VOL. VI, NO. 2
APACE WITH THE PACEMAKER
Piedmont Marks 15 Years of Progress
DC-3 Flies Last Run On Anniversary
It was a proud day in the life of Piedmont Airlines. Its pilots had just received their snappy new uniforms,
and the entire complement assembled for a photograph and popped to attention in front of a DC-3. From
left to right they are; Ed D. Clement, Milt Browning, John “Pappy" Wilkes, R. A. Schulte, H. K. Saunders,
Frank Nicholson, H. F. “Hoss" Dobbins, Leon Fox, Jack Tadlock, and Lee Cottrell. One of the amazing
things about this group is that 15 years later every one of them is still with the company.
Beloved Matron Finally Retires
by Cleta Covington
To the modern eye she looks
fat. She’s dumpy, a little drab,
and not at all chic by today’s
standards. Yet everyone loves
her. She’s been a highly-esteem
ed matron in every community
she’s served, and you can always
depend on her to behave in a
dignified, respectable, ladylike
She goes by many names, from
the “Workhorse” to the “Gooney
Bird” to just plain “Three.”
She’s actually a DC-3 — D for
Douglas, C for Commercial —
and one of the most durable and
dependable aircraft ever built.
Piedmont Airlines is celebrat
ing its fifteenth anniversary
February 20 by giving the grand
old lady her retirement papers.
At one time the airline had as
many as 21 DC-3’s, but in recent
years these have been replaced
with F-27 prop-jet and Martin
404 Pacemakers, until there are
now only two remaining Three’s
serving Piedmont. After that
last flight February 20 these
will serve no longer.
While a great favorite for
Deepest sympathy is ex
tended the family and friends
of Joe N. "Jo-Jo" Harris, who
died of a heart attack Jan
A Cleaner at INT-M, he
had been with the company
since 1951. He is survived by
his two daughters and his
many years, the venerable Three
cannot keep up with the competi
tion imposed by more modern,
faster airplanes, with pressur
ized, air-conditioned passenger
cabins and lower operating costs
per mile. Then too, due to ear,
heart or sinus trouble, many
passengers cannot fly in other
than pressurized aircraft, and
the DC-3 was simply not de
signed to withstand the strain
of pressurization. Piedmont Air
lines realized this several years
ago and has been phasing into
its operations the luxurious F-27
T. H. Davis Elected
President T. H. Davis has
been elected Chairman of the
Association of Local Transport
Airlines (ALTA) at the group’s
annual conference, held January
21 and 22, in Washington, D. C.
ALTA is an organization com
posed of the presidents of the
nation’s regional airlines. Last
year Mr. Davis served ts Vice
Chairman of the Association.
Elected to the Vice Chairman’s
post this year is Keith Kahle,
President of Central Airlines.
Directors were also chosen at
the ALTA meeting, and include
the following airline presidents:
Lewis W. Dymond, Frontier Air
lines; Joseph H. FitzGerald,
Ozark Airlines; John H. Connel
ly, Pacific Airlines; and Nick
Bez, West Coast Airlines.
For Alaska, directors are: S. B.
Simmons, Alaska Coastal-Ellis
Airlines; and Sigurd Wien, Wien
Alaska Airlines. The director for
Hawaii is Dr. Hung Wo Ching
of Aloha Airlines.
prop-jets and the 40-passenger
The DC-3 has been with Pied
mont since the airline’s begin
ning in 1948. The first schedule
for the local service airline was
flown with three of the aircraft.
Two of these were purchased
from Colonial Airlines, a New
York based airline serving New
England which has since merged
with Eastern Airlines.
The third, number 8820, was
leased from another local air
line. This one, however, wasn’t
a very popular airplane with the
passengers, since the only space
provided for cargo was in two
large wooden boxes facing the
door. The first thing a passenger
saw on entering was what ap
peared to be a long, dark, coffin
container. After only a few
months, this particular Three
was sent back to the lessor.
Two years later, however.
Piedmont bought 8820, which
had in the interim been modi
fied and the “coffin” taken out.
In 1958 the airplane was sold to
a Canadian coal company which
used it to work on the DEW
Line, and at last report 8820 was
still a working citizen of Canada.
As was mentioned earlier, only
two DC-3’s — numbers 40V and
56V — are left with Piedmont
Airlines. Number 40V has been
with Piedmont since March,
1949, and is the airplane sched
uled to fly the final DC-3 run
for the airline.
When it is retired, 40V’s
“given name,” the Great Smokies
I Pacemaker, will be handed on to
(Continued on Page Four)
February 20 is an important
day in the life of Piedmont Air
It is the day the company
celebrates 15 years of increasing
ly successful operations, and it
is the day when its grand old
workhorse, the DC-3, is at last
completely retired from sched
uled flight service.
In the past few months, only
one DC-3 roundtrip had been
left on the schedule — east-
bound Flight 2 and west-bound
Flight 5. After February 20 the
trip will be made by a Martin
A “sentimental journey” has
been planned by company of
ficials and DC-3 fans who hate
to see the old lady go.
President T. H. Davis will
board the last flight at 9:35 a.m.
in Columbus. Piloting the Three
along the route will be Capt.
Leon Fox and Capt. Harold Dob
bins, who as pilot and co-pilot
flew the first Piedmont trip
from Wilmington to Cincinnati
15 years ago, and W. G. McGee,
now General Sales Manager, who
was Chief Purser on the first
Other Piedmont officials who
pioneered in the development of
the airline around the faithful
DC-3 will board the flight at the
A very special passenger for
the trip will be W. D. Turner,
an oil company official now liv
ing in St. Louis, who was the
first passenger to board Pied
mont’s inaugural flight February
The DC-3, after turning around
at New Bern at 4 p.m. for west
bound Flight 5, will proceed
through all the scheduled stops
as far as Winston-Salem, where
it will be “run into the barn”
for the last time. Its more mod
ern successor, the 404 Pace
maker, will then complete the
trip back to Columbus via the
routine intermediate stops.
The Three, perhaps the most
famous and highly-respected air
craft ever built, was the back
bone of Piedmont’s fleet until
1958 when the company started
a modernization program with
eight F-27 prop-jets.
Then in December, 1961, the
company announced the pur
chase of 17 Martin 404’s and
since that time has been grad
ually phasing the DC-3’s out of
the fleet. The Three to be used
February 20 will, along with one
other remaining, be turned over
to their purchaser March 1.
A steady and dependable
worker, the DC-3 helped Pied
mont to grow from an airline
carrying 39,370 passengers its
first year of operation to a total
of 721,683 passengers for 1962.
The final trip will depart from
Columbus and go to New Bern .
with intermediate stops at Park-
e r s b u r g - Marietta, Charleston,
Beckley, Roanoke, Greensboro-
High Point, Raleigh-Durham,
and Kinston, with a turnaround
at New Bern. It is expected that
the last DC-3 flight will receive
heavy press and television cover
Piedmont has come a long way in the 15 years since that first scheduled
flight February 20, 1948. Here President T. H. Davis welcomes W. D.
Turner, Piedmont's first paying passenger, as Purser J. B. Simpson
stands ready to begin the flight. Turner, an oil company executive, has
returned to Piedmont several times to help celebrate various anniver
saries. Now living in St. Louis, he is expected to board a portion of
the last DC-3 flight as a very special passenger.