Home of Pan American World Airways Retired Pilots and Employees – 1927-1991


Are you aware of a Clipper Pioneers’ member or other former Pan Am employee who has passed on?

Please forward the information to us here.


Remembering Those Who Have Passed
In Previous Years

In the Year 2016

In the Year 2015

In the Year 2014

In the Year 2013

In the Year 2012

Remembering Those Who Passed in 2012


With a few of her closest friends by her side, Mary Gunn Botthof passed away on October 1, 2011 in Reno, NV.  She was born Feb. 10, 1921 in Van-couver, BC, Canada, (I think) to Eva Teskey, and William MacBride and spent her childhood in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.   She taught school in Carcross, Yukon Terr., Canada until her marriage to Shel Gunn, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, based in Orilllia, Ontario.  He was killed while serving in the Canadian Ferry Command. READ MORE>>>

Robert Paul (Bob) Crow, 88, passed away on Dec. 17, 2011 in Landrum, SC. He joined the Navy in 1943 and served on the USS Thomas Jefferson as a deck officer, and then attended Millsaps College, Kansas State University and the University of Oklahoma. Bob joined Pan Am in 1948 as a traffic supervisor and was stationed in Bangkok and Philadelphia as a Traffic Manager, then in Chicago as a Director of Controls and Director of Airport Services until his retirement in 1982.

Victor Nitlow, a longtime Island Park resident and a pilot for Pan American World Airways, died in his home in Naples, Fla., on Dec. 12. He was 91.

Ray J. Egan, 94, of Sarasota, passed away on January 22, 2013. He was born in Holyoke, MA and served during World War II as a U.S. Air Force pilot. Ray retired from Pan American World Airways after 35 years of service piloting around the globe.

Warren “Robby” Robinson, 91, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, in Manchester. obby was a pilot and captain with Pan American World Airways for 37 years, retiring in 1980. He flew several generations of planes to cities around the globe, ending with the Boeing 747.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Cox Jr., DDS – aviation pioneer in Cape May passes away peacefully at age 97 on February 25, 2012. Born December 30, 1914 in Pittsburgh, PA. Ralph’s dream was to fly aircraft, so he volunteered for the US Army Aviation pilot program. He joined the US Navy and flew anti sub patrols along the US Eastern Seaboard and the coast of Spain. After Ralph’s discharge in 1941, he supported the war effort joining American Overseas Airlines and Pan American which flew Sikorsky S44 flying boats.

Thomas (Tom) Paul Frank, Sr. passed away on Jan. 20, 2013. He was a WWII veteran, and served 35 years as a professional flight engineer with Pan Am.

Kenneth Wayne “Ken” Snow, passed away Sept. 7 2010. He became a Pan Am celestial Navigator toward the end of the 1940s, and ultimately retired from the left seat of the 747 after a career with PA.

Tom Kinaszczuk passed away on 15 JAN 13. He was 92. Tom flew for Pan Am for 35 years, first in 707s and then 747s. He retired from Pan Am in 1980, his log book showing trip total of 30,094.31. Tom was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism and outstanding courage as Pilot of a United State Navy Bombing Plane in offensive action against an enemy submarine on 27 April 1943.  Lieutenant (junior grade) Thomas Kinaszczuk was on a convoy coverage flight when he sighted a surfaced enemy submarine approaching the convoy on an intercepting course at high speed.  Immediately increasing speed, he began his approach for an immediate attack.  When the range had closed to about one and one half miles, the submarine commenced a very accurate and heavy anti-aircraft fire which it maintained throughout the attack.  With complete disregard for the accuracy of the enemy’s fire and the damage which several hits caused to the plane’s starboard wing and aileron, the pilot pressed home his attack.  Finally, from an altitude of only 25 feet, he released his depth bombs.  Of the four depth bombs released, three were observed to have exploded beneath the submarine.  Shortly after the attack, the submarine broke surface at an extreme angle and son thereafter sank, stern fist, in a nearly perpendicular attitude.

A J Dupre passed away 21 Dec 2012 at the age of 94. He fell and broke his hip and the died of pneumonia

Bob Laine passed away on Jan. 11, 2013. The funeral was held in Aventura, FL. on Jan. 13, 2013.

Born in 1925 in New York, Angelo Roca fell in love with the flying boats when he was a boy. Ever since, he vowed to fly for Pan Am and his 46 year career with the company he was proud to serve attests to his determination and love for flying.  My Dad was a gregarious and generous man who loved to travel, explore other cultures and delighted in sharing a meal with family and friends. Wherever he went, he never missed the opportunity to find an airport to fly gliders and small props. Austria was his very favorite playground.  He was fascinated by Berlin, Germany the city in which he chose to spend most of his life. Angelo Roca passed away in Berlin on July 17th 2012 leaving behind a grieving family and many fast friends who all miss him beyond words. (by Heike Schiappacasse, Angelo Roca’s daughter)

CaptainJack Hannan passed away January 8th 2013.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

Captain Kirk Otto passed away on Nov. 28,2012 in Minnesota. He was based in SFO for many years and lived in Danville, CA until moving to Minnesota after retirement. Kirk hired with Pan Am May 1942 and retired in May, 1980. Kirk was preceded in death by his wife, Milly.

Emil KisselEmil Kissel of Pacific Grove Ca. died December 5, 2012 at the age of 94.  A lifelong aviation enthusiast, the test flight of a model flying wing procured a Boeing scholarship leading to an engineering degree from CCNY. Entering Pan Am engineering department in 1939 he found no romance in designing anchors for the flying boat and quickly transferred to Miami as a flight engineer on the B314. After war service with the AAC he returned to Pan Am operations from Treasure Island eventually marrying PAA stewardess Marylou Smith. He retired in 1979 with his favorite aircraft being the 747SP. A glider enthusiast, he constructed an Olympia Meise for the later cancelled 1940 Games. Later he served as Governor of the California chapter of the Soaring Society of America. He is survived by his wife and son Steve who wonder if there is any veracity in certain anecdotal stories: The Established Bribe for Pakistani Customs, The Mean Captain and the Stewardess with 100 Wigs, Cabin Pressure Adjustment and the Inflatable Brassiere and, of course, The Escaped Rhesus Monkey Who Hid in the Cabin Insulation.

David Elvyn Flatter died in a plane crash on Dec. 5, 2012. PAHOKEE, Fla. – Investigators have identified the pilot of the plane that crashed in sugar cane fields about one mile southeast of the Pahokee Airport Sunday. He was 80-year-old David Elvyn Flatter, of Lighthouse Point, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Civil Air Patrol worked to track down the plane which is believed to have crashed around 12:45 a.m. The tail number for the plane is N118GG and is registered in Montana. Flattery was found deceased on scene, according to PBSO. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident. Read more at WPTV.com.


Roy WiseRoy Wise of Gresham, a former Wallowa Couny resident, died Dec. 28,2011, in Gresham at the age of 91.After college at Eastern Washington University at Cheney he became a certified pilot and started his own flying school.  During the first part of WWII, he worked as an air traffic controller in Boise, Idaho.  Later during WW II he got his big professional break and was hired by Pan Am for whom he worked 31 years.  Initially he became a first officer on Pan Am’s B314 flying boats. Even though he was a commercial pilot, Pan Am was an adjunct to the Navy and he flew military supplies and mail to ports all over the world.  In later years, as Pan Am became known as a luxury international airliner, he flew many famous people to their destinations and was proud of it.  After Betty died he took dangerous voluntary Pan Am assignments to fly soldiers in and out of Vietnam. READ MORE>>>

Clarence ZahnerClarence John (“Bud”) Zahner, as pilots would say, Flown West.  He was one of the few remaining aviation pioneers to have flown the famed Pan American China Clipper from San Francisco bay.  He passed awayon Sept. 29, 2012 at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland, with many members of his large family at his side.  His final landing was as smooth and peaceful as any in his long aviation career. He was born Feb. 13, 1921.

Captain David Carston Craig passed away on Nov. 4, 2012 after an extended battle with frontal lobe dementia. A decorated fighter pilot, David was awarded the Top Gun award for the 353rd Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1966. After seven years of military service, David enjoyed flying for Pan American World Airways and Delta Air Lines for the remainder of his career.

Fred J. Linari passed away on Nov. 1, 2012. He was born July 21,1920, and had been feeling poorly for the past couple of years. He died peacefully at home.

Eleanor O’Neal, widow of PAA Captain and Chief Pilot Jim O’Neal, passed away at age 102 on Oct. 17, 2012 in Winter Park, Florida. Eleanor was born Dec. 14, 1909 in Washington, taught French, and lived and traveled in and to many countries with her husband Jim, who passed away in 2002.

Captain Clinton I. Stanfield:  born May 16, 1921 – October 7, 2012.  Clint passed away peacefully at home from a very short illness due to complications from cancer.  He became a pilot while in college enrolled in President Roosevelt’s PT courses, then an instructor at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas the early WWII years before joining Pan American in September of 1943.  He was proud to represent Pan American throughout a 38 year career based in Brownsville, Guatemala, New York City, Miami and San Francisco where he retired from flying the 747 and his favorite the 747SP.  He also was the Senior Co-Pilot representative in the union in his early career for several years.  His retirement allowed him to sail the blue waters of the Pacific single handed to Hawaii, and explore the coastal waters of Mexico, North America including Alaska on his beloved 38′ yawl “Fridolf” with his loving family and friends.

Donald W. Hand passed away on Sept. 16, 2011 at age 80.  Don was a retiree from the Air Force and Nebraska Air National Guard, as well as a pilot for Pan Am.  He was a practicing attorney and member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, as well as the Westminster Presbyterian Church. He enjoyed spending time with his family.

Ralph Hunt, 92, of New Harbor, passed away at home on September 1st,2012. He joined Pan American World Airways in 1942, started flying Boeing DC-3‘s for PAA-Africa during World War II, and retired as Captain on Boeing 747‘s in 1980. He served on numerous White House press charters to Europe, Asia, and within the United States for Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter. He was in Berlin to hear President Kennedy’s famous speech, “Ich bin ein Berliner” and flew the press plane to Dallas on the sad day in November, 1963. His accomplished career in aviation included flying the first commercial flight into Moscow in 1968, and accompanying President Nixon to China in 1972. MORE>>>

Bill Habbyshaw passed away on Sept. 7, 2012. Bill started flying at 16 yrs. of age & flew for over 50 yrs.  During WWII, he flew B17’s based in England & was the only American pilot to fly combat  with the RAF in jets. After the war, he flew as a check-captain for PAN AM, crossing the Atlantic Ocean 1200 times.  He was a member of the Million Mile Club.  He retired from PAN AM & moved to Sarasota, Florida where he was licensed by the State of FL to rate golf courses.  After his wife, Ferne, of 55 yrs. died, he moved to Bay Village.  He met a woman, Estelle, at Bay Village & they were together almost 10 yrs. Bill’s Memorial Service was held at Bay village on September 11, 2012. He leaves a daughter, Nancy, & a son, David,  3 grandsons & a grand-daughter in law.

Lt. Col. Peter W. Defty passed on 12 May 2012. Pete flew in the Marine reserves, Alameda in the 60’s and 70’s. He retired as CO of the chopper squadron. He flew the 707 and 747 out of SFO. Pete went with United.

Ervin B.(Buddy) Moreman, Jr. Born on December 9, 1933 in Amarillo, Texas, Buddy Moreman died unexpectedly but peacefully on July 31, 2012. He grew up in Amarillo and graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Industrial Engineering. His career at Pan Am took him all over the world. He volunteered for a Pan Am Technical Assistance Project during the Vietnam War training Vietnamese pilots and establishing flight schedules for a new airline, Air Vietnam. His adventures in Saigon included taking cover under the bed in his hotel room during the Tet Offensive and a rendezvous with his future wife, Terry, on the Saigon flight line. In 1970, he transferred to West Berlin, Germany and Pan Am’s Internal German Service. He married Terry O’Sullivan in 1971 and they moved to West Berlin where they lived for eight years. After moving to Mercer Island, he returned to the IGS commuting to Berlin for three years. Flying the air corridors between West Berlin to West Germany made for interesting stories of being buzzed by Russian MIGs and being able to see in the windows of the apartments lining the final approach pattern to the runway at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport. He was very proud of the many military charter flights he flew during the first Middle East War and he flew the last Pan Am polar flight between London and Seattle. Besides F-86s, and B-52s, he flew Constellations, DC-6s, Boeing 707s, 727s, 737s, 747s, and the Airbus A-300. He made his last commercial flight for Pan Am as a B-747 Captain. He spent the next 20 years as a flight instructor, working at Alaska Airlines and then the Boeing Company as a 737 Instructor. The pilots he trained came from all over the world. MORE>>>

Dorothy Todd died suddenly and peacefully on August 4, 2012 at her home in Winnemucca, Nevada.  She was the widow of Flight Engineer Lew Todd (2003).

Ken Urdahl passed on August 17, 2012.  He died of lung cancer, peacefully and no pain.

John Warren MeyerJohn “Warren” Meyer passed away at the age of 96 while at his home in Bellingham, on April 14, 2012. Warren had lived an extraordinarily full and exciting life. His passion for aviation and adventure was well known by his family and friends. As a captain with Pan American Airlines Warren had logged over 30,000 hours of flight time, a career which spanned over 35 years beginning before WWII flying routes throughout Alaska and then flying regular routes to Hawaii and beyond. Flying was never just a job to Warren. In retirement he never lost his desire to get back into the air, maintaining his currency as a certified pilot up until the day of his passing. When doing the flying himself he still took great pride in “greasing in a landing” even at the age of 96. He was a true “aviator”.

Roger SherronRoger Sherron passed away in Sebastopol, California at the age of 95 on August 9, 2012.

He was born in Durham, North Carolina on September 27, 1916. His parents, Roger J. Sherron, Sr. (Buddyrow) and Bell Markham Sherron were hard-working people, providing for their family through the Depression. He had one elder sister Elizabeth Harmon, who is deceased.

Roger knew he wanted to fly when he was a boy of only eleven during the early years of aviation. He was inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 transatlantic flight. At the local airport outside Chapel Hill, he pestered the owner of the flying school, Clarence Pickell, who gave him menial jobs like sweeping out the hangar, washing bird poop off airplane wings, or changing oil in exchange for flying lessons. “Pick” gave Roger a chance and his aviation career began. Roger remained close to Pick for the rest of his life. READ MORE>>>

Charles KaufmanCharles R. Kaufman passed away on Sunday, August 5, 2012 at the age of 97. He was born in Brooklyn, NY on July 23, 1915.  In 1939, he graduated as a mechanic from Roosevelt Aviation School on Long Island, NY.  He and his graduating class were hired by Pan Am to work on their new Boeing 314 sea plane.  With the career of Flight Engineer in mind, he served as a mechanic for 10 months in West Africa, before returning to New York, where with further training he graduated to Flight Engineer on a series of aircrafts from the Boeing 314 to the 747 and finally he retired at the age of 60, in 1975. He lived with his beloved wife, Sallie, in Syosset, NY until her passing in 2004. He is survived by his daughter, Michele Koleszar, her husband, Mickey and his grand daughters, Alexis and Kerry, and his other daughter, Wendy Richter, her husband, Paul, his grand daughter, Randi and his grandson, Andrew, his wife, Danielle, and his great-grandchildren, Jake, Brett, and Madison. We will miss you, Poppi.


Calvin Lafayette Wood, 79, died August 2, 2012 at the VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach.  He served in the U.S. Air Force, following by the Air National Guard, retiring in 1975 as a Lt. Colonel.  He worked as a commercial pilot for 25 years for Pan Am and Delta Airlines.

Giles Sabin Gianelloni was the oldest living Gianelloni until his passing on April 22, 2012.He was born Sept. 1, 1920. He served as ferry pilot with VRF-1, Naval Air Station, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, N.Y. Discharged form the Navy (1946) with the rank of Lt. Cmdr. Graduated University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla. (1946). Pilot with Pan American Airways assigned to AVIANCA, Bogota, Columbia.

Robert Elgin Lee passed away at age 93 on June 26, 2012 at his home. After his service in the US Navy during WWII, he worked as a flight engineer with Pan Am.

Robert G. Rager passed on March 7, 2012. He war born on Mrch 4, 1939. He joined Pan Am in 1966 as a DC-9 Flight Engineer, and over the next 20 years, he became a First Officer.

Lon HicksLoren Michael “Lon” Hicks earned his new set of wings when he passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, July 1, 2012, at his summer home in Bigfork, Montana. He was born November 12, 1940, in Helena, Montana to James and Eleanor Hicks. He was a resident of Montgomery County, Texas from 1974 to 1986.

Lon was a pilot for Pan American World Airways and Delta Airlines for 33 years before retiring in 1999.  READ MORE>>>

Pan Am Captain Ralph Brown, LAX, husband of Jackie Charpentier- Brown, LAX- World Wings, has passed away today. Jackie was present with Ralph to provide comfort as he took his final trip into eternity. As Jackie commented -“Ralph enjoyed a wonderful life.” He loved his job flying all over the world for Pan Am. He, Jackie and Jason had many good family years together.

There will be no service for Ralph, at his request. He will be cremated, with ashes distributed at sea – Ralph was a Navy pilot in WW2. Only his family will be present for the distribution of ashes. Ralph and Jackie had hosted many wonderful World Wings parties over the years so reminiscent of Pan Am First Class service. LAX World Wingers will always remember their hospitality and generosity.

Captain Arthur R. Milow, Jr., decorated WWII veteran, former Commanding Officer of the 643rd Bomb Sqdn & Pan Am pilot, retiring as a 747 Captain in 1978, passed away on June 28, 2012. March 25, 1918 – June 28, 2012. He was born on March 25, 1918. READ MORE>>>

Jerry CassidyCaptain G.W. “Jerry” Cassidy slipped the surly bonds of earth” on June 28, 2012 with his wife Cynthia da Silva Cassidy at his side, in Miami, FL. Born in Minneapolis, MN on September 2, 1933 to John and Leona (Corrigan) Cassidy, he attended De La Salle High School and St. Thomas and Univ. of Maryland Colleges. Jerry served as a proud US Marine Corps aviator for 11 years in VMA 333, 121 and others. Major Cassidy left the Marine Corps for a career with Pan American World Airways, retiring as a B747 Captain. Jerry is survived by his wife Cindy, his brother Tom (Tille) Cassidy of California, sons John (Claudia) Cassidy and Bill (Jennifer) Cassidy, daughters; Susan (Rick) Puchferran and Elizabeth (Christopher) Barber, sister in law Michelle Richmond, several nieces and nephews and 17 cherished grandchildren. Visitation will be on Thursday, July 5 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm at Van Orsdel Kendall Chapel. A Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Friday, July 6, 2012 at 10:00am at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church followed by internment with honors at South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth, FL. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations in Jerry’s name to the Humane Society of Miami, Vitas Hospice or a charity of your choice. View this Guest Book at www. MiamiHerald.com/obituaries.
Published in The Miami Herald on July 3, 2012

Captain Bill Bacheler passed away on February 10th at the age of 92 with family by his side.  In 1944, Bill was promoted to Major and the entire fighter squadron was shipped to the South Pacific. When he returned from WWII, Bill was hired by Pan American World Airways as a co-pilot and navigator. Pan Am held his position while Bill was reactivated for the Korean War and went back to serve his country. Upon rejoining Pan Am, he not only served as pilot, but as Air Safety Chairman and head of the Navigation Division. Bill also helped develop the free gyro steering process for polar route navigation that became an industry standard at the time. In 1966 he became a Captain of the 707 and in 1976 he became Captain of the 747, of which he proudly called his ‘office’.

Jack Salkovics was Born May 1st, 1937 to Trudy and Albert Salkovics in Lake Stevens, Washington. He graduated from Marysville High School in 1955 and joined the Naval Reserves at Sand Point, Washington shortly thereafter. As a Plane Captain on the F4U Corsair he discovered a love for Naval Aviation. Serving in far away places, such as Kwajalein Atoll, he attended college classes and applied for the Naval Cadet Aviation Program (NavCad). He was accepted and graduated in Nov 1957, wearing the wings of gold awarded to Naval Aviators and the gold bars of a Navy Ensign. Read MORE>>>

Stephen J. Roman passed away at age 82 on May 31, 2012.  He was born in Buffalo, NY on July 25, 1930, one of nine children of Polish immigrant parents.  He served in the Air National Guard and was activated during the Korean Conflict.  He began his aviation career with Capital and American Airlines, and in 1954 began working for Pan American World Airways as a Flight Engineer, retiring in 1989 after 35 years.  He is survived by his wife Norma of 48 years, and 3 children.

Stuart Allen O’Brien passed away on March 11, 2012 at 72 years old after courageously battling cancer for the past 12 years.  He was born August 9, 1939 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He joined Pan Am in the fall of 1966 in San Francisco, and flew 707s and served as a Flight Engineer.  He was with Pan Am until 1991, flew for Delta until 1999, retiring with the rank of Captain.

Connie RobertsonConstance “Connie” Williams Robertson, 93, died Tuesday, May 29th in St. Vincent’s Nursing Home. Born in Quincy on September 13, 1918 Connie was the daughter of Florence and Russell Williams. In 1942 she married Albert Grossarth, a Pan American pilot. After traveling extensively in the first few years of marriage, they lived in Miami, Florida and Rio de Janeiro raising their four daughters. MORE>>>



Ray Dan PineoRay Dan Pineo died in peace in Spokane on May 22, 2012. Born in Seattle on January 7, 1919 to Newell and Gladys (Morton) Pineo, he graduated from Lincoln High School in 1937. He joined the Marines in 1940 and participated in the Battle of Midway in 1942. Ray met his wife, Inga Anderson, in Texas during his aviator training. They married in 1946 and had four children. Ray was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in Korea, flying F4U Corsairs in VMA 323. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1966. He joined Pan Am Airways and lived in Oyster Bay, NY, retiring finally in 1981 to Newville, PA. He returned to Washington in 2011. Ray was preceded in death by his parents, brother Craig, and Inga. He is survived by children Doug (Trish) of Spokane, Tom (Mary) of Elmira, NY, Cecilia (David) O’Brien of Seattle, Jessica (Paul) Lohnes of Winchester, MA, nine grandchildren, six nephews and nieces, and several cousins. Ray had a gift for prose and poetry, and deeply appreciated nature. He was also a photographer, avid golfer, and an angler. A memorial is set for September 1, 2012 at Machias Community Cemetery in Snohomish County.

Walter Grant Moblad lived a happy and healthy life, and passed away peacefully in his home at the age of 94 on May 25, 2012.  Born August 28, 1917 and raised in Oakland, he graduated from UC Berkeley in 1939 with a degree in Economics.  After a stint in the United States Army Air Corps, he continued to explore his love of aviation with a full career as a Captain for Pan American Airlines.  Walter spent 20 years in the Seiad Valley after retirement, where he was an avid fly fisherman on the Klamath River.  He was a golf enthusiast and passionately followed his favorite Bay Area sports teams, especially the Giants.  The last ten years of his life were spent living with his son, Jim Moblad, in San Jose.  Walter (or “Papa Moe” to his grandkids) truly knew how to find beauty in the simple things in life and his sharp sense of humor could put a smile on anyone’s face.  He was preceded in death by his wife Nira Moblad and son Larry Moblad and is survived by his sons Jim and Roger Moblad, his six grandchildren and his nine great-grandchildren.

Willard Keith WoodmanseeWillard Keith Woodmansee, 87, also known as “Woody”, passed away peacefully in Tacoma, Washington on March 5, 2012.  Keith had a life-long passion for sailing, flying, and traveling the globe.

Keith grew up in Utah and Virginia, and took his first flying lessons at the age of 15.
In WWII, he served with the U.S. Maritime Service as radio officer and purser in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  His flying career spanned over 45 years, starting with the Boeing 314 “Flying Boats” to destinations in Europe and the Caribbean.  In the early years of his career in commercial aviation, Keith flew for American International, World Airways, and the Flying Tigers.  He first joined Pan Am American World Airways as flight radio officer in1946 and was later rehired by PAA as flight engineer.  From the 1940’s to the 1990’s, he flew numerous aircraft, including L-Constellation (the “Connie”), DC 3-10, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, B 707, 727 and 747.  Keith was San Francisco based during most of his time with Pan Am and United Airlines, aside from a 3-year stint in Berlin in the early ’60’s, during which he and his growing family lived in Strasbourg, France. MORE>>>

Thomas E McLaughlin, 76, of Cross Junction, VA, died Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 at his home while under the care of Blue Ridge Hospice. He entered the naval aviation cadet program and was commissioner an officer and pilot in 1956. Following his military service with the U.S. Navy, he earned a BS Degree in pre-law and psychology. He joined Pan Am Airways in 1962 where he became a Captain piloting the 747 aircraft. When Pan Am discontinued operations, he joined Atlas Air.

John Burton died peacefully in his sleep at Mount St. Joseph’s Nursing Home on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. He began his careeer with Pan Am during the war flying as an engineer on the clipper ships and retired in 1971. He flew with Pan Am for 37 years. Read more >>>

Ward A. WoosterWard H. Wooster, 92, of Toledo, OH and formerly of Strongsville, OH, passed away Sunday, March 25, 2012, at Promedica Ebeid Hospice, surrounded by his loving family. . Following his military service, Ward was employed as a radio officer for Pan American Airways. MORE>>>


John Conrad AikensJohn Conrad Aikens passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Redwood City, California, on March 22, 2012 at the age of 92. John was hired as a flight engineer by Pan American World Airways in 1943, training at Pan Am’s Treasure Island base in San Francisco. During this time he was inducted into the U.S. Navy Reserve and stationed at Pearl Harbor. From there he flew sea planes operated by Pan Am for NATS, the Naval Air Transport System, down the chain of islands to Australia. After transferring back to San Francisco, John spent the duration of the war flying military personnel and supplies to various bases on the South Pacific islands. John earned the rank of Lieutenant JG in the Navy Reserve, flying for the US Air Force as part of Pan Am’s Air Transport Command Group. John flew for Pan Am for 40 years on aircraft including the DC-6, B-377 Stratocruiser, DC-7, 707 and 747. He met his beloved wife Edna Lenhart, a Pan Am flight attendant on the Alaska route, when he was assigned to Seattle in 1947. They transferred to New York and then back to San Francisco in 1953, where he spent his remaining years with Pan Am, flying the world in a job he dearly loved. While with Pan Am, he also was a Check Engineer, flight instructor, and Assistant Chief Flight. His adventurous and caring spirit will be missed by all. Read More>>>

Alan Horrocks passed away on Feb. 16,2012. He was a Pan Am veteran, JFK Pan Am QC Reliability Dept.

Robert J. AndrewsRobert J. Andrews passed away in his Mission Viejo home at the age of 85; he had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in November 2011 and lost his battle on April 9, 2012. The family would like to thank Dr. Minch Fong and his entire staff for their compassion and support during his illness.After serving in the United States Army he went to work for Pan American World Airways where he spent his entire career (44 years) with a view of the world from the cockpit. Flying was his passion and he loved every minute of it. “Pop” as he was best known as will be missed and never forgotten.

Flight engineer Brent Rickard, passed away March 26,2012  at the age of 92.  During the second World War he flew on Pan Am’s sea planes for the Navy Air Transport Service in the Pacific theater.   After the war he continued as a flight engineer.  First flying out of San Francisco, then for many years out of J.F.Kennedy airport in New York.   In 1984 he and his wife Ruth retired to Leisure World/Laguna Woods in southern California.

Robert ValentineRobert Frank Valentine, 87, son of the late Frederick and Emeline Valentine, passed away on Thursday, March 15, 2007, following an extended illness. Bob was born September 28, 1919 at St. Albans (Queens), New York. After the military, he flew as an airline pilot for 5 years with American Export Airlines and American Overseas Airlines and 29 years with Pan American World Airways. While with Pan Am, Bob was a celestial navigator, copilot, flight instructor, check-pilot and captain, flying such legendary aircraft as the Douglas DC-4, Lockheed Constellation, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, DC-6, DC-7, Boeing 707 and Boeing 747 before reaching mandatory retirement at age 60 in 1979.
Bob lived for many years at Huntington, Long Island, New York, where he was an active member of the Harbor Boating Club. Bob was the founder of the Clipper Pioneers, an organization of retired pilots of Pan American Airways. READ MORE>>>

Dorothy Heinz Gulbransen, age 96, born in Baltimore March 2, 1916 died March 29th at The Terraces of Los Altos skilled nursing facility. Her husband Hack passed in 1982. On October 22nd she became ill and had a three day hospital stay. From there she went into an undiagnosed decline and never recovered. She said not to worry about her; she was fine, had a great life and was in no pain. She is survived by her long time companion Captain John Minor of Coronado Cays, California , her son Gary of Santa Barbara, daughter Bari of Santa Fe and five grandchildren. No services are planned. READ MORE>>>

Carolyn Lawson, wife of Woodrow “Woody” has passed away after a long illness. Funeral Mass will be held tomorrow Friday March 30 at 12:30 -1:30pm at Saint Louis Catholic Church Pinecrest, FL. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Woody and his Family

John L.  “Jack” Raabe, of Los Altos, passed from this life quietly at Palo Alto Veteran’s Hospital, March 26, 2012.  Captain Raabe flew for Pan American Airlines for 39 years from 1941 to 1980.   He was a resident of Los Altos since 1951.   Jack started his career with Pan Am, flying the Boeing 314 from Treasure Island to the Pacific Islands.  He was based in San Francisco for all but 2 of his years with Pan Am, spending a year and a half in Florida and then in China for a few months.  He was preceeded in death by his wife, Madelyn and is survived by his daughter Linda Barr and sons John and Wil.  He also enjoyed his two grandsons and four great grandchildren.  Services were held on April 2nd and he was laid to rest in Stockton on the following day.  For further information see www.spanglermortuary.com

Charles J. Proft, Age 77, died March 3, 2012, at Our Lady of Peace Home. Preceded in death by parents, Bernhard and Florence Proft and 3 brothers. Survived by wife, Patricia; daughters, Pamela (Jim) Peterson, Debra (Paul) Grazzini, Cheryl (Frank) Deras; 3 grandsons, William (Liz) Peterson, Joseph and Charles Grazzini; sisters, Florence Espy and Dorothee Serbus, and many nieces and nephews. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 6730 Nicollet Ave., Richfield at 11 AM Tuesday, March 6, with visitation 1 hour before mass. Memorials preferred to Our Lady of Peace Home, 2076 St. Anthony Ave., St. Paul, 55104 and St. Peter’s Church. Charles started with Pan Am on November 7, 1966.  He was a good man and an eternal optimist.  He will be missed by his wife, Patricia, and daughters Pamela, Debra, and Cheryl and many other relatives.

Fitch Robertson quietly died on February 3, 2012 at his home in the vineyard in St Helena, CA. In his last weeks he was tended by his wife of 65 years Geraldine, and their daughters Jacqueline, Judy, and Jennifer. He came to Pan American Systems in March of 1943 by way of UC Berkeley, Stanford, and the Boeing School of Aeronautics. During 40 years service as a Flight Engineer he was based at Treasure Island, Pearl Harbor, SFO, JFK, LHR, SEA and back to SFO. He was a true gentleman and friend.

John R. Kolthoff passed away on 2/27/12 at the age of 88 , after a long illness. He was the loving husband of Barbara (Parfitt) Kolthoff,  for 66 years, and father of two daughters Karen  Kolthoff of Bainbridge Island, WA, and Abigail Kolthoff  and her husband Simon of San Francisco, CA. He was also survived by his grandsons John and James Mames of Bainbridge Island, WA.  John was a veteran of the WW2 Army Air Corps. He later was employed as a Flight Engineer Officer for Pan American World Airways, for 34 years, until his retirement in 1988. John loved to be around people, and was well liked and a good friend to all that knew him. He was an ardent hunter and fisherman and enjoyed both until he was physically no longer able, in his later years.

Clarence G. Mead, Jr., (98) was born 2/28/1914 (Lisbon, ND) – and died in good health and in peace, on 2/18/2012 (Mountain View, CA). Clancy flew for the US Navy from 1935-39, then went on to a distinguished career with Pan Am, where he flew the gamut from the sea-faring clipper ships to the first 747 jumbo jets. He was a gentleman of the highest order, and will be missed. No formal services are planned. We would be grateful for donations to HeartlandHospiceFund.org

Frank McColgin 91, died Feb. 23rdin a tragic accident.  He and his wife, (B Lou, he called her) had been at a park in the Bridgewater area, due to the lovely temps we’ve been having.   As they left, he hit a tree, both air bags deployed. He got out of the car, and somehow stumbled and rolled into Lake Lillinoah. His body was found later. His wife survived, and is said to be in good shape. He was a PanAm pilot and a World War II veteran who flew bombers in the Air Force.

E. Roger SmartE. Roger Smart, 92, died on Jan. 29, 2012 at Treasure Coast Hospice in Stuart. Born in Springfield, MA, he moved to Stuart in 1980 from Setauket, NY.
He completed 2 years of college at American International College, Springfield, MA. He joined Pan American Airways in 1942 as Co-Pilot, became a Captain in 1945 while flying Pan Am’s Latin-American routes from Miami, and retired in 1975. During World War II, he flew the PAA Clipper “Flying Boats” to South America and Africa, and trained Army Air Corps pilots in Brownsville, Texas. He met and married his wife Karla Krkavcova in 1948, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic.
As a pilot, he lived and flew out of Miami; New York; Brussels, Belgium; Frankfurt, Germany; and Ankara, Turkey. He flew throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. He flew every Douglas aircraft from the DC-3 to the DC-8, as well as the Boeing 707 and 747. He was appointed Check Pilot for Latin American operations in 1946, and Central European operations in 1952.
On October 8, 1964, Roger Smart set a new speed record for the commercial transatlantic flight from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Shannon Ireland; the DC-8 flight took 4 hours and 46 minutes, clipping 3 minutes off the previous record set in 1962 by Irish Airlines. READ MORE>>>

Dick BoucherOn January 29, 2012, Richard “Dick” Boucher recently of Carmel, California, passed away at 97 of congestive heart failure. He was born April 28, 1914, in San Diego, where he was president of his San Diego High School graduating class. After two years of college at San Diego State Dick enlisted in the Navy. He graduated from Pensacola Navy flight school in 1939. Pan American World Airways hired him in 1940. His career started on China Clipper seaplanes and ended on 747s in 1973. He proudly said he “never scratched a plane.“ During World War II he flew in the Air Transport Command. His long Pan Am career based him in Miami, San Francisco and finally in New York, where he commuted from his home in Bermuda.

He is survived by his children: Dr. Richard Charles Boucher, Jr. of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Pamela Gilberd of Carmel, California, and his five grandchildren and nine great-grand children. He was buried in the San Joaquin National Cemetery with military honors. A private family memorial was held at his daughter’s home.

Marty BergerArthur Martin “Marty” Berger, 81, of Lady’s Island, died peacefully on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at Bay View Manor after a long and courageous battle with esophageal cancer.

Marty was born in Philadelphia, P.A. and grew up in Woodbury, N.J. Marty and his wife Donna moved to Royal Pines in December 1994 from Coral Gables, Florida.

Marty’s aviation career of 40 years started as a purser with Eastern Airlines, joining Pan American World Airways in 1955. He became a Captain of 747’s flying all around the globe until joining United Airlines in 1989 as a Flight Engineer, then retiring in 1992. Read more>>>

Paul C. Baker – passed away at age 88 on Dec. 26, 2011 at the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton. Paul served as a pilot with Pan Am for 30 years from 1951 until 1981, when he retired. After retiring, he remained active in his community and with his family.

Mary Rose Bacon — PAA Pilot and Marine/Naval Aviator Bob Bacon’s wife of 50+ years — passed away 24 January 2012 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

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Maiden of the
Maiden Flight

Information from this website about the Hindenburg.

Interesting photographs and biography of a woman who had a lot of firsts in aviation. Something I do not recall seeing before.. Great old pictures… Stu

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Have you ever heard of this?

Sounders Roe SARO SR.45 “Princess”
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Watch this
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it will take you
back in time!!

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The February 2018 newsletter is now online!
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The VA has published their Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents Booklet for 2008. An easy-to-read reference guide, it provides the most current information about your earned benefits. You can download the 153 page booklet at the following website –click here.