I understand from writing that one writes better if they write what they know. Aeronautics seem to be in the blood of this most famous screenplay writer.
Gene Roddenberry was born on August 19, 1921, in El Paso,TX. His parents were police officer Eugene Edward Roddenberry and Caroline "Glen" Golemon Roddenberry. He grew up in Los Angeles and attended Berendo Junior High School (now Berendo Middle School) before graduating from Franklin High School. After graduation, Roddenberry took classes in Police Studies at Los Angeles City College and became head of the Police Club,interacting with the FBI. He went on to study at Columbia University, the University of Miami, and the University of Southern California but he did not graduate.
Roddenberry developed an interest in aeronautical engineering and subsequently obtained a pilot's license In 1941. He joined the United States Army Air Corps. which in the same year became the United States Army Air Forces. He flew combat missions in the Pacific Theater with the "Bomber Barons" of the 394th Bomb Squadron, 5th Bombardment Wing of the Thirteenth Air Force and on August 2, 1943, Roddenberry was piloting a B-17E Flying Fortress named the "Yankee Doodle", from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides when mechanical failure caused it to crash on take-off. In total, he flew eighty-nine missions for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal before leaving what was then known as the Army Air Forces in 1945. After the military, Roddenberry worked as a commercial pilot for Pan American World Airways. He received a Civil Aeronautics commendation for his rescue efforts following a June 1947 crash in the Syrian desert while on a flight to Instanbul from Karachi.