To: The Captains of UAL flight 770, SFO-DEN 12 December and UAL flight 408,
DEN-STL 12 December
Fr: Captain Bill Ramsey, Northwest Airlines
Today you are carrying a very special "passenger" with you. That "passenger"
is Captain Nathan (Nate) Stork of Republic Airlines and he is being carried back
to his home town of Walsh, Illinois in a body container. Nate passed away on
12/6 in Redwood City and will be buried next Saturday in Walsh, Illinois.
Nate was, to say the least, quite a character. He enlisted in the US Navy
during WW2 and flew the PB4Y Flying Boat The PB4Y was basically a B-24 that had
been converted into a flying boat. After the war ended he wanted to fly for the
airlines but he didn't have a DC-3 type rating. As the story goes, one day Nate
"borrowed" a DC-3 for a few hours from the Navy and took his checkride. He later
returned the airplane and found that no one had even missed it!
Nate was hired by Pacific Airlines in 1947. (I think it was 1947). Pacific
later merged with West Coast Airlines and Bonanza Airlines to become Airwest.
Howard Hughes later purchased Airwest and changed the name to Hughes Airwest. As
you may know, Hughes Airwest later merged with Republic Airlines. Republic is
now part of Northwest Airlines. After the Hughes and Republic seniority lists
were merged Nate was Number 1 on the list. Nate was always based in SFO. During
his airline career Nate flew the DC-3, Martin 404, F-27, 727, and DC-9. I flew
as Nate's co-pilot on the DC-9 many times back in our Hughes Airwest days.
Nate retired on September 29, 1981 on his 60th birthday. He never found the
right girl to marry, but he sure chased after quite a few!
My request to you is simple: Please give Nate as smooth a ride as possible on
his final flight. Maybe ATC will even give you "direct" when they normally
wouldn't if they know that Nate is on board.
Finally, try to "grease it on" for Nate. I'm sure that he would appreciate
Thanks for reading this and considering my request.
NWA DC-10 Captain