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ALEC CARSON BOATMAN Pearl Harbor Attack Survivor Dies at the age of 91 December 13, 2014Alec Carson Boatman, Pearl Harbor attack survivor, U.S. Navy veteran, retired American Airlines executive, father, grandfather and great grandfather died today in Mission Viejo, CA. Boatman served on the U.S.S. Tennessee in Pearl Harbor. His ship took three bomb hits during the attack, but he was uninjured. During WWII he served on several other ships and participated in the invasion of Saipan. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy in 1945. In 1947 he married Jane Rogers. They first resided in Balboa, CA where he was employed as a sailor on a private yacht. He next worked for the U.S. Railway Postal Service and in 1954 moved to Mission San Jose, CA with his wife where they purchased a home in which to raise their growing family. In 1954, he was chosen out of 500 candidates as a gate agent for American Airlines at San Francisco International Airport. He often recanted his tale of landing the job, despite being upfront with the interviewer about his lack of a high school diploma, a minimum requirement for the position. He quickly rose through the ranks of American Airlines from airport manager positions at JFK International, Buffalo, NY, and eventually to the corporate headquarters in New York City where he served as Director of Flight Services. He retired from American Airlines in 1985, and immediately began a new career as director of marketing for the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ, part of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. During his time at the Meadowlands he introduced a series of original sales promotions, such as celebrity race nights and rock and roll concerts in the trackside park. In retirement, Boatman and his wife moved to Hemet, CA, where he took up writing and authored The Pacific Appointment (Fithian Press, 1996). The book is a chronicle of his upbringing in America as compared to the life of a future Japanese fighter pilot, who would eventually attack Pearl Harbor. Boatman made several trips to Japan to research his work, which included visits to the home of Zenji Abe, the pilot depicted in the book. Boatman, who was a world traveler, avid reader and distance runner, completed the New York City Marathon, his second, at age 50. He also spent much of his free time as a volunteer with his wife delivering Meals On Wheels to shut-ins and as a "friend of the library." He was also an active member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Chapter 27 in Hemet, California. He and his wife were also members of the First Presbyterian Church of Hemet, CA and were active volunteers in various leadership and outreach ministries. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Jane Rogers Boatman, and is survived by his five children, Jeanette, Juda Jane, Jo Anne, Sally Sue and Thomas Macklin, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Memorial services, yet to be scheduled, will be held in Honolulu, where his ashes will be scattered at the Pearl Harbor Memorial with full military honors.


Published in Press-Enterprise on Dec. 21, 2014
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