Milton L. Brandon, best known as “Preacher” to the Memphis aviation community, was posthumously inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame at the group’s 12th annual ceremony and gala held recently in Murfreesboro, TN.
“Preacher” worked at Memphis International Airport for 74 years and became the face of MEM to the corporate world of aviation. His smiles and his brand of customer service made him an icon at Tennessee’s largest airport.
He worked for the fixed base operator (FBO), Memphis Aero and all its successors, including the current Signature Flight Support.
His first full-time job at Memphis Municipal Airport was in 1937 where he sold peanuts and popcorn. During WWII, at the old Clarksdale Airport, he taught airmen how to hand-prop the Stearman airplane engine, and he worked at the National Guard PX.
He was also an ordained minister and acquired the nickname “Preacher” from his aviation comrades and customers. Once in his dual role of “Preacher” and Fixed Base Operator employee he performed a wedding ceremony for a couple that wanted to be married near the airfield.
Brandon drove the FBO’s courtesy van rendering service to scores of dignitaries, CEOs, corporate flight crews and celebrities including Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Michael Jordon. He treated everyone with the same superior level of service and respect.
The local area aviation community honored him in 1998 by inducting him into the Memphis Aviation Legends Hall of Fame.
And, it was his exceptional performance that brought him the recognition as Memphis International Airport’s goodwill “Ambassador Extraordinaire” and “Customer Service Champion” in 2008.
His enshrinement into the State of Tennessee’s Official Aviation Hall of Fame, established by the 102nd General Assembly, bestows on him Tennessee’s highest honor in aviation.