Open main menu

George Conrad Westervelt (December 30, 1879 – March 15, 1956) was a U.S. Navy engineer who created the company "Pacific Aero Products Co." together with William Boeing.[1] Westervelt left the company in 1916 and Boeing changed the name of the company to the Boeing Airplane Company the following year.

George Conrad Westervelt
George C. Westervelt (1).jpg
Cmdr. G. C. Westervelt
BornDecember 30, 1879
DiedMarch 15, 1956(1956-03-15) (aged 76)
Burial placeArlington National Cemetery
EducationTexas Military Institute, San Antonio, Texas, now TMI Episcopal School of Texas; United States Naval Academy
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
United States Naval Academy
Occupationnaval engineering, aircraft executive, corporate troubleshooter
Known forAircraft industry
TitleCo-Founder of Boeing Company
Rieta Brabham Langhorne
(m. 1927; died 1956)
Military career
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy Seal United States Navy
Years of service1903–1927
RankUS Navy O6 insignia.svg Captain
Commands heldNaval Aircraft Factory


Early lifeEdit

George Conrad Westervelt was born in Corpus Christi, Texas to GW Westervelt and Ida Florence DeRyee (DuRy) Westervelt. He attended Corpus Christi Grammar School and Texas Military Institute, San Antonio, Texas.[2]

Naval careerEdit

Westervelt was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in naval engineering.[3] Until 1916 Westervelt was stationed on the west coast of the United States. In 1916 he was transferred to the east coast and headed the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia from 1921 to 1927.[4] Westervelt retired from the USN with the rank of Captain.

Aviation careerEdit

During his naval career, Westervelt was also involved in naval aviation. Westervelt became friends with Boeing and worked with him on seaplanes, co-designing the Boeing Model 1, and co-founded what would become The Boeing Company. He left Pacific Aero Products after 1916 after being transferred to the east coast by the USN. Westervelt was assigned by the Navy Bureau of Construction and Repair to work with Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company on the Curtiss NC float plane[5][4] and later became vice-president with Curtiss-Wright following his retirement from the USN.[6] From 1930 to 1931 Westervelt went to China to help out with the China National Aviation Corporation.

Personal lifeEdit

Westervelt was married to Rieta Brabham Langhorne of Lynchburg, Virginia, on December 20, 1927, and had two daughters, Sally Cary and Effie Eda.[7] He retired from Curtiss-Wright and died in Florida in 1956.[3]

Westervelt is buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.[8]


  1. ^ Aviation and aircraft journal, Volume 10, Gardner, Moffat Co., 1921, p. 432.
  2. ^ a b the Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History
  3. ^ a b Wings for an Embattled China - W. Langhorne Bond, James E. Ellis - Google Books
  4. ^ "The NC-4 Flying Boat". Aerial Age Weekly. June 2, 1919. p. 579. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  5. ^ George Conrad Westervelt, Vice-President of Curtiss-Wright
  6. ^ A Guide to the Papers of George Conrad Westervelt, 1936-1948
  7. ^ Capt George Conrad Westervelt (1879 - 1956) - Find A Grave Memorial