In memory of
George Francis Gallagher Jr.
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In memory of
George Francis Gallagher Jr.
George Francis Gallagher, Jr. George Francis Gallagher, Jr., whose passion for aviation and nearly 40-year career with Pan American World Airways helped shape the era of 20th century commercial airline travel known as the Jet Age, passed away March 3 at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. He was 91. As an airline executive stationed in a dozen countries, George managed international flight operations through historic milestones and political unrest, including airline hijackings, military coups and Cold War tensions. He served on multiple boards investigating major aviation accidents, nine of them outside of the United States. Born and raised in Chicago, George discovered his first love—horses and polo— while enrolled at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. Soon after, he became captivated by aviation. George completed his first solo flight at 17 in Vancouver, Canada, and later earned FAA commercial pilot's and aircraft flight dispatch licenses. He served as a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps and in the Army National Guard in Illinois and California. After graduating from UCLA in 1954, George was hired by Pan American World Airways, which from 1927 to 1991 was the largest U.S. international carrier. He spent his first assignment in Düsseldorf, Germany, followed by stints in Iran, Iceland, India, Liberia, Ghana and Pakistan, where he met Doris Hillenbrand, a Pan Am flight attendant and native of Berlin, Germany. They married in 1959 and had two daughters. Assignments followed in Alaska, New York, Frankfurt, Germany, and Rome, Italy. George's work in West Berlin in 1973-1978, involved managing Pan Am's operations between then-divided East and West Berlin, and West Germany. West Berlin's post-World War II status limited air service to U.S., British and French airlines. Until the Cold War ended in 1991, Pan Am operated a West Berlin-based crew, mostly made up of German flight attendants and American pilots. For years, more passengers boarded Pan Am flights at the iconic Berlin Tempelhof airport, the center of the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49, than at any other airport. One of George's milestone accomplishments was to transition Pan Am's operations from Tempelhof to Tegel Airport, now Berlin's main airport. Subsequent assignments took George to Copenhagen, Denmark, back to Frankfurt and New York, and then to Miami. He later managed Pan Am World Services operations in Oman, after which he moved to Trinidad and Tobago. When Pan Am folded in 1991, George remained in Trinidad to work for United Airlines and British West Indies Airways. In 1997, George moved to Palm Desert, Calif., where he was an active member of the Rotary Club, the World Affairs Council and the Lincoln Club. George was a lifelong learner with an exceptional ability to relay historical details and, as a lover of music, to readily recite lyrics from the Great American Songbook. A gifted communicator, he easily engaged with the people he met around the world. Wherever he was stationed, George was determined to learn the local language. He spoke German well, and was proficient in Italian and Farsi. In his 80s, he took Spanish and Italian film courses at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert. George is survived by his sister, Patricia Ann Faye; daughters Karen Gallagher and Kirsten Gallagher, granddaughters Kate, Lena and Mara; and Doris Hillenbrand Gallagher. The family would like to extend its gratitude to the staff at the Veterans Home of CA - West Los Angeles for their care.
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opt312: Original
In memory of
George Francis Gallagher Jr.
George Francis Gallagher, Jr. George Francis Gallagher, Jr., whose passion for aviation and nearly 40-year career with Pan American World Airways helped shape the era of 20th century commercial airline travel known as the Jet Age, passed away March 3 at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. He was 91. As an airline executive stationed in a dozen countries, George managed international flight operations through historic milestones and political unrest, including airline hijackings, military coups and Cold War tensions. He served on multiple boards investigating major aviation accidents, nine of them outside of the United States. Born and raised in Chicago, George discovered his first love—horses and polo— while enrolled at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. Soon after, he became captivated by aviation. George completed his first solo flight at 17 in Vancouver, Canada, and later earned FAA commercial pilot's and aircraft flight dispatch licenses. He served as a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps and in the Army National Guard in Illinois and California. After graduating from UCLA in 1954, George was hired by Pan American World Airways, which from 1927 to 1991 was the largest U.S. international carrier. He spent his first assignment in Düsseldorf, Germany, followed by stints in Iran, Iceland, India, Liberia, Ghana and Pakistan, where he met Doris Hillenbrand, a Pan Am flight attendant and native of Berlin, Germany. They married in 1959 and had two daughters. Assignments followed in Alaska, New York, Frankfurt, Germany, and Rome, Italy. George's work in West Berlin in 1973-1978, involved managing Pan Am's operations between then-divided East and West Berlin, and West Germany. West Berlin's post-World War II status limited air service to U.S., British and French airlines. Until the Cold War ended in 1991, Pan Am operated a West Berlin-based crew, mostly made up of German flight attendants and American pilots. For years, more passengers boarded Pan Am flights at the iconic Berlin Tempelhof airport, the center of the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49, than at any other airport. One of George's milestone accomplishments was to transition Pan Am's operations from Tempelhof to Tegel Airport, now Berlin's main airport. Subsequent assignments took George to Copenhagen, Denmark, back to Frankfurt and New York, and then to Miami. He later managed Pan Am World Services operations in Oman, after which he moved to Trinidad and Tobago. When Pan Am folded in 1991, George remained in Trinidad to work for United Airlines and British West Indies Airways. In 1997, George moved to Palm Desert, Calif., where he was an active member of the Rotary Club, the World Affairs Council and the Lincoln Club. George was a lifelong learner with an exceptional ability to relay historical details and, as a lover of music, to readily recite lyrics from the Great American Songbook. A gifted communicator, he easily engaged with the people he met around the world. Wherever he was stationed, George was determined to learn the local language. He spoke German well, and was proficient in Italian and Farsi. In his 80s, he took Spanish and Italian film courses at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert. George is survived by his sister, Patricia Ann Faye; daughters Karen Gallagher and Kirsten Gallagher, granddaughters Kate, Lena and Mara; and Doris Hillenbrand Gallagher. The family would like to extend its gratitude to the staff at the Veterans Home of CA - West Los Angeles for their care.
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