Lawrence D. “Larry” Nicholls, Jr.
Airline Pilot
CAPT, Eastern Airlines, Miami International Airport
Miami, Florida.

Born 2-17-28, New Orleans, La; married 6-10-50, Marcella Vaclavik, Corpus Christi, Texas (met Marcella while in Advanced Flight training). Have 3 children: 1 daughter, Cindy, 4-11-57, (a flight attendant with Delta Airlines), and 2 sons, Larry D., III, 7-12-52, (employed with Sears), and R. Scott, 11-18-63, (airline pilot with A.S.A., a Delta Commuter airline) plus 1 grandson. Both Larry, III, and Cindy are married.

Jesuit H.S., 6-45, New Orleans, La.; enlisted in Navy V-5 Program, 7-45, and reported for active duty, 11-1-45. Attended Tulane University, New Orleans, La., 11-45 to 6-47. NAS Pensacola, Fla., 7-47, for Pre-Flight and Basic Training and then to Corpus Christi, Texas for Advanced Training. Was Commissioned Ensign, USN, 6-3-49, and designated Naval Aviator, 7-7-49. 10 years active duty in the regular Navy, 12 years in the reserves. Retired, 11-1-68, as a full Commander, USNR.

"After earning my wings, I was assigned to the Atlantic Sixth Fleet, serving in VF-43 and, later, in VF-13, flying F4U-4 and -5 Corsairs for a little over 3 years. Deployed on 5 cruises on 5 different aircraft carriers. Next tour of duty was as a Flight Instructor (F6Fs) at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. Applied for and was accepted as a TAR (Training and Administrative Reserve). Attended Aircraft Maintenance School, Navy Memphis, and assigned as Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer, NAS New Orleans. Met several airline pilots there and decided to leave the Navy for an airline pilot career with Eastern Air Lines."

"Discharged from active duty, 9-30-55. Reported for training, 10-3-55, in Miami, Fla., with Eastern Airlines. During a 32 year career with Eastern, flew 10 different types of aircraft, from the old Martin 404 twin prop to the DC10-30 and A-300 wide bodies. As a senior Captain, flew DC-10-30 aircraft to London and South America. Retired from Eastern, 9-30-87, exactly 32 years to the date of my discharge from active duty in the Navy!"

"Did spend another 12 years as a Navy Reserve Officer flying ADs, F9F-6, R4D, and C-54 aircraft. Last assignment was as Commanding Officer of VR-821 at NAS Atlanta, Georgia. Retired, 11-1-68, as Commander, USNR."

"After retiring from Eastern, continued to fly commercially with Dodson Air, owned and operated by a friend. We flew Comanche turbo prop and Piper Navajo aircraft. Had the good fortune to fly with my own son, Scott, before he left us to fly for an airline. Last commercial flight was 3-19-90."

"Am now starting the retirement life with a lot of tennis, some scuba diving, fishing, and an occasional trip or two, such as going to fish in Venezuela. Health is good, thank the Lord, and am enjoying life as much as I can."

Larry Nicholls


Pensacola Pre-Flight Class 13-47