Harold Gatty

Jump to: navigation, search

2003 interview with Ron Gatty

  • Tasmanian.
  • Died in Fiji.
  • Founded Air Pacific.
  • Knew Amelia Earhart.
  • Was a good friend of Fred Noonan.
  • Taught Lindbergh and Doolittle navigation.
  • Father of Ron Gatty.
    • "My Dad was a wild, red-necked Victorian. I wasn't allowed to speak to him, and if he spoke to me, I had to call him 'Sir.'"
  • Accompanied Wiley Post on his first round-the-world flight in 1931 (northern route, about 16,000 miles).
  • Harold's second wife, family name of Fenna, married Sir Maurice Scott after Harold died.
    • Lady Scott inherited everything from Harold; Ron got nothing.
    • When Lady Scott died, everything went to John Scott, Sir Maurice's son.
      • John Scott was with the Red Cross and was allowed to visit the hostages during the coup in May, 2000. He became a household name during that crisis.
      • John Scott was a "raging homosexual" (RG) who was hacked to death with his lover, Gregory Scrivener, by an angry Fijian on July 2, 2001. There were 17 liters of blood on the floor according to the Fiji Times. The Times could not confirm the rumor that both of them had had their arms cut off. The murder weapon apparently was a cane knife. A Post front-page article from two days later reported that an ex-cop was in custody and an alleged drug dealer was being sought.
      • John's son inherited everything from Lady Scott, so if there are any interesting materials left from Gatty's estate, John Scott's son may have them.
  • The libraries of Harold Gatty and Alport Baker were two of the main sources for the National Archives of Fiji. TIGHAR asked both in 1999 and in 2003 whether there were any sextant boxes matching the description of sextant box found on Nikumaroro. The answer was negative.
  • Ron Gatty has his father's sea sextant that was purchased used for five pounds. The name of the maker has worn off the instrument from repeated use.
  • Harold developed one of the first bubble sextants. The only people interested in the development were the Japanese. The Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was accomplished using Gatty sextants. Harold used to have one of the Japanese instruments, but Ron doesn't know whether it is in the Archives or elsewhere.
(The only sextant in the Archives in 2003 was in a triangular box--almost certainly not the Japanese instrument. The claim that "The only people interested ... were the Japanese" needs to be checked. Fred carried a bubble octant on the final flight, so bubble technology was in use for navigation by 1937.)