The First Black Pilot For Pan Am Airline

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Black Airline Pilots

Marvin Perry Jones

The First Black Pilot For Pan Am Airline


Marvin Perry Jones joined David E. Harris, John Gordon, Woodie Fountain as a "first" Black to pilot a major commercial aircraft when he was hired by Pan American World Airways in late 1965. Born in Cartersville, Virginia and educated in Montclair, New, Jersey, he studied mechanical and aeronautical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Earning his degree in 1959, Jones immediate joined Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Burbank, California, as an associate design engineer.

Marvin stay would be short as he began navigational training in the Air Force the next year. He entered pilot training at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas in 1962. Vietnam became his next stage in life where he flew 126 missions during an eight month period in 1965.  Three months later. he broke the color barrier by becoming a pilot with Pan Am. During the course of his 26-year tenure with the airline, he was provided with an opportunity for a truly global flying experience.

Marvin Perry was stationed with Pan Am in Berlin, Germany, and while there he coached the Berlin American Flight School track and field team and also became fluent in German. In addition, he is fluent in Spanish and speaks Japanese. During his career, which currently includes flying for Delta Airlines, he has accumulated more than 26,000 flight hours in a multitude of jet aircraft including the Boeing 707, 720, 727, 747, Lockheed L-1011 and the Airbus 310. A noted speaker, panelist, workshop presenter and university lecturer, Jones has spoken on topics from "Minorities in Aviation" to "Your Triple "A" Plan for Success". Jones is a former national president of the Organization of Black Airline Pilots.



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