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Texas aviation leaders die in plane crash


On this day in 1954, two leading figures in Texas aviation, Edgar Tobin and Thomas Elmer Braniff, died in a plane crash near Shreveport, Louisiana. Tobin, a San Antonio native, became an ace after shooting down five enemy aircraft while flying with Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker's "Hat-in-the-Ring" squadron during World War I. After the war he started Tobin Aerial Surveys and entered the commercial mapping field for Humble Oil and Refining Company (now the Exxon Company, U.S.A.). During World War II he served as a special advisor to the Army Air Force, and his company mapped the entire United States for the federal government. He generously contributed to many charitable organizations in San Antonio. Braniff, a native of Kansas and co-founder with his brother Paul of Braniff Airways, pioneered airline service to Texas and the Southwest.

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