Our Memories of the 40's
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Our Memories of the 40's
By Eleanor Hayman Amos 

There were a total of six stewardesses working for National Airlines in 1941 after I joined the family.     

The primary stewardess requirement at that time was a nursing background, and being a practical nurse my basic training consisted of one round-trip to New Orleans with NAL's Chief Stewardess Helen Bowen.     

Our headquarters had been moved to Jacksonville by this time and the main terminal building there was a two room frame building approzimately 25 by 35 feet which housed all departments of the airline.     

The route had just been extended west to New Orleans and south to Miami, and on my first flight to Miami there were a total of six passengers, all non-revenue. However, these 14-passenger planes were popular and we soon became acquainted with our regular commuters between Miami and Tallahassee. These "regulars" played a big part in making our airline what it is today.     

Eleanor AmosMeals in our early days were of the box type, but delicious, and were boarded only for the passengers. I well remember our coffee dispenser, it was always getting stuck (open) and we often returned to home base with coffee colored panels on our blue uniforms.     

 Three months after I joined NAL the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor came over our radio that fateful day, December 7, 1941. We were 30 minutes out of New Orleans with about three or four sets of earphones to share with our passengers. We separated the headpieces and for the remainder of our trip there were two heads to each earphone. What started out to be strangers soon became a close-knit group in their anxiety over this tragic news.     

Looking back, we had lots of delays and no filets...but flying for National Airlines was a wonderful experience. 


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