John Humphrey became the first licensee of a skateboard patent after going into business with Albert C. Boyden to produce the Humco Surfer in 1963. Having clearly made a name for himself in skateboarding history, he did so even more so in American history long before, as a U.S. Naval pilot. In 1944, John’s ambition drove him to do the “impossible” when he pushed his B-24 Bomber to chase and shoot down a smaller, faster Japanese plane–a feat for which he was awarded the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Flying Cross. It seems that the same creative ambition gave us the first commercially manufactured skateboards in San Diego two decades later. Although John’s foray into skateboard production was only a brief part of his memorable life, his influence was indeed a lasting one. Today, vintage Humco Surfers are still collected by many as an important piece of skateboarding history.