Hurley, John James (J.J.), a pioneer in U.S. Aviation, WWII veteran and Delta Air Lines oldest original pilot died suddenly in Valdosta, Georgia. J.J. was a 50+ year resident of Ft. Lauderdale. He was adored by his family and friends. J.J. loved to fly and fish. He was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and a 1938 graduate of the U of Maryland, where he was an accomplished athlete. While a construction inspector at Washington-National Airport in 1940, he received an appointment as a Flying Cadet with the Army Air Corps. J.J earned his wings in the first flight class at Maxwell Field in Montgomery, AL. During WWII, J.J. was an Army Air Corps instructor pilot for U.S, Allied Forces, Tuskegee Airmen and WASPs. He was a B-17; B-29 Instructor, Operations, Group and Wing Commander. In 1946, he began a 30 year career as a commercial airline pilot with Delta Air Lines. He logged more than 33 thousand flight hours, starting as captain on the DC-3, retiring on the L-1011. J.J. also served as Director of Operations at Mackey International Airlines. He never lost his zeal for flying. His final flight at the controls of a 1941 Stearman came at age 94. It's documented at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COxsiBuPWNM. He is preceded in death by parents John Jeremiah and WInifred Henault Hurley. Join his children Liz, Jay and Patrick at a Memorial Mass on January 19th at 1pm at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 820 N.E. 3rd Street, Ft. Lauderdale.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on Jan. 13, 2013