On this page are Doak items of interest that I have found as I contact members of the clan or as I surf the Internet for Doak "Stuff".

Doak Aircraft Company, Inc.

If any of the descendents of this Doak family can give me information on this company, I will be glad to include it here.  Below is an Ad from Flying Magazine October 1944.  This company was based in Torrance, California.

A Little History of Doak Aircraft


(excerpts from an article in Torrance People by Chuck Lobb)



Born in 1898, young Edmond Rufus Doak would bicycle after dust devils around his Ft. Worth, Texas, ranch tossing bits of paper and watching them swirl out of sight. This fascination with rising air currents never left Doak, a self-made engineer and pioneer of vertical lift in the early days of Southern California aviation.

In December, 1910, the Doak family moved to California and young Ed peddled his bike to the 1911 Dominguez Air Meet where his fascination with flight truly hit home (Note: my mother and father attended the Meet, separately)

By November, 1913, 15-year old Ed was hired as a stock boy with the fledgling Glenn L. Martin aviation company of 30 employees at 934 S. Flower, Los Angeles. There, he rubbed elbows with Donald Douglas, Sr. and Lawrence Bell, later the founder of Bell Aircraft. When Martin moved to Cleveland, Ed remained behind inspecting aircraft and engines for the Army Signal Corps in Sacramento, California.

In 1922, Ed became the purchasing agent for the Davis-Douglas company, a position he held until 1935. After a brief stint as Factory Manager for North American Aviation, he rejoined Douglas and became General Manager and Vice President (of Douglas-El Segundo) where he oversaw the DC-5 project in El Segundo..

As war clouds were gathering in 1939, Doak left Douglas to found his own Doak Aircraft Co. in Hermosa Beach and Torrance. Wartime contracts poured in as he converted aluminum skins of training aircraft to molded plywood. By war's end his Torrance company at 2321 Abalone St. employed nearly 3,000 women.

They had produced 1,000 fuselage sections for the Vultee BT-13 and the North American AT-6 along with aluminum doors, hatches, and gun turrets for nearly every aircraft manufacturer, earning the coveted Army-Navy E for excellence.

After the war Doak built aluminum lawn furniture for the Kroehler Furniture Co. while continuing to explore ideas for helicopters, ducted fans, contra-rotating impellers with rigid blades with trailing edge flaps and spoilers.

In the late 50's, Army Research and Development awarded Doak a contract to explore vertical take-off aircraft coupled with forward flight. On February 25, 1958 with Jim Reichert at the controls, the Doak Model 16 (VZ-4DA) lifted off from Torrance Municipal Airport for the first time...

Flight tests continued at Edwards (1959-1960), then the airplane was turned over to NASA (Langley). Doak went out of business in 1961 - The VZ-4 data and drawings were sold to Douglas and two or three Doak engineers were hired by Douglas...

The chief engineer of Doak Aircraft, Norm Nelson, along with Jim Reichert (Aerodynamicist and private pilot), were primarily responsible for the design of the Doak Model 16NZ-4DA research airplane. Jim did an outstanding job as test pilot although he had very limited vertical flight (helicopter) experience. Virtually all of his prior flying experience was in his Cessna 120, and later, his Beech Bonanza. Of course, nobody in the world had experience flying a ducted-fan VTOL airplaine!

Norm Nelson landed at Lockheed following the demise of Doak Aircraft. He was heavily involved in the A-12/SR-71 project and later was program manager of the HaveBlue and F-117 program. He retired from his position as V.P./General Manager of Lockheed's Skunk Works in the late 80's . Jim Reichert also ended up at Lockheed and was one of the developers of the radar absorption coating systems used on the F-117.

Many thanks to Ray Ulyate - Placentia, California (2001) for sending this item to us. Ray was employed by Doak Aircraft from 1957 to 1960 and knew Ed Doak personally.

Check out this web site for more info on Doak Aircraft

jrd  1/26/04



Doak Tavern - Seaside, Oregon

There is some history available on this Tavern and when it was established, but I have not been able to find it again. Does anyone have it so I can post it here?

The inscription reads "Doak's Tavern, 420 Broadway, Seaside, Oregon"


W.W. Doak - Miramichi, Doaktown, N.B.

This Doak family is probably descended from "Squire" Doak of 1824. The company is currently in business and is a retail and catalog distributor of quality Fishing Tackle.

Early Business Letter


Current Catalog



Doak Gas Engine Co.  --  4th and Madison -- Oakland, California

Here is a Souvenir Catalog from 1915 published by the Doak Gas Engine Co..  Does anybody know anything about the Doak's that owned this enterprise??

Gas Engine Magazine 1987

The Doak Story P. 21

P.P.I.E Souvenir 1915

Two of the Doak Gasoline Engines that were available in 1915

Doak 4 HP Side Shaft engine.

After Restoration.

Municipal High Pressure Fire Station Using Two 300 HP Doak Engines Top Engine is 3 to 35HP and Bottom  could be 2 to 6 cylinders developing 30 to 300 HP

The Doak Story P. 22

Doak Gas Engine Key Fob




Note the Doak label on Box.

Sold on eBay for $37.00


OKE Doak Motel -