A Tribute to TWA..."The Airline Run by Flyers" Early TWA History from original TWA documents.
Welcome to TWA Spirit
"This Web site is a "Tri - Rememberance" - Dedicated to the history of TWA and the TWAers that lived it, by the TWAers that wrote it. To preserve...to protect...to document the true TWA history and the many that made TWA "The Airline Run by Flyers" and to my father, Paul E. Richter, aviation legend and pioneer. Our focus is actual facts by TWA, without personal opinions and press reports. The facts speak for the accomplishments and will be secured and shared for the benefit of present and future generations of the aviation world." Ruth Richter Holden
Over the years Ruth Richter Holden has amassed an extensive library of TWA material, much of which was handed down from her father and some recently found in a barn long forgotten. Ruth also purchased a 1937 Lockheed Electra. Known as the 'Spirit of TWA', This award winning aircraft, was flown by her father and owned by TWA in the 1940s.
A Daughter's Thoughts on Paul Ernest Richter 1896-1949 By Ruth Richter
Known in the 20's and 30's as an "Air Ace," "Famous Flyer," "Race Champ," "the best pilot in the Southwest," a member of "13 Black Cats," one of the "Three Musketeers of Aviation," with Jack Frye, and Walt Hamilton, one of the youngest Airline Executives. In the 40's he was described as an "Aviation Pioneer, innovator, organizer, Executive Vice President of TWA, one of the most respected in the Airline Industry, Chief of Operations Naval Air Transport, avid about airline safety, loyal friend, sportsman, little giant, straight shooter, Skipper, and Captain." My research into my childhood hero has confirmed, and validated my youthful impression of a father larger than life, "a living legend." Was it possible for an adoring daughter to make an objective discovery of a "dream-based Dad?" Could reason and maturity of adulthood overcome the emotions of the beloved youth with illusions of the greatest man on earth, my Dad? That was my challenge: to delve into the facts, see it all, loose the fantasies, in the search for truth and the real person, Paul E. Richter. What I found was an incomparable heritage, not because of the accomplishments, though incredible in a short life-span, but because of the character of the man. He was a joyous spirit with undying vision, uncompromising honor and loyalty to principle, to self, and to his fellow man. He was an example by being and doing the right stuff. He truly reached for the stars in a world hanging on by its heels, the epitome of a life worth living. How amazing to me in adulthood that he had the energy and timeless attitude to be the fun-loving fulltime father, though much of my 15 years he was busy building a commercial airline and dedicated to its equal for the military. His statement as a fledgling pilot, "give me enough power and I can fly a barn door" really tells the tale. He encountered life's barn doors with everlasting energy and spirit, Paul's power. Always a man with a purpose and challenge, he approached obstacle "barn doors," lifting them off with apparent ease. Through plodding persistence, he powered through the problems and leapt over the stumbling blocks. Paul Richter's greatness was not in soaring a cloudless sky, but in enthusiastically sailing through the storm and seeing the sunset on the other side, the three-dimensional pilot perspective. He was a true "romantic," be it the romance of flight, his romance with life, and wife, family and friends, and his uprightness with his fellow man. He cared about the baggage handlers' children, the station managers' problems, and the mechanic's tireless efforts. From Presidents and commissary workers came comments of their respect for his integrity, character and his trusted commitment to their interests. Richter knew the importance of each encountered soul, their value, and he let them know they mattered. He had a oneness with others and honored their humanity.
Listen and watch as Ruth tells the early history of TWA and about her magical Lockheed Electra 12A...
The above videos are made possible by Kaye Chandler. Visit her Web site Here