8/4/03 Producers conduct key interviews

The Pan Am Historical Foundation funded a series of key interviews of some of the older pioneers of the company. Shooting began on August 4th and ran through the 10th in the Northeast.

Eight interviews were conducted including Chief Engineer John Borger, whose career spanned the period from the beginning of the route for the China Clipper through the introduction of the 747; Kathleen Clair who was founder Juan Trippe's personal assistant from 1948 until her retirement in 1980; Chief Pilot Technical Paul Roitsch who tested the SST for Pan Am; Al Ueltschi who was Trippe's corporate pilot and then the founder of FlightSafety International; Elliot Billings a flying boat Captain for Pan Am from 1936; Chuck Bassett who was another boat Captain from 1940; Dick Barkle who was a Director of Public Relations for the company; and Jim Leet who began as an airport manager and retired as an executive Vice President for the company in 1981.

The interview locations ranged from the Pan Am building in Manhattan to Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

The Pan Am Documentary Project is now actively seeking additional funding via donations to shoot interviews in two other important geographical areas: 1) Miami and 2) the West Coast (SF, LA, Seattle, and Hawaii). If you would like to help us, visit our funding page to see details on how your money can help preserve these oral histories rapidly being lost to the passage of time.


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