Frank W. Hulse

Frank W.Hulse (1912 - 1992)

As a boy growing up in Augusta, Frank W. Hulse traded odd jobs at the airport for flying lessons. When he graduated from Georgia Tech, he returned to the Augusta airport as a fixed base operator. In the late 1930s Hulse established a group of flight schools, and when WWII began, contracted with the U.S. Government and trained more than 25,000 Allied pilots. Foreseeing need for a network of air service for small cities throughout the country in 1940, Hulse began developing plans to establish such a service. Beginning with a single DC-3 in the forties, he founded Southern Airways, Inc., which expanded during the fifties to service numerous small cities in the Southeast, relying on DC-3s, many of which were converted from military use. In 1961, a Martin 404 was acquired, and in 1967, the first jetliner, a DC-9. From a modest beginning of service between Atlanta and Memphis, Southern grew to serve 65 cities in 14 states, the District of Columbia and the Grand Cayman Islands, British West Indies. The mid-seventies brought the largest single-year growth period of any scheduled airline and an extensive building program for base operations, training and maintenance in Atlanta. Hulse, founding president, became chairman of the board and chief operating officer of Southern Airways, "Atlanta's Own Airline".

For his foresight, creativity and entrepreneurship Frank W. Hulse was enshrined May 18, 1991, a pioneer in building an airline to serve the Southeast as the region began an era of unparalleled expansion.