Bob Woodhouse and Woody Jongeward did more than set a world aviation record — they also helped persuade the U.S. government to reopen a shuttered military airfield in Yuma.
Flying a 1948 Aeronca Sedan named the City of Yuma, the pair stayed aloft continuously for 1,124 hours.
About Bob Woodhouse
Bob Woodhouse was born in Fullerton, Calif., on June 13, 1923. He moved to eastern Yuma County with his parents in 1925.
His parents, Harold and Ethelind Woodhouse, were pilots who were active in the Flying Farmers of Arizona. They were killed in a plane accident on May 1, 1954, five years after their son's record-setting flight.
Bob married his wife, Berta, in 1948.
A former Navy pilot, Woodhouse was also a longtime east Yuma County farmer and member of the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District.
He served on the Cal-Cot board and the Production Credit Association, among other agricultural groups.
Woodhouse died Dec. 23, 2003, at the age of 80 at his home in Roll.
About Woody Jongeward
Woody Jongeward was born April 12, 1918, in Elk River, Minn. When he was 6, his family relocated to California for a few years before finally settling in Salome, Ariz., in 1929.
Jongeward briefly attended Arizona State University until the United States entered World War II. He promptly withdrew from college and enrolled in the Army Air Corps Civilian Pilot Program in Prescott, Ariz., to hone his skills as a pilot.
When the program was moved to Holbrook, Ariz., Jongeward was promoted to flight instructor and began training cadets at the academy.
During this time, he met his future wife, Betty, whom he married in 1944.
Shortly afterward, he left the civilian program to join the Navy, where he trained military pilots at bases across the country, according his daughter.
In 1947, he moved to Yuma to open Jongeward Electric with his brother, Howard, which they operated together for almost 40 years.
He died July 21, 2011, in San Diego.