Regularly Scheduled Meetings
History of Harley H. Pope Flight #48
In 1919 Pope Army Airfield was named for First Lieutenant Harley H. Pope who was killed with his crewmember, Sgt. W. W. Fleming, on January 7, 1917 when their JN-4 crashed into the Cape Fear River near Fayetteville. When the U.S. Air Force came into existence in 1947, Pope Field, was partitioned off to become Pope Air Force Base. On March 1, 2011, a Congressional Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) law, the base returned to Ft. Bragg and the airfield designated as Pope Army Airfield (AAF).
National chartered the Harley H. Pope Flight on March 26, 1977 with 30 members. Initially the flights membership comprised of C-130 pilots from the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing and its squadrons, 39th, 40th and 41st Tactical Airlift Squadrons. Over the years, Army pilots from Ft. Bragg and local retired and separated Air Force, Navy, Marine and Army pilots joined the flight. The flight met for many years at the Pope Officers Club Daedalian Room. When the club closed, flight moved to the Ft. Bragg Club. In 2013, the flight relocated to the Carolina Trace Country Club, Sanford, NC. The flight normally meets the 4th Thursday of each month except for the months of July, November, and December.
Five of the original charter members rose to the rank of Flag Officers: General Al Hansen, USAF, ret; Lt General Bob Coverdale, USAF, ret; Lt General Bob Springer, USAF, ret; Maj General Bob Patterson, USAF, ret;and Brig General Frank Kelly, USAF, ret, (deceased).
In addition, several other members became Flag Officers; General (ret) John Handy, Lt General Clay Bailey, Maj. General Nick Williams, Maj General Bobby Floyd, and Brig. General Fred Buckingham. Current retired Flag Officers; Lt General Bob Springer, Brig General Bob Norman, Brig General Walt Hersman and Brig General Jim Scanlan. The Flight also had two Daedalian Founder members: Lou Spilman and Ward Robinson. Lou Spilman, Jr. was a long time hereditary member.
In 1997, the flight had the honor and privilege to host the National convention. In 2008, at the suggestion of one of our members, the flight began a one of a kind recognition program for our senior members. A U.S. Flag flown over the United States Capitol is presented to them on their 90th birthday. Our first recipient was Maj General Don Strait, WW II Flying Ace, who received his flag from the Daedalian National Commander Lt General (ret) Brett Dula. In March of 2015 we presented our eighth U.S. Flag. At our meeting in September 2014, visiting National Commander, Lt General (ret) Nick Kehoe, recognized and presented three Daedalian coins to three flight members who have 50 years of sustained membership as Daedalians.
The flight supports many programs, currently the flight awards over 70 Daedalian JROTC Achievement Medals to High School JROTC Units in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. In addition, the flight continues to award two scholarships to deserving aviator qualified, college Air Force ROTC cadets. Beginning in the fall of 2017 the flight will add an additional scholarship to award to either an Army, Navy or Marine cadet. Each year National has matched our flights award. . In 2015 the flight started supporting the Cadet Flight Indoctrination Program by selecting and supporting a young person through completion of their first solo.
The fight has been selected as a Jimmy Doolittle Distinguished Flight in 1995, 1996 and 2015. In addition, in 2015, it received a Spencer Recruiting Scholarship award for being in the top four flights for recruiting new members.
On 1 Mar 2017, the Flight was selected again for the 2016 Jimmy Doolittle Distinguished Flight Award.
Ronald Merrick Davis was born December 23, 1928 and passed on February 2, 2019. Mr. Davis was raised in Spokane, WA. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Davis and two children, Jeannine Harris, Princeton, NJ and Charlene Mathis, Wayne, PA and four grandchildren. He graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with majors in Zoology, Chemistry and Physics.
He was active in the Naval Reserve for 3 years prior to joining the U.S. Air Force in 1950, becoming an F-84 jet fighter pilot flying with the Strategic Air Command in the Korean War. He spent 2 tours in Japan at Misawa and Chitose. Upon discharge, he made a career with Union Carbide, Linde Division raising his family in Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Chicago. After 35 years he retired to Pinehurst, NC where he has resided for the last 26 years.
Ron was active as an exhibitor of West Highland White Terriers and later an AKC judge. He subsequently field trialed and judged German Shorthair Pointers. He is a life member of the American Welding Society and the West Highland White Terrier Club of America. In Chicago, he became a Hospice volunteer and continued in retirement in Pinehurst. He volunteered as chief electrician for Habitat for Humanity for ten years. He also has been active in the Episcopal Church, Moore Buddies, The Artists League of the Sandhills, First Health Foundation, Coalition for Human Care, Family Promise and Literacy Support. Ron recently celebrated his 90th birthday.
He was an active photographer, golfer, hunter, fisherman and traveler to foreign lands having covered most of the northern hemisphere including two trips to China and Tibet by auto or small groups.
A memorial service will be held 11am, Saturday, February 16th 2019 with reception to follow at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 350 E. Massachusetts Avenue, Southern Pines.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to Foundation of First Health Hospital, 150 Applecross Rd. Pinehurst, NC 28374