Thursday, September 1, 2022

Military Service: Lt Col Walter Ott, WWII USAF

Walter Ott served our country during World War II as a pilot in the US Air Force. His obituary gives some highlights of his career. gives us photos of Walter. Researching Walter's service was the first time I found photographs on Fold3. I was very excited to be able to see this amazing man.

Lt. Col. Walter Wesley Ott

16 February 1917 – 30 October 2006

Son of Walter D. Ott & May Cutrer 


 Walter Ott on left; England.  Photo from


McComb, Miss. – Lt. Col. Walter Wesley Ott, a military pilot who ferried such celebrities as Bob Hope and Irving Berlin during World War II, has died. He was 89.


Ott died Monday. He was a test pilot for the Air Force for 22 years, but made a name for himself as a pilot for some of the era’s biggest stars – James Cagney, Bing Crosby, Mickey Rooney and Hope.


He was chosen during World War II to shuttle the celebrities to USO events because of his flying skills, according to his wife, Elizabeth Ott.


Elizabeth Ott said that as a leader in the military, her husband was protective of the young pilots under his command when it came to testing unproven new aircraft.


He was the test pilot on more than 50 flights during his career, she said.


Ott’s son, John Ott of McComb, said his dad’s fondest Thanksgiving was during the war when he had lunch with his childhood idol, Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh was the hero to many flying enthusiasts after becoming the first pilot to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.




Walter Ott in center.   Photo from


Source: Walter Wesley Ott, 89, pilot for celebrities. (Ft Myers, FL: News – Press, 3 Nov 2006) 18; digital image, accessed May 2022.

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