The Pan Am Podcast

Episode 35: Pan Am's Diversity in the Cockpit

February 16, 2023 Pan Am Museum Foundation Season 2 Episode 35
The Pan Am Podcast
Episode 35: Pan Am's Diversity in the Cockpit
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Show Notes

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

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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!