Amherst Magazine

Joseph L. Flynn '39

Deceased April 3, 2014

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50th Reunion book entry


 

50th Reunion

39 Joseph Flynn.jpgIn the fall of 1939, I entered Harvard Business School, along with twelve of my Amherst classmates. It was quite a change from college but I found it to be scholastically very satisfying and more to my liking. In addition we had the various delights of the city of Boston. During these two years I continued to fly, adding several hundred hours to my log book and gaining a Commercial License.

Upon graduation in 1941, I was hired by Pan American Airways to act as copilot on their four engined flying boats across the North Atlantic to Europe. Based in New York, we flew to Ireland via Newfoundland and Lisbon via Bermuda and the Azores. In addition to high priority passengers and mail, we flew military missions to South America and Africa. In1943 I was transferred to Brownsville, Texas to check out as Command Pilot and fly Central America to the Canal Zone and across the north coast of South America.  Life in Texas offered wonderful opportunities for bird shooting and fishing but little else. 

At the end of the 1945, I transferred to Rio de Janeiro and flew the latter portions of the New York-Rio-Buenos Aires run. Life in Rio was a charm, what with the sun, the beach and other attractions.

In 1949 I returned to the Atlantic Division in New York and flew runs to Europe, Middle East and Africa In those days we had substantial layovers in various foreign cities and it was a wonderful opportunity to travel and get to know people and Places. In 1950 at the scan of the Korean War, I took a temporary transfer to the west coast to fly troops, munitions and other supplies across the Pacific. Late that year I returned to the Atlantic, and for the next decade, moved up from DC-4s to Constellations to DC-6s to Stratocruisers to long range DC-7s.

In 1960 we moved into the jet age and revolutionized air travel; and almost eliminated the words "engine failure" from our vocabulary! I flew that beautiful DC-8 for ten years with but one engine failure! In 1970 PANAM again led the way into the Jumbo Jet Age and I checked out in the 747. It was truly a delight to fly in spite of its size. I flew it for over seven years on runs all over Europe, the Middle East, Round-the­ Worlds, and non-stop N.Y.-Tokyo.

In July 1977 I was forced into early retirement by the FAA "age 60" rule. I consider myself extremely lucky that I was able to tum my hobby into my life's work!

I have lived in this area of southern Connecticut for almost thirty years but think it's time for a move! I used to spend much of my life on the golf course but found it much too time consuming. I have been skiing in Kitzbuhel, Austria for 25 years. We have a condo there and spend winters as well as time in the fall. Summers we spend a few weeks at my Mother­ in-Law's 200 year old cottage on a Norwegian fjord.

I have two sons, a daughter, and two grandchildren.

39 Joseph Flynn 2.jpg

 

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