A key member of the record-setting 1949 endurance flight remembered

Honoring the life of key endurance...

YUMA, Ariz. - The City of Yuma honors the life and memory of Horace Griffen, a key player in the record-setting 1949 endurance flight. 

It’s the first thing you see when you enter the glass doors of City Hall, a refueling car and an airplane hanging from the ceiling. 

Those two pieces of history serve as a symbol for Yuma.

Horace Griffen, the last survivor of the historic Yuma flight, passed away last week at the age of 96. Riding along with Ray Smucker, Frosty Braden, and Woody Jongeward, Griffen was in the car when the endurance flight idea was born.

Woodhouse and Jongeward flew the city of Yuma aircraft for a then-record 47 days without landing, while Griffen supplied the refueling car, and was the morning refueling driver.

The flight reignited federal investment in Yuma that led to the installations now known as Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. 

“So many times we have visitors who come to City Hall and see the airplane that’s in the lobby area and the car model that’s there too and it’s just a big symbol for the city of Yuma," said Lucy Valencia, the city of Yuma Public Affairs Coordinator. 

From everyone here at KYMA we offer our condolences to the family of Griffen. 

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