James Matthew Elrod
Capt. Elrod was an excellent, experienced pilot who was well-respected by all his peers and co-workers. A 23,800-hr ATP, he had been a commercial pilot since 1945, and had served 19 years with Allegheny Airlines. He had flown for Lake Central airlines prior to their merger with Allegheny. A native of Ringo, GA, Elrod had attended North Georgia College at Dahlonega. He left behind a wife, Marge, a daughter, Dianne, and sons Michael and Nolan.
Capt. Elrod lived with his family in the small town of Plainfield, Indiana, just a few miles west of the Weir Cook airport. Many other Allegheny pilots lived in the area with their families, and theirs was a close, tight-knit community.
These photographs have been provided by Capt. Elrod's daughter Diane:
Capt. Elrod is 2nd from the top on the stairs
Capt. Elrod is 3rd from the right
At work in the cockpit
Lake Central ad featuring Capt. Elrod
Capt. Elrod's family. The picture is dated 1970, and I'm pretty sure it's of his wife and two sons. I got this picture from the family of First Officer Heckendorn; they have my thanks!
I have had some contact now with the Elrod family, and have received some pictures from his son Michael, who got his pilot's license two years after his father's untimely departure, and has worked his way up the ranks to become a 747 captain with Northwest Airlines! I can only imagine how proud his father would feel of his son's accomplishment...
Capt. Elrod, on the occasion of his 15th anniversary celebration with Lake Central Airlines
Newspaper photograph at the time
Capt. Elrod's grave in Maple Hill Cemetery, Plainfield, IN, located less than a mile from his home.
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