Irwin & Irene Lindner
Irwin (Irv) Lindner was born in Keokuk, Iowa in 1916. He became interested in flying early in his childhood; although, his early attempts at flying were disastrous, jumping from haystacks on the family farm with homemade wings. This did not dampen his interest. When WWII broke out, Irv enlisted in the Army Air Corps Reserve, was called to active duty and sent to Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas to train as an Army Flight Instructor. He volunteered to ferry pursuit planes where he met Irene.
Irene grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. She idolized pilots, especially Amelia Earhart. She enrolled in a Civilian Pilot Training Program while a student at the University of Delaware and received her private pilot license.
In 1943, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was organized, Irene applied and was accepted. She ferried airplanes across the country both as a WASP and later for a private company.
After Irene and Irv were married they moved to Keokuk where they were the first fixed based operators (FBO) at the newly formed Keokuk Municipal Airport. Together, they formed Lindner Aviation, Inc. and became dealers for Aeronca, Fairchild and Cessna aircraft. They were also approved to train veterans returning home from war.
Lindner Aviation was sold in 1992, but both Irv and Irene continued to promote aviation until their passing; Irene in 2002 and Irv in 2013.