PALMDALE – Dozens of friends, local dignitaries, and volunteers gathered at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark Saturday to celebrate the 90th birthday for Palmdale legend Joe Davies.
“It’s an honor for me to be able to honor him,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “Probably the most honorable person I know is Joe Davies.”
The city of Palmdale will be naming Thursday, January 10 as “Joe Davie’s Day”, Ledford said.
The official announcement will be made at the Palmdale council meeting on Wednesday. All are invited to attend.
Knight High School Junior ROTC began the birthday celebration by presenting the colors, while attendees recited the National Anthem. Assistant Superintendent of Maintenance Rod Holtz followed with the opening speech.
“The lasting impression I’ve always had about the person, Joe, was that he always took the time to say hi and recognize everyone by name,” said Holtz. “He always had a smile for everyone, no matter how insignificant the person was.”
Several speeches were made, with Ledford acting as Master of Ceremonies. Awards and certificates were presented to Davies for his overall citizenship and accomplishments.
“I’ve known him for all of my life,” said Senator Steve Knight. “He was my hero because he had true character and he always kind of attracted people who had true character. You couldn’t attract more character than Joe Davies. Every year he should get something like this.”
Davies has always been a great mentor, according to Palmdale School District Board President Sandra Corrales-Eneix
“I’m a proud graduate of the Joe Davies’ school of Public Service,” Corrales-Eneix said. “He’s very encouraging, nurturing, welcoming, and to me, he’s always been the epitome of what Palmdale is.”
Davies was a commander of Plant 42 in Palmdale for several years before heading to Vietnam in the US Air Force, where he served as a pilot and installation commander. He served 30 years in the US Air Force.
After retiring from the service, Davies worked for 20 years with North American Aviation, Rockwell International, and The Boeing Company in the aerospace industry.
From 1988 to 1999, Davies was a member of the Palmdale City Council. For four of those years, he served as mayor pro tem. He was also a commissioner on the City’s Aviation and Aerospace Commission, as well as a member of the Kiwanis Club.
The birthday celebration and cake cutting ceremony was held inside the airpark’s maintenance shop. The C-46 was available for viewing, as well.