Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame
Jack Womack started his aviation career in 1942 by enlisting as an aviation cadet in the U .S. Army Air Corps flying Stearmans, BT-13s and 15s and finally multi-engine aircraft.
He was commissioned a 2″ Lieutenant at Roswell and went on to Davis Monthan Field in Tucson, Arizona for B-24 training. He and his crew flew the B-24 to Italy flying 51 bombing missions over Germany between 1944 and 1945. He was awarded the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, a Presidential Citation and other citations.
After retiring from active duty in 1946 he remained in the Air Force Reserve at Long Beach, California as an instructor pilot in the 4591h Bomb Group. He worked at both Douglas Aircraft in El Segundo, California and Aviation Maintenance Corp.at Van Nuys, California prior to joining Air Research Aviation Service Co., a subsidiary of the Garrett Corporation, based at Los Angeles Airport as a field and service mechanic. H is Reserve Group was activated in 1949 to engage in the Korean War. As Squadron Flight Commander, Jack led his squadron of nine Douglas B-26s across the Pacific to Japan with stops at Honolulu, Johnson Island, Kwajelein and Guam. After 25 combat missions out of the Air Force Base in Fukuoka, Japan, he returned to his job at Air Research and was promoted to Flight Operations Manager and Chief Pilot for the Garrett Corp. (1951).
At Garrett, Jack set up and managed one of the first Corporate Flight Operations for company transportation flying DC-3s and Convairs. He also flew test flights on the company’s new products and helped develop and test the first gas turbine installation on a Convair 240 that could pressurize and furnish 800 kWh for the electrical systems. In 1968 while at Garrett in Phoenix, Jack flew the Garret-powered Comanche 400 to 42,500 ft. MSL setting a National Aeronautical Association world altitude record. He conducted first flight tests for turbo-props on Convair 440s. He helped with the development of and test flew all new Garrett engines that now power a large portion of corporate jets and military airplanes throughout the world . In addition Jack was Cliff Garrett’s (president and founder of the Garrett Corporation) personal pilot and friend .
Jack now flies his Cessna 210, based at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona. His wife Virginia, a licensed pilot, is his co-pilot. Jack holds an “Airline Transport Pilot” rating and has amassed over 19,300 hours in the air during his career in the Air Force and 35 years with the Garrett Corporation. He has flown with such well known pilots in aviation history as Benny Howard, Mal Olsen, Eddie Rickenbaker, General Jimmy Doolittle, Dwayne Wallace, Donald Douglas, Jr., Howard and Bill Piper, Tony LaVier and Fish Salmon of Lockheed. He is also a member of the Quiet Birdman’s Association (QBs) and a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.