Based in Roanoke, Findlay was the sales and promotions manager for WDBJ television, a station that had started just four years earlier. (Charlottesville had no television station at the time of the accident.) Born in Scotland and raised and Boston, Findlay first came to Roanoke to attend Roanoke College on a full athletic scholarship before interrupting his education for the Air Corps during World War II. He worked for WRVA in Richmond before taking the job at WDBJ. He left a brother, a sister, his wife, Sue Johnston Findlay, as well as four daughters: Susan, 14; Martha, 10, Cathy, 7, and Ellen, aged 2 and a half. According to a recording made by WRVA radio on that fateful weekend, although Findlay had moved away, he always found time, when he was back in Richmond, to drop by WRVA to greet his former colleagues and always spoke proudly of his four girls.
Note: Findlay’s last name was misspelled in all media accounts of the accident, an error that sprang perhaps from an effort to differentiate him from the coincidence that an unrelated person with the same last name, William G. Findlay, was also aboard the plane.