Eddie was born in 1911 at 2nd Avenue and 17th Street in Manhattan in New York. His father was Emil Schneider (1885-1955), a banker born in Germany. His mother was Inga Pedersen (1885-1927), who was born in Farsund, Norway. Inga was the daughter of Peder Andreas Pedersen (1830-?) and Serine Larsdatter (1840-?) aka Severina Larsdatter. Eddie had one full sibling: Alice P. Schneider (1913-2002) who married a Harms. Emil remarried after Inga died. Emil's second wife was Margaret (1896-?) and they had a child: Eleanore Schneider (1931-?), who was Eddie's half-sibling.
The family moved from Manhattan to Red Bank, New Jersey and then to Jersey City, New Jersey. Eddie graduated from Dickinson High School in Jersey City in 1927, the same year that his mother died. After his mother's death, Eddie and his parents visited Germany and Norway to visit with relatives. In Germany Eddie went on an airplane ride and then aviation became his obsession. In 1929 he trained at Roosevelt Field on Long Island and became the youngest person in the United States to receive a commercial pilot's license. That same year he also received a mechanics license, becoming the youngest licensed mechanic in New York. In April 1930 Eddie was living in Hempstead, Nassau County, Long Island with a cousin from Germany named 8638926109289561764.jpg. Carl was working as a mechanic. Emil Schneider and Margaret may have been living at 114 Carlton Avenue in Jersey City in 1930. Eddie flew a red Cessna monoplane number C9092.
Transcontinental air speed record
The New York Times reported on July 30, 1930 that Eddie intended to fly to the Pacific coast and back that August. On August 25, 1930 Eddie set the round-trip transcontinental air speed record for pilots under the age of twenty-one years in his Cessna using a Warner Scarab engine. The New York Times covered each of his refueling stops in the race. He flew from Westfield, New Jersey on August 14, 1930 to Los Angeles, California in 4 days with a combined flying time of 29 hours and 55 minutes. He lowered the East to West record by 4 hours and 22 minutes. He then made the return trip from Los Angeles to Roosevelt Field in New York in 27 hours and 19 minutes, lowering the West to East record by 1 hour and 36 minutes. His total elapsed time for the round trip was 57 hours and 14 minutes, breaking the preceding record for the round trip. Frank H. Goldsborough held the previous record which was 62 hours and 58 minutes. When Eddie landed his first words were to his father: "Hello Pop, I made it".
1930 National Air Tour
After setting the transcontinental speed record he entered in the 1930 Ford National Reliability Air Tour in Chicago, which ran from August 23 to September 01. He won the Great Lakes Trophy. Nancy Hopkins also flew in the tour that year.
1931 National Air Tour
In 1931 Eddie again participated in the Ford National Reliability Air Tour in his Cessna. A defect in his engine forced his landing while flying over a mountainous section of Kentucky, and he made a forced landing in a corn patch on the side of the mountain. A new engine was sent to him and after an difficult takeoff, he went on to win first place for single engine airplanes, and finishing third overall.
Time magazine wrote:
Sensation of the meet was the youngster Eddie Schneider, 19, who fell into last place by a forced landing of his Cessna and a three-day delay in Kentucky, then fought his way back to finish third, ahead of all other light planes.
Hoover Air League
In 1932 he went to work for the Hoover Air League.
He married Gretchen Hahnen (1901-?) in New York City on June 02, 1934 at the New York Municipal Building in Manhattan. Their marriage certificate was number "14174". Gretchen was the daughter of Zora M. Hahnen (1882-1962) and was originally from Des Moines, Iowa. She was a member the Jersey City Young Woman's Christian Association (YWCA) and was director of the Aviation Club of The Jersey Journal, Junior Club Magazine. Eddie met her at an aviation function. They did not have any children.
Jersey City Airport
In 1935 Eddie leased the Jersey City Airport and ran his flying school from there until the field was converted into a sports stadium using WPA money. Eddie was taking off in a Travelair biplane with his student, Al Clemmings, when the motor died. From an altitude of 100 feet they crashed into Newark Bay, but were unhurt and were able to walk ashore.
Spanish Civil War
In 1936, Eddie left for Spain to fly in the Yankee Squadron for the Spanish Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. He was living at 50 Jones Street in Jersey City at the time. Eddie was promised he would be paid $1,500 each month and given a bonus of $1,000 for every rebel plane he shot down. He was never paid and he returned to the US in January of 1937. Others who flew for the loyalists included: Bert Acosta, Gordon Berry, and Frederick Lord. When he returned he was questioned by Chief Assistant US Attorney, John F. Dailey on January 15, 1937 in New York. Eddie's lawyer was Colonel Lewis Landes. On January 20, 1937, Eddie, Bert, and Gordon flew to Washington, DC and had to testify again. When talking to reporters eddie said: "I was broke, hungry, jobless ... yet despite the fact that all three of us are old-time aviators who did our part for the development of the industry were left out in the cold in the Administrationís program of job making. Can you blame us for accepting the lucrative Spanish offer?". Despite the perceived disloyalty, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did not open a file on Eddie and has no record of him under the Freedom on Information Act (FOIA).
Time magazine wrote on December 21, 1936:
Hilariously celebrating in the ship's bar of the Normandie with their first advance pay checks from Spain's Radical Government, six able U.S. aviators were en route last week for Madrid to join Bert Acosta, pilot of Admiral Byrd's transatlantic flight, in doing battle against Generalissimo Francisco Franco's White planes. Payment for their services: $1,500 a month plus $1,000 for each White plane brought down.
In 1938 Eddie stood at 5 foot, 8 inches (68 inches) and weighed 160 pounds. This gives him a body mass index of 24.3. He had blue eyes and blonde hair, and he was living at 38 Broadway in Manhattan.
In June of 1940 Eddie began work for American Airlines at Newark Airport in New Jersey. He then moved to Jackson Heights on Long Island, because the American Airlines eastern terminal had moved to LaGuardia Field. He took a job as a civilian instructor for the US Army at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn with the Archie Baxter Flying Service. Eddie registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 when he was living at at 3250 73rd Street in Jackson Heights, Queens in New York.
On December 23, 1940, Eddie was killed in an accident at Floyd Bennett Field at age 29, while training George W. Herzog (1903-1940). They were flying at about 600 feet, about to land, when Navy pilot Kenneth A. Kuehner, age 25, of Minister, Ohio struck the tail assembly of Eddie's Piper Cub. Eddie's plane went into a spin and crashed into Deep Creek, just off of Flatbush Avenue. Both Herzog and Schneider were dead at the scene of impact. The bodies were taken to King's County Hospital, and Eddies cause of death was listed as "crushed chest & abdomen; hemothorax & hemoperitoneum in aeroplane crash". His obituary was published in the New York Times of New York and the Jersey Journal of Jersey City. At the time of Eddie's death his parents were living at 6 Livingston Avenue, Arlington, New Jersey.
Eddie was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Fairview, Bergen County, New Jersey. He is buried with the following family members: Edna Hinn (1901-1973); Gustav Schneider (1874-1925); Theodore Schneider (1901-1979); Wilhelmine Molle (1873-1933) who was married to Gustav; Violet Schneider (?-1920); as well as both his parents.
The Washington Post, August 12, 1930, page 5, "Youth, 19, to Try Today For Record U.S. Hop"
The Washington Post, August 18, 1930, page 4, "Schneider Planned Take-Off at Dawn to Complete Hop to Albuquerque"
The Washington Post, August 25, 1930, page 1, "Boy Pilot, 18, Lowers Three Flight Marks; Eddie Schneider Lowers Goldsborough Records Through Hop"
The Washington Post, August 26, 1930, page 18, "Jersey City Mayor Greets Schneider; Walker Will Also Receive Boy Flier; to Take Part in National Races"
The Washington Post, October 10, 1930, page 11, "Cross-Country Plane Race By Woman and Boy Looms; Laura Ingalls and Robert Buck to Take Off From California Today in Pursuit of New West-East Transcontinental Records", Robert Buck beats Eddie's record
The Washington Post, January 07, 1937, page 5, "Yankee Fliers Quit"
The Washington Post, January 16, 1937, page 7, "Aviator Says N.Y. Attorney Is Leftist Agent" via AP
The Washington Post, January 17, 1937, page 5, "U.S. Socialists Sift Volunteers To Fight Rebels" via AP