Captain Guy Eby
Ormond Beach - Captain Guy Eby was born on November 9, 1918, in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. He received the Navy Air Medal in 1946 for outstanding bravery in World War II. Following the war, Eby flew the Berlin Airlift and then for American Airlines until retirement in 1978 at age 60. On November 26, 1975, in command of American Airlines Flight 182, he saved the lives of 300 passengers by preventing a mid-air collision with TWA Flight 37.
Sometimes fate, or you can call it God, puts exactly the right man in exactly right place at exactly the right time. For those passengers and crews on that cloudy day, Eby was that man. He somehow sensed the situation and instantly shoved the big plane's nose down- saving the lives of all. At the time, he had flown nearly 22,000 hours. It would have been the greatest aviation disaster in the history of United States at the time had he not made that split decision.
Guy married Barbara Nelson in 1947 who passed in 1993. Barbara taught drama classes at Long Island Girls College and directed several off-Broadway shows one of which was The King and I." Captain Eby, in 1994, married his High School sweetheart Avonne "Vonie" Jane Watson who in 1995 passed from cancer. In 2002 Captain Eby married Miss Ruth E. Martin.
Captain Eby turned 100 on November 9, 2018, in Ormond Beach Florida, where he resided since 1983. One of the passengers on Eby's aircraft, Burt Herman, wrote and published a book about the incident, Eby: Master of the Moment in 2018. Captain Guy, who outlived his three wives, passed away in Ormond Beach on July 30, 2021, at the age of 102. Volusia Memorial Funeral Home & Park, in Ormond Beach will prepare his remains.
He is survived by his two sons, Robert and Wayne Eby. A virtual service will be held at (date to be determined) the Pima Air Museum in Tucson Arizona under the wing of a Navy PBM (Martin Mariner) that Captain Eby flew in WW II. Friends are asked to contact Robert Eby for details.
Published by Daytona Beach News-Journal from Aug. 17 to Aug. 22, 2021.