1979

William DeMayo

William DeMayo was born in Italy on October 16, 1900.

At the tender age of 13, he moved with his family to the USA (as he put it "The land of opportunity"). They landed in New York City on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1913, and Bill says that the luck of the Irish has been with him ever since.

The DeMayo family then settled in Chicago, where Bill embarked on his first enterprise - selling newspapers before and after school. The following year, they all moved to Newark, New Jersey, where Bill went to work for his cousin, Leo, a dealer in used racing, sport and electric cars. Earning $4.00 a week, his duties included keeping the batteries of sixteen electric cars constantly charged.

Despite his responsibilities as a breadwinner, Bill managed to graduate East Side High School in Newark, and in 1917, entered Columbia University, majoring in physics. After the first semester, his money ran out. At this point, the U.S.A. had entered the war, so Bill went to work at the Port Newark shipbuilding Yards, and eventually became a ship fitter.

Thereafter, the chain of accomplishments and credits are so extensive, it boggles the mind.
1920 - Bill started at the Ford Motor Co. plant in Kearney, NJ, entering a training program that saw him graduate as a mechanical engineer.
1924 - Bill continued to work for the Ford Motor Co. in many different areas. He was a full charge foreman of the Test Room, Car delivery, model "T" engine assembly line, efficiency expert, instructor of new car dealer service managers, and finally became assistant plant production manager.
1935 - Leaving Ford's employment, Bill conceived a plan to build car transporter trailers . . . back then, cars were still being driven to the dealers. Our man of the year feels he was one of the first in the East to design and build the double-decker trailers.

Over-lapping in time sequence is Bill's involvement in aviation, which really originated in 1926, when Ford was building its Tri-Motor Planes. Subsequently, William soloed in 1927, and graduated in 1929 from the Aviation Institute in Washington, D.C. As a member of the New Jersey National Guard, 44th Aviation division, he was inducted into the regular Army Air Force.

1940 - Captain DeMayo became the trouble-shooter for his squadron in Tinian, India on the B-29, and was credited with being directly responsible for 133 modifications, as well as revising the 25, 50 and 100-hour inspection forms and procedures. His distinguished service earned him two citations with Bronze Stars. Finally, he was rotated back to the States and Honorably discharged.
1945 - Now, back to private industry in the employ of Broadway Maintenance Co. of Long Island City, N.Y. in complete charge of building a fleet of 60 trucks to one of over 400 of different sizes and descriptions. During eighteen successful years here, he modified the hydraulics of the "Cherry Picker" to suit the operation of his company, built his own swing booms, utility bodies, pantographs, hydraulic aerial ladders, and a mobile pipe cutting shop for turnpike construction.
1963 - Retirement for you and me might mean rest and relaxation, but for William DeMayo it meant becoming an automotive and managing consultant.

His accomplishments in engineering, design and maintenance is greater than we have space for ... but, look at this list of affiliations...
SAE (1953-) Full member of Society of Automotive Engineers. 23 years as Reception Chairman, 7 years with national Nominating committee, 3 years Emissions Committee, 6 years National Power Plant and transportation, chairman Alternator selector and maintenance, national election teller, Metropolitan section secretary, and presently up for the Honors Grade of Fellows.
AAAS - (1923-1971)
AGU - (1958-1973)
AWRA - (1958-1973) Charter Member
ASLE - (1945-1972)
ADPA (1945-) Life Member
Society of Fleet Supervisors - (1945-) Innumerable services performed for our Society.

Now, for a quick look at his innovative pursuits...
1933 - Aluminum Co. of America. Invented a new process in the manufacture of license plate frames. Patent applied for in May 1933. (Economic factors led to abandonment of project by Company.)
1943 - Navy Department, Headquarters of Commander-in-Chief. Details and draft of a torpedo that can be launched with a depth charge. (Basic design of his invention, although improved and modified, remains in use currently.)
1959 - Developed the flat tire roller - Patent #2879831.

This should be enough, but there still remains his writings and presentations.
1959 - Presentation of safety device for flat tires at SAE annual meeting, Atlantic City, NJ
1962 - Presentation "Engineer's View of the Smog Problem" SAE meeting, NYC, N.Y.
1962 - Interviewed by Bob Maxwell on WCBS radio "At Your Service" show: Topic, Smog and Air Pollution.
1976 - His book "The Car and I Grew Up Together," about the development stages of self-propelled vehicles from the 18th century to the present, with 26 chapters completed thus far, began.

This is our "Man of the Year," and are we proud to be able to consider him a fellow member? There remains no doubt that he exemplifies the true quality and spirit of the professional Fleet Supervisor.

We all wish you continued success, Bill, and hope you will always remain an active member of our Society.

 


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