The Captain William S. Arnott Legacy Award winner for 2004 – Tom Angelos


From 1994 to 2004 Tom Angelos volunteered his time and energy to carry on the work, and now the legacy, of the United Airlines Historical Foundation (UAHF) founder William (Bill) S. Arnott.

Since Bill’s passing in 1999, Tom took over the responsibility for the UAHF archive collection at United Airlines Flight Center (DENTK) in Denver, Colorado.  He worked closely with DENTK leadership to revamp and refocus its history displays at that facility.  He was able to gain their support to the extent that a donation of $15,000 was given to the Foundation from the United Employee Roundtable to help with the exhibit redesign costs.  Tom utilized the funds to their full benefit and created a beautiful display that depicts the evolution of United Airlines.  The exhibit has been extremely well received by DENTK employees and the many visitors to the facility.

Tom also responded to numerous phone, email and U.S. mail inquiries from both customers and employees seeking information about various aspects of United’s operation over the years.  He supported requests for loaned memorabilia from local aviation museums and for airport functions.  His willingness to help is a positive reflection of the good work UAHF can accomplish.

Over the last ten years, Tom retired twice from the UAHF board and was recently elected to Emeritus member status.  He continues to help at the DENTK office as time and energy allow, which is a strong testament to his love for United.

We’re extremely proud and grateful for our association with Tom. His dedication to UAHFs motto “Preserve the Past, Inspire the Future” has truly been carried out at DENTK and makes him the perfect candidate for the William S. Arnott Legacy Award for 2004. 

Career Highlights

1940-1942 (Air/Ground Radio Operator)
Hired April 29, 1940 – Chicago Midway Airport, Flight Operations Division

1942-1945 – Flight Radio Operator
San Francisco Pacific Flight Operations; WWII Military Air Transport Command, Pacific Theater (flew C87s)

Obtained Flight Navigator and Flight Radio Operator FAA Airman Certificates

1947-1949 (Dual qualified Navigator and Flight Radio Crew Member)
Assigned to San Francisco-Honolulu DC-6 schedule and first flight eastbound was Honolulu-San Francisco inaugural flight May 1, 1947

1949 – Communications Department – Navigation Aids Section
Transferred to Denver Operations Center

1950 – Flight Navigator
Korean War ATC Survey Flight.  DC-6 via San Francisco-Honolulu-Wake Island-Tokyo.

1962 (August) Navigation Aids Manager
Relocated to Executive Office in Chicago area when Flight Operations and Communications Department moved.  Served on FAA, ATA, and IATA industry committees. 

Became a member of “The Institute of Navigation”.

Presided over in-house “Long Range Over water Navigation System” study to replace Flight Navigators.  Recommendation to install INS was adopted. 

Received Flight Operations Division Safety Award for audio/video tape reproduction of cargo flight accident, Salt Lake City. 

Retired from United Airlines after 41 years of service in the Flight Operations Division

1995 – Elected to the UAHF Board of Directors