Over The Sacramento River: Early aviation in
Sacramento County, the westside counties, and the far northern counties of
the Sacramento Valley 1909–1939
Evolution of early aviation throughout California's
Kathe Herr graduated with honors in liberal arts and sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then began a 40-year career mostly spent teaching sixth graders on Beale Air Force Base. In 1984 she discovered computers and shared her enthusiasm for technology with her students.
In 1969 Herr started flight lessons the day astronauts landed on the moon, earned her private pilot license and eventually a commercial license. She raced a Mooney Mk. 21 in competitions from California to Oregon. Kathe and the "love of her life" husband Allen have flown coast to coast sharing adventures in their Bellanca Decathlon. They reside near Yuba City, California, with their beloved pups Bella and
Born in Marysville and raised in North Sacramento, Allen Herr attended primary and Norte Del Rio High School developing his talent playing French horn. In 1963, at age 18, he was hired by the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra to play horn. A year later, the Sacramento Light Opera Co. (Music Circus) hired him for the pit orchestra of its summer stock productions. He joined the William Land Park Band, Forrey Long’s Dance Orchestra, John Nelson’s Big Band, and (his favorite) a Dixieland big band, Sugar Willy and the Ten Cubes. Income from these groups, plus other freelance work, enabled him to stay in Sacramento and attend college, majoring in music and minoring in American history. The student was paid to teach horn at Sacramento State College and University of the Pacific in Stockton. In the late ’60s, he served with the 52nd Army Band at Fort Ord and later with the 59th National Guard Band at Sacramento. Retiring from music in 1982, he joined his father Ted in the well drilling business.
Herr started flying lessons at Sacramento’s Branstetter Airport in 1964, and has over 1,800 private pilot hours. An avid student of aviation history since given Douglas Rolfe’s Airplanes of the World at age nine, he has belonged to American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) and the Experimental Aviation Association over 45 years. Herr always wanted to contribute to aviation history literature, thus authoring articles for the AAHS journal, British journal Air Enthusiast, and several regional historical society quarterlies. This is his third book in a series about early aviation in
Northern California between 1909–1939. The others are Golden Wings Over The Feather River (2015) and
Wooden Wings Over The Golden Gate (2016).