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Safety in Flying

My dad, George Edwin Farrar, saved his life with a parachute after the mid-air collision of Lead Banana and Lazy Daisy on September 28, 1944.  This feat granted him admittance to the Caterpillar Club, whose sole requirement of members was that they had to bail out of a disabled aircraft and were able to save their lives with a parachute.  Note the term “disabled.”  Parachuting from an aircraft for recreational purposes did not make one eligible for membership.

Four and a half years after his bail out, Ed Farrar was still thinking about the parachute that saved his life when he wrote this letter to H. B. Lyon of the Caterpillar Club with an idea.

April 16, 1949

Chicago, Ill.
Caterpillar Club
Attn: Mr. H. B. Lyon, Executive Secretary
Broad Street Bank Bldg.
Trenton, N.J.

Dear Sirs:

As a member of the Caterpillar Club, I naturally have an interest in the furthering of its program, safety in flying. The only way to accomplish this feat is to set up a definite program. That is, let the public hear our ideas. Of course this will take money, more than the club can afford at present I understand.

In the files of the club, I am sure are the largest collection of true, spectacular, and amazing escapes, that could ever be told. This in my opinion would make a wonderful radio program for a national hook-up of about 15 or 30 minutes a week, if presented right. There should be many prospective sponsors for such a program, that would pay well, for this information. The money the club received could be used to further the safety of flying. We could set up a safety school, so problems could be worked out, or at least determine some of the hazards in flying. There would be many details involved, but I will not try to elaborate on any at this time.

I must confess, I haven’t been a very good member. As a traveling salesman on the road most of the time, I haven’t had the opportunity to attend meetings. This idea may have been brought up before, but thought it wouldn’t hurt to mention it.

Will appreciate your reply, at your convenience, am looking forward to seeing all the fellows at a national convention one of these days.

Sincerely,
G. E. Farrar
c/o N.B.W.
224 W. Huron St.
Chicago 10, Ill.

My dad must have thought it important enough to save a copy of this letter he wrote, but to my knowledge, did not receive a reply.  If he did, he did not save it.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Caterpillar Club II

The Irvin Parachute Company also operated a “Caterpillar Club” for those who had saved their lives with a parachute.

1946-05-30-Irvin-001

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

 

Caterpillar Club

On November 20, 1945, George Edwin Farrar became a member of the Caterpillar Club.  He was granted entry into the club due to the fact that a parachute saved his life on September 28, 1944.  Stanley Switlik, owner of the Switlik Parachute Company sent him this nice letter, certificate, and pin.  I have the certificate hanging in my home.

1945-11-20-Switlik-001

CaterpillarClub-002

Caterpillar Pin

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014