Gene Roddenberry gave a lot to the world. There is Star Trek, of course, not to mention The Lieutenant, his earlier series about the Marines. The television creator had been a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps himself. By the late 1940s, he was piloting Pan Am flights from New York to South Africa and India.
He was serving as the third officer on Pan Am Flight 101 from Karachi to Istanbul in the summer of 1947. The Lockheed craft caught fire and went down in the Syrian desert. Roddenberry helped keep passengers calm and pulled folks out of the wreckage. The valiant act of derring-do is not as widely known as the adventures of the USS Enterprise, but cartoonist Matthew Inman is looking to change that.
Inman crafted a comic strip that tells the story of the crash. You can check it out at theoatmeal.com. The comic had been seen by over 10 million people on Facebook. It garned so much attention it became headline news.
Gene Roddenberry is no long just a sci-fi fan's iocn. He's an aviation super hero.
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