Airway Pioneer Member
John W. Deckman

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Professional bio of John Deckman: I was born in '31 and walked up the steps of the York County, PA post office to join the Marines in the summer of '48. Sarg was out to lunch so I joined the Navy instead. The Chief Bos'n signed me up as an airman recruit and my career in aviation was thereby established. I became an aircontrolman in '49 and worked in towers at Navy Key West (Boca Chica), Trinidad BWI, NAS Atlantic City, Naples, Italy and Jacksonville until the summer of '58 when I took my discharge on the promise of a job at Jacksonville ARTCC. While awaiting assignment I visited old friends at Atlantic City tower which was by that time a CAA facility. During the visit I was offered a job as a controller in the former navy radar facility there which had been taken over by the Airways Modernization Board (AMB). I took the job as it was at a higher grade than the CAA was offering at Jacksonville. Soon thereafter the FAA was formed and the AMB was absorbed and became the FAA Research and Development Service. I worked there for 12 years as a controller, team supervisor, and systems analyst, a skill I picked up along the way. I was asked to go to Washington as a systems analyst in '70, but serendipitously was selected as Chief Automation Staff, Pacific Region instead. I remained in Hawaii for ten years. Work was plentiful, and my twelve years in R&D served both me and the Region well. I took an early go in '80. Retired (more or less) in York County until '87 when I went to work for Jerry Thompson & Associates (JTA), an aviation systems company in the Washington area. I spent most of the next 5 years, however, commuting to Bell Labs in Naperville, IL. My wife, Hope, and I moved to Palm Coast FL in December '91 and I rejoined the ranks of the retired in January '92 when the contract on which I was working with Bell Labs went south and the JTA team there was disbanded. Not your typical ATC career, but loads of fun and filled with numerous friends along the way. Indeed, one of the first projects I undertook in retirement was to write an autobiography. I recommend this to anyone among you who enjoys writing.

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