top of page


 2 Grumman G-73 Mallards and 2 Fullers

While I continue to look for material for the AAB website, I sometimes take

a different perspective of material I have reviewed in the past. I found it

interesting that both J-6 NC2943 and J-8 NC2945 came off the Grumman assembly line in 1946 and both were purchased by Fullers. One to Fuller Brush (Connecticut) and the other to Fuller Paint (California). They both operated the Mallards for many years.

The purchasers of early aircraft recognized the opportunity to utilize the new equipment in business but it was always their sense of adventure and pursuit of the thrill that closed the deal. The newest amphibian aircraft on the market was drawing attention for many that could afford it.

Alfred C. Fuller.jpg
Alfred C. Fuller
photo credit FORTUNE Mag 1937

Alfred C. Fuller started the Fuller Brush Company in 1906. It grew to involve multiple subsidies, including many that were international. It has a great history with some that can be read through various links below. Alfred C. Fuller gave up the leadership to his eldest son, Alfred Howard Fuller, when he was made President in1943. Howard's more bold and aggressive personality allowed the company to recognize positive changes that resulted in higher profits..

However, his temperament also contributed to his and his wife Dora's untimely death. Howard, always interested in thrilling, high-risk pursuits (such as driving sports cars, piloting airplanes, and racing speedboats and sailboats) was cruising through Nevada at 120 mile per hour for a business trip, uncharacterisically 

accompanied by his wife, when his Mercedes-Benz 300 SL blew a tire. Both Fullers died in the accident in 1959. Following the accident, Howard's younger brother, Avard Fuller assumed the leadership of the Fuller Brush Company. Avard was more conservative and not the adventurer that his brother had been.

J-6 NC2943 arrived at Fuller Paint during Howard's presidency and was sold not long after his death. It was Howard more than Fuller Brush that operated the newest amphibian aircraft on the market in 1946.

Document_2024-04-13_085034 - Copy.jpg
photo credit AP wire
some verbiage above comes from previuosly internet postings
J-6  NC2943
photo Tom Anusewicz Collection 

J-6 NC2943 spent nearly 15 years at Fuller Paint before its next owner., Pacific Airmotive Corporation. PAC Aero n Burbank, Ca. was more of a stopover of several months while being prepped for Nitto Air Lines in Osaka, Japan (JA5090). Nitto Air Lines merged with Japan Domestic Airlines. In 1966, after five years in Japan, J-6 returned to the U.S. when Frederick B. Ayers & Associates acquired the aircraft and reregistered to N7306. He owned the aircraft for less than 3 years before transfer to Aircraft Holdings and then again to Dean Franklin Enterprises, Miami in April 1970. Dean leased it to Chalk's International Airlines, where it flew for 4 years. On December 26, 1974, it was damaged upon landing in Miami                                           and stored for further evaluation. 10 years later, Virgin Island Seaplane Shuttle (VISS) showed interest and secure options with the hopes of sending it to Frakes for conversion to turbine. It continued to sit in Miami and then Ft. Lauderdale until  the certificate of registration expired in September 2016. 

Nitto Air Lines
photo credit TKO - san
960x960 (2).jpg
960x960 (1).jpg
photo credit TKO - san
photo credit TKO - san
Frederick B. Ayers & Associates
Frederick B.jpg
fredrick ayers and associates convair.png
N7306 Chalks.jpg
photo credit Mick Bajcar
photo credit Brian Burrage
photo credit Keith Sowter
J-8  NC2945

The W.P. Fuller Paint Company originated back in 1857 by William Parma Fuller (1827-1890) in Sacramento. Fuller had many partners and mergers over the years but for the most part had family members overseeing the company for generations. The history of this company is indeed a long one and will not get into the details except for the introduction of Frank W. Fuller, Jr.

Frank was the grandson of William P. Fuller, and grew up with the family business. He graduated from Stanford in 1924 with a law degree.

Frank W Fuller.jpg
Frank W. Fuller, Jr.
fuller paint2.png
photo Tom Anusewicz Collection 
photo Tom Anusewicz Collection / Historic Images

Frank became the Secretary and Director of W.P. Fuller Paint in San Francisco and a member of the Executive Committee. Frank was an avid sportsman as well as an aviation enthusiast. He had the first flying license issued in the Territory of Hawaii. By the mid '30's, he started competing in air competitions including the Bendix Cup. From 1937 to 1941, Frank was a Director of United Airlines. As WWII approached, Frank became a test pilot for Douglas Aircraft flying many aircraft before delivery to the war effort. He then returned to W.P. Fuller Paint to continue the family business. It wasn't long after WWII that Frank bought his Grumman Mallard, which he flew for 30 years. See more about Frank and Malllard J-8.

fuller-bldg2 (1).jpg
photo credit Rudy Arnold / Smithsonian Institution / photo archive
photo from Alamy (licensed for posting)
Bendix Trophy.png
John Fuller letter August 13, 1985
fuller paint ad.jpeg
Screenshot (1690).png
Screenshot (1691).png
photo credit Bill Larkins
Screenshot (1680).png
Screenshot (1682).png
Screenshot (1681).png
J-6 J-8 Mallards - Copy.jpg
fuller ac.png
Screenshot (1688).png
Reading Times, Penn 1939.jpeg
Reading Times Sept 8 1936.jpeg
W P FULLLER employees 1920.png
Now and then
s-l1600 (10).jpg
Tommy Lee.jpg

J-38 /  Thomas S. Lee

lord beaverbrook.jpg
Powell Crosley.png
KC Irving.jpg
Boris Sergiesky.jpeg.jpg
jp bikel.jpg
John Galbreath.jpg
John Galbreath.jpg
Charles Wrightsman.jpg
William Boaeing.jpg

Those in the know, knew the new Mallard was coming, but the ad in Times magazine in 1946 helped with bringing in new owners. Click on the owners to find out more.

George F. Ryan.jpg

J-17  George F. Ryan

Sid Richardson image.jpg
CF Kettering.jpg

J-44/  R.M. Hollingshead

J-42/  C.F. Kettering


What was true back when Grumman first introduced the Grumman amphibians,

still holds true today.

Their aircraft are still in demand and flown by those adventurous souls.

Tom Anusewicz
bottom of page