Les Jordan was a copilot with American Airlines prior to Pearl Harbor. While based at Meacham Field in Ft. Worth with AA, he and his wife Margie ran a flight school contracted to the U.S. Navy, teaching basic flying to the future Naval Aviators. After the attack, when Hap Arnold asked American's president C.R. Smith to take the reins of the Air Transport Command, Les and his comrades in the airlines were made into officers virtually overnight.
Les was based in New York City and flew 56 trips across the Atlantic to England in a C-54 Skymaster. In the winter months they flew via the Caribbean and the Azores, and in the summer the northern route across Greenland, Iceland, and Scotland. Typically, he flew supplies east and brought wounded home.
After the war ended and the ATC was turned back over to the Army Air Forces exclusively, Les and the other airline pilots went back to their old civilian jobs, and became the senior captains in the industry as it was flooded with pilots and flight engineers coming out of the service.
Les retired from American Airlines in 1976, having flown everything that American flew during those years of service. He started on the DC-3 and ended in the DC-10, having been one of the first seven men to ever fly the 747. He was also Ronald Reagan's personal pilot during his first bid for the presidency, while governor of California.
After retiring, Les did just about everything, from truck driving to earth excavation to owning a travel agency! Today, he lives in North Richland Hills, TX with his lovely wife Margie. They have been married 68 years in 2006. They are the best grandparents anyone could ever be blessed to have.