Jack P. Dodge, of Revere, Swampscott, and Amherst, N.H., passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 30, 2018. Jack was the widower of Helen Dodge, of Chelsea, and significant other Florence Martin, of Swampscott, and Genevieve Bacon, of Revere.
Jack leaves many foster children and grandchildren of the families of Martin and Carley, of N.H. and Kokernak, of Maryland.
He spent 30 years as a mechanical troubleshooter for GE in the Lynn and Everett plants. Jack was a past commodore and life member of the point of pines yacht club.
He was a friendly and joyful person with always a great story to tell.
Jack will be missed by all. He is one of the last of “The Greatest Generation.”
As a pilot he took his first solo flight before WWII and joined the United States Army Air Force right after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Due to Jack’s natural mechanical aptitude he was assigned a position as a Flight Engineer and Crew Chief on a B-24 heavy bomber. He was given transitional flight training in the B-24 so he could handle the aircraft in case of emergency.
He was schedule for flight training and transition to B-29 as a co-pilot. The war ended before he would accomplish this.
Jack was based at Gunther Field in Alabama until 1946, where he trained others to become Flight Engineers and Crew Chiefs. Upon leaving the military he took advantage of the GI Bill to further his flight training and obtain Commercial and Multi-Engine ratings.
As a professional pilot his career was long and varied; he owned and flew for Aero Advertising, formerly based in Revere.
He was also a contract pilot for Revere Aviation, flying charters and checking out pilots in different airplanes, formerly based in Revere.
He flew freight of all kinds, from live lobsters to missiles, day and night, all over the United States for Aero Transit, formerly in Beverly.
He then became Chief Pilot for SkyAds, another aerial advertising company, formerly based in Beverly. They ceased flying on September 11, 2001 and never flew again.
When his 50 year mark as a professional aviator was reached, Jack as awarded the prestigious Wright Brothers Award, for being an expert pilot who has given much back to the aviation community. Less than 1% of all pilots in the United States have been honored with this achievement.
Jack had a natural ability as a pilot, but missed his calling in his life as an airline captain. However, his loss was a gain for the aviation community at large. Everywhere he went in the country, Jack was an ambassador for aviation. He introduced countless people to the world of flying, many of whom went on to become professional pilots.
Even more important, he had a way of bringing landowners living close to an airport up for an airplane ride and showing them the advantages of aviation, many times turning adversaries and potential adversaries of aviation into friends.
He was always quick with a joke and always had a kind word to say about everyone. No one ever saw him angry, he put his attitude into the power of positive thinking.