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56M Reunion Website

Tilden M. Shanahan

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Tilden M. Shanahan
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Tilden M. "Bubba" Shanahan


After Preflight at Lackland I was shipped out to beautiful central Florida, to Bartow AB, for Primary in PA-18s and T-6Gs. Next, I went to Basic at Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, TX which could not have been in greater contrast to Florida when the first Blue Norther blew in. But I had a great time flying the B-25s.

My assignment after Goodbuddy was Mather AFB, Sacramento, Calif. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. First I was flying B-25s on Shoran Training then T-29s for Navigator/Bombardier Training. While living in Sacramento I met and married Barbara Brower who was working for Aerojet General. She is still my wife after 46 years, four children and siix grandchildren. For most of that time we have lived in Atlanta with some long commutes in between. We still call Atlanta home.

After discharge in 1958 we moved to Phoenix where I worked in sales for a year before joining Frontier Airlines as a copilot in Denver and Omaha. Frontier downsized me out of a job (this was 1959; sound familiar?) so we moved to Atlanta with the late Southern Airways, later Republic Airlines. I flew DC-3s, M-404s, and DC-9s as copilot and then captain. I also flew as a Check Airman and for a time I was Vice President of Flight Ops. After retiring at age 51, I went into the business of starting low cost and commuter airlines (Jet Express, dba Midway, Bader Express) and ended up as Vice President Flight Ops for Atlantic Southeast Airlines in Atlanta. I finally retired in 1998.

I stayed in the Reserve and finished 28 years with two recalls. In the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963 we were to air land the 82nd Airborne flying C-123s. That was a short recall when the Russians backed down. When the North Koreans captured the U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo in 1968 we were recalled flying Ole Shaky, C-124s. We ended up flying all over the world, starting with Viet Nam and Tet. But in the last year we were part of a provisional Wing out of Mildenhall RAFB, UK. We flew Europe and the Middle East and some downrange to the Caribbean and South America. Except for low and slow it was fun flying.

As I said above, I retired from the airline business in 1998 with a brief return to work in 1999. Now, I play golf, fish, travel and play with my six grandchildren. Two of my children and their offspring live nearby in the Atlanta area. My oldest son and his family live in Hudson, WI and he flies out of Minneapolis for NW Airlines.

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