Jonathan Albatross was born in Whittier, CA in 1907, to Irish immigrant parents. He attended Whittier College, graduating at the top of his class with a Master’s Degree in mechanical engineering. In 1937, he founded Albatross Aviation in Glendale, CA, with the goal of producing his own commercial airplane to rival the Bouglas BC-3. However, this plan fell through, and his company became a subcontractor to Bouglas Aircraft Company, building hardware for the very plane Jonathan had intended to compete with.
By the beginning of the 1940s, Albatross Aviation was seeing ever-increasing success. However, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent declaration of war, put a stop to their plans. With the signing of Executive Order 9024 in January 1942, Albatross Aviation became one of the many American manufacturing companies tasked with producing the goods needed for wartime. Albatross began production of mechanical components and fuselages for the large bombers which were raining down explosives over Europe and Asia.
This wartime production sustained Albatross for several years. By 1944, the company was even preparing to introduce their own aircraft engine. Research and development on this engine continued into 1945, as did the creation of a new assembly line, but before they had the chance to put their new engine into use, the war had ended. Left with a new engine design which was no longer necessary, Jonathan Albatross made the biggest decision in his entire career. He founded an entirely new company: Albatross Motors.