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From the Hangars

Donation Spotlight: Janice Crisp

Dec 01, 2023

 

Janice Crisp

Janice Crisp, ca. 1966.

At the Delta Flight Museum part of our mission is to preserve Delta legacies and inspire future members of the aviation community. This past summer we had the opportunity to do both when we visited former Delta Stewardess Janice Crisp at her home in Thibodaux, Louisiana. There we got to know her and learn about her career. 

She went by “Jan” in the air and served the skies for 34 years. As you can imagine, during that time she was able to collect countless stories and amass a closet full of uniforms and, lucky for us, Jan saved them all.  

Janice 1

Janice (back row, far left) and family.

Flying was in her blood. Her father was a pilot in the Air Force stationed at the Panama Canal and, when Janice was 9 years old, she and her mother took a trip on Pan Am from New Orleans to visit him. She was so impressed by the stewardess onboard that in that moment she knew she wanted a life in the air.

Janice 3

Janice (front row, second from right) and the Delta Stewardess graduating class of November, 1958. 

She first began her career in flight by learning to become a pilot in Japan while her father was stationed at Tachikawa Air Force Base. She graduated from high school there and even worked as a secretary at the Aero Club to pay for her flying hours. She attended college in Tokyo before moving back to Louisiana where she would soon be hired as a stewardess by Delta.

Janice's Uniform in SJU

Janice's 1959 uniform on display in San Juan, Puerto Rico for an event celebrating Delta's 70 years of service to SJU in June, 2023. Uniform was part of her donation to the Delta Flight Museum. 

She was originally stationed in Dallas but moved to New Orleans after six months. Jan primarily flew Caribbean routes. Her favorites included Caracas, Venezuela and San Juan, Puerto Rico, the latter at which she trained for her pilot instrument rating on long layovers. She recalled stories of meeting many celebrities traveling to the Caribbean including serving Sammy Davis Jr. a meal and being mortified when she accidentally dropped a bag on Eartha Kitt's foot. 

Janice 2

Janice (Front row, far left) in the United States Navy Reserves.

Before and during her Delta career, Jan followed in her father’s military footsteps. She served in the Civil Air Patrol for a short time and while at Delta enlisted in the United States Navy Reserves. In the effort to further her aviation education, she trained as an aircraft mechanic in the Navy Reserves and went on to become the first graduate of Nicholls State University’s pilot training program with an Associate of Science degree in aeronautics.

Janice's bag tag

Janice's flight bag, 1960s. Bag and bag tag were part of donation to the Delta Flight Museum. 

All the training and plaudits she accumulated couldn’t keep her from what she truly loved…being a stewardess. The “simple human things” of welcoming passengers aboard or helping them find their seat inspired confidence and appreciation for the job she was doing and the airline she was doing it for. Her motto in life, "respect and care," showed as she flew for Delta from 1958 to 1992.

Janice with portrait photos

Janice with Delta portrait photos, June 2023. Portraits are of her in her Delta uniform worn in summer 1966-1968. 

The Delta Flight Museum accepted the donation of Jan’s career uniform collection and, partnering with Delta’s Corporate Communications team, captured some of her thoughts and stories. A very special thank you to the Delta team and all their hard work. Click the link below to see video from the interview. 

Janice Crisp Interview

The museum is incredibly proud to have Jan’s collection and to preserve her aviation legacy. A heartfelt thanks from the entire Delta Flight Museum team goes out to her for her graciousness and generosity.  

Thank you, Jan!

 

Austin Vallejos-Coleman

Specialist - Exhibits and Projects

3 comments

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  1. Steve Stanley | Dec 02, 2023
    I had the pleasure of flying with Jan for many years when I was based in MSY 
  2. Thomas Fletcher | Dec 01, 2023
    FLY THOSE BIG DELTA JETS 
  3. Bob Mink | Dec 01, 2023
    wonderful career Janice, with Delta where I worked for over 43 years

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