Walter Jones McFadden, Jr.
Mr. Walter Jones McFadden, Jr., age 96 of Amelia Island, Florida passed away Wednesday afternoon, January 20, 2021. He was born on December 11, 1924 in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, to the late Walter McFadden and Emma DeMin McFadden.
Mr. McFadden was 13 years old when he had his first flight in a 1929 Waco Cabin aircraft. In 1943 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was classified as Service Pilot. He graduated from Aviation Cadets on December 22, 1944. He went to Tallahassee, FL for assignment to RTU (Replacement Training Unit) base in Thomasville, GA and again flying P 40’s. Halfway through the Fighter Pilot Program, he transitioned into North American P51D’s. On July 23, 1947 he married the former Doris Phillips.
From 1956 – 1974 Mr. McFadden started two new companies; Southern Air Surveys, Inc., and Mapco, Inc., both based in Daytona Beach, FL. They accomplished the aviation portion of all aerial survey contracts. Projects were completed throughout the entire United States and Bahamas Islands. Mapco, Inc., accomplished the in-house photographic processing, the photo interpreting, and the Photogrammetric compilation to produce topographic maps for county planning projects, city sanitary sewer projects, state highway construction projects and new housing subdivision development projects. In 1972, he sold both companies to American Appraisal Company, Inc., Milwaukee, WI.
In 1973, Mr. Jack Hunt, President of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, requested him to accept an appointment to the University’s Board of Trustees.
Mr. McFadden retired in 1974. Two weeks after retirement, one of his previous clients from Georgia, Kraft Company in Rome, GA called and wanted Mr. McFadden to start another company to serve only the forest products industry. This was the beginning of Airborne Data, Inc. With this company, Mr. McFadden developed several forest management photogrammetric programs. The aircraft used for the surveys for this industry were Piper Aztecs along with Cessna 182’s and 195’s. He served companies from east Texas to Virginia. In 2004, Airborne Data Inc. assets, airplanes, and the rights to the three forest management programs, were sold to an Aviation Company in Jacksonville, FL.
He retired again in 2004. On November 1, 2014 he received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from The Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration.
Mr. McFadden was a longtime member of the Rotary Club in Daytona Beach since 1953.
Since 2016, Mr. McFadden would skydive with close friends and neighbors. His last jump was in 2019.
Mr. McFadden is preceded in death by his wife Doris McFadden and his daughter Linda Johnston of Lovettsville, VA. He leaves behind his sons, Scott McFadden and Todd McFadden both of Ormond Beach, FL and Ann Fulton of Del Ray, FL.
In honoring his wishes, memorial-ization is by cremation.
A memorial service and inurnment will be held at Amelia Island Chapel Columbarium on Saturday, February 20th at 1:00. In lieu of flowers, friends can make contributions to the Amelia Island Chapel.
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