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Noel Wien

Birthplace: Lake Nebagamon, Douglas County, Wisconsin
Death: July 1977 (78)
Bellevue, Washington
Immediate Family:

Son of John Berndt Wien and Mary Esther Wien
Husband of Ada Bering Wien
Father of Private User; Jean Carolyn Rozanski and Private
Brother of Fridtof Wien; Sigurd Wien; Ralph Wien; Private and Enid Wien

Managed by: Douglas Alan Toelle
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Noel Wien

Noel Wien (June 8, 1899 – July 19, 1977) was an American pioneer aviator. He was the founder of Wien Air Alaska, Alaska's first airline.


Born in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, Wien learned to fly from Ray Miller in 1921 and became a barnstormer in Clarence W. Hinck's Federated Fliers Flying Circus. Wien saw an opportunity to fly in Alaska and migrated there, later bringing his three brothers up from Minnesota. In 1924, with his pilot license No. 39 signed by Federation Aeronautique Internationale Official Orville Wright in hand, Wien flew his Hisso Standard biplane to Alaska and began servicing the gold-rich territory.

His brothers Sig and Ralph Wien, were also bush pilots.

A legend among legendary pilots, when Wien first arrived in Alaska he had 538 hours of barnstorming and aerial circus stunt flying under his belt. He went on to build up a long list of firsts: he was first to fly from Fairbanks to Seattle, Fairbanks to Nome, and beyond the Arctic Circle, across the Bering Strait and was first to make a round-trip flight between Alaska and Asia.

He died on July 19, 1977, in Bellevue, Washington.


The Noel Wien Public Library in Fairbanks, Alaska is named after him. The library sits on the site of Weeks Field, the original airport in Fairbanks and base for many of Wien's early accomplishments. Weeks Field Park, adjacent to the library, was previously called Wien Park.

Flying runs in the family: his sons, Noel Merrill Wien and Richard Wien, and grandsons Kurt, Michael and Kent all became commercial pilots as well.

Noel Wien was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation History Museum Hall of Fame in 1989, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum Hall of Fame in 2000 and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Noel Wien's Timeline

June 8, 1899
Lake Nebagamon, Douglas County, Wisconsin
September 1, 1933
Age 34
Fairbanks, Fairbanks Northstar Borough, Alaska, USA, 645016N1474259W
July 1977
Age 78
Bellevue, Washington