ERNEST W. LOANE (1917-1978)
"Buster, Bus or Buzz"
(CNAC July 1942 - September 30, 1947)
(Captain - March 1943)
(Hump Flights - 453)
Calcutta - 194?
(Courtesy of Bus Loane's son, Stephen Loane)
by his son, Stephen Loane
Ernest William “Buster, Bus, Buzz” Loane, Jr., was born in Presque Isle, Maine on March 11th, 1917. In 1939 he graduated from Bowdoin College, Maine, and in 1940 he was commissioned as an 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps Reserves at Kelley Field, Texas. He served as a flight instructor in Texas prior to resigning his commission to join the American Volunteer Group in 1941.
In September of 1941, he left San Francisco aboard the Dutch liner Zaandam bound for Rangoon, Burma and finally Yunnan-yi, China as a flight instructor for the Chinese Air Force.
Loane fought with the AVG as a wingman for the 1st Pursuit Squadron known as the “Adam and Eves” until the group disbanded on July 4th, 1942. He volunteered for an additional 2 weeks duty as the transition from the AVG to the 14th Air Force was completed.
At the end of July 1942, Loane joined the CNAC and was checked out as a pilot on August 29, 1942. By the end of the war, he had flown 226 ½ round trips over the “Hump”. He piloted with CNAC until September 30th, 1947 having logged over 4000 hours in the C-46, C-47, and DC-4 airplanes. He flew on 20,000th Hump flight.
In the 1943-45 log book of Don McBride, Bus listed his address as:
Loane then became a pilot for CAT and continued flying in China until the communist takeover.
After returning to the States in 1951, Loane was hired by the Flying Tiger Line and flew as a Captain until retiring in 1977. He passed on to "Hogy Taw” in January 1978.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross posthumously in July 1991 for “extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in the South China and Southeast Asia theater”.
(Photo Courtesy of FTL)
From James Dalby:
"Buss Loane was an AVG pilot who came over to CNAC in July 1942 with the rest of the AVG pilots. He ended up as assistant Chief Pilot to William C. McDonald. Also with FTL based on the east coast. Deceased: January 17, 1978."
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