewee.