Edward Horne ’70 wanted to fly.

When he graduated from Puget Sound with a degree in history, there were fewer than 100 African American men and women flying commercial planes, but he didn’t let that stop him.

He served as flight commander in the 304th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, trained pilots for the United Parcel Service, and became the first African American pilot hired by Japan Airlines and the first non-Japanese first officer to be promoted to captain with the carrier. His skill and determination gave him access to planes that flying buffs dream of.

“Take the 747,” he says. “There may be 15 or 20,000 people worldwide that have ever flown that airplane.” And he’s one.