Friday, April 28, 2017
Promoting and Sharing the Memory and Spirit
of Piedmont Airlines
Celebrating 17 Years Online - 1999-2016
In Loving Memory of Thomas Henry Davis
March 15, 1918 - April 22, 1999
Tom never would forget your name after he met you. The first time I meet him I was working in the hellhole of a YS-11, changing the hyd. switch for the aircondition system. He was on board this aircraft. The next thing I know someone was pulling on my pants, and asking how much longer. I started out and handed him my tools and rags with hyd.fluid on then, thinking it was one of the mech. that was on the aircraft. Tom tooked them and waited until I closed the hatch. From that time on every time he saw me he call me by name and ask how the YS-11S were doing. Even until the last I saw him about 1.5 years ago.
Henry M. HUFF
King, NC USA - Tuesday, August 17, 1999 at 21:11:55 (EDT)
I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Davis, but I always wished to someday have the opportunity to shake his hand. Piedmont has given so much to my family, that it would be hard to put into words. Piedmont hired my Dad way back in the mid 50s, and took care of our family as he worked for them in six states for over 30 years before retiring! Only a man who was as caring for the people of Piedmont could have made a company as much of a family as Piedmont was. My parents had the pleasre of meeting Mr. Davis several times, and hold him in the highest regard. I was born in 1976, and like my older brother and sister, grew up in airports, and was (and still am) a huge fan of Piedmont! Mr. Davis was a fine man...and will be missed! I only wish I could have had the chance to thank him in person!
Rock Hill, SC USA - Monday, August 16, 1999 at 13:03:02 (EDT)
WE ALL MISS MR DAVIS'AND I WILL ALWAYS CHERISH THE FEW PIECES OF CORRESPONDENCE I RECIEVED FROM HIM. WHAT A FINE GENTLEMAN.
LEWISVILLE, NC USA - Sunday, August 15, 1999 at 23:58:05 (EDT)
As a teenager I took my first flight...of course it was on Piedmont. After that day I knew that when I grew up I would work for his airline. When I turned 18 I started calling Piedmont every week until finally they gave me a job. I remever meeting Mr. Davis when he was visiting the res center. I thought of kind he was to actually take the time to speak personally to his employees. I always admired and respected him although I'm sure that he did not know me personally. I loved Piedmont Airlines and was proud to be a part of Mr. Davis's company and serve his and our customers.
Donna Jordan Davis
Woodstock, VA USA - Sunday, August 15, 1999 at 21:28:30 (EDT)
Mr. Davis was a true "Affirmer" of us all! He encouraged us daily to stretch and dream beyond our self-imposed limits and capabilities by believing in our potential---and telling us so! And dream we did! The result was the best airline ever. Thank you, Mr. Davis. You are alive in our hearts forever. John and Judy Tayloe Winston-Salem, NC
John and Judy Tayloe
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Sunday, August 15, 1999 at 14:50:16 (EDT)
My condolences to the entire Davis family.I know you are all quite proud of his love of aviation,family,and hard work to create the Pacemaker family.I was fortunate to be a part of that family. Thank you and God bless. Eric Allen ORF
Va. Beach , Va USA - Saturday, August 14, 1999 at 21:35:13 (EDT)
Tom Davis called us by name, and took us into his family. He instilled a common respect and dignity within us that remains to this day. He fostered a true spirit of oneness, and extended to us equal ownership of his airline. His personal examples to us were exemplary beyond those seen elsewhere. I am blessed to have known Tom Davis, and I am thankful to have many wonderful memories of him. It is truly my great pleasure to have been a part of the company that set the standard of "just how good an airline can really be". I am pround to be a member of the Piedmont family. Thank you Mr. Davis for sharing yourself and your airline with us. Gods peace .... until we meet again.
Fayetteville, NC USA - Saturday, August 14, 1999 at 10:55:04 (EDT)
I have never worked for a company that a man made me feel more like family than an employee. The second time I had the honor of meeting Mr. Davis was the most memorable. He called me by my first name and it had been over a year since being introduced to him for the first time. I thought, what a memory and what a personable man. From that point until now I have been proud to be a part of his organization. If there were a lot more people like Mr. T.H. Davis, the world would be a much better place. He instilled a lot of values in his employees that they carry with them in their lives and workplace even to this day. Thank's Mr. Davis for all that you gave and believing in all of us.
Gastonia, NC USA - Friday, August 13, 1999 at 21:55:48 (EDT)
February 20, 1948 was a great day for a great airline. February 20, 1998 was a great day for me personally. On that day I got to meet Mr. Davis while in Charlotte celebrating the 50th anniversary of Piedmont's first flight. Thanks to some very thoughtful fellow employees calling me at home I was able to get to the airport in time to meet Mr. Davis, get my picture taken with him, and get his autograph on my commemorative last issue of PACE magazine. As a collector of airline memorbilia, the picture, autograph, and most of all the memory of that day will forever be the Crown Jewels of my collection. I often wonder if Mr. Davis ever realized how many lives he touched over the years. Thanks Mr. Davis.
Charlotte, NC USA - Thursday, August 12, 1999 at 23:04:53 (EDT)
IT'S A SAD DAY INDEED, THAT WE MOURN THE PASSING OF A GREAT AVIATION PIONEER. FOR MYSELF, NOT A WEEK HAS GONE BY SINCE THE MERGER IN 1989 THAT I DIDN'T THINK OF MR. DAVIS. IF ONLY HE COULD HAVE CARRIED ON TO TODAY. CAN YOU IMAGINE!
SPRINGFIELD, VA USA - Thursday, August 12, 1999 at 16:42:06 (EDT)
On July 20, 1966 I went to work for Piedmont Airlines in Washington D. C...I met Mr. Davis shortly afterwards and i do think from that day on he remembered my name! He was without a doubt one of the most important people in my life..He gave me much more than i ever though i would have..He will always be remembered by me and my family...Bob Shell (7773)
Robert H. (Bob) Shell
Blountville, Tn USA - Wednesday, August 11, 1999 at 19:29:03 (EDT)
Thank you Mr. Davis for being a good person, good businessman, good pilot and a good friend. Memories of Mr. Davis: Fall of 1947---Mr. Davis (age 28) and his secretary working 10 to 12 hours a day in a small corner of the engine shop working on legal papers etc. in a attempt to get a Certificate to start an airline. Mr. Davis coming in to the engine shop wash area on Saturday mornings to wash his Crosley car. We would offer to help but he would say that he would rather do it himself. I remember going to his office in 1949 after working in the endgine shop and telling him that I would like to become an airline pilot. (There were only about 50 Piedmont Airline pilots at that time). He looked at me and said, ":You know that we really need you in the ignition overhaul department" After a long pause he finallhg said, "AE if that's what you want I think we can work it out" AND HE DID !!! Started flying in 1950 and retired in 1985. THANK YOU BOSS TOM FOR A WONDERFUL LIFE. Remember riding with Mr. Davis, Bob Northington and Charlie Vestal in a UC78 to the Cleveland Air Races in 1948. ( Mr. Davis doing the flying). I was going to an ignition conference and they let me ride with them to save on expense account. Money was very tight in those days. Remember the many times that Mr. Davis would ride jump seat on the DC 3, F27's etc. When we would get to the ramp and shut down the left engine he would get up and help the agents unload and load the bags. Remember recieving my 15, 20 30 and 35 year pins from Mr. Davis personally. Remember the time when PIEDMONT stock was the highest priced airline stock on the New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Davis remarked on that and was very proud. ( ME TOO) Mr. Davis was one of the most remarkable men that I have ever met. I feel like I have lost a second father. A. E. (Gene) Smith Aug. 8,1999
A.E. (Gene) Smith
USA - Sunday, August 08, 1999 at 23:44:37 (EDT)
I remember the Saturday Night that I deniged Mr. Davis a seat on FLt 245 DCA INT. It was the day he flew his aircraft to IAD and parked it under the wing of the first 747 that PAAM brought in to show it off. Mr. Davis said to me " I 'm glad that we have lots of passengers but I sure wish there was one more seat. The Jump seat was taken that night by FAA. So Mr. Davis just took old 783 to ROA and Flt 25 to INT. Just goes to show what a great person he was.
FLL, FL USA - Sunday, August 08, 1999 at 01:20:28 (EDT)
Piedmont was the first and best airline I ever worked for. My only regret is that I never met Mr. Davis personally yet I have benefitted beyond my expectations from Piedmont. Even though Piedmont is gone, Mr. Davis passed on a legacy that continues to this day through the thousands of employees who worked for him. My deepest condolences to the Davis family and to all of the Piedmont family.
Annandale, VA USA - Saturday, August 07, 1999 at 23:26:13 (EDT)
Salute to the man and his achievements!!
David W. Best, M.D.
Virginia Beach , VA USA - Friday, August 06, 1999 at 20:53:07 (EDT)
There is no question that the one most important event in our lives (other than the birth of our children) was the day that our dear beloved friend, W. C. (Bill) Clark, Jr., then Station Manager at Tri Cities Airport, hired me as an employee of Piedmont Airlines. On that day this old country boy and gal started a ride that, for 36 years, took us to heights never before thought possible. During that 36 years, we found so many new friends their names would fill many books. We visited most major cities in the U.S. and had the opportunity to visit such foreign countries as China, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and on and on and on. We worked with and for some of the nicest (and smartest!) airline people in all the world. Piedmont gave me security in life and for that I will be eternally grateful. And, it was all made possible by one man, Thomas H. Davis, Piedmont's founder and one super nice person! We own him so much that there are no words that can explain our appreciation and praise for this wonderful man! We give thanks for him and what he did for us those many years. May God forever bless him!
Don and Betty Shanks
Pfafftown, NC USA - Thursday, August 05, 1999 at 18:06:56 (EDT)
The first time i met Mr Davis I had been employed only about 1 week as a customer service agent workinh the ramp in SDF. I had finished unloading the forward bin and seen someone walking around the aircraft who was unknown to me. I politely (thank goodness) approached him and told him that he would have to leave the ramp are that he was not allowed to be there. The man smiled and said he was sorry and left to go inside. Only when I got inside did I find out who he was. For years afterward Mr Davis always reminded me of the day i chased him away and he always had a kind word. There is a great void to be filled with his passing. The high powered CEOs of today could do well to learn from him. Employee loyalty is not something you can buy, it must be earned and Mr Davis was a wizzard at earning that respect and admiration. We will all miss him greatly.
Orlando, FL USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 23:48:03 (EDT)
he never forgot a face and amazingly could remember thousands of employees by their first names even if it was years between meetings. there will never be another leader like him.
deltona, fl. USA - Saturday, July 31, 1999 at 21:43:18 (EDT)
Tom davis will live in my heart forever..He made the employees of Piedmont feel like family...He is greatly missed!
Cindy Phelps Johnson
Va Beach, Va USA - Thursday, July 29, 1999 at 21:40:31 (EDT)
Thanks for providing a great place to work, make friends & enjoyable experience. You will be greatly missed.
Greensboro, NC USA - Tuesday, July 27, 1999 at 23:50:56 (EDT)
Thomas H. Davis will be missed but never forgotten. His life and dedication to world aviation will live throughout eternity.
Schuyler "Sky" Day
Kernersville, NC USA - Saturday, July 24, 1999 at 19:33:09 (EDT)
Whenever Mr. Davis came through the airport, he always wanted to be treated like anyone else, and not make a fuss over him. But he wasn't like eveyone else. We just wanted to make him feel as special as he always made us feel.
Capitola, CA USA - Friday, July 23, 1999 at 02:36:34 (EDT)
What a wonderful man!!! Thank you for sharing him with us...he was a "Father" to us all!!!
Lynda F. Winnemuth
Callaway, VA USA - Monday, July 12, 1999 at 09:33:36 (EDT)
A special thank you and goodbye to a man who let us all into his "family."He showed us all a better world.
Mahomet, IL USA - Sunday, July 11, 1999 at 20:27:04 (EDT)
Thanks for the web page. Old or new friends drop me a note to let me know how you are doing.
Paul Donald Dix
Winston Salem, N.C. USA - Sunday, July 11, 1999 at 16:05:49 (EDT)
Because of this fine gentleman I had the opportunity to fly and be part of the best airline ever founded. I think that what I remember the most was the fact that Mr. Davis always called me by my first name even when we would meet after Piedmont Airlines was acquired. One thing for sure is Piedmont was one big family and still is in our hearts. Thanks Mr. D. for the best 22yrs of my aviation career.
Stephen E. Lentz, Sr
Fincastle, Va USA - Sunday, July 11, 1999 at 13:53:46 (EDT)
Piedmont and Tom Davis were both one of a kind. He created the little airline that could. Ben started flying Piedmont in the old Douglas Airport when Piedmont was the up and coming airline. Renee became a flight attendant for Piedmont in 1988. Who would have thought that Piedmont would have become the standard by which other airlines are still measured today? No other airline has even come close in customer or employee satisfaction. A record that will most likely stand for many, many years.
Ben and Renee Mandell
Matthews, NC USA - Saturday, July 10, 1999 at 03:24:13 (EDT)
Congratulations to Piedmont Aviation Credit Union on their 50th Anniversary and thank you to Mr. Davis for founding Piedmont Airlines.
Statesville, NC USA - Friday, July 09, 1999 at 14:59:21 (EDT)
First and foremost, our condolences to Mr. Davis' family, close friends and our friend, CherylHartman. My husband and I both began our careers with Piedmont, he in FAY and I inthe SYR hub. (yes, it was actually a hub once) While Bobby and I were still co-workers and notyet husband and wife, we worked together in USAir's Consumer Affairs office. We were both recruited as family coordinators after the tragedies of flights 1016 and 412 in 1994. My most powerful memory of Mr. Davis is the day he came to the room that had been set up as the centerof our operations for helping the victim's familys. Mr. Davis stood before us and told us howimportant our work was and that what we were doing went far beyond an airline job and was anact of true human kindness. While I appreciated his words from the bottom of my heart, the tearsthat he had in his eyes were the most sincere thing I had ever seen. He made us realize that itwas ok to feel and cry for the victims and to not just "do our job." Thank you Mr. Davis. Your lightcontinues to shine upon all who knew you.Tabatha & Bobby Renegar
Tabatha & Bobby Renegar
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Friday, July 09, 1999 at 11:39:36 (EDT)
The day I was offered a job with Piedmont was very exciting.Little did I know that I was joining a family and at the head of that family was a great man, Tom Davis. Mr. Davis'svision and leadership made Piedmont Airlines a greatcompany that all employees were proud to say"I work for Piedmont Airlines!"
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Thursday, July 08, 1999 at 16:56:02 (EDT)
Mr. Davis dropped into the old gate 21 in ATL one day to say hello. Someone pulled a seat tab for him on flight 24. He said that his car was in GSO and he'd planned to ride Eastern. But rather than disappoint that gate agent that day, he rode 24 even though he had to call GSO and ask someone to bring his car over to INT. I never thought of the Piedmont that we all knew as really gone until April. Mr. Davis was one-of-a-kind.
Newark, DE USA - Thursday, July 08, 1999 at 07:21:05 (EDT)
Was and honor and a treat to hve worked with and for Mr. Davis. It was a true family when he ran it and it remained that way until the day it was merged
Winston-Salem, nc USA - Monday, June 28, 1999 at 23:01:10 (EDT)
I had the honor of meeting Mr. Davis several times. One my first meeting with him, I was honored to accompany Mr. Davis at the National Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee Dinner in Dayton when they were inducting the Apollo 7 crew - Deke Slayton, Alan Shepard and Wally Schirra. We were surrounded by 3,4,and 5 star generals who kept complimenting Mr. Davis on having a great airline. In typical Mr. Davis fashion, he downplayed it, saying "Thanks, but it had nothing to do with me but was all because of people like Lee here."Mr. Davis, Piedmont was great because of you. You exemplified teamwork, humility and equality. You are the ideal image for me on how best to be a manager, a CEO and a person. You taught me well and I'll never forget you.To this day, 10 years after Piedmont is gone, I have a letter from you framed on my wall in my office.
Fairfield, CT USA - Monday, June 28, 1999 at 11:24:53 (EDT)
I had the privilage of shaking hands with Mr. Davis twice both times at Service Pin functions. It was an honor to meet and work for him.Thanks for giving me the chance to spend 20 of my 30 years in the airline industry at Piedmont.The Aviation Community and Ex Piedmont employees have lost a great man and friend.
Gastonia, NC USA - Saturday, June 26, 1999 at 08:17:40 (EDT)
The first time I met Mr. Davis was at DCA on arrival of a flight from GSO. He deplaned the airplane as the last passenger and as I inquired to the flight crew of any problems he introduced himself and welcomed me as a new member of the Piedmont family. He was warm, gentle and sincere. He came downstairs to the maintenance office and introduced himself to all of the crew sinmce most of us was new to the company and spent time with us. He offered his assistance for any problems we might and could not resolve. Ten yeras later I asked him to put my anniversary pin on with a picture. I will remmeber him as a God-loving man who cared for his people unlike today. Piedmont and Mr. Davis will always be an icon in the aitline history books. The sad part is there is no one in sight to fill his shoes.
J. Waldo Pepper, Sr.
Charlotte, NC USA - Thursday, June 24, 1999 at 08:47:47 (EDT)
I STARTED WITH PIEDMONT IN WILMINGTON,NC IN AUG.1981..WORKING IN THE OLD HANGER WITH ALL THE NEW FRIENDS MADE WAS A SOME OF THE BEST DAYS.LATER I MOVED TO CHARLOTTE,NC (MARCH 1,1987) STORES DEPT. THIS IS WERE I NOW CALL HOME. I HATED TO SEE PIEDMONT'S NAME CHANGE,BUT MR DAVIS SAID IT WAS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE. I STILL MISS ALL THE FRIENDS I LEFT IN WILMINGTON. ALL THE OLD PIEDMONT FAMILY ARE ALL MOST GONE.THE 50TH PACU MEETING WAS HELD IN WINSTON-SALEM IN MAY.WE HAD OVER 800 MEMBERS AT THE ANNUAL MEETING.TIME TALKING ABOUT THE PAST WAS TALKED ALONG TIME.IF MR DAVIS HAD NEVER STARTED PIEDMONT, WE ALL MIGHT HAVE NEVER MET,SO THANKS MR DAVIS FOR ALL THE YEARS.
CHARLOTTE, NC USA - Monday, June 07, 1999 at 22:27:04 (EDT)
I met Mr. Davis twice during my years at Piedmont. Once on "D" concourse when he was taking an INT Piedmont Commuter flight home. The other time, I was working night shift on the "B" concourse, I had bent over to get a pen from under the counter, He bent over and said, Young man, Where's the rest room? He was always so nice and simple. Reminded me of my Grandfather. I will miss him very much! All of us at Piedmont Loved him.
Steven L. Lyons
Kingsport, TN USA - Friday, June 04, 1999 at 00:09:13 (EDT)
I remember during the merger talks while I was working in LGA that Tom Davis would walk into the gate area, lay down his luggage and stop and shake hands with everyone. A great man who gave me a job that I love to this day. He will be truly missed.
Greenville, SC USA - Tuesday, June 01, 1999 at 18:13:24 (EDT)
Mr. Davis was such a concerned and respected man. He never failed to speak to me when he passed through the airport and always remembered my name. May God Bless!
Terry L. McElfresh
Greensboro, NC USA - Thursday, May 20, 1999 at 14:40:35 (EDT)
It was a pleasure to work at Piedmont Airlines. My uncle, Charlie Vestal, had worked with Piedmont in the early years, and lost his life in a crash at Smith Reynolds Airport testing a plane. One of the first things Mr. Davis said to me when I arrived at Piedmont in 1980 was, "My door is always open to you." How many bosses had that kind of attitude toward their employees. He made you feel important, no matter what your position was. He taught us how to help run a "first class" airline. Thanks, Mr. Davis.
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Thursday, May 20, 1999 at 09:15:06 (EDT)
Thank you for my aviation career of 35 years of which 25 years were with Piedmont Airlines
J. C. "Jim" Brumfield,Jr.
Charleston, WV USA - Wednesday, May 19, 1999 at 21:51:56 (EDT)
My Grandfather was one of the most inspirational figures of our time. I am proud to carry his name and he will always be a part of me.
Thomas H Davis III
Raleigh, NC USA - Wednesday, May 19, 1999 at 11:51:12 (EDT)
So long, Old Friend. You were a great man and a great boss. I wish you fair skies and a tailwind always.Gil Huguley, ILM-XM, DCA-XM, & ROA-XM 1969-1979
Methow, WA USA - Tuesday, May 18, 1999 at 22:07:53 (EDT)
MR. DAVIS WOULD GATHER AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE IN THE HANGER AT OUR HANGER CHRISTMAS PARTY AND ALWAYS ANNOUNCE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN GOOD GIRLS AND BOYS AND SANTA CLAUS HAS SOMETHING IN HIS BAG FOR YOU THIS YEAR.HE WAS ALWAYS SPEAKING IN REFERENCE OF A RAISE IN PAY.MR. DAVIS WAS THE FINEST OF GENTLEMEN AND THE BEST BOSS EVER.
RICHARD M. FOSTER
WINSTON-SALEM, NC USA - Tuesday, May 18, 1999 at 21:31:02 (EDT)
My first meeting with Mr. Davis left me in awe of this gentle man for the rest of my life. I was working the ticket counter at SDF and had never been officially introduced to him. I came into the back office after working a flight and Mr. Davis was standing there. He not only called me by my name but asked me how my children were doing. (I was commuting from DAN to SDF at the time and was missing them a great deal.) It encouraged me to stay with the airline and to do the best I could because I knew that the most important man in the company knew me, my situation and cared enough to ask. The "WE CARE" buttons worn by the employees were not just a slogan but the way he ran the airline. He will always be remembered in my heart.
Charlotte, NC USA - Monday, May 17, 1999 at 21:19:20 (EDT)
In nearly 27 years in the industry Mr. Davis is the only person about whom I never heard a single negative comment. I met him on a few occaisions and he was always warm and gracious. At the last Piedmont Awards Banquet prior to rhe merger he would not allow me to thank him for all he had done for the company and the industry-instead he insisted on thanking me for my years with the company and said " Tonight is YOUR night to recieve thanks. " He will be missed. " Mr. Davis- thanks for the memories."
Alan L . Burge
Clayton, ohio USA - Saturday, May 15, 1999 at 23:38:39 (EDT)
I had the privilege to shake Mr. Davis's hand in 1979. I worked in Nashville at the time. He always made you feel part of the airline. He was never to busy to deplane and shake every employee's hand he could. I respected that. Mr. Davis you will be forever Piedmont.
Orlando, FL USA - Saturday, May 15, 1999 at 19:59:31 (EDT)
I don't think there is enough room on this web site for everone to write all the good things Mr. Davis has done or said. I always enjoyed seeing him when I used to work in DAY (Dayton OH). He walked through the operations breakroom and looked at the model airplanes that Tom Baker made. We had them hangging from the ceiling with string. Tom had built a 747-400 and put the Piedmont colors on it. Mr. Davis said " how about that one....you know 20 years ago I would have never thought we would even have a 727." What a guy! Look at all the jobs he created for all of us. All I can say is thanks, thanks for everything. The man was awesome! Lord knows you should have the best in heaven. God bless the rest of the family. I know that they are proud of all he has done.
Ronnie Vogler Jr
Wilmington, NC USA - Saturday, May 15, 1999 at 15:15:40 (EDT)
"A True Gentleman respected by all" He will be missed!
Va. Beach, Va USA - Friday, May 14, 1999 at 08:46:28 (EDT)
I joined Piedmont in August 1947 leaving Eastern Air Lines as Chief Operator in Birmingham, AL. I took the assignment as Supervisor of Radio Maintenance under Les Watson, the Director of Communications. Mr Davis was negotiating with Colonial Airlines in Boston for the purchase of three DC-3's and These are the three aircraft that were modified and used to begin operations and the inaugural flight in February 1948. It was quite a challenge to get them ready as well as to install ground to air VHF equipment and a homing beacon in Beckley W. Va. I recall the many flights that we made in the twin engine plywood Beech with Mr. Davis to the various sites to install the equipent. Our offices were located in some military barracks located near the site of the new administration building and in looking back over what we had accomplished I now find it hard to believe what we accomplished. In addition to Les Watson and myself, Mr. R.D. Hager was Mr. Davis's assistant, with Lee Golson, Gordon Brown and R.E. Turbiville in the Traffice and Passenger department. Bud Gilley started off as Director of Flight Operations, however he soon left to fly the line and Zeke Saunders took over the job with Frank Nicholson doing the Chief Pilot Duties. Bill Barber was in charge of Purchasing and Howard Cartwright was in charge of Maintenance. So many good memories and although I left in 1960, I still consider myself a part of the Piedmont "Family". Of course son Walt Jr. continues with his work as a pilot for Piedmont, now USAir. Thanks for allowing me to add a little bit of trivia for the history book. RegardsWalt Rollick
Walter D. Rollick, Sr.
Fort Myers, FL USA - Thursday, May 13, 1999 at 12:48:45 (EDT)
I was very fortunate and privileged to have been allowed to be a part of the Piedmont family. They were the best years of my career. My heartfelt sympathy to you all at the loss of the founder of the "up and coming" airline. There will never be another "gentleman of aviation" such as Mr. Davis. It feels as though I've lost my favorite Uncle.
Renee Sheffer ( Reitzig)
Charlotte, NC USA - Wednesday, May 12, 1999 at 21:39:21 (EDT)
MY THIRTY YEARS WITH THE COMPANY WAS GREAT. THE PIEDMONT FAMILY WAS GREAT. WISH I COULD DO IT AGAIN. MR. DAVIS WAS A TRUE GENTLEMAN AND I WAS PROUD TO HAVE WORKED FOR THE COMPANY HE FOUNDED.
RICHARD GRANT RODGERS
WILMINGTON, NC USA - Wednesday, May 12, 1999 at 19:16:35 (EDT)
I signed on with Piedmont as manager of public relations and editor of the Piedmonitor in January 1981. From that first day I knew I had found a new home, the place I wanted to stay until I retired. What a wonderful company, made possible by Tom Davis, a man who not only had vision but was a true gentleman in every way. He treated everyone with such respect no matter what job they held. For me, working in public relations for a company like Piedmont was a dream come true. I feel lucky to have known Tom Davis and to have worked with some of the best people in the world. It was a privilege to represent Piedmont, The Up-And-Coming Airline, for eight exciting years.
Rosalind Chostner Gentry
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Wednesday, May 12, 1999 at 18:56:43 (EDT)
My condolences to BO and Nancy and the rest of the Davis family. As a ramp agent starting my career in ORF I had always heard of Mr.Davis and how he treated the employees of the Piedmont family. After obtaining a full-time job by transfering to DFW I was able to meet and talk to Mr. Davis on his trips through DFW to Tucson. We were always happy to see him come through the station and have the pleasure of taking him to Americans terminal for his flt connection, for in 1980 American was just connecting our terminal to theirs. No matter how long it had been, the man always knew everyones name he became associated with in our station. That always amazed me. When I transferred to Winston-Salem, as a Flt Dispatcher for Piedmont, he would always come into our office at Christmas and wish everyone Merry Christmas. Those are my memories of Mr. Davis...TJ Parrish...INTL FLT DISP...US AIRWAYS
PITSBURGH, PA USA - Tuesday, May 11, 1999 at 08:21:05 (EDT)
Marilyn and I would like to offer our condolences to the childern and their families of Mr. Davis. He was supportive of me as an employee, which has given me the opportunity to grow in the aviation business. Sincerely, Wain
Plantation, FL USA - Monday, May 10, 1999 at 15:28:04 (EDT)
A sad day in the aviation community, but one that leaves us with many good memories. Mr. Davis provided us such a great company to work for. It is comforting to see the Legend living on with the affiliation of BO, Nancy, and Frank in the aviation family as they mirror their dad's ethics. I am so grateful to have been a small member of the "Piedmont Family" from 1961 to 1989.
Germanton, NC USA - Wednesday, May 05, 1999 at 12:54:13 (EDT)
Aviation has lost the last of the great leaders, we have lost a true gentleman and family member..
Calvin R. Hubbard
Charlotte, NC USA - Tuesday, May 04, 1999 at 16:00:17 (EDT)
Being one of the many individuals who were fortunate enough to have met and known Mr. Davis, I will never loose the memories of the true admiration and love that he displayed for his family, airline, friends and employees.
J.David Johnson, Jr.
Chuckey, TN USA - Tuesday, May 04, 1999 at 13:38:31 (EDT)
I had the great fortune to get to know Mr. Davis quite well in the last few years of his life. I am a volunteer pilot of the Piedmont DC-3, a US Airways 737-200 Captain (and former Piedmont pilot as well.) I was one of the pilots on the re-enactment flight on Piedmont's 50th ann. Mr. Davis flew the old girl most of the way back to Charlotte. A gracious and warm human being...he will be missed!
Charlotte, NC USA - Monday, May 03, 1999 at 04:13:47 (EDT)
Every chance encounter I had with Tom Davis left me marveling at the twinkle in his eye and the aura of genteel goodness that surrounded him.
Frank E. Williams
Houston, TX USA - Friday, April 30, 1999 at 16:07:47 (EDT)
Mr. Davis was one of the most likeable person I ever met. I ran the Charter & Convention Sales Department for Mr. Davis and PI from 1978 until the merger in 1989. He always had a smile on his face and he always treated everyone on the same level. What a great man - He will be missed greatly!
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Friday, April 30, 1999 at 15:26:59 (EDT)
Mr.Davis will sorely be missed not only in the aviation community but also in the community, state, nation and the world.
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Friday, April 30, 1999 at 10:10:27 (EDT)
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr. Davis as a kid growing up in Winston-Salem. I had developed an interest in aviation, and with the help of what have become a few dear friends, was invited up to the General Office of Piedmont Aviation after school one day. I remember the excitement of walking past the guardhouse and through the main door of the building. A nice lady behind the desk asked if she could help me. After being met downstairs by my hosts, I was given a complete tour of the facility. The Boeing 737's parked in the hangar, sparkling in red, white and blue, looked like the largest airplane in the world to me. The collection of models, displayed in Piedmont's colors of old and new, told a silent story of a proud company.Little did I know at the time that the most exciting moment of the day was yet to come. A phone call was made by Mr. Shanks, and I was taken down the hall. I was introduced to a distinguished looking gentleman who sat behind the desk. That distinguished looking gentleman was Mr. Davis, who after some small talk (I think I quoted exactly the number and type of aircraft in Piedmont's fleet) asked, "So, Barry, one day would you like to work for Piedmont Airlines?". The young boy of 14 responded with a resounding, "Yes, sir!". My next encounter with Mr. Davis was as a Piedmont Airlines employee in 1985. I was working FOD control in GSO and it was the day our first Boeing 737-300 was delivered. A small general aviation aircraft taxied up the ramp by gates 40 and 42. I couldn't help but wonder who would be doing this. As the gentleman stepped onto the tarmac, he was easily identified. Mr. Davis had flown over from INT, I assume to partake in the ceremonies. I was simply a part time ramp rat at the time, but he took the time to go out of his way to come over to where I was, ask how things were going, and remembered that young man who had been introduced to him in his office.My final encounter with Mr. Davis was in MIA. I had just finished working a flight. I STORMED behind the ticket counter and there was Mr. Davis speaking with my supervisor, Harry Daniel. I immediately said, "Good afternoon Mr. Davis!", he responded, "Hello Barry!". We shook hands and I left them to finish their chat. A lot of water has gone under this bridge since then, but I remember! I remember the days of living my childhood dream. I remember the genuine spirit that made Piedmont Airlines unique. And I remember the man who made all of these things possible. Mr. Davis may no longer walk with us, but his spirit lives on in each and every member of the Piedmont family. On behalf of the tens of thousands in our family, thank you for sharing him with us through the years. He was quite simply a remarkable man, and someone who indirectly changed my life forever. May God rest his soul and be with each member of the Davis' family.
Atlanta, GA USA - Thursday, April 29, 1999 at 22:31:27 (EDT)
I did not know Mr. Davis personally but have never heard any comments except praise for him. Sympathy goes out to the family of this wonderful man.
NORMA WILKES HAMBY
WINSTON-SALEM, NC USA - Thursday, April 29, 1999 at 20:21:50 (EDT)
I remember my very first day at Piedmont back in 1985. I started as a temporary working for A.I. Beamon, Jr. I was scared, frightened and felt intimidated all at the same time. Mr. Beamon was showing me around and we ran into Mr. Davis in the hall. Mr. Beamon explained to Mr. Davis that I had just started there. Mr. Davis shook my hand and told me not to worry and if I had any problems to please call him. From then on, he remembered my name and would speak to me every day. That really meant a lot to me since I was only a temporary at the time. Years later and after I had quit working for PAI, I was working for Eastwind Airlines. I was walking through the GSO terminal and Mr. Davis was walking through. He came up to me and remembered my name. I gave him a big hug and told him that I would have never left PAI, but it was very easy to leave USAir. He still had that twinkle in his eye as we all have when Piedmont is mentioned. There will never be another company like that; even if people like us would love to see another Piedmont started again. Mr. Davis was the rock of Piedmont and no one could ever fill his shoes. As the newspaper said and quoted by Janice Lawton, "He was a true southern-gentleman". That was an understatement of such a unique person. May the good Lord bless Mr. Davis' family as he has touched so many people's lives. I am sure that his family can only have good memories of a wonderful husband and father.
Krista Flynt Yeatts
Germanton, NC USA - Thursday, April 29, 1999 at 14:07:43 (EDT)
Although I never had the pleasure to meet Mr. Davis, I have heard many great stories about him. I started with the "family" on October 29, 1985, and was very proud to work for Piedmont Airlines. When my father was hired in 1979, all he could talk about when he came home was how proud he was to work for an airline as great as Piedmont. That was when I knew I wanted to join the "family". Mr. Davis, and I say Mr. davis because I didn't know him to call him by his first name, made all his employees feel like they weren't at work but with family members. The "family" was truly THE PRIDE OF PIEDMONT! If it weren't for him, I don't think U.S. Airways would be where we are today. I would like to send "my" families condolences to his and say that there will never be another man, or airline, like Tom Davis and Piedmont Airlines. U. S. Airways should name a 767 after him in memory of what they "bought" : THE THOMAS H. DAVIS PACEMAKER
Brandon, Fl USA - Thursday, April 29, 1999 at 11:25:41 (EDT)
I was hired in 1979...at a relatively small station called Charlotte. It did not take me long to realize that I was working for a truly great company...one that was founded by a truly great man. You will be missed, Mr. Davis.
Charlotte, NC USA - Wednesday, April 28, 1999 at 18:58:32 (EDT)
I have never been as impressed with an idividual as I was from the very first time I met Mr. Tom Davis. I was working in the City Ticket Office in Washington, DC, there were two of us working and the District Sales Manager. Mr. Davis came in and came up to me and said it is really nice to meet you Jim, how is business? He turned to my co-worker and said Marilyn, you are a preety young lady. We were both floored, and it has been that way ever time I would run into Mr. Davis, always called people by there first names. Have never met any since that has been able to do just that. Very impressive.
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Wednesday, April 28, 1999 at 18:39:30 (EDT)
I started part-time in FAY in early 1982, went full-time to BWI when we opened the hub up there in '83, came back to FAY and wound up in INT at the Help Desk, then in Network Control. It was in INT where I endured with the rest of you the pain, the regret, even the embarrassment of "the last day". I stayed on with "the new owners" as long as I could, but it was never the same. Measured by the long years of enviable service many of you enjoyed with Piedmont, I was but a rookie with my 7 years with Piedmont and 7 years thereafter with the other folks. I have worked for a number of employers in my 51 years on this earth but none were as fulfilling and rewarding as my time with Piedmont. It's not even close. The reality of all this is while some things are gone, others still remain. Gone are the days when the Captain would invite you to ride jumpseat because you were getting bumped by a revenue passenger (I've even seen Mr. Davis pull this trick!). Gone are the days when your regular passengers brought YOU Christmas and birthday presents and knew the names of your family. Gone are the days when while non-reving you were proud to discreetly tell a revenue passenger seatmate what you did for a living when they asked. Yes, even Mr. Davis is gone now. But his spirit is not. Nor is the integrity he taught us, the pride he instilled in our hearts, the splendid memories, and the priceless camaraderie we all continue to share. These indelible memories are our gifts from Mr. Davis for us to share and enjoy for years to come. Thank you, Mr. Davis. Thank you for teaching us about quality. Thank you for showing us what service really means. Thank you for making us "family". Thank you for the memories.
Clemmons, NC USA - Wednesday, April 28, 1999 at 17:34:59 (EDT)
How can mere words ever do justice...Mr. Davis made sure I got my opportunity and I will never forget that. He was a wonderful leader, he always set a perfect example for all of us, he always had time for all of us. How once he metyou, he always remembered you and even your hometown, he was simply amazing. I believe if one were to look up the word integrity in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Mr. Davis. His honesty, loyalty, and dedicationbrought out those same qualities in all who were fortunate enough to know him. We will all miss him greatly.
Hernando, Fl USA - Wednesday, April 28, 1999 at 10:26:23 (EDT)
I started with Piedmont as a line mechanic in Wilmington N.C. in 1980. Mr. Davis kept his boat in the hangar and when Mr. Davis would come down on the weekend to Wrightsville Beach, the Station Chief, Doc Mahn would have us clean the hangar and wash and polish Mr. Davis's boat.I was relativitly new and when Mr. Davis arrived several of us were at the coke machine and he walked through the hangar with Doc and was shaking peoples hand. I was really scared because here was the President of Piedmont Airlines. He shook my hand and said I'm Tom Davis, I don't think I've met you. I told him my name and he thanked us for getting his boat in tiptop shape.That was in the spring of 1980. In February of 1982 I transferred to INT and not long after I had arrived I came out of the lockeroom on second floor one day and heading for the stairwell and here comes Mr. Davis. I said how are you today Sir, and he said fine, how are you Russ. Almost two years had past and I had only met this man once. I new then and there that someone was surely investigating me or that this was a man with one helluva memory that truly cared about his employees.As you all know it turned out that this was the premier place to work where we were all proud to work and tell others proudly were we worked.Mr. Davis was the very reason for this attitude. A man of vision,honor and integrity. A true LEADER......."And he had one helluva memory".You are missed by many, Mr. Davis.
Madison, NC USA - Wednesday, April 28, 1999 at 07:14:37 (EDT)
My life began in April 1954 when I join the Piedmont team. I have forgotten a lot of my aviation friends, but there is no way I could forget the man who made it all possible, Mr. Tom Davis. Mr. Davis build a company on ethics, compassion and good service. During my tenure as a Purser, First Office and Captain, I can never remember bumping into him, that he didn't remember my name, my wife's name and my daughter's name and always asked about them. I also remember the one and only times I was "chewed out" by Mr. Davis. The circumstances? I walked by his office one day and the door was open and I didn't speak as I thought he might be busy. He was not to busy to call me back and ask why I didn't have time to speak? What a good man! Good Bye "Boss Tom"
Myrtle Beach, SC USA - Tuesday, April 27, 1999 at 14:36:02 (EDT)
Tom Davis will be missed.
Pittsburgh, Pa. USA - Tuesday, April 27, 1999 at 14:20:30 (EDT)
Thomas Davis was incredible man, a self made-man! Because of him and Piedmont I'm in my 16th year with the airlines and still loving it. I owe my career to him and Piedmont for the chance. Thank you T.H. Davis and prayers to your family, God may you rest in Piedmont Blue Heaven. Amen!
Baltimore, Md USA - Tuesday, April 27, 1999 at 13:27:29 (EDT)
After hearing of Mr.Davis' death last week, and reading the comments that have been made, I can honestly say that Mr.Davis, and the environment that he provided for all of us during our time "with him" has been a good and honest foundation for all of us to build our business lives. And as a result of the PIEDMONT attitude (and it IS an attitude)those of us who are still around the system, albeit USAirways, try to maintain that PIEDMONT attitude, even though it has been a struggle at times. Regardless, I know that if anyone of the Piedmont family were to need something, there would be someone in our family that would get it for you, or know someone who could "get it" for you, and never bat an eye. That was the man Tom Davis was, that was the company he created, and the employees he nurtured throughout his lifetime. Thank you Mr. Davis.
Jacksonville, FL USA - Tuesday, April 27, 1999 at 09:35:55 (EDT)
Mr. Davis, you founded the finest airline that has ever been or will ever be. You gave me the honor of being a part of that airline. Both you and Piedmont Airlines are one of a kind. Totally unique. I cannot tell you how much I miss you both. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you, and of the wonderful years that I spent at Piedmont. Goodbye, Boss, you are very much loved and missed.
Hampton Roads, VA USA - Monday, April 26, 1999 at 23:47:10 (EDT)
I arrived at Piedmont Airlines on March 24, 1952. That afternoon I was helping to install a stressplate under the center section of a DC-3 when a man in a white shirt and dress pants said, "hello, let me help." He picked up a wrench and held the bolt while I tightened the nut - a very nice person. He asked if my wife and I had settled in and seemed genuinely friendly. He stayed for quite a while and left saying "if ever I needed anything to let him know." I turned to the nearest man and asked, "who was that guy." He smiled and said proudly, "that is our President, Mr.Davis." From that day I became a very loyal employee and not ashamed to say I loved that man and will until the day I die.
Kenneth Charles Whapham
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Monday, April 26, 1999 at 20:56:03 (EDT)
To Nancy, Bo and the entire Davis family, Please accept our most heartfelt condolences in this most trying of times. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Your father will be greatly missed by all who have been blessed to known him. They broke the mold when they made Tom Davis and there will never be another like him.Please allow me the opportunity to relate just a few of my fondest memories of Piedmont Airlines and your father. For I believe that Piedmont is only what it was because of your father's vision, his saavy business acumen, and his natural ability to inspire those who worked for him to deliver their best.My first memories of airline travel was on a Piedmont F27 from Atlanta to Winston-Salem. I was five years old at the time and it was back in 1964. I remembered being served breakfast by the flight attendants. We had scrambled eggs, sausage and juice. There were also Chicklets chewing gum, as well as, a small five-cigarette pack of Winston cigarettes and Piedmont matches on the service tray. Of course, in a moment of intelligent diplomacy, Dad swapped his Chicklets chewing gum for our Winstons and everyone was happy. Later in the flight, we were served icy cold Coca Colas in those small 6 ounce bottles that were so popular in the South during that time. It was a time I will always remember. When I first decided to become an airline pilot, the natural choice of who to work for was Piedmont Airlines. In fact, being a "Winston-Salem boy" and for many other good reasons, Piedmont was the only choice for me. With regard to my airline career, the two happiest moments of my life were being notified that I had been accepted for flight training as a pilot by Piedmont and the day I had the unexpected pleasure to fly Mr. Davis from Wilmington, NC to Charlotte, NC. I was a new Captain on the F28. We(the airline) had officially made the change-over to USAir. As we started boarding the aircraft for our return flight to Charlotte, a fairly new "A" flight attendant came to the cockpit and advised me that an elderly gentleman wanted to come up and say hello to the pilots. The flight attendant didn't know who Mr. Davis was and of course, I didn't either until I saw his face. Mr. Davis entered the cockpit and said,"Hello, I'm Tom...," I excitedly interrupted him and said,"Mr. Tom Davis, yes sir...I know who you are! It is an extreme pleasure to have you aboard. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for my job and the pleasure of having worked for the best airline in the industry". After introducing Mr. Davis to my co-pilot, we chit-chatted a while about our flight to Charlotte, the state of the industry and reminisced about Piedmont. That bit of small talk and personal interest Mr. Davis displayed is just one of many reasons Piedmont Airlines was as great as it was. In my mind, Piedmont represented all that a good airline could be. I believe, the reason why is because of Tom Davis. Mr. Davis exuded the friendliness, caring, genuine concern, and determination for excellence that flowed from the top down of the entire Piedmont family. And you see, that is the key word: Piedmont Family. We weren't just an airline organization, we were a family.I remember one of Piedmont's advertising slogans was "A model of just how Good an airline can be." And, it was true. It wasn't just an advertising slogan. It was because of Mr. Davis and the people that he chose to be employees of the greatest airline in the world.I consider my having had the opportunity to work for Piedmont Airlines and Mr. Tom Davis as one of the high points in my life. Both may be gone in the physical sense; however, each shall live on spiritually forever.Godspeed and good wishes to you all.Sincerely,J. Michael LoyCLT 737-200 First Officer
J. Michael Loy
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Monday, April 26, 1999 at 13:35:27 (EDT)
I was saddened to hear about Mr. Davis passing on. I had the pleasure to work for a fine individual who was able to instill in his company the values of dedication, pride and hard work. Even though I joined the company in 1983, I was able to learn from others who had worked for Mr. Davis. I consider the years with Piedmont Airlines as an asset to my working experience. Under the Piedmont philosophies of how to do business with people, I have been able to carry this with me. Tom Davis inspired his employees and made the managment of his company likewise. For this opportunity I thank Mr. Davis and I will always be eternally grateful for the opportunity to work for such a fine organization which in many ways was the envy of the industry.
E.M. (Eddy) Johnston
Irmo, SC USA - Monday, April 26, 1999 at 09:25:26 (EDT)
It is with such great pride that I count it a privilege to have knownand worked for Mr. Davis at Piedmont Airlines for 13 years. There wasnever a time when I wasn't proud to work for him - yes, I consideredthat I worked for HIM at the reservation center - because he embodiedeverything that "my" airline stood for. He always had time for a smile,a chat, an encouraging word - that was Mr. Davis. We cried a long timewhen he retired and we knew that we had lost the BEST part of "our"airline. There will never be another giant like him,and I grieve witheveryone who feels the same - there are many.Thank you for sharing him with us,Janet Lewis & Family
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 22:59:20 (EDT)
My condolences to Bo and Nancy and the entire Davis family. I am indeed priveleged to be a member of the Piedmont family. May you all be comforted by the thousands of faithful employees who loved and respected Mr.Davis, and hold a very special place in our hearts for both the man and the airline.
Suffolk, Va USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 22:35:34 (EDT)
Since starting my career in Winston-Salem with Piedmont in 1971, Mr. Davis has always been a great inspiration to me in my career. I always felt that I knew him as a personal friend. My prayers and thoughts are to his family.Donna Bleich - MIA
Coral Gables, FL USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 20:56:05 (EDT)
THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT YEARS AT PIEDMONT. YOU BUILT THE BEST. NOW WE HAVE BEEN MERGED WITH USAIRWAYS AND WE ARE STILL NUMBER ONE. YOUR SPIRIT IS IN EVERY PACEMAKER STILL FLYING. LOVE YA, JIM POLLIN
WASHINGTON, DC USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 19:10:43 (EDT)
TO The Tom Davis Family : I share your grief. He was a splendid man and I share many fond memories. Thank You Tom Davis for all you did for your Company, the State of North Carolina, and your Country! You will be missed greatly! (Former Piedmont Employee)
Charlotte, NC USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 19:02:13 (EDT)
My heartfelt condolences go out to all of the Davis Family. Tom was always such a kind, gentle man to me, although the only times I saw him was during our reunions. My father often spoke of Tom in a tone that spoke of admiration and respect. Many of his tales would be of times the he, Tom and Jack would get into mischief, and always come out smelling like roses.Thank you, Tom, for those kind, encouraging words you gave me throughout the years.
Myrtle Beach, SC USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 17:39:48 (EDT)
Thomas H Davis, founder of Piedmont Airlines, will long be remembered as a compassionate, caring man who regarded each of his employees as an equal. He leaves a void which can never be filled and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. I was proud to be a part of Piedmont, the greatest airline that ever flew.
Clayton L. Brooks
Clemmons, NC USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 14:00:57 (EDT)
Count your blessings, everyone. We had the best airline in the USA! Thanks, Tom Davis, for your leadership. We WILL remember! Cal Redburn 1953 to 1980
Winston Salem, NC USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 13:46:51 (EDT)
My heart was saddened by the passing of Mr. Davis on Thursday April 22,1999..I was fortunate to have worked for him from May 1974 until i left in May 1997.Piedmont was very dear to my heart and i have many memories of my time spent with the Piedmont family...I would see Mr. Davis many times at the Smith Reynolds Airport and he would always come and speak to me...My sympathy and prayers are with you all..
King, NC USA - Sunday, April 25, 1999 at 11:24:55 (EDT)
I began with Piedmont in 1985. The company, as I'm sure the founder meant it to be, was a 'family company'. I am still a reservation agent in Orlando, now for USAIRWAYS, however, like many, my heart belongs to Piedmont. God bless your family.
Orlando, FL USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 22:40:29 (EDT)
I can't believe Mr. Tom finally left us. I was on an FH-227 flight from ATL to TRI that he was on. He was an incedibly nice and charming man. God bless him. We will all miss him.
Atlanta, GA USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 21:44:16 (EDT)
Mr. Davis was a great man and boss.
Kenneth P. Duncan
Advance, NC USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 21:08:49 (EDT)
Mr Tom Davis was a great man of many accomplishments and deedsbut the greatest was the creation of Piedmont Airlines and the guidance andlove he gave us through the years. It was a true honor and privilege to have been a part of this great undertaking that he did so well.
Richard G "Rick" Stevens
Dublin, VA USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 19:20:26 (EDT)
Words are insufficient to express the deep and fond memories I will treasure of T.H. Davis. Once in my own time of distress he came and sat with me and put his arm around me. That was Mr. Davis.
Schuyler "Sky" Day
Kernersville, NC USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 18:37:19 (EDT)
My fondest memory of Tom Davis will be how he always greeted me. It began the first day I met him in the summer of 1950. I was 19 years old and had just started working as an agent in ROA. A flight landed one day and as I began to signal the Captain to the parking position, I noticed an unfamiliar face in the left seat of the DC-3. After the engines stopped, the first procedure was to place chocks at the wheels and then plug in the battery cart. As I came from under the plane, I was greeted by the person I had seen in the Captainís seat but this gentleman was wearing a business suit, not a uniform. I remembered what my fellow agents had told me about Tom Davis sometimes coming in unexpectedly, usually flying the airplane. He came over to me and said "Good morning, Iím Tom Davis." I responded, "Good Morning Mr. Davis, Iím Bob Reed. Glad to meet you." He replied, "Itís good to meet you too, Rapid Robert." The last time I saw him, just a few months ago at Hillís Bar-B-Q, where the former officers meet once each month for lunch, I said, "Good morning Boss." He said, "How are you, Rapid Robert." There will never be another like him.....and there will never be another Piedmont Airlines.
Pfafftown, NC USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 16:24:19 (EDT)
I have just returned from the funeral honoring a great leader. It was a moving service that not only remembered Tom Davis but the One who gave him to us. My mom once told me that "a persons only treasures are the ones they gave away." Mr. Davis is truly a rich man. Steve Holland
Southmont, NC USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 15:58:51 (EDT)
It was an honor working for Piedmont Airlines. In addition to my name, please add the name of Ed Laskowski. He loved Tom Davis and the airline he created. God Bless you all.
Angela M. Flynn
Titusville, FL USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 15:51:49 (EDT)
I had the distinct pleasure of joining Piedmont in August 1947 to help build this airline into one of the best. Mr. Davis was a great leader and the industry will miss him. I shared the same birthdate with "Mr. Tom" and will always remember him. My condolences to his family. Sincerely, Walt Rollick - Piedmont Communications 1947-1960
Walter D. Rollick, Sr.
Fort Myers, FloridaI had the distinct USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 13:59:27 (EDT)
MR.DAVIS ENRICHED MY LIFE IN MORE WAYS THAN I CAN NAME AND I AM GRATEFUL FOR IT.
Winston Salem, NC USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 13:18:56 (EDT)
My condolences to the immediate family of Tom. I was a Piedmont employee for only four and one half years '87-'91, but have heard of his accomplisments and how he put Winston-Salem on the map. He will be sorely missed.With Regrets,Thomas M. Fry1195 Brookridge Dr., Walnut Cove, NC 27052336-591-5560
Thomas M. Fry
Walnut Cove, NC USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 12:35:41 (EDT)
Mr. Davis'll be sadly missed by all of the Piedmont Employes. I don't feel former because I'll always be a Piedmont Employee. My love and prayers to his loving family.
Mary Frances Blaine
Ashland, KY USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 03:43:37 (EDT)
Piedmont was the only airline that I ever wanted to fly for.
FO Robert Wade Kimrey
Charlotte, NC USA - Friday, April 23, 1999 at 22:13:15 (EDT)
It is sad to see the passing of someone who touched so many lives. I am very proud to be part of the Piedmont family, that he started. I don't think a week went by that he didn't walk through the hanger and talking to all he could. I believe he enjoyed this as much as we did. I entered the Piedmont family in May of 1966.
Robert W. Wood
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Friday, April 23, 1999 at 20:03:43 (EDT)
I am deeply saddened, as I know everyone that ever met Mr. Tom, is tonight. I relate this story in his memory: Although I worked for Piedmont for 32 years (1957-1989)and loved every minute of it, Mr. Tom was my hero long before Piedmont Airlines was ever born. I will never forget the day a small skinny little kid hardly ten years old, nervously carried his empty quart fruit jar onto the ramp at the old hangar at the Winston Airport. The year was 1940. There the little boy was greeted by a nice young man who asked him "could I help you?" The little boy answered "I want to buy some dope (for model airplanes) and I've got ten cents to pay for it." The nice man told the little boy to follow him, all the while telling him to be careful while at the airport, because of the danger of the propellers. The nice man and the little boy entered the hangar and walked over to a 55 gallon drum. After filling the jar with "dope" the nice man handed the jar to the little boy. The little boy quickly set the jar down and reached into his pocket and pulled out ten cents ... two nickels. The nice man said "it will only be five cents" (much less than the going rate)and took one of the nickels from the little boy's hand, smiled, patted him on the head and told him to be careful on his way home. The happy little boy began his walk to his home, thinking... what a nice man! The nice man was Tom Davis, the little boy was me!
Bill (Sebo) Sebastian
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Friday, April 23, 1999 at 00:24:18 (EDT)
The words escape me right now, but I will say that I never got a job with Piedmont, though I tried many times. I was raised in Wilmington and Charlotte NC, and I loved Piedmont Airlines as a child and even now as an adult I still have a reserved place for the airline and even more so for Mr. Davis. At Wilmington airport there is a painting of Mr Davis, and every time I see that painting I have a deep seating dream that one day the speed bird would fly again under the ideaolgy of Mr Davis' vision of a service to the customer and not just a money making machine. Though I never worked at Piedmont, it was that speed bird that would fly over our house in Wilmington that sparked a fire in my heart to work for Piedmont Airlines. Even though I never accomplished that dream, I was fueled by a passion that always had me reaching higher. So Mr Davis' vision impacted this Continental employee to reach for the best, and now somewhat his vision still lives on and inspires me, for my current employer (Gordon Bethune) is a product of that vision. Thanks for the dreams Mr. Davis.
Porter, TX USA - Thursday, April 22, 1999 at 19:33:42 (EDT)
Tom Davis has been a major part of my life for many, many years. He was my inspiration, my mentor and my friend for 31 years. I am grateful for having the opportunity to learn, prosper and grow from his wisdom, knowledge, patience and honesty. My memories are filled with love, honor and respect. I will miss his kind and gentle presence.
Cherryl Shamel Hartman
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Thursday, April 22, 1999 at 18:28:14 (EDT)
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