Southern Air Transport
The Uncommon Carrier
 

Doc Moor circa 1965

F.C. "Doc" Moor Jr. (his father was a doctor) started flying in the early 1930's.  By 1942 he was instructing at Embry-Riddle and then was a co-pilot for Pan Am briefly before becoming a US. Army  Service Pilot with the Air Transport Command.  During World War II he flew many multi-engine aircraft including the C-47, C-46, C-54 and C-87(Cargo version of the B-24) on ferry and cargo missions.

After the war in 1947, with a loan from his mother as operating capital, his own Cessna UC-78 and a leased Douglas DC-3, Doc Moor started Southern Air Transport (SAT) in Miami, Florida.  When the company was incorporated in 1949 its fleet consisted of three leased C-46's.  Stanley G. Williams came on board in 1950.  With Stan's  help managing the business side of the fledging airline the company started to become modestly successful.  It appears that Stan's efforts were then  rewarded with a minority share of the company.

Stan Williams at 2008 reunionIt was 1960 when the CIA made Doc and Stan an offer they could not refuse and they sold the company. Although the CIA owned their company stock, it continued, as a front, to maintain Doc Moor  as Chairman of the Board and Stan Williams as President.  During the CIA years the company increased in size operating C-46, DC-6, B-727 and L-382 aircraft. Much of this operation was from Japan and throughout southeast Asia.   In 1973, following the untimely death of Doc Moor, Sept. 1972,  the CIA was ordered by Congress to divest itself of its airlines.  At that time ownership went to Stan Williams.  Then in 1979 the company was acquired by Jim Bastian. On Oct.1 1998 the company filed for bankruptcy.  Jim Bastian passed away on Jan 30 2000.

During its 51 year existence the company operated many types of aircraft.  During the first decade the Curtiss C-46 carried the load.  During the 70's, 80's and 90's the Lockheed L382/L100 "Hercules" was the backbone of the airline.  In addition to the versatile Herc, in 1985 the company acquired Boeing 707's which were operated through 1992.  In 1990 Douglas DC-8's were added to the fleet and were flown through 1997.  Boeing 747's were flown by the company from 1993 until the 1998 bankruptcy.

Although the company's CIA involvement during the Iran-Contra affair made the headlines, little was reported of its humanitarian work in Africa.  In the 80's and 90's the company was under THEN CAME THE CIA by Fred C. Moor III: For a 20% discount use code: HCAMRSY8contract to the UN, CARITAS, and the International Red Cross.  Thousands of tons of food and relief supplies were flown in the Herc. saving countless thousands of lives  That this was sometimes done in the middle of a shooting war makes it all the more remarkable!!.

For more about Doc Moor and the early days of Southern Air Transport, Doc Moor's son, Fred C. Moor III has published a book "Then Came the CIA" which is available at Amazon   or click on the book to order from Createspace.com  at a discount using code:HCAMRSY8

 

 Senior Service Pilot wings   §Service Pilots:    During World War II service pilots were used to fly military aircraft in some non-combat roles,
such as ferry and cargo missions.  They were volunteer commercial pilots who
after indoctrination and training were given limited officer commissions (2 Lt - Maj.) with a Service Pilot Rating.
WASP's were also Service Pilots.