Pile, Jr. - Airplane Commander was born in East Orange,
New Jersey on June 6, 1915. At the age of four, he and his
mother moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and spent his years
there. He moved back east to finish school, graduating from
Pomfret School in June 1934. By-passing Yale, he went to
work in Baltimore with Shell Oil Company. Later transferring
to New York City, Brooklyn and Groton, Connecticut, which
led to his promotion to District Manager for his area.
in the cockpit
learned to fly at Tremball Field, Groton, Connecticut
in early 1940. He volunteered for military service March
1941 and after basic training was assigned to Maxwell
Field, Montgomery, Alabama. In December of that year he
began training as an Aviation Cadet. This training took
him through a succession of stations including Gunter
Field, Shaw, Orlando, Greenville and George Field in Indiana.
In 1942, it was on to navigation school in Louisiana.
After 3, 000 hours of navigational school there, Sterling
was sent to Hobbs, New Mexico where he flew B-17's. Following
an assignment in Texas, he finally wound up in Salina,
Kansas in the 39th Bomb Group as P-32's airplane commander.
After B-29 training there, P-32 moved with the rest of
their Group to North Field, Guam.
will never forget the unnerving experience of having to
for one million dollars ($1, 000, 000) before he could
pick up his crew's aircraft from the factory. The word,
responsibility, suddenly had a new and much more personal
meaning for him.
the signing of the Japanese surrender, Sterling flew back
to Mather Field, California, then after a brief stay at
Ft. Ord, was discharged from the service. He returned
to New York and married Leila Chadbourne in September
1946. After resuming his job with Shell Oil Company, he
became Aviation Representative for the New York Division.
In 1962, reactivated Industrial Developments, a company
established and run by his father until the latter's death.
Photo courtesy of his daughter Leila De Bruyne
Piles have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. Pile nostalgically
remembers attending P-32's reunion in 1982.
twenty successful years of developing new products and
processes for his company, Pile retired in 1982 and enjoyed