Capt. Don Blackburn was born in Wildwood, N.J. He served as a Lt. Colonel in the U. S. Air Force where he flew jet fighters and large transport aircraft. During a furlough from National Airlines, Don flew for Seaboard, based in Europe, and met his future wife, Elisabeth there. Don subsequently returned to National. His airline career continued through the merger with Pan Am and ultimately to United Airlines when Pan Am sold some routes and airplanes to United, with pilots included in the deal. He retired from United as a B-747 captain at age 60. Don also built a thriving import/export business in Miami.
Don is survived by his wife of 52 years, Lisbeth; his son, Steven, also a United pilot; his daughter, Christina; five grandchildren, and a nephew.
He is seen here at the 2008 SPAR reunion in Pensacola, Fla.