Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

James J. Brophy

In Memoriam

September 16, 1932 - June 30, 2022

Jim Brophy, a former Navigator for FTL, is survived by his wife, Judith (Judy) Brophy, Jim's daughter, Sue Brophy, and his one grandson.

Jim joined the Air Force as a young adult and became a Flight Navigator. He was able to employ this skill at Flying Tiger Line, and later, at Pacific American Airline based out of Honolulu, Hawaii, Navigating from Oahu to two tiny atoll islands in the midst of the Pacific Ocean, Tarawa and Christmas Island of the Nation of Kiribati (Pronounced: Ki-ri-bahs).  He furthered his career and obtained the licenses required to fly as a commercial pilot, which served him as he went on to fly with Hawaii Air Ambulance, transporting patients from the outer islands to Oahu.

Around 1983, he met Judith in Hawaii, while sailing with friends.  They were married shortly afterwards and moved to the state of Washington when Jim retired from flying at the age of 63.  Judy continued working for The Navy and was transferred to Bremerton-Silverdale, Washington.

Jim was passionate about Astronomy, and held the position of Vice President of the "Olympic Astronomical Society,"  for whom he gave many lectures and demonstrations about the night sky and Celestial Navigation.

During the last few years of his life, he succumbed to Alzheimers Disease.  Judy was his primary caregiver and devoted wife.  Jim died  just before 8pm on Thursday, 30 June 2022 due to complications from a stroke he had some days earlier.

He is sorely missed.

The following comes from Capt. George Gewehr who knew Jim very well.

Jim was one of the best among many navigator that Tiger's had flying for them. He was also one of the funniest people with his clever lighthearted Irish sense of humor. He was erudite in some ways and simple in others. I recall I couldn't remember the word thatmdescribes a set of numbers you can read the same forward or backward. I was flying with Jim then and my employee number was agroup of numbers that did just that, read the  same forward or backward. I asked him, "Jim what's the word that describes a group of numbers that read the same forward or backward?" He answered without a pause, "Palindromes" George. "'Why, do you feel like we are going forward or backward?"

That was Jim at his best. We have and will miss Jim very much. Rest in peace my friend.
George Gewehr

The following is from former FTLPA flight attendant Robin Pestarino:

Jim, Jerry Proctor and I went to the Marine shooting range in Okinawa in the 1970s..  Jerry, being a former Marine, got us on with no problem.  We were shooting skeet and having a wonderful time when it was Jim’s turn.  He didn’t shoulder the rifle well and when the recoil slammed into his shoulder, he almost fell backwards.  The range marshal came over when he saw what happened and told us to straighten up or leave.  Poor Jim had a horrendous bruise shoulder and could barely carry his bags the rest of the week.

  Jim was a lovely man who was all professional on the plane.  He was funny without trying.  We had many flights together during the transition from “shooting the stars” to having Doppler navigation.  Jim became a pilot in order to keep flying.  It was wonderful to see him in the right seat.  I missed him when I quit in ‘79, a true gentleman and a good friend.


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