Billy Graham Center

Interviews with Paul Frederick Robinson - Collection 441

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent. Some or all of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. ]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Paul Frederick Robinson

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

List of Audio Tapes in this Collection


Transcript 1

Transcript 2

Transcript 3

Transcript 4

Brief Description.
Two interviews with Robinson in which he describes his youth, spiritual development, his evangelist father, Frederick Robinson, and his own founding of Moody Bible Institute's mission aviation training program. Interviews were conducted by Paul Ericksen on March 27 and April 3, 1991.
Vol: 4 Reels of Audio Tape

Collection 441
[February 17, 2000]
Robinson, Paul Frederick; 1910-1993
Interviews; 1991

4 Reels of Audio Tape

Restrictions: None.


Full name: Paul Frederick Robinson

Birth date: July 5, 1910

Birth place: Western New York State, near Buffalo

Parents: Frederick and ? Robinson Rimanoczy; officially changed name to Robinson when Paul was nine years old
Siblings: Richard (seven years younger than Paul)
Marital status: Married to Lillian Horton, 1935
Children: Jack, Annette, Ed, Bill

Conversion: Accepted Christ at ten years of age, but became more spiritually earnest in college

Denominational affiliation: Baptist

Louisiana State University on a football scholarship, c. 1931
Wheaton College, 1935 (one semester)
Moody Bible Institute (majored in pastoral studies)

Career: Pastored in New York State
Became a commercial pilot during World War II
Started Moody Aviation program

A Vision with Wings, with James Vincent

Death date: December 31, 1993

Scope and Content

Paul F. Robinson was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on March 27 and April 3, 1991, at the Archives. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1920s to 1991.

T1 - ( 60 minutes) Childhood and family history, father was a traveling evangelist and Baptist pastor, changing the family name, his grandfather was a well-known portrait artist in Europe, Paul's father's conversion, fathers's work with evangelists (G. Campbell Morgan, Homer Rodeheaver, William Biederwolf, for example), feelings about being a preacher's kid (PK), conversion and spiritual development, education at Louisiana State University (LSU) on football and music scholarships c. 1931, Depression, surrendering his life to the Lord, and testimony afterward contributed to a revival, education at Wheaton College, Ken Strachan, attending Moody Bible Institute, pastoring in New York state, impact of the death of a missionary wife on his desire to do something to provide better communication and transportation, Presbyterian businessman who provided training airplane, Paul's learning to fly, Pearl Harbor, grounding of civilian airplanes and becoming a commercial pilot to provide pilot training, Paul Hartford, writing a prospectus for Moody Board of Trustees in 1945, being asked to do feasibility survey for a flight program in the Chicago area, trustee's offer to buy first two planes for the program and Paul asked to lead it

T2 (25 minutes) Choice of Elmhurst airport for training, Paul and his family moving to Itasca, Illinois, to be closer to the flying facility, starting to meet with students at Moody, picking up first plane at Lockheed in Pennsylvania, first class, building a hangar, training students to receive private license, getting additional planes, moving to Wood Dale airport in 1950, hiring assistants, Paul Wertheimer, maintenance workers, growth of program, mission agencies wanted the transportation but could not provide it themselves

T3 (65 minutes). Training to be a missionary pilot at local airport schools, but little opportunity for mechanical training, Moody's decision to go ahead with both pilot and mechanical training, moving aircraft and engineering (A & E) and aircraft and power plants (A & P) to Tennessee in 1970, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and Jungle Aviation and Radio Service (JAARS), death of Dick Holstein and two students in flight accident, selection of students, advantages of having pilots flying into the stations, Betty Greene of MAF, interagency cooperation, high expense of using helicopters, John Wells' history of aviation, George Fisk (one of first flying missionaries) serving in what was then Borneo (1930s) and Japanese capture and destruction of his plane, changes in technology, higher costs, greater sophistication, Robinson's flying experiences in New Guinea, Indonesia, long cross-country flights, Central and South America, weather as the most serious consideration, flying five hundred miles in a 550 mile airplane without weather reports, support of Evangelical community

T4 (30 minutes). Robinson's coordination of work with pre-aviation students in Chicago after 1970 move, retirement in 1975, serving on board of Missionary Safety Institute headed by Joe Hopkins and formed in c. 1985, Grady Parrott and Jim Truxton of MAF, reward of seeing problems solved and people helped, his wife, children and their activities and ministries, story of forced landing near Buffalo, New York


The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Paul Robinson in March and April 1991.

Accession 91-28, 91-29
July 22, 1997
Janyce H. Nasgowitz
P. Ericksen

Accession 91-28, 91-29
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items have been placed in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 60 minutes. Interview of Paul Frederick Robinson by Paul A. Ericksen on March 27, 1991, at the office of the Archives of the Billy Graham Center.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 25 minutes. Continuation of the interview of Paul Frederick Robinson by Paul A. Ericksen on March 27, 1991, at the office of the Archives of the Billy Graham Center.

T3 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 65 minutes. Interview of Paul Frederick Robinson by Paul A. Ericksen on April 3, 1991, at the office of the Archives of the Billy Graham Center.

T4 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, one side only, approx. 30 minutes. Continuation of the interview of Paul Frederick Robinson by Paul A. Ericksen on April 3, 1991, at the office of the Archives of the Billy Graham Center.

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