Dedicated to Friends, Past and Present

James Walter Godwin, age 94, of Fairhope, Alabama, passed away peacefully on November 13, 2018 from lung cancer.  Jim was born on February 4, 1924, in Leesburg, Georgia.  Survivors include his wife, Yvonne Godwin of Cumming, GA, daughters, Kathleen Godwin of Frederick, MD, Shirley and Greg Harwell of Suwanee, GA, and Nancy Hamby of Cumming, GA, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Jim enlisted in the Army at 17 years of age and served in North Africa, but a broken back ended his Army career.  Never giving up his passion for flying, he taught himself to fly and bought a fleet of crop dusters and dusted cotton for several years.  In October 1950 he was hired by Southern Airways, Inc. as a First Officer.  Over the next many years he worked his way up to Vice President of Southern Airways, Inc.  He stepped down from that desk job to go back to his love of flying. 

On November 10, 1972, he flew the follow-up and return aircraft in one of the first and strangest hijackings in US aviation history.  It began in Birmingham, AL and went to Toronto, Orlando and Cuba (twice).  It lasted 3 days and that was the start of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and tighter airline security.  His last flight was on his 93rd birthday when he flew a Cessna 182 and was the oldest pilot to fly out of the Foley, AL airport.  He was on Cloud 9!

A memorial service is planned in the spring of 2019 in Leesburg, GA.



James Walter Godwin
February 4, 1924 - November 13, 2018