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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Munter, Herbert, 1895-1970



  • Existence: 1895-1970

Biographical Note

Herb Munter was born in 1895. He came to Seattle, Washington in 1907 from Nome, Alaska, after his family had homesteaded there for five years. In 1912, after two years of construction, he flew in his homebuilt "box-kite" aircraft. From 1912-1915, Munter built three more aircraft. In 1915, Munter and William E. Boeing founded the Aero Club of the Northwest on August 31, 1915, with Boeing as president.

Munter joined Boeing's new company, the Pacific Aero Products Co. (which changed names to Boeing Airplane Co. less than a year later), as its first employee and first test pilot. On June 15, 1916, Munter flew the first test flights of the new Boeing Model 1 B&W seaplane, named Bluebill. He also flight-tested the second Boeing seaplane, the Mallard and the Boeing Model C.

Munter left Boeing Airplane Company in 1919 to conduct his own aerial tour operations out of a new landing field, Munter Field, that he constructed in Kent, Washington. However, in 1923, a hanger fire at Munter Field destroyed his biplane. After the fire, Munter moved into the automobile business, although he continued to fly.

When the U.S. entered into World War II, Munter and his son both enlisted in the U.S. Navy as qualified airmen. His son, Herb, Jr. was killed in action during the war. After the war, Munter partnered with Nick Bez to launch West Coast Airlines. He remained at West Coast Airlines, later rebranded Air West, as an executive until his retirement in 1958.

On November 21, 1917, Munter married Emma Belle Cissna in Seattle. The couple had a son, Herb Jr., and a daughter, Lorraine.


Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Biographical Information Files - M

Scope and Contents Individuals whose names begin with M: MacCready, Paul [Aeronautical designer and engineer] "A Man for All Reasonings," California Magazine, November 1986"The Sky's the Limit," The Country Gentleman, Spring 1982"Masterful Tinkering of Genius," Insight, June 25, 1990"P.B. MacCready, 81, Inventor, Dies," New York Times, August 31, 2007 MacGilchrist, John ...

John and Alan Blum Northwest Aviation Collection

Identifier: 2009-09-04
Abstract The John and Alan Blum Northwest Aviation Collection consists of visual and textual materials related to the lives and careers of John and Alan Blum. John founded the Northwest Air Service Company and Alan served as President after his brother died in a plane crash in 1931.

William E. Boeing Sr. Papers

Identifier: 2005-10-06-B
Abstract William E. Boeing, Sr. (1881-1956) was an aviation pioneer and founded The Boeing Company in 1916. The collection holds textual materials, such as correspondence, philately, business-related materials, clippings, and ephemera, as well as photographs and illustrations related to his personal and business life, circa 1783-2008. Major areas of interest include family photographs and extensive personal and business-related correspondence.

Early Seattle Aviation Photograph Album

Identifier: 1991-04-08
Abstract The collection consists of an album containing ten black-and-white photographs featuring early aviators and aircraft in Seattle, Washington.

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