Eugene E. Wilson

President - Chance Vought

1931 to 1939




Eugene Edward Wilson was born in Dayton, Washington on August 21, 1887. Not much is known about his childhood or education before joining the Navy. He graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1908. He served in various assignments as part of his naval career and in 1930 retired a Commander in the propulsion branch of the Bureau of Aeronautics. During his time in the Navy he earned an A.M. Degree from Columbia University in 1915 and completed pilot's training at Pensacola Naval Air Station in 1926. While with the Bureau of Aeronautics he worked closely with Frederic Rentschler, Michael Watters, C. J. McCarthy and Chance Vought in the development of the Pratt & Whitney "Wasp" engine. From this development evolved the first Vought Corsair and led to successful contracts for the Corsair scout and fighter for the U. S. Navy and foreign production during the 1930 through 1939 period.

After his retirement from the Navy he joined Hamilton Standard as President. Shortly after the death of Chance Vought he was appointed Vice President and General Manager of Chance Vought Aircraft. Under his leadership the reorganization of United Air and Transportation Company, caused by charges of collusion between the Postmaster and the large transport companies, was successfully carried out without seriously affecting Vought production contracts.

Eugene Wilson had a long tenure as President of Chance Vought 1931 through 1937, a period when the company was rich in new products and new versions of old products. The O3U reached maturity during this period and the O4U, O5U, SBU, SB2U and OS2U were created along with 19 different V-models and several X-versions.

Wilson retired as President of Chance Vought in 1939. After retirement he continued to served on the Board of Directors of United Aircraft and several other companies. He also spent time writing several books on aircraft, aircraft engine development, air power, and procurement. He died in July 1988.