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Flier Freed on Bond in Beer Seizure
Flier Freed on Bond in Beer Seizure
The San Antonio Light - Friday, May 27, 1932
Published by Scott
19 July 2007
Flier Freed on Bond in Beer Seizure

FLIER FREED ON BOND IN BEER SEIZURE

SAN ANTONIO, May 27.(AP)W. T. Ponder of Fort Worth, American World war ace, was free under $1500 bail today, after a customs officer trailed him to San Angelo Wednesday with a plane load of beer from Mexico. The customs officer, with a hired pilot and a confiscated rum smuggler's plane, chased the daring aviator from near the Mexican border, 200 miles away, finally catching him at the airport here.
Before leaving last night for home, Ponder remarked: "I am afraid my service to my country got me a lot of publicity that I do not want."

NOT COMMERCIAL TRIP
"If I had been a barnstorming flier instead of a World war aviator," he explained, "this story wouldn't have made the front page of any newspaper in America."
"This was no commercial expedition. I think that anybody can see that 28 cases of beer wouldn't pay for a commercial airplane trip to Mexico."
Ponder was credited with shooting down 11 German airplanes during the war. He gained the Distinguished Service Cross of the United States and nearly a dozen decorations of other governments.
The ship which pursued Ponder was piloted by Bobbie Dual of Fort Worth. The war hero said he landed here to replenish his fuel supply, not knowing he was being followed. San Angelo airport officials, however, pointed to ground marks as indicating differently.

POINT TO MARKS
They saw in the ground marks a possible last desperate effort of Ponder to outwit his relentless pursuers. They theorised that the war ace glided to earth, ran his wheels along the ground and intended to go up and away again had the other plane landed behind him. Instead, the smaller plane whipped in ahead, cutting him off.
Ponder was charged with "unlawfully receiving and facilitating in transportation of certain imported merchandise, to-wit: 627 bottles of Carta Blanca beer." A. P. Barrett and Dr. Webb Walker of Forth Worth, came here by airplane to sign his bond.

The San Antonio Light - Friday, May 27, 1932



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