Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Cyrus “C.R.” Smith

  • Took charge of the southern division of American Airways in 1930 and became vice president for operations of the entire airline in 1933.
  • Elected President and Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines in 1934. Under his leadership, American Airlines introduced the first aerial sleeper service and established transcontinental service along its southern route.
  • Introduced the Douglas DC-3 to commercial flying.
  • Joined the Army Air Forces as Chief of Staff of the newly established Air Transport Command and helped build it into a global air transportation system, ferrying most of the nation’s war-planes to overseas destinations and carrying vitally needed men and materiel to every theater of operation in 1942.
  • Served as Deputy Commander of the Air Transport Command where he traveled to the China-Burma-India Theater to help direct the Hump Operation that transported supplies over the Himalayas to the Chinese armed military.
  • Launched the first nonstop transcontinental flight service linking New York with Los Angeles after returning to American Airlines following World War II.
  • Elected American’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 1964, and by 1967 built its fleet to 200 jetliners.

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