Flying with a purpose.... to bring Help and Hope to those in need.
John Receives the “Endeavor Award”
Captain John receives the prestigious “Endeavor Award”
May 30th 2015 in Los Angeles California
At age 91 with over 28,000 flight hours and over 30 years after he retired as an airline pilot, John Billings continues to fly one Angel Flight mission a week as the PIC with his co-pilot Nevin Showman. John has flown nearly 300 missions since joining Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic in 2005. John’s love of flying began early. “I like to tell people it was my father’s fault. When I was three years old he bought two tickets on a local airplane and we flew around the local area. That infected me. Later on, for my 15th birthday, he paid for my first flying lesson. That started my interest in flying that has yet to be sated.” John enlisted for WWII and requested the aviation cadet program. “I was lucky enough to be awarded that, and the rest is history. I haven’t gotten it out of my system yet.” He flew combat missions as first pilot in B24 Liberators in Europe and secret missions from Italy for the Office of Strategic Services. In 2012 he was especially pleased to transport a WWII Veteran, who had served as a weatherman advising General Eisenhower in England, to New York on the first leg of his return to Normandy for a D-day reunion. In 1982 John retired from Eastern Airlines as a DC-9 Captain. In 2006 he was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the FAA. He has been named Volunteer Pilot of the Year for AFMA four times. “The completion of an Angel Flight mission satisfies my love of flying and the rewards of transporting patients to serve their medical needs are priceless, beyond measure.”