Show cover of The Pan Am Podcast

The Pan Am Podcast

Experience the legacy of the world’s most iconic airline, Pan American World Airways! This award-winning history and humanities program brings Pan Am’s 64-year history to life through engaging storytelling and insightful interviews from Pan Am employees, passengers, pilots, journalists, historians, authors, fashionistas, and aviation enthusiasts! Hosted by historian Tom Betti, the program has won the following awards: Gold 2024 & 2023 Muse Creative Awards, Gold 2024 Vega Digital Award, Silver 2023 Vega Digital Award, Gold Award from the 2023 Hear Now Palooza of the National Audio Theater Festivals, Silver 2022 Muse Creative Award, Arcturus 2022 Vega Digital Award  (Podcast), and Arcturus 2022 Vega Digital Award  (Best Host). The Pan Am Podcast is brought to you by the Pan Am Museum in Garden City, New York and is sponsored by the generous personal support of Mr. Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Theatres and President of the Pan Am Historical Foundation. The Pan Am Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and would appreciate your consideration of tax-deductible donations.

Tracks

Episode 47: The "Nisei" Stewardesses of Pan Am
Send us a Text Message.The Pan Am Museum Foundation recognizes the month of May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and in this episode we explore the history of Pan Am’s “Nisei” Stewardesses with Dr. Christine R. Yano, retired professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai’I and author of the book, Airbourne Dreams: “Nisei” Stewardesses and Pan American World Airways.This book is the story of an unusual personnel program implemented by an American corporation intent on expanding and dominating the nascent market for international air travel. That program reflected the Jet Age dreams of global mobility that excited postwar Americans, as well as the inequalities of gender, class, race, and ethnicity that constrained many of them.The Japanese word “Nisei” means second generation Japanese American.  In 1955, Pan Am began recruiting Japanese American women to work as stewardesses on its Tokyo-bound flights and for the airline’s celebrated round-the-world flights. Based in Honolulu, these women were informally known as Pan Am’s “Nisei” stewardesses, even though not all of them were Japanese American or even second-generation. They were hired for their Japanese-language skills, but in reality…few spoke Japanese fluently.However, the main reason for the hiring of these women was to enhance the airline’s image of exotic cosmopolitanism and worldliness as the iconic American company pioneered new frontiers of race, language, and culture. These young women left home to travel the globe with Pan Am, forging their own cosmopolitan identities in the process.In 2014, Chantelle Rose Acorda, Kim Nguyen, and Jasmine Pigford made a well-done student film and interviewed Hawaii state senator Glenn S. Wakai and Pan Am veterans Ailenn Sodetani and Mae Takahashi. The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii produced a short educational film, Pan Am Ambassadors, with interviews of Pan Am "Nisei" stewardesses. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
57:11 5/2/24
Episode 46: Capt. Mike Bannister, Chief Pilot of British Airways Concorde
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we welcome back to the program Captain Mike Bannister, the chief pilot of British Airways' Concorde fleet from 1995 to 2003.He is also the author of a recently published book titled Concorde. This book is available through your favorite bookstore or online retailer.Also coming out to great fanfare in 2023 was a special Lego set of the Concorde designed to be built by adults. This special detailed replica from Lego of the world’s most famous supersonic commercial passenger airplane gives builders an immersive project that takes creativity to new heights.To learn more about Super Sonic Transports or SSTs for short, listen to Episode 7: Supersonic Transports, An Angry JFK, and Flying the Line after this installment. In that episode we explored the race for the first passenger supersonic aircraft between a British and French partnership, the United States, and the Soviet Union.This episode is also a direct follow up to Episode 19: Concorde where we explore the fascinating history of Concorde and interview three special guests:Jetliner Cabins author Jennifer Coutts Clay who was Pan Am’s general manager for product design and development and before that worked on the Concorde project for British Airways. John Lampl, a veteran executive of British Airways who worked for the Concorde program the entire 27 years of passenger service and a total of 41 years for BA.And of course Captain Bannister was interviewed in that epsidoe. Again, if you haven’t heard Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
57:57 3/14/24
Episode 45: National Airlines
Send us a Text Message.Pan American World Airways acquired National Airlines in 1980 and preserving the history of National is now the responsibility of the Pan Am Museum and we take this duty seriously.In this episode we explore the fascinating history of National Airlines. Then we will be joined by four veterans of National Airlines: Captain Roy Berube and flight attendants Fran Smith Boros, David Hinson, and Mari Bacon. Captain Roy Berube was never a stranger to aviation. His father was an airline pilot and Roy began flying at an early age. He joined National Airlines as a pilot in 1956 at age 19. In his career he has been a line pilot, check pilot, instructor, test pilot, and union rep. Just before Pan Am ceased operations, Captain Berube was transferred to United Airlines mainly flying the 747. He retired from United in the late 1990s and now resides in Buffalo, New York with his wife Sharon. His other passion other than flying is music both composing and playing. Roy is a very talented musician and even has a YouTube channel where you can hear him play! Mari Bacon joined National Airlines in 1976 as a flight attendant. After Pan Am ceased operations, Mari hung up her wings and started a successful career in nonprofit leadership and management. Today, she resides in Fort Lauderdale and enjoys crafting, being back in Florida, watching her ‘grand dogs’ and meeting up with old friends.   She and others have organized a luncheon event every 2-3 months open to all Pan Am and National former flight attendants, who enjoy reminiscing and catching up with old friends.David Hinson joined National Airlines in 1977 as a flight attendant. After Pan Am, he transferred to Delta Air Lines in 1991 and hung up his wings in 1997 to start his own company. That company is called David Jeffery Designs, a wholesaler and retailer of unique handbags, mobile bags, coin bags, wallets, jewelry and accessories. And he has many Pan Am items! He resides in Atlanta, Georgia and continues to travel the world, especially India.Fran Smith Boros was born and raised in Miami and joined National Airlines in 1976 as a flight attendant. After Pan Am closed down, Fran married her attorney husband and assisted him with his legal work. She also earned her real estate license and started a new career.  Today Fran and her husband are retired and live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She’s also close personal friends and neighbors with legendary newsman Sam Donaldson and his wife. Fran helped us get an interview with Sam and we encourage you to listen to Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
99:05 2/21/24
Episode 44: Capt. Robert Ford and the Long Way Home
Send us a Text Message.In this special episode we will be exploring the incredible life of Pan Am Captain Robert Ford, a trailblazing flying boat aviator that found international fame with an unscheduled flight round the globe. And we welcome back to the program Pan Am 747 Captain John Marshall that knew Pan Am legend Captain Robert Ford and recorded an interview with him in 1994 shortly before he died.Excerpts of this rare interview are played and you will get to hear the actual voice of Captain Ford talking about his aviation career in the late 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s!In December of 1941, Captain Ford was ferrying mail and passengers from San Francisco to New Zealand aboard a Pan Am Boeing 314 flying boat named the Pacific Clipper.On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor and Captain Ford was ordered to evade the enemy and prevent the Japanese from capturing the aircraft for its technology.  Skirting the trouble zone and watching for enemy aircraft, he headed the flying boat west over Australia, India and Central Africa, then crossed to South America, eventually making a safe landing at the Marine Terminal at what is now La Guardia Airport in New York on Jan. 6, 1942.The entire trip covered 31,500 miles in 209.5 hours of flying time, some of it over war territory. The Clipper had a range of 4,500 miles, and its longest single flight was 3,583 miles across the South Atlantic from Central Africa, to Brazil. Captain Ford, who was then 35 at the time, called his round-the-world flight "a purely routine operation."Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1906, Captain Robert Ford earned his wings as a naval aviator before joining Pan American Airways in 1933. He flew Pan Am’s routes in Central and South American, as well as, the Caribbean before transferring to the Atlantic division in 1939, flying Clippers between New York and Lisbon. He shifted to the Pacific route in July 1941. Before his round-the-globe journey, he had completed some 50 flights across the two oceans.After retiring in 1952 from Pan Am, Captain Ford became a cattle rancher in Penn Valley, California, north of Sacramento. He died in October of 1994 at the age of 88. At the time of his death, he had been a rancher for 45 years.Special thanks to Captain John Marshall, board member of the Pan Am Museum Foundation, for allowing this program to use his 1994 interview with Captain Ford. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
75:27 1/8/24
Episode 43: Terror at the Rome Airport, December 1973 Attack
Send us a Text Message.This is a special memorial edition of this program and recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Rome airport attack. We are  joined by two survivors that were on a Pan Am plane that was firebombed at the Rome airport on December 17, 1973: Pan Am Flight Engineer Ken Pfrang and Pan Am passenger B.J. Geisler.B.J. is the author of the recently published book, Terror on Pan Am Flight 110. This episode is a follow up to "Episode 6: Hijackings and the Dawn of Global Terrorism." If you haven’t heard this episode, we encourage you to do so after listening to this installment. In order to understand the gravity of global terrorism throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it is important to examine the 1967 six day war between Israel and neighboring Arab countries, the September 1970 hijacking of four airplanes all bound for United States, as a direct result of those hijacking…the subsequent Jordanian civil war also known as Black September(Sep. 1970- Jul. 1971), and the Munich Olympic attacks in 1972. These topics are discussed in Episode 6. In the early afternoon of Monday, December 17, 1973 at Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci Airport, a Pan Am Boeing 707, registration number N407PA, named Clipper Celestial was getting ready for departure with 53 passengers onboard and nine crew members. At around 12:51 local time, five members of a radical Palestinian terrorist group pulled out weapons from their luggage in the airport terminal lounge and opened fire killing two people. They then ran out of the terminal on the tarmac and then attacked the Pan Am jet by running up the boarding stairs of the front and rear doors and threw three hand grenades inside the plane. A total of 29 persons, including 4 senior Moroccan officials and 17 ARAMCO employees and family members were killed on the aircraft. Passenger Bonnie Presnell died later at the hospital with severe burns bringing the total killed from the attack on the Pan Am plane to 30. We remember them…The Pan Am Employees and Family:Diana Perez, Purser; Lambert Tununga, Pan Am Catering; Bonnie Erbeck, wife of Captain Andrew ErbeckMembers of the Moroccan government:Inani Abdelatif, Moroccan state secretary for economic planning; Mounlr Doukkali, MoroSupport the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
97:39 12/15/23
Episode 42: Operation Babylift: The 1975 Saigon Evacuation
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we explore Operation Babylift, the historic April 1975 evacuation of more than 3,000 Vietnamese war orphans just before the fall of South Vietnam.We are joined by Thoa Bui, Vice President of Programs and Services for Holt International and Al Topping, Pan Am’s Country Director for South Vietnam.This episode is a follow up to Episode 4: Evacuation of Saigon, Wings of Freedom Mission. If you haven’t heard that installment, we encourage you to do so after listening to this episode. Operation Babylift was directed by U.S. President Gerald R. Ford in the final days of South Vietnam shortly before the country fell in 1975.  Pan American World Airways sent two Boeing 747 jumbo jets, one charted by Holt International and the other by American businessman Robert Macauley, to assist in the evacuation. On April 24, 2022, the Pan Am Museum partnered with Holt International and hosted a 47th anniversary celebration. In attendance were two dozen babies, now adults, and their families. They were re-united with three Pan Am flight attendants on their flights and Al Topping. Bringing these groups together for this special humanities program demonstrated the massive positive impact this one historical event had on generations of people to this day. Watch the video from this incredible event in the episode description.In future episodes we plan on exploring the stories of the children, now adults, of Operation Babylift and the Pan Am flight attendants that cared for them on those historic flights.Become a Holt sponsor! Thoa Bui is Licensed Master Social Worker and serves as Vice President of Programs and Services for Holt International. She implements Holt’s vision and strategic leadership to ensure growth in Holt’s programs for vulnerable children in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the U.S. Pan Am veteran Al Topping is the author of the book, “Wings of Freedom: A True Story,” about his incredible experience in Saigon.  Purchase Al's book from the Museum’s online store.In 1990, NBC made a movie out of Al’s story called Last Flight Out starring James Earl Jones, Richard Crenna, and Rosliand Chao. Watch the full movie on  our YouTube channel!Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
80:54 11/22/23
Episode 41: The Stewardess Labor Movement of the 1960s and 1970s
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by Nell McShane Wulfhart, author of the book The Great Stewardess Rebellion: How Women Launched a Workplace Revolution at 30,000 Feet.Nell is a frequent contributor to the New York Times travel section and wrote the column “Carry On” from 2016 to 2019. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, and T Magazine. She is also the author of the Audible Original Off Menu.Her recent work, The Great Stewardess Rebellion: How Women Launched a Workplace Revolution at 30,000 Feet, is a book about how as travel in the jet age became more and more popular in the 1960s, women from across America applied for jobs as stewardesses.They were drawn to the promise of glamour, the chance to travel, and as an alternative to traditional occupations for women of this time period like homemaking, nursing, and teaching. But as the number of stewardesses grew, so did their suspicion that the job was not as picture-perfect as the ads would have them believe, including some of their supervisors spying on their personal lives (thankfully this was not the practice of Pan Am or TWA). These women had to adhere to strict weight limits at all times. If they gained a few extra pounds, they were suspended from work. For many airlines, stewardesses couldn’t marry or have children or risk losing their employment. Requirements for hair styles and makeup had to be followed and was strictly enforced and girdles were mandatory at all times. It was also common for most domestic airlines that stewardesses had to resign by age 32.In the latter half of the 1960s, stewardesses began to push back against their employers creating an employment movement that changed the industry. Nell Mchane Wulfhart crafts a rousing narrative of female empowerment, the paradigm-shifting 1960s and 1970s, the labor movement, and the cadre of gutsy women who fought for their rights and won. Gloria Steinem said of Nell’s book, “the true story of women who stood up to huge corporations and won, creating momentous change for all working women.”The Pan Am Museum’s high school intern Michael Gentner assisted with this interview as guest co-host. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
62:01 9/29/23
Episode 40: Tom Betti and a Rock Song About History
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are turning the tables…the interviewee becomes the interviewer. Guest host Phillip Keene interviews the host of The Pan Am Podcast, historian Tom Betti to bring our listeners his story. Phillip is a podcast guest in episodes 18, 29,  and 30.This program is marking a milestone as this is the 40th episode and the beginning of season three.Tom Betti is dedicated to bringing history to life through entertaining and engaging storytelling. Although having a career in public service and government work for over 20 years, history has always been his  constant passion. He currently serves on the board of the Pan Am Museum Foundation with Phillip and has co-authored five books on Columbus, Ohio history. His latest book, written with his mentor Doreen Uhas Sauer, is titled Forgotten Landmarks of Columbus.Since 2006, Tom co-leads various local history tours and educational programing with Doreen where he always brings dry humor and wit, but also makes learning about history engaging and fun. He works closely as a professional partner with the Columbus Metropolitan Library on neighborhood tours, special events, and presentations…and has been a guest on WOSU Public Media.In addition, he is an active member of the 501st Legion volunteer organization, a LucasFilm affiliate, providing screen accurate Star Wars character appearances to charities and good causes like children hospitals, libraries, hospice centers, and museums. To learn more, watch this video.To watch the education video of "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel, click here. Tom earned a Master of Arts in History from Norwich University and lives in the historic Hartman Hotel Building in Columbus, Ohio with his pug, Roosevelt.Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
69:55 8/18/23
Episode 39: Madeline Smith and a Romance in the Sky
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by 98-year-old Madeline Smith and her daughter Valerie Smith O’Grady Skinner. Both were Pan Am flight attendants…Madeline joined  the airline right after the war in 1946 and Valerie, following in her mother’s footsteps, joined the company in 1977.Madeline was a stewardess until 1951 when she resigned to marry the love of her life. But although personally leaving Pan Am’s employment, the airline was still an important part of her family as her new husband was a Pan Am pilot named Charles Smith. The two met on an overseas working trip and were inseparable, marrying only six months after they met. Captain Smith passed away in 1989. Valerie stayed with the company until the end in 1991 where she was hired by Delta and would continue flying for almost two decades. Today, Madeline is still a force to be reckoned with.  At 98 years young…a typical day for Madeline is playing nine holes of golf, an hour of tennis, kayaking, and then walking two miles!Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
68:40 7/30/23
Episode 38: Dan Colussy, Pan Am's President and Chief Operating Officer in the 1970s
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by Dan Colussy who served as Pan Am’s President and Chief Operating Officer in the 1970s. Dan will share his experiences of working in the airline industry during a pivotal point in Pan Am history. This interview provides a unique look inside the workings of the  executive leadership of the airline in the 1970s. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard after college, Mr. Colussy began his career in engineering at General Electric and then went on to work for American Airlines and Northeast Airlines in executive marketing positions before joining the prestigious advertising agency Wells, Rich and Green as Senior Vice President overseeing the Trans World Airlines account. As a result of a chance encounter seated next to the CEO of Pan Am on a TWA plane over the Atlantic, Mr. Colussy was hired by Pan Am in 1970 as Vice President of Marketing Development and in a short period of time was promoted to Senior Vice President of the same division.In 1976, Mr. Colussy was promoted to Executive Vice President and was elected as a member of the Pan Am's Board of Directors. Two years later in May 1978, he was elected president and chief operating officer of Pan American World Airways by the company’s board of directors. William Seawell remained Pan Am CEO. Mr. Colussy left Pan Am in 1980 to pursue other opportunities in the airline and aerospace industries. A successful and respected businessman, among his many pursuits he served as chairman and CEO of Canadian Pacific Airlines and is the former Chairman of Iridium Satellite, which he took out of bankruptcy in 2000 and rebuilt into a global and profitable satellite network providing communications services for over one million customers worldwide.Today, Mr. Colussy is the Chairman of Gemini Capital, a Venture Capital Fund investing in new technologies. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
86:13 6/11/23
Episode 37: Lester Kappel, World War II Aircraft Mechanic with Pan Am
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by 99-year-old Lester Kappel. He worked for Pan Am during World War II beginning in early 1942 until mid 1946. He was stationed for the majority of World War II in Casablanca with the African-Orient division of Pan Am under the Air Transport Command. Lester provides a unique perspective of what it was like to be working for the airline during wartime in support of Allied forces that utilized Pan Am’s vast global network and resources making it a vital lifeline of resupply. He began his time with Pan Am as one of the airline’s esteemed mechanics and worked exclusively in 1942 on the celebrated Boeing B-314 Flying Boats and then later expanded his skills during the war to the engines of land-based planes. Lester was at the airport and saw President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plane when he came to Casablanca in January of 1943 to meet with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Watch the Pan Am 1945 post-war film called, Clippers at War, to learn more about the airline's contribution to the war effort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvElNiAsC_YAfter leaving Pan Am after the war, Lester Kappel worked in the family printing business for 30 years, while also serving as a volunteer firefighter on Long Island beginning in 1958.In the 1980s, he sold the company and began working for the local library where he worked for over 30 years up until recently. During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Lester literally did not stop helping his Long Island neighbors until he was dehydrated and had to be taken to the hospital.Today, Lester is revered by family, friends, library patrons, and firefighters alike. He is a great supporter of the Pan Am Museum and has donated items that are proudly on display in our public exhibits.Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
64:21 5/14/23
Episode 36: Sam Donaldson, Legendary Newsman
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by legendary journalist Sam Donaldson where we will talking about traveling  with Pan Am on assignment, covering presidents as White House correspondent, tracking down a Nazi war criminal, deregulation of the airlines, and everything in between. He is best known for his distinguished 52 year career at ABC News, where he covered stories and conducted investigations of national and international interest. In 1977, he was assigned the coveted White House Correspondent assignment for ABC News, a post he would hold for the duration of the Carter and Reagan administrations. He would later return as ABC’s White House Correspondent for much of the Clinton Administration in the 1990s.This episode is an indirect follow up to Episode 21: White House Press Charters and Flying with Air Force One where we explored Pan Am’s historic supporting role with presidential travel. In that episode we were joined by Dwight Chapin, a trusted aide to President Richard M. Nixon and Pan Am veterans: flight attendant Claire Graham and Captain John Marshall.Sam Donaldson was a frequent passenger on Pan Am’s White House Press Charters during the Carter, Reagan, and Bush administrations.In 1994, his Primetime Live segment on Erich Priebke, a former Nazi SS officer, set off a chain of events that ended with Priebke being arrested and convicted for war crimes and given a life sentence in prison. Remarkably, Priebke was living in Argentina out in the open for many years and admitted to most of his crimes on camera during Sam’s interview.To learn more about this incredible interview that includes interviews with Sam Donaldson, ABC News producer Harry Phillips, and researcher Dalia Herbst, watch this segment of the television program Nazi Hunters.Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
97:12 3/3/23
Episode 35: Pan Am's Diversity in the Cockpit
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we continue to celebrate Black History Month and are joined by veteran Pan Am pilots Captain Perry Jones and Ed Moon.Perry was the first African American to be hired by Pan Am in late 1965 and Ed was the third to be hired in early 1967. The second African American hired by Pan Am was Otis Benjamin Young in 1966. "O.B.," as he was affectionally referred to, was born in 1938 and graduated from Howard University and then served in the United States Air Force.  After Pan Am, he flew for Delta Airlines until retirement. Unfortunately, Captain Young passed away on June 9, 2021.These gentlemen were legendary trailblazers at the height of the civil right movement in the 1960s. All three left a lasting legacy at Pan Am, paved the way for other people of color and beyond, and were part of the change that transformed the commercial aviation community.In 1976, Benjamin Thomas, an Eastern Airlines pilot, organized a meeting that formed the Organization of Black Airline Pilots, now called the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, to address discrimination in the airline industry.Ed Moon was a one of the 38 founders of the organization and both Perry and Ed served as president and board chair of the organization through the years.Today, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals or OBAP for short, is a world-leading non-profit organization that changes lives by creating a pathway to success through educating youth, communities, and professionals—shaping an aerospace industry as diverse as the people they serve.For more information on OBAP, visit their website at obap.org. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
100:37 2/16/23
Episode 34: Junius Kellogg and the Pan Am Jets Wheelchair Basketball Team
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we celebrate Black History Month and are joined by author Bruce Wolk to explore the inspiring life of sports legend Junius Kellogg and his incredible connection to Pan American World Airways. Junius Kellogg was born on March 16, 1927 in Haverstraw, New York to Lucy Lee Williams and Theodore Kellogg. Young Junius always excelled in the classroom as an outstanding student, but also was an exceptional athlete in every sport he attempted.While in high school, Junius made the Virginia State High School All-Star Team, as well as, earning earn high marks in academics. After graduating in 1946, he was awarded a scholarship to West Virginia State, however, he was drafted into the U.S. Army after only one semester.While in the military in 1948, Junius was named 1st Army all-around athlete. The next year he was offered a basketball scholarship to Manhattan College as the school’s first African American scholarship recipient. When eligible to play in the 1950-1951 season, the 6’10” Kellogg made an immediate impact on the team.In January 1951, after reporting that someone was attempting to bribe him, Junius helped authorities uncover the biggest betting scandal in collegiate basketball history. And was subsequently hailed a national hero for his honesty and courage.But despite this, a career in the NBA eluded him mainly because being the whistleblower embarrassed some of the league’s executives and star players that were likely involved in past betting schemes. After graduation in June 1953, he was invited to join the Harlem Globetrotters, even though he still dreamed of becoming a professional basketball player in the NBA. That dream was shattered and his life forever changed on April 2, 1954 when a horrific car accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. While recovering in the Bronx Veterans Hospital, Junius was approached to be head coach of the Pan Am Jets, a wheelchair basketball team sponsored by Pan American World Airways. In addition, Pan Am offered him a job in the accounting department.He became the first African American coach in the history of wheelchair basketball, and with the Pan Am Jets brought the sport to people throughout the world. Junius coached the U.S. Wheelchair Basketball team to a gold medal at the Tokyo 1964 Paralympic Games. He died at age 71 on September 16, 1998. To learn more about Mr. Kellogg and to watch a tribute video, visit the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
74:57 2/6/23
Episode 33: Dr. Johanna O’Flaherty, Helping Others With Weighted Wings
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by Dr. Johanna O’Flaherty.Johanna joined Pan American World Airways in 1970 as a flight attendant, and was later promoted to purser, trainer, and in 1986 was appointed Corporate Manager of Pan Am’s new Employee Assistance Program (also known commonly today as EAP).In this role, Johanna was responsible for the oversight of bio-psycho-social-spiritual aspects of the 1988 Lockerbie disaster.Her new book, a memoir called Flight With Weighted Wings, was released in January of 2023 and is available from the Pan Am Museum’s online store. Watch Johanna’s Pan Am corporate video to new employees from 1987 on our YouTube channel. Johanna received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. Today, Johanna is an expert in crisis management from a psychological perspective, and a renowned expert in the field of trauma, addiction and recovery.She served as Vice President of Treatment Services at the Betty Ford Center from 2006 to 2013, before serving as CEO of the Las Vegas Recovery Center, Senior Fellow of Clinical Services, from 2013 to 2016.In addition, she adds her 40 years of personal recovery to her long list of accomplishments. Johanna developed and implemented Crisis Response Programs for Pan American World Airways, Trans World Airlines, and has facilitated the training of Crisis Response Teams for several other airlines as well. Then in September of 2001, Dr. O’Flaherty was again called to New York to assist with counseling airline employees and facilitating the Crisis Response training for the New York City Transit Authority after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. She also conducted critical incident response training for the FBI and first responders.Dr. O’Flaherty has been featured on American news channels CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN as well as several podcasts as an expert in her field.To listen to more of Dr. O’Flaherty, check out the podcast called Living OnBrand with Kim and Glenda.For more information on Johanna or to contact her, her website is www.johannahelps.comToday, Johanna maintains a consulting practice and has an active schedule as a keynote speaker in crisis management and addiction. She resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
62:01 1/29/23
Episode 32: Terror on the Airline, New Lockerbie Arrest, and the Quest for Justice
Send us a Text Message.On December 11, 2022,  Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi (Mas’ud), the suspected bomb maker in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, was arrested by the U.S. Department of Justice and brought to the United States for prosecution. In this episode we are joined by two distinguished guests, Fred Burton and Mark Zaid, who discuss counterterrorism, the intelligence community, the Lockerbie investigation spanning more than three decades, and the quest for American justice.Due to the sensitivity of these topics, listener discretion is advised. Fred Burton is a former police officer, special agent for the Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. State Department, and a New York Times best-selling author.  His best-selling books include his personal memoir GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent and his other books Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice,  and Beirut Rules: The Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah’s War Against America. Fred’s website is www.officialfredburton.comMark Zaid is an American attorney, based in Washington, D.C., with a practice focused on national security law, freedom of speech constitutional claims, and government accountability.Many of his cases are very well known, such as suing Libya for the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which resulted in a $2.7 billion settlement, the largest of its kind against a foreign government for terrorist activities.  Mark’s website is www.markzaid.comSupport the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
82:28 1/6/23
Episode 31: The Last CEO and the Last Clipper
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we will be recognizing the 31st anniversary of Pan American World Airways ceasing operations and explore the lead up to and the tumultuous year of 1991 which ended with the shutdown of Pan Am.For the first interview, we are joined by the last CEO and Chairman of Pan Am, Russell L. Ray, Jr., and talk about his unpredictable and short time as the last leader of the airline. Mr. Ray has held senior positions with British Aerospace Inc., McDonnell Douglas, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Eastern Airlines and the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. For the second interview, we are joined by  the "Last Clipper" Captain Mark S. Pyle, who made history as the last pilot to fly a revenue flight of Pan Am from Barbados to Miami.  Captain Pyle then flew for United Airlines from 1992 to 2005.  After hanging up his wings, he fulfilled a boyhood dream and became a police officer in 2007 and retired in 2012. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
99:49 12/16/22
Episode 30: The Art of Travel Posters
Send us a Text Message.In this 30th episode of The Pan Am Podcast we will be exploring the Art of Travel posters!We are joined by guests Phillip Keene, a Pan Am veteran flight attendant and collector and Meg Williams of the company Stick No Bills which restores and recreates high quality travel posters in stunning detail with rich and vibrant colors! Their posters range from affordable to exclusive, but all are the highest of quality and color vibrancy. For listeners of The Pan Am Podcast, Stick No Bills is providing a special discount with any purchase from their online store. By using the promo code “PANAMPODCAST,” at checkout you will receive a free 24 x 36 inch lithograph of one of their best selling proprietary Mallorca or Ceylon travel posters with their Pan Am prints. https://sticknobillsonline.com/Take a peak at some of their incredible artwork: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoR2MzqR9SkTo listen to our host Tom Betti as a guest on the Shared History Podcast, check out Episode 88!Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
59:08 12/7/22
Episode 29: AIDS Epidemic of the 1980s, Remembering Those We Lost
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we will be discussing the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and begins with a report from ABC News on the evening of December 17, 1982.Five veteran Pan Am employees (David Hinson, Phillip Keene, Linda Freire, Becky Sprecher, and Linda Reynolds) join us to share  their experience during this time period and  memories of their friends and co-workers that were lost to this terrible disease. This  provides a unique and intimate look at how an American corporation, Pan Am American World Airways, navigated the uncertainty of the AIDS crisis and how affected employees were treated.Some companies during the 1980s did not support their employees during their illness with HIV/AIDS and those people lost their jobs and healthcare. Pan Am was not among them and the airline did everything it could to support their employees during this difficult time.December 1st has been designated World AIDS Day since 1988 and is dedicated to raising awareness of AIDS in the world and mourning those who have died of the disease. As of 2021, AIDS has claimed the lives of over 40 million people worldwide since the beginning of the epidemic in the early 1980s. An estimated 37 million people are living with HIV today, however, it is important to point out that through the advancement of science, HIV is a manageable disease today with anti-viral medications and most with the disease that are on these medications should be able to have normal lifespans with little complications. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
92:26 11/25/22
Episode 28: The Flying Piano Player
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by Captain Beau Brant of United Airlines. He started flying for United in 2005 and has flown regional jets, 757s, 767s, and 787s throughout his career. He currently flies the Airbus A320. When he is not in the air, his other passion is music…and today, in addition to being a commercial airline pilot, he is a celebrated classical pianist who loves to play the piano whenever and wherever he can...either in formal settings or playing in hotel and airport lobbies around the world on layovers. Captain Brant will be our special musical guest at the Pan Am Museum Foundation’s Annual Gala weekend on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, 2022 outside of New York City. Marine Air Terminal Dedication, Friday, November 11, 2022On the evening of Friday, November 11th join us for a special event reception at LaGuardia Airport, Terminal A hosted by our sister organization, the Pan Am Historical Foundation! This  dedication reception commemorates  Pan Am's historic operation of the Marine Air Terminal between 1940-1948 and the new Boeing 314 model. Buy TicketsPan Am Museum's Annual Gala, Saturday, November 12, 2022The next day, on the evening of Saturday, November 12th join us in Garden City, New York for this year’s Pan Am Museum's Annual Gala as we celebrate Pan Am legacy with this year's gala theme: “Flying Down to Rio.” Buy TicketsTwo Great Events, One Special Pan Am Weekend!Visit our website, for more information and to purchase your tickets. Captain Brant has been featured on NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, The Denver Post, The Virginian Pilot and several online publications. He has recorded numerous albums, and six are available online from Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube, Spotify, Rhapsody Radio, and on his Facebook page which is called "Beau Brant Piano." In the fall of 2020, Captain Brant released a new album of some of his favorites and popular songs called “Four Decades.” For more information on Captain Brant and his music, visit his website: https://beaubrantmusic.com.To learn more abSupport the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
49:48 10/11/22
Episode 27: Flight 73 Hostage Negotiations and Hijacking Aftermath
Send us a Text Message.This episode is a continuation of Episode 26 about the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73. On September 5th 1986, at around 5:10am local time in Karachi, Pakistan, a Boeing 747 named Clipper Empress of the Seas was hijacked by four armed Palestinian commandos on the ground during the boarding process with almost 400 people on the aircraft. In this episode we will presenting interviews with three former Pan Am employees who were part of the aftermath: Viraf Daroga, Pan Am's Country Director for Pakistan;  Wendy Sue Knecht, Pan Am Flight Attendant and Trainer; and Diane Krumholtz Lyras of the White Plains Pan Am sales office and part of the crisis response team. We are presenting these two episodes about Flight 73 back-to-back to give listeners a complete and objective look at what happen during this historic event, and the immediate aftermath, through primary sources and first-hand accounts. Viraf Daroga will share his perspective on the hostage negotiations and his desperate attempts to save as many lives as he could. The nightmare of Flight 73 did not end on that tragic day in September of 1986, as the terrorist group responsible continued to threaten the lives of him and his family for many years afterward. Wendy Sue Knecht who was stationed in Bombay in 1986 tasked with training new flight attendants hired in India. She is the author of the book "Life, Love, and a Hijacking: My Pan Am Memoir" and is featured in Episode 9 of this program. Diane Krumholtz Lyras, an employee from the White Plains sales office, who was immediately sent to Karachi as part of the airline’s crisis response team to assist staff and families in the aftermath of the senseless violence.  A total of 20 people, ranging in ages from 7 years old to 81, included two Pan Am crew members and 18 passengers, were ultimately killed in this act of terrorism.22 year old Pan Am Senior Purser Neerja Bhanot died as a result of her injuries and was posthumously  awarded India’s highest civilian peacetime honor for bravery, the Ashoka Chakra, and became a revered national figure in India.  28 year old Pan Am Mechanic Meherjee Minocher Kharas was also killed by the terrorists when they opened fire inside the plane. Both served their passengers with great honor, bravery, and valor. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
109:51 9/26/22
Episode 26: Flight 73 Hijacking Remembrance
Send us a Text Message.On September 5, 1986 at around 5:10am local time in Karachi, Pakistan, a Pan Am Boeing 747 named Clipper Empress of the Seas was hijacked by four armed Palestinian commandos on the ground during the boarding process with almost 400 people on the aircraft. A total of 20 people, including two Pan Am crew members and 18 passengers, were ultimately killed in this act of terrorism.We dedicate this episode to all the 20 victims of this tragedy.  They are remembered. Pan Am Employees:Neerja Bhanot, 22, Pan Am Flight Attendant and PurserMeherjee Minocher Kharas, 28, Pan Am Mechanic Both served their passengers with great honor, bravery, and valor. From the United States:Rajesh Kumar, 29, and Surendra Manubhai Patel, 50. From Mexico:José Álvarez Lamar Nuñez, 57, and Ricardo Muñoz Rosales, 28. From Pakistan: Syed Nesar Ahmad, 43, and Imran Rizvi, 17.From India:Kuverben Patel, 81, Kala Singh, 36, Seetharamiah Krishnaswamy, 61, Trupti Dalal, 28, Krishna Kumari Gadde, 28,  Ganapathi Thanikaimoni, 48, Boby Thomachen Mulloor, 7, Thomachen Thomas Mulloor, 30, Aleyamma Scaria Nagatholy, 39, Ramakant Naik, 55, Rupal Desai, 26, and Kodiyattu K. Kurian, 25.To the family and friends of the victims...our sincerest condolences. For this special memorial edition of this program, we are joined by four Pan Am flight attendants that were on Flight 73 and were eyewitnesses to history: Sherene Pavan, Sunshine Vesuwala, Madhvi Bahuguna, and Samira Goode. These incredible women served their passengers with great courage and bravery and saved hundreds of lives. We salute them. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
157:59 9/1/22
Episode 25: An Airline Romance, Marriage in the Middle East During a Coup, and Neighbors with a Pan Am Connection
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by Barbara Morris Wood and Karen Wallin Usas. Barbara will be celebrating her 100th birthday on September 13, 2022! A very special early happy birthday greeting from all of us here at the Pan Am Museum! Barbara worked for Pan Am for five years between 1944 and 1949. Her time at Pan Am, while short, was nothing short of exceptional as she pioneered a path for women to move up the ranks of the airline. She became the first woman to work the ticket counter and Barbara’s can-do spirit never waned. After recognizing other inequalities, she acted on them, bringing benefits to the airline industry many still enjoy today. If you ever worked for an airline and enjoyed flight benefits, you have Barbara to thank! While at Pan Am, Barbara thought it was unfair that only company executives and flight crews had travel benefits with the airline. She wrote a convincing letter to management and advocated that all Pan Am employees regardless of position, including ticket counter, catering, and maintenance employees, should have all the same rights and flying benefits as everyone else.The airline quickly agreed and expanded company travel benefits to all employees. This also set the employee flight benefit expectation in the aviation industry and other airlines followed Pan Am’s lead.Karen Wallin Usas joined Pan Am as a flight attendant in 1970. She originally went to school to be a teacher, but a chance encounter with a flight attendant at a wedding intrigued her to apply to Pan Am and change direction in her career plans. Karen grew up in LaGrange, Illinois, a Chicago suburb and  graduated from University of Illinois, Urbana in 1969 with a degree in Education. As a young airline employee, the world was within her reach and Karen was able to travel to many exotic places that before she could only read and dream about. For ten years between 1970 and 1980, Karen always felt comfortable in foreign lands with Pan Am and the excitement of adventure from those times has never waned. And when she looks back on the fond memories of her flying days…traveling the world with co-workers and her husband…it always brings a big smile and a deep sense of pride.After Pan Am, she taught in many capacities and currently serves as a docent at the Rhode Island School of Design.Barbara and Karen both live in Rhode Island and are neighbors and have become close friends. Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
72:08 8/12/22
Episode 24: Catch Me If You Can…An Interview with Frank Abagnale
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we are joined by Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. to talk about his interesting background. He will also provide tips on protecting your identity and wallet and how to avoid scams. The 2002 academy award-nominated film by Steven Spielberg, Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks was loosely based on Frank’s life. This blockbuster film introduced a whole new generation to the wonder, glamour, and nostalgia of Pan American World Airways. Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. is an authority on forgery, embezzlement, secure documents, cybercrime, and scams. For over 45 years he has worked with, advised, and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations, and government agencies around the world.Mr. Abagnale lectures extensively at the FBI Academy and for the field offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is a former faculty member at the National Advocacy Center (NAC) which is operated by the Department of Justice, Executive Office for United States Attorneys. More than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies use his fraud prevention programs. He has also written numerous articles and books including The Art of the Steal, The Real U Guide to Identity Theft, Stealing Your Life and his most recent book, Scam Me If You Can – Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Rip-off Artists.Mr. Abagnale refuses to accept payment for any of his government work. Today, the majority of his income is derived from consulting with major corporate clients such as LexisNexis, Intuit, and Experian and his public speaking engagements. Mr. Abagnale has conducted over 3,000 seminars on identity theft, cybercrime, and fraud worldwide.  Today, Mr. Abagnale is an advisor to Trusona in developing the world's first and only insured authentication platform eliminating the use of passwords.The Pan Am Museum Foundation was  honored to have him as the keynote speaker at the Pan Am Museum’s 2018 annual fundraising gala. For more information on how you can protect yourself from scams and con artists, please visit his website, www.abagnale.comSupport the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
59:11 7/27/22
Episode 23: The Stratocruiser, Tragedy Over the Amazon, and a Concert in the Sky
Send us a Text Message.In this episode Barbara Sharfstein, 92, a veteran Pan Am flight attendant, joins us to talk about her flying career, tragedy over the Amazon, and a concert in the sky with Louis Armstrong. Barbara joined Pan Am in 1951 and after 35 years of service with the airline as a flight attendant, purser, check purser, and 747 in-flight director, she was transferred to United Airlines in 1986 when the Pacific Division was sold.  She then worked for United for another six years before retiring in 1992. When first hired, Barbara traveled onboard several groundbreaking and innovative aircraft—the Convair CV-240, the Lockheed Constellation, the DC-4, and most memorably, the Boeing 377 “Stratocruiser.” Barbara flew to numerous international destinations and was based in many of Pan Am’s divisions throughout out her career, but she most fondly remembers working the fabled Round the World flights…Clipper 001 and 002.Barbara will discuss  Pan Am Flight 202, a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser named Clipper New Hope, that crashed in the Amazon Basin on April 29, 1952 killing her good friend and roommate, Pat Monaghan. All 50 people on board were killed, 41 passengers and 9 crew members, in what was the deadliest-ever accident involving the Boeing 377 Stratocrusier.The accident happened shortly after departure from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, enroute to the first schedule stop in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The final destination of this flight was New York. Barbara's story is featured in the book tilted “Pan American World Airways: Aviation History Through the Words of Its People” by James Patrick Baldwin, Jeff Kriendler, and Leslie Giles. During her aviation career flying around the world working for the airlines, Barbara also found great success in San Francisco real estate when she was not on duty in the air. Her crowning achievement was the development of a one-acre parcel of land in the Twin Peaks neighborhood of San Francisco into a subdivision of twenty condos. Many say it has one of the best views of the city! Today, Barbara volunteers at the San Francisco International Airport Aviation Museum. As a volunteer, she enjoys sharing her stories and lending her time ever since the international terminal was rebuilt in 2000. Additionally, she served as the editor of the World Wings International San Francisco Chapter newsletter, having excelled in that position fSupport the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
73:42 7/11/22
Episode 22: Max Gurney - WWII Hero, Airline Legend, and Renaissance Gentleman
Send us a Text Message.In this special episode we are joined by Max Gurney, who will celebrate his 101st birthday on June 10, 2022! The Pan Am Museum and the entire worldwide Pan Am community wish him the happiest of birthdays! Max is a 45-year veteran of Pan Am and a living legend within the airline community. He is also the godfather to His Serine Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco. Max was kind enough to invite host Tom Betti into his home for a chat.He tells us about his childhood, serving in the U.S. Army under General Patton during World War II, and then beginning his storied career at Pan Am after the war. Max Gurney joined Pan American Airways in 1946 as a ticket counter agent at the Marine Terminal at La Guardia Airport, located in Flushing, New York. Because of his ability to speak four languages, he was quickly promoted to Sales Manager in Dakar, Senegal with jurisdiction over five countries in West Africa.In 1949, Max opened the Pan Am office in Milan, and was reassigned shortly after in 1950 to Beirut as Sales Manager on loan to Middle East Airlines (MEA), as part of a management contract with Pan Am. He was responsible for airline operations in six Middle East countries including Saudi Arabia.In 1951, he was appointed Assistant District Sales Manager in Rome, Italy covering six countries, and then transitioned in 1957 to Senior Representative and District Sales Manager for Southern France based in Nice where he formed a very close personal friendship with Monaco’s Prince Rainier III and his wife, Princess Grace, the former American actress Grace Kelly. Their friendship grew so close that when their son Prince Albert was born, the Prince and Princess asked Max to be the child’s godfather.In 1972, Max was transferred to Nassau as Managing Director for the Bahamas, including the Freeport and Rock Sound stations, until the Bahamas offices were closed in 1976. He subsequently became District Traffic and Sales Manager in Oslo, Norway until 1980, and then once again returned to Monaco as Pan Am Sales Manager. This was because of his close personal friendship with Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.He held this position until the closure of Pan Am in 1991 and assisted with the transition to Pan Am’s successor in the market.Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
64:25 6/6/22
Episode 21: White House Press Charters and Flying with Air Force One
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we will be exploring Pan Am’s prestigious role in White House Press Charters travelling as part of the entourage of the President of United States and his aircraft, Air Force One.  Then we are joined by three special guests. Our first guest is Dwight Chapin who was a top aide to President Richard M. Nixon. He recently released a book called The President’s Man: The Memoirs of Nixon’s Trusted Aide. While at the White House, Mr. Chapin helped organize presidential travel and traveled with President Nixon on his historic trips to China and the Soviet Union. To learn more about Dwight Chapin and to purchase his book, visit: https://www.thepresidentsman.comA special thank you to Jim Bryon and Joe Lopez of the Richard Nixon Foundation for connecting us with Mr. Chapin. We encourage you to visit the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. The 1970 hijackings and President Nixon's robust airport security program are mentioned in the interview. For more information, listen to "Episode 6: Hijackings and the Dawn of Global Terrorism."Our second guest is Claire Graham who joined Pan Am in 1967 as a flight attendant and was a purser from 1968 to 1991 when she joined Delta Airlines. Claire was part of the White House Press Charter flight crew and flew most of the special trips from 1974 to 1991.And last but not least, Captain John Marshall returns to the program to tell us his stories of flying press charters for the White House and flying alongside Air Force One. You can visit and tour the two VC-137Cs (Boeing 707) that served as Air Force One at:National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio: https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil This plane, SAM-26000, took President Kennedy to Dallas, Texas in 1963 and President Nixon to China in 1972.Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California: https://www.reaganlibrary.gov (SAM-27000)Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
103:02 5/3/22
Episode 20: Flying for TWA, Pan Am, and Living in Afghanistan
Send us a Text Message.In this 20th episode, we are joined by Mary Lou Bigelow, a former TWA air hostess from 1959–1962 and a Pan Am stewardess/purser from 1962-1964. She discusses working for the two airlines and what it was like to live in Afghanistan.In 1964, Mary Lou married a pilot, whom she met in Beirut, Lebanon while working a 14-day NYC-HKG pattern. Pan Am still had a policy that female flight attendants hang up their wings once they married, but she continued working for Pan Am in reservations and later as a ticket sales agent at the Miami, Florida downtown office. From 1968 through 1972, Captain John Bigelow and Mary Lou lived in Kabul, Afghanistan, where John was the chief training pilot on a Pan Am Technical Assistance Program (TAP) with Ariana Afghan Airlines. This was a peaceful period in Afghan history under King Mohammed Zahir Shah until the 1973 Afghan coup d'état led by Army General and Prince Mohammed Daoud Khan, a year after the Bigelow's moved back to the United States. From 1974 to late 1975, the Bigelows lived in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), while Captain Bigelow served as Director of Operations for Air Zaire under Pan Am’s TAP program there.She returned to Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004 as part of her television program.Currently, Mary Lou is president of the Boston Chapter of World Wings International.Mary Lou is a successful real estate agent in the Boston area with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.  For more information and to see her blog and cable TV interview shows - Mary Lou Bigelow Show, The Global Connection and Afghanistan Series, visit maryloubigelow.com/tv.Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
80:06 4/19/22
Episode 19: Concorde
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we explore the fascinating history of Concorde from British Airways. This episode is a direct follow up to “Episode 7: Supersonic Transports, An Angry JFK, and Flying the Line.” In that episode we explored the race for the first passenger supersonic aircraft between a British and French partnership, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Then we are joined by Captain Mike Bannister, the chief pilot of British Airways' Concorde fleet from 1995 to 2003. Along with Jennifer Coutts Clay, Pan Am’s general manager for product design and development and before that worked on the Concorde project for British Airways. She is the author of the e-book, Jetliner Cabins available on Apple, Amazon, and Google. And John Lampl, a 41-year veteran executive of British Airways who worked for the Concorde program the entire 27 years of passenger service.On May 5, 1974, CBS 60 Minutes did an incredible report on the Concorde, here is the link to view: https://youtu.be/TQSO9mNgZcwHere's a select list of museums where you can see Concorde:Brooklands Museum,  Weybridge, England UK Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum,  New York City, NY USAAeropace Bristol,  Bristol, England UKThe Museum of Flight,  Seattle, WA USASmithsonian National Air & Space Museum,  Washington, D.C. USASupport the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
117:41 4/1/22
Episode 18: Pan Am in the Movies, From Flight Attendant to Hollywood Actor
Send us a Text Message.In this episode we explore the history of Pan Am in the Movies! Then we will be joined by two guests to talk about Hollywood and Pan Am! Mark Carlson is our first guest. He is the author of the book, Flying on Film: A Century of Aviation in the Movies, 1912 to 2012. Legally blind, Mark also wrote the award winning book, Confessions of a Guide Dog - The Blonde Leading the Blind, about his first Guide Dog, Musket.  And the second interview… From a Pan Am flight attendant to a Hollywood actor…Phillip Keene shares his story of working for the airline, hanging up his wings, loss and love, and stepping in front of the camera. He is best known for playing Buzz Watson on the TNT original TV series The Closer and its spinoff Major Crimes.  Both are available on DVD and on streaming services. The four movie themes are under thirty seconds in compliance with fair use copyright. Music Credits:The James Bond Theme,  Monty Norman & John BarryTheme from Indiana Jones, John WilliamsTheme from Blade Runner, VangelisTheme from 2001: A Space Odyssey,  Richard Strauss Support the Show. Visit Us for more Pan Am History! Support the Podcast! Donate to the Museum! Visit The Hangar online store for Pan Am gear! Become a Member! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!
96:31 3/18/22

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