A legacy of service to aviation
The echo of Major Berry's words "I just did my job" rang through the decades to that special day in February when they were repeated by Major Berry's nephew Frank Bedard. Frank repeated these very same words when presented with the Charles Taylor Award for 50 years of dedicated service as a mechanic.
Men like Frank Bedard and his Uncle Major Berry had no idea how great their contribution to aviation safety was. These men worked so hard, often 12 to 15 hours a day and gave so much of themselves to aviation, that they never had the time to look back and see all the people they helped. They couldn't conceive the impact their presence had on the profession that they loved. They were just too busy doing their job to realize how gigantic their contribution to aviation safety was!
In Frank Bedard's family there is an unbroken legacy of aviation safety spanning more than 85 years. Frank Bedard and his Uncle Jack weren't swashbuckling daredevil pilots. They didn't fly across the Atlantic, win air races, or set new records. Their life's work just made those accomplishments possible. People like Frank Bedard and Major Berry are rare and stand out in our society. Yet amazingly, the aviation industry seems to produce people like them in abundance. For the love of aviation, they quietly, and with little or no fanfare go about doing their jobs.
There are thousands of these unknown giants in aviation. To find them you only need to look to your local airport. They are the ones who planned and built the runway, fixed your airplane, gave you your weather briefing, and made it possible for you to fly. Studying the life's work of Frank Bedard and Major Berry has taught me that we stand on the shoulders of unknown giants! AMT
Don Dodge is Airworthiness Safety Program Manager, South Carolina FSDO.
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Charles E. Taylor, born May 24, 1868 on a farm in Illinois, was involved in many historical events related to the growth of aviation.