In his July 15, 1997 column titled, :”Wiseman history found,” Bill Soberanes wrote, I’ve been searching for the plaque and time capsule that was put into a monument in memory of Fred J. Wiseman’s historic airmail flight…. a number of years ago the monument, which was at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, mysteriously disappeared. The good news is that the plaque that was in front of the monument was found.
I spent considerable time with Wiseman discussing the early days of aviation and gathering information on his historic airmail flight…. Wiseman’s career was a fantastic one that saw him go from bicycles to racing automobiles, then become one of aviation’s most famous pioneers.
I’m still searching for more information on Wiseman and fr pictures of his airplane, and photos that show his other involvement in aviation…. Of all the historic events that involve Petaluma, Wiseman’s airmail flight could stand at the top of the list.
Who, among our readers might have a scrapbook or photo album stored in the attic or buried in a box out in the garage that their grandparents gave to them some time ago. Take a look and see if you might have something related to Fred J. Wiseman’s pioneer aviator days. Yours truly found a display board in his garage that was put together in 2006 when the current Wiseman Centennial Celebration Committee was initiated. In the March 1995 edition of The Petaluma Post, Bill Soberanes wrote the following in his “Best of Bill” column.
Wiseman’s magnificent scrapbook contains dosens of stories about his auto. One clipping reads, ” Wiseman breaks auto speed record between San Francisco and San Jose. Another clipping with a 1909 dateline tells how Wiseman drove his Stoddard-Dayton at the amazing speed of a mile a minute.
Over the years, there have been articles written that quote Wiseman as saying he, “didn’t see any future in flying.” On the other hand, however, Bill Soberanes wrote, Shortly before his death on Oct. 4, 1961, Wiseman told me “I felt free as the eagle as I soared through the sky on that memorable day, and I knew then, as I know now, that there are no limits as to how far, how fast, and how high man will some day fly…. Such flights will face danger as did those of the early birds of aviation”
A few other bits of information about Wiseman found in other columns include, Wiseman contends that for military duty the aeroplane has no equal…. It was Fred J. Wiseman who invented the apparatus on the battleship Pennsylvania to stop the machine in which Eugene Ely flew to the vessel. This was the first plane flight to and from the deck of a man-of-war. It happened on San FranciscoBay during 1911.
Stay tuned as we continue to search for additional tidbits of information related to Fred J. Wiseman, pioneer aviator.