Official Nebraska Government Website
Official Nebraska Government Website

NDOT, Division of Aeronautics
Mr. Ronnie Mitchell, Director

Transparency Portal Logo - Budget Division

Reuben L. Wagner was born in Fairbury, July 7, 1897. He attended the University of Nebraska before enlisting in the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and receiving flight training. He served as an Army aviation reservist, stunt pilot, and a pilot for the U.S. Post Office Department Air Mail Service. In 1928 he flew the first airmail plane to Lincoln, landing at Page Field. In 1934 Wagner was assigned to United Air Lines (UAL) air passenger service as a senior pilot. He supervised training of UAL DC-3 pilots. In 1942 he flew the first Air Transport Command (ATC/UAL) flight from San Diego to Australia in a C-87 (converted B-24). He continued to fly passenger service for United until his 1957 retirement from United Air Lines as the company’s senior captain with more than 31,000 hours flight time. He was presented with the President’s Award, United Airline’s highest honor. Wagner’s last flight for UAL was from Honolulu to San Francisco on a DC-7 christened the “Captain Reuben L. Wagner.”


Back to the Hall of Fame