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Donald "Don" Bedford
Donald Bryant Bedford was born in Albany, Oregon in 1922. He became interested in flying as a boy and later studied aeronautical engineering and obtained his pilot's license. Around 1940, he began work as an airplane mechanic at Lockheed in southern California, but Don’s love of airplanes led him to enlist in the Army in 1943 as an aviation cadet. He logged many hours of flight training, but the commanders kept him on the ground, primarily as an aircraft repairman. Don came to Alaska in 1947 and found work as an airplane mechanic in Juneau for Alaska Coastal Airlines, which later merged with Alaska Airlines. He worked on the planes and got them ready for flights all over the west coast. Don was Alaska Airlines' first employee to be recognized for 45 years of service. Biographical information taken from the interview transcript and "Like father, like son...Bedford's relationship is up in the air" by Andrew Petty, Juneau Empire, June 19, 2005. (http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/061905/loc_20050619001.shtml).