Roy S. Davis

Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame
Enshrined 1999

Roy Davis is our first Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame inductee from the ranks of those who spend their lives keeping aircraft airworthy. Roy spent over forty years in the world of military and major US Airline aircraft maintenance. In the beginning, Roy earned a private pilot’s license and set out to get a pilot slot at Trans World Airlines (TWA). TWA was not interested in hiring Roy as a pilot but offered him a job as a mechanic Roy was hired on at TWA n 1942 and soon found himself involved with the US Army Air Corps, Air Transport Command. Roy ended up as chief of Line Maintenance at four European ATC bases during WWII.

When the war ended, Roy was back at TWA, starting at Laguardia Field in New York. He later spent several years in Europe before again returning to Laguardia. Roy went on to serve as TWA Director of Maintenance at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. Roy became a legend in the world of airline maintenance. He was the TWA guy who flew company aircraft out of mud bogs and snowbanks. Roy served as the model for the character of Joe Patroni in Arthur Hailey’s “Airport.”

Roy received a special Federal Aviation Association Certificate of Recognition honoring him for the many things he did for commercial aviation while he was TWA Director of Maintenance at O’Hare. Roy is only one of four persons to be given Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Airline Pilots Association. (The others were Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, and Eddie Rickenbacker.) Roy is the only non-active pilot ever so honored by ALPA.

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