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   Vol. 15  No. 55
Wednesday July 20, 2016

Dallas Was One Cool Customer

Dallas Was One Cool Customer
     Dallas K. Sherman died on Friday, July 15, 2016.
     Dal, who was born in San Marcus, California, in 1929, was 86 years old.
     He entered the Civil Air Patrol in 1943 and caught the wind of passion for flying.
     As an enlisted man, he had to work very hard to receive his fighter pilot wings.
     But early on Dal showed a keen determination, which was captured in an early photo of his Mom pinning his wings when he graduated as a pilot in 1953.
     He is also pictured later with his F100.

Dallas Sherman Early Life

     Dallas Sherman spent 18 years as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and was a fly-boy hero well before we got to know him when went to work for American Airlines Cargo.
     He left the service as a Major because his Uncle John McPherson, of Airborne Freight Company fame, wanted him full time.
     He thereafter pursued his business career in transportation and aviation beginning with Airborne Flower Traffic (later Airborne Freight Company) where was instrumental in its growth from an airfreight forwarder and travel agency to a worldwide, integrated express air carrier.
     Dal worked for UPS in the 1980s and later was recruited to Guinness Peat Aviation (an Irish company that leased aircraft), forming and leading European Expedite in Belgium (a DHL courier airline concept).

AA Cargo Team 1990
Once upon a time at American—Circa 1990, Back Row: Bob Kmiotek, Bill Boesch, Joe Phelan, and Dal Sherman; Second Row: Bob Ciminelli, Jimmy Caruso, and Richard Shackleford; First Row: Dan Agostino, Ken Jones, Lou Montella, and Steve Leonard.

     Dal joined American Airlines Cargo in 1990 when Bill Boesch recruited him as VP of Cargo Marketing and Business Development.
     Bill Boesch recalls first meeting Dallas in Europe during the early 1970s.
     “Dallas was VP of Europe for Airborne, one of Seaboard’s largest customers, during a time I was running SWA’s global sales effort,” Bill said.
     Dallas impressed me from the get-go.
     “Firstly, he was an expert in air cargo and the airlines.
     “He was also a world class businessman, and perhaps best of all, Dallas was a warmhearted colleague.”
     Bill recalls that Dallas kept in touch throughout the years, admitting that they “called each other often for advice.”
Dallas Sherman, Carl Carlson and Garner McNett     “When I joined American as President of AA Cargo, we needed a businessman who knew air cargo and could work with a young team to run the marketing operation and mentor the young people who would take over for us.
     “I had a hard time convincing AA leadership that a 60 year old had the energy to do all that we needed to be done to build an effective cargo program.
     “But the naysayers learned very quickly their fears were unfounded.
     “In short, Dallas Sherman was a wizened, forward-looking, nurturing individual who saw the big picture, always took the time, and had the simple, decent patience to bring everyone else along. He always solicited everybody for ideas and new thinking.
     “Dallas, in every sense, was a renaissance man,” Bill Boesch said.
     “He was usually the first one in the office and the last one to leave.
     “He did a job that most in the industry viewed as extremely challenging—taking the world’s leading passenger airline and turning it into an air cargo power without using freighters—and became respected by competitors and customers,” Bill Boesch said.
     Just like many others, Bill remembers Dal as one of his mentors, concluding simply:
     “I will deeply miss my friend.”
     “I am really saddened to hear the news.
     Ram Menen, who served as DSVP at Emirates SkyCargo said, “Dal was a great guy. I really enjoyed interacting with him in the early nineties and meeting and catching up with him last year.
     “We will all miss him dearly,” Ram said.
Mark Najarian     Today Mark Najarian is Managing Director-Customer Care at American Airlines, but he came up in AA Cargo having served as Managing Director of Cargo Sales.
     “In the early 90s, when AA and AA Cargo were growing in double digits every year, and Bill Boesch was President of Cargo,” Mark recalled, “he assembled a team of experienced leaders to help guide the business and several new hires to the company, including myself.
     “For me it was great to have Dal around as a mentor and as someone whose kind spirit and experience were very valuable as we endeavored to lift AA Cargo into an industry leader.
     “As (Air Cargo News/FlyingTypers) documented so often during those years, our results spoke for themselves and made AA Cargo a leader to this day.
     “Dal was a great man.
     “May he rest in peace,” Mark Najarian said.
     Yutaka Saito, an alumnus of Emery Air Freight who later built the AA Cargo brand from his Tokyo-base as managing director of cargo from 1996 to 2007, remembered Dal:
     “I am extremely sad to hear my dear friend, Dal, has gone.
     “I recall many pleasant memories as we worked and enjoyed our experiences at American Airlines and life together.
     “My deepest condolences to his family.”
     For a reporter, Dallas Sherman was a dream: an informed, assured, always quiet classy guy whose word was his bond.
     There was an ethereal decency about him that shone through in everything he did.
     He was a wonderful human, being full of spirit and giving in every situation I ever saw him in.
     Dal was that kind of sweetness—he always brought out the best in people.
     He was never a pushover, either. You just wanted to be on his team.
     He had qualities that you can only hope for in other people.
     He will forever be in my heart as a genuine cool customer.
Dal And Michele Wilkinson     After American, Dal moved to Tailwind International, Inc., an air transportation and aircraft chartering service based in Addison, Texas. Founded in 1989, Tailwind was operated by Dal’s wife, Michele Wilkinson (pictured here with Dal).
     Michele, who was with Dal at the end and for their many years of marriage and business together, said that she was greatly moved by his courage.
     “He loved this country so much, spent 18 years of his life in service with the Air Force, and just a few weeks ago, finally related some of those untold stories to his children.
     “They didn’t even know about the truly heroic things he did in defense of our great nation!
     “We will have a military burial in San Diego, a little cemetery right outside San Marcus, where he was born.”

About Dallas

     Dal’s last flight home was aboard American Airlines.
     The carrier Dal served so well honors all present and retired military and transported him to his final resting place in SAN.

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