Lift - Fall 2012 - (Page 6)
WI N G S O F L E G ACY
The Schippers with Greta, above, and the McLaughlins with infant Susan in Brazil. Top left: Gerrit Schipper trains Brazilian cadets in propeller fabrication.
The Brazil Connection
Personal memories enhance institutional history
BY S ARA W I T H R OW
y early 1942, World War II was in full swing. Hitler had declared war on the United States, and the rst U.S. troops had arrived on the British Isles. In August of that year, Brazil of cially entered the war, aligning itself with the Allies and its North American neighbor. To assist in the development of the country’s young air force, Brazilian Air Minister Joaquim Pedro Salgado Filho visited Embry-Riddle’s Aviation School in Miami and appealed to founder John Paul Riddle to develop a similar school in Brazil. In November 1943, Riddle established the Escola Técnica de Aviacão (ETAv) in São Paulo to train Brazilian cadets in basic aircraft construction and maintenance. With support from the Brazilian and U.S. governments—the latter of which provided equipment via the wartime Lend-Lease program—the school accommodated up to 2,300 cadets in its heyday.
Riddle immediately began recruiting American instructors and a number of men answered the call. Among them were James J. McLaughlin and Gerrit Schipper. Their daughters, Susan (McLaughlin) Delaney and Greta (Schipper) Reed, say their fathers, now both deceased, were too old for the draft but were patriots who saw working at ETAv as a way to contribute to the war effort.
JAMES MCLAUGHLIN COLLECTION
Delaney recently donated to the Embry-Riddle archives a collection of her father’s memorabilia, which offers a glimpse into the lives of instructors
at ETAv. Only 6 months old in December 1946 when her parents left Brazil, Delaney says it was important to her to share her family’s history with the school. “I realized these were things that might be more signi cant to others outside of our family circle,” she says. The collection is well-documented and particularly meaningful because it provides another perspective of Embry-Riddle’s presence in Brazil, says university archivist Kevin Montgomery. “It gives a personal point of view of a family living and working there, rather than just facts,” he adds. An art history professor, Delaney began delving into her late father’s possessions after retiring in 2010. She found herself drawn to the items that re ected the family’s time in Brazil. “My father didn’t talk about it [Brazil] in great detail, but he talked about it constantly throughout his life,” she says. “It was a de nite high point for him.” The time period was also signi cant to Delaney, whose mother, Margaret, died at the age of 45, when she was only 10. “It was a place where she was younger and happier,” she says. Delaney returned to Brazil in 2011 to retrace her roots and practice speaking Portuguese, a language she began learning a few years ago. She visited again this summer for a Portuguese immersion course and to further investigate her birthplace. “I’m a retired teacher and I want to be a student,” she says. “And, I just think I haven’t traveled enough down memory lane yet.” The James J. McLaughlin collection includes a general recruitment letter dated Nov. 22, 1943, from the personnel manager for the Embry-Riddle Brazilian Division; an employment agreement dated May 31, 1944, employing McLaughlin as an instructor (of
1887–1978: Before and after housing
Escola Técnica de Aviacão (ETAv), the building in downtown São Paulo served as a hostel for immigrants. When Brazil joined World War II, it froze immigration activities, and the facility was used for classrooms and training space for the technical school.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Lift - Fall 2012
Lift - Fall 2012
Letter from the President
Wings of Legacy
Carving New Ventures
Releasing the Dragon
Giving to Embry-Riddle
Alumni in Action
Lift - Fall 2012