was one of St. Petersburg’s hometown heroes, born February 14, 1893. Albert was one of the U.S. Navy’s first 250 pilots, enlisting at age 24 just as world War I began in 1918. He served as the chief instructor of advanced flying at the Navy School in Pensacola and by 1919 was in full charge of naval maneuvers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Albert Whitted loved to fly! He returned home in 1919 and introduced the people of St. Petersburg to flying. Albert would take people up in the Bluebird, a plane he designed and built. He never charged for the flights. Albert’s aerial maneuvers always left spectators in awe.
Albert also designed and built the Falcon. The Falcon and Bluebird were used in a commercial flying business he had with his brother, Clarence. Clarence was Albert’s mechanic, converting all of Albert’s ideas into reality.. Albert was a mechanical genius, his planes and ideas were years ahead of their time.
Unfortunately, on August 19, 1923, Albert Whitted and four passengers were killed during a flight near Pensacola aboard the Falcon when the propeller broke off. Albert Whitted Airport was designed in 1928.
~ Excerpted from an article by Terri Griner
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