Born and raised in Lihue, Kauai, aviation pioneer Bertram James “Jimmy” Hogg (1908-1992) was utterly fascinated as a boy watching pilots make landings and takeoffs with their amphibian aircraft on Nawiliwili Bay and, by age 12, determined that he, too, would become an airplane pilot.
About that time, former barnstormer and longtime editor of The Garden Island newspaper, Charles Fern, gave young Hogg his first taste of flight by taking him aloft over Kauai in his Curtiss “Jenny” biplane, and the lad was thenceforth hooked on flying.
Hogg then went to work in a local garage to earn money for flying lessons and for tuition to obtain training as an airplane mechanic at Oakland Technical School, California.
It paid off, for, in 1930, he was hired as a mechanic’s helper by Inter-Island Airways, the forerunner of Hawaiian Airlines.
He advanced to mate the following year — a combination copilot, mechanic and all-around-handyman, whose duties encompassed baggage handling and cleaning the cabins of the Sikorsky S-38, eight-seat, amphibious aircraft of that time.
Inter-Island Airways promoted him to co-pilot in 1936 and to captain in 1937.
By the time he retired in 1968, he was flying trans-Pacific jet airliners carrying more than 100 passengers.
The Civil Aeronautics Authority honored Hogg in 1957 as one of the pioneers of Hawaii aviation by designating the three-letter code of Kahului Airport, Maui as OGG.
Princeville resident Alan Faye Jr., who was born and raised at Waimea, Kauai and is a retired airline pilot, recently said, “My first flying lesson was sitting in Jimmy’s lap en route from Burns Field at Port Allen to Honolulu. I recall it was the summer of 1940 in the old Sikorsky S-43.
“He had me making turns, climbs and descents. Wheel only. No rudder pedals. And most gentle with the controls. I was then bit by the flying bug! Jimmy Hogg was my cousin.”
James “Jimmy” Hogg and his wife, Barbara, had a daughter, Lynne.