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Samuel M. Goldman was born in New York City on June 5, 1921. He was a first-generation American, the son of Jewish Russian immigrants who arrived here in the early 1900s. Sam’s enthusiasm and passion for aviation developed early. He grew up in an exciting era when flight was a rapidly changing adventure, and he loved being on the cutting edge. His aviation career started in 1936 at age 15 when he attended the Harren School of Aeronautics in New York City and later graduated from the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics. He was the national champion for free-flight, gasoline-powered model airplanes, and earned his pilot’s license and his Aircraft & Engine license prior to high school graduation. Sam married his junior high school sweetheart, Charlotte, and they had two children.
Sam was very proud of his 10-year service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, which really developed his aviation expertise. He was a chief warrant officer and was part of a team that opened Dover Air Force Base. He served as crew chief and flight engineer for General Cannon and General Hudnell, and he trained thousands of flight personnel. After leaving the military, Sam started Chesapeake Airlines in 1947 and served as manager of maintenance. One of the earliest airlines in the United States, Chesapeake was eventually purchased by the Du Pont family and evolved into Allegheny Airlines, the forerunner of US Airways. His experiences taught him a great deal about airplane parts, and he created the Chesapeake Airways Service Corporation in 1949. His company became one of the largest dealers of used aircraft parts in the country, supplying the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard. The company remained in operation for over 53 years, throughout which time Sam redesigned planes and engines and held patents. He donated aircraft and parts to the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage, the Naval Museum in Pensacola, the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona, the Smithsonian Institution, and Wright Patterson Air Force Base Museum.
He died on Dec. 26, 2007.