Thirty-eight African American pilots, representing nearly 50% of the worldwide minority pilot population convened in Chicago in 1976 to address the apparent lack of diversity and inclusion in the airline industry.

These founders, and aviation industry pioneers, led honorable military and commercial aviation careers. Facing opposition in multiple wars, gender inequality and race relations; the OBAP founding members are continually honored for their unwavering commitment to their careers, notwithstanding trying times and turbulent winds. 

Their courage and determination in the eye of adversity are at the very foundation of our organization’s legacy. 

Stanley M. Allen

Don E. Barton
Howard L. Baugh
James E. Betts
Charles E. Black
Frederick I. Boone Jr.
James A. Brannen
William Brown
Willis N. Brown Jr.
Solomon Cates
Sidney L. Clark Jr.
Bennie Clay
Charles A. Davis
James L. Edwards
Simon P. Gaskill
John Gordon
James H. Green
David E. Harris
Harold C. Heard Jr.
Frank B. Jones
Alexander Lambert
James E. Lee III
Charles S. Mack
Edward Moon
Joseph Moore
Pickney Mosely Jr.
George W. Nixon
Jack Noel
William R. Norwood
Oscar Perry
William C. Rand
Richard E. Roundtree
Herman O. Samuels
Robert E. Smith
J. Georges "Paco" Sulmers
Barry Taylor
Benjamin F. Thomas
R. Ricardo Youngblood