William (Bill) Bohlke Jr. has been a resident of St. Croix since 1964, when he came to join his father in pursuit of aviation opportunities. He married his wife Ruth Ann, also a long time resident of St Croix, in 1966. Together they raised two children, one of whom runs the successful family business today-Bohlke International Airways. Bill joined Trans Caribbean Airways in 1968 which merged with American Airlines in 1970. He spent almost 38 years with American, retiring #3 on the seniority list in 2005 on the Boeing 777 and amassed 37,000 + flying hours. Bill may have been retired, but remained active in the family aviation business that began back in 1959. As an active member in the community, Bill has served as an Elder on the St Croix Reformed Church board, Past President of the St. Croix Country Club, former board member of St. Croix Tennis Club, past Governor of Quiet Birdmen St. Croix Hangar, former board member of the National Air Transportation Association in Washington D.C., presently Vice President of American Airlines Grey Eagle retired pilots association, board member of Ha’Penny and active member since 2002. Bill believes Ha’Penny is a great place to meet interesting people, enjoy great food and participate in fun events. What a breathtaking backdrop for mingling with others who enjoy our island home.
Highlights of his Career:
- May 2, 1970 was credited with helping to save 38 lives aboard the ALM DC-9 which ditched off St. Croix
- In 2003 volunteered for the airlift Iraq Freedom Flights with American Airlines and flew to Kuwait from Frankfurt, Germany with troops
- 2009 Life Time Achievement Award St. Croix Chamber of Commerce
- In 2013 was presented with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of safe flying