The Pan Am Podcast

Episode 45: National Airlines

February 20, 2024 Pan Am Museum Foundation Season 3 Episode 45
The Pan Am Podcast
Episode 45: National Airlines
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Show Notes

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 Episode 36 after listening to this installment.

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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!