Paul Mantz (Albert Paul Mantz)
BiographyAlameda, California, USA
American aviator who became the most renowned stunt flyer in movies of the mid-twentieth century. The son of a school principal, he grew up Redwood City, California and developed a fascination with flying as a boy. He joined the Air Corps as a cadet and was a brilliant student pilot, but he was discharged after buzzing a train full of high-level officers. After a brief period of commercial flying, Mantz took up the more lucrative career of stunt flying for the film industry. He quickly proved himself willing and capable of tackling stunts considered by other pilots to be too dangerous. Read more... formed United Air Services, Ltd., providing planes and pilots for aerial stunts and photography for all the studios. He also formed a flying school and racing partnership with Amelia Earhart and was technical adviser on her ill- fated round-the-world flight. During the Second World War, Mantz served as commanding officer of the Army Air Corps' First Motion Picture Unit, delivering hundreds of training films and documentaries on the air war. He developed a number of camera and aeronautical innovations to improve aerial photography, and continued as a stunt flyer, a director of aerial photography, and a supplier of aircraft and pilots for the movies for two decades after the war. In 1965, he came out of retirement to fly a plane for The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) and was killed in a crash.