Flight 9 Last Flights - In Memoriam

Edward mentzer photo
Col (USAF, Ret) EDWARD L. MENTZER (1936 - 2020)

Dear Flight 9,

I am so saddened to announce that Ed Mentzer took his “Final Flight” this evening. He’s now up flying with the angels and taking his well deserved place at the front of the line. We will definitely miss how he livens up our meetings. I will always treasure his time as my Provost Marshall and more recently as my Deputy. His contributions to this Flight have been immense! He was always there for us when we needed him. Please keep Connie and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Ed’s obituary follows. Also, using the following link you can watch a very heartwarming tribute to Ed:

Colonel Edward L. Mentzer, age 83 of Beavercreek, OH passed away on February 24, 2020. He was born 17 June, 1936 in Warren, Ohio, son of Bruce J and Helen T Mentzer. He leaves behind loved wife, Connie, of 60 years; daughter Lisa Carter (Jim), son Jeff (Mischika), grandson Chris Carter, granddaughters Rebecca Carter and Maggie, Mollie and Myers Mentzer and brother Don. Ed was a 1954 co-valedictorian graduate of Braceville High School. He graduated from Otterbein College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1958, and from Southern Methodist University with a Master of Science degree in 1972. Upon graduating from Otterbein Ed entered Air Force pilot training and received his wings in 1960. He amassed over 4,750 flying hours in 13 different kinds of airplanes. His assignments ranged from TX, AL, CA, FL, OH, Wash DC, Korea, Vietnam and Germany. He flew 112 combat missions in Vietnam earning the Bronze Start, Distinguished Flying Cross, numerous Air Medals, and many other decorations throughout his 27 year Air Force career. After retiring from the Air Force, Ed worked as the Midwest Regional Manager for Norden Systems, and for Modern Technologies Corporation. Throughout his life Ed’s hallmark was his volunteering. He coached youth Little League baseball, soccer and basketball. He was the Dependent Youth Association (DYA) basketball commissioner for two years and baseball commissioner one year while stationed in Germany. He led the very successful June Bug Jamboree, an Otterbein alumni gathering for 23 years, he was a volunteer at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and he did volunteer income taxes at the Beavercreek Senior Center for over 20 years. He was President of the National Alumni Association of Otterbein College and he was recognized by the college with the Distinguished Service Award and the Outstanding Volunteer award. He served two years on the Otterbein Board of Trustees. Ed also served 14 years as the Provost Marshall in the Flight 9 Order of Daedalians. Ed’s greatest loves were his God, his wife, children, grandchildren and his country. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio 43081 or The Order of Daedaliana, Box 33564, Bldg. 16 WPAFB, OH 45433 or Hospice of Miami Valley, 46 N. Detroit St #B, Xenia, Ohio 45385. Visitation will be held Friday, February 28 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Tobias Funeral Home, 3970 Dayton Xenia Road at Grange Hall Road, Beavercreek, Ohio. Funeral Service will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 10:00 AM at the Funeral Home. Private burial will be in Westerville, Ohio.

Volabamus Volamus
We Flew We Fly
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Phillip ambs photo   fairborn oh obituary
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) Phillip H. Ambs (1936 - 2019)

Dear Flight 9,

I’m saddened to report that we’ve had another one of our Flight 9 members take his “Final Flight.” Phil was an active participator in our flight and his presence will be missed in our future meetings. His obituary follows. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Phillip H. Ambs age 83 of Springfield passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 1, 2019 in his loving home. He was born the son of Everett Michael & Helen Marie (Mattingly) Ambs on August 19, 1936 in Anderson, IN. He was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife of 54 years, Joyce Ann (Chapman) Ambs; siblings, James Ambs, Mary Miller, and Margaret Walling; and son-in-law, Pete Priddy. Phil is survived by his children, Liz Priddy of Middletown, IN, Susan (Doug) See of Springfield, OH, John (Amy) Ambs of Urbana, OH, Jenny (Rob) Vogt of Springfield, OH, AND Kate (Jamie) Wagner of Springfield, OH; grandchildren, Olyvia (David) Ray, Nichole Armstrong, Jessica (Tyler) Jackson, Emily (Jarrett) Tyler, Rachael Smith, Ethan Ambs, Ben Abbitt, Jordan See, Kelly See, AND Grace Wagner; great-grandchildren, Addyson Ray and Grayson Ray; sister, Su Anne Simpson of Cicero, IN; sister-in-law, Janet Ambs of Amarillo, TX; his 102 year old aunt & godmother, Mildred Bennett of Jasonville, IN; and dear friends, Alice & Cal Smith of Fairborn, OH. He graduated from Purdue University, entered the USAF and married the love of his life in June of 1958. He was a proud Vietnam veteran, and retired as a Lt. Col. after 22 years of service, 16 of which he was a pilot. After retirement from the Air Force, he worked for TASC until he retired for the second time. Phil was an active member of the Knights of Columbus Post #3724, past Grand Knight and 4th Degree Knight, a longtime member of Mary, Help of Christians Catholic Church, and a member of the Daedalians. He enjoyed a very active retirement ushering for WSU basketball and mentored at Greenon High School. His greatest joy was spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Friends may call on Thursday, December 5, 2019 4PM to 8PM at Burcham Tobias Funeral Home, 119 E. Main St. Fairborn, OH. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, December 6, 2019 at 10AM at Mary, Help of Christian Catholic Church, 954 N. Maple Ave. Fairborn, OH with Rev. Thomas A. Nevels, Celebrant. Friends may call on Saturday, December 7, 2019 10AM to 12PM at Ballard & Sons Funeral Home, 118 S. 5th St. Middletown, IN with interment to follow at Miller Cemetery in Indiana. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Phil may be made to the Knights of Columbus Post #3724. Condolences may be sent to family at www.burchamtobiasfuneralhome.com.

Volabamus Volamus

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Potter clair
Col (USAF, Ret) Clair W. Potter (1923 - 2019)

Dear Flight 9,

It has come to my attention that another one of our Flight 9 Nonagenarian Daedalians, Col Clair W. Potter, has taken his “Final Flight” at the age of 96. Clair W. Potter graciously donated his propeller that was awarded to him by the Hartzell Propeller Company to our Daedalian Room. This beautiful walnut, six foot long, propeller decorates the wall in the Club and will serve as a wonderful memory of him. The entire prop is covered with signatures which honor Col. Potter for a life time of service to aviation. Col Potter was a long standing Daedalian who flew P-47 and P-51 aircraft during WW II and the Korean conflict. His obituary follows:

Ret. Col. Clair W. Potter of Venice, Fla., formerly of 2643 Richmar Drive, Beavercreek, Ohio, passed away surrounded by his family on Nov. 8, 2019, in Venice, Fla. He was born March 14, 1923 and later married Martha Wilbur Potter on Dec. 29, 1945 and they were together until her passing in 2009. They traveled the world and lived on three separate continents during their 64 years of marriage.

His parents were the late Nina and Edward Potter of Jamestown, N.Y.

Col. Potter served our nation for three decades. In World War II he piloted P-47’s and A-24’s. He was shot down in February 1945 over Belgium, was a POW at Stalag Luft III and the POW Camp in Nuremburg. In late 1945, he was on the forced march from Nuremburg to Stalag 7A at Moosburg where he was liberated by General Patton’s Third Army. He was amused by seeing General Patton climb up on a tank and give a short speech to the liberated prisoners. Col. Potter later flew P-51’s in the Korean conflict and numerous aircraft in Vietnam. During World War II, the Korean conflict and Vietnam, he flew 125 combat missions, accumulating 281 combat hours and earned nine bronze service stars for campaign participation.

Col. Potter was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Prisoner of War Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, European- African-Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, Republic of Korea Presidential Citation, Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), Korean Service Medal with four bronze service stars, Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze service stars, Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Campaign Medal and United Nations Service Medal.

During his career, he was recognized for his skill and knowledge as a pilot and earned ‘The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award” from the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration in 2005. He accumulated 10,660 military flight hours and a total of 14,670 hours as a pilot of numerous aircraft both military and civilian.

In retirement, he served as Air Boss, directing the Dayton Air & Trade Show Operations for 17 years. He served as an Air Show Consultant and Air Boss for many of the largest Air Shows in the United States for over 25 years. He flew his first military air demonstration flight in an Air Show in 1954 and his last as a civilian in 1999, spanning over four decades. Col. Potter shared his expertise and donated thousands of hours to the Air Show industry. He also donated generously to the restoration and preservation of many vintage aircraft.

He has been a patron contributor to organizations such as the Wright Brothers Museum, Air Force Museum and Commemorative Air Force. He was particularly proud of his financial support and assistance building the Wright B replica that was flown in numerous Air Shows Internationally. He also restored and donated the Model T that is on display at the Wright Brothers Museum.

Memberships include lifetime memberships in the Air Force Association, American Legion, Aviation Trail, Commerative Air Force, Canadian Commerative Heritage, Daedalian, American Motorcycle ASSN, MOAA, Moose, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Busti Fire Department.

He is survived by his children: Edward (Gen) Potter of Jamestown, N.Y., Linda (Gene) Johnson of Busti, N.Y., Rae Potter of Venice, Fla., and Jesse (Ece) Potter of Atlanta. Grandchildren are: Corrie Johnson of Mountain View, Calif., Shelley (Mark) Waterman of Erie, Pa., Michael (Elise Covey), Kevin (Rebecca) and Eric (Melissa) Potter, John Clair and Rushton (Jennifer Liscandro) Siggins, all of Jamestown, N.Y., and Kagan and Lara Potter of Atlanta, Ga.; 12 great-grandchildren: and many favorite nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Martha; daughter, Carol and infant daughter, Ellen Kay; and his brother, William Potter.

In lieu of flowers, contributions would be favored to go to the Wright Brothers Museum 1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton, Ohio 45409, or the Air Force Museum 1100 Spaatz Street, Wright Patterson AFB OH 45433 or the Commemorative Air Force, P.O. Box 764769, 5661 Mariner Drive, Dallas, Texas 75237.

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

Please keep Col Clair Potter’s family in your thoughts and prayers,

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

William tuxhorn dayton oh obituary
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) William Tuxhorn (1929 - 2019)

Dear Flight 9,

I’ve updated the Last Flight information on William Tuxhorn to include his obituary. A celebration of life memorial service will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 456 Woodman Dr, Riverside, OH, on Saturday, November 23 at 11 am. A private burial will be held on Monday, November 25.

TUXHORN, William R., Lt. Col. (Ret) 90, passed away on October 29, 2019. Born in Champaign, IL on September 20, 1929 to the late Albert Tuxhorn and Maryon Audrieth. Also preceded in death by step-father Ludwig Audrieth, granddaughter Nichelle (Tuxhorn) Keller, and niece Laura (Tague) Stewart. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years Virginia (Warner) Tuxhorn, his siblings Kaaren (Bob) Tague, Elsa (Jack) Hurlock, and Tony (Louise) Audrieth; children Guy (Caryla) Tuxhorn of Hartford WI, Lisa (Jerry) Royce of Loveland, OH, and Carrie (Michael) Adelman of Dublin, OH; grandchildren Ashley, Carlynn, Erin, Kate, Brooke, Sydney, and Jake; great grandchildren Jasmyne, Jennifer, Josiah, and Lithia; and numerous nieces and nephews. William graduated from VMI in 1950 with a degree in chemistry and was commissioned into the USAF. He continued his education at USC and received a degree in aerospace mechanical engineering in 1962. William served in the USAF for 28 years. He was a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War where he flew the F4D Phantom jet fighter completing 152 combat missions in the aircraft. During his tour in Vietnam he was awarded 14 decorations of service including the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross which he received for going to the assistance of a scout plane that came under heavy enemy ground fire. Prior to his tour in Vietnam, he served as an exchange pilot with the Navy on the USS Hornet making numerous landings on the air craft carrier. He retired from the USAF in 1978 with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel. William was an active member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Dayton. He enjoyed singing in the choir and served as a Eucharist Minister for many years. He was very involved in the Beavercreek Rotary having led the Exchange Student program. He was a member of the Frank P. Lahm Flight 9 Chapter of the Order of Daedalians (national fraternity of US military aviators) and participated in the senior citizens of Beavercreek Red Shirts. His favorite hobbies included scuba diving and playing golf. A celebration of life memorial service will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 456 Woodman Dr, Riverside, OH, on Saturday, November 23 at 11 am. followed by a lunch. A private burial will be held on Monday, November 25. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Beavercreek Rotary, attn: Wright State Scholarship to Beavercreek High School Students, P.O. Box 340475, Beavercreek, OH 45434 or to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in his memory.

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
We Flew, We Fly
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Dick brubaker
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) RICHARD I. BRUBAKER (1934 - 2019)

Dear Flight 9,

I’ve updated the “Last Flight” announcement for Dick Brubaker to include his photo and obituary. Also, a reminder that his visitation is at 5:00 at Aley United Methodist Church, 4143 Kemp Road in Beavercreek, Monday 14 October. Services will follow at 6:00PM.

I’m sorry to announce that Richard “Dick” Brubaker took his “Last Flight” this morning at 0730. His obituary is still in the works and I will send it out as soon as I receive it. A visitation is planned at Aley United Methodist Church on Kemp Rd at 5 O’clock on Monday 14 September. Services will follow at 6 O’clock. Dick played a tremendous role in our flight. He ran our scholarship program for many years and recently he was helping run our DFT program. When I went to see him last week he was apologizing for not being able to continue running that program. We will sorely miss him. Please keep his wife Cynthia and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

BRUBAKER, Richard “Dick” Retired USAF Lt. Col, passed away Wednesday, October 9, 2019. Dick was born in January 1934 in Philadelphia, to Lyda and Dallas Brubaker. He was Valedictorian of Media High School’s Class of 1951, then attended Gettysburg College, where he was in the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. At Gettysburg, he met Cynthia Garrow, whom he later married. Dick graduated in 1955 as a Distinguished ROTC graduate. He joined the United States Air Force and went to Pilot Training; he flew C-124 and C-141 planes for 12 years. He served in Vietnam, at Chu Lai Marine Air Base, in 1968-69, and received a Bronze Star for his service. Dick retired from the Air Force in 1975 and went to work as a Civil Service Contractor. Among his projects was equipping a new Air Force One during the GHW Bush Years. While in the Air Force and later in the Civil Service, he earned two Master’s Degrees and later a PhD in Public Administration. Dick was later employed by the State of Ohio, where he worked up until a month before his death. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Cynthia; four daughters; Patricia Zimmerman, Anne Varvel, Jill Brubaker and Jenny Wohleb. Four grandchildren: Andrew and Matthew Zimmerman; and Kristen Sanford and Kyle Bumgardner. He also has two great grand daughters, Lilly and Mackenzie Zimmerman. Dick was also active in Daedalians, Military Officers Association of America, and Aley United Methodist Church. He also volunteered at the Air Force Museum, where he accumulated 3,000 hours. A Memorial Service will be held Monday, October 14, 2019 at Aley United Methodist Church in Beavercreek. Visitation is from 5-6 PM with a service at 6:00 PM. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Air Force Museum Foundation, Daedalians Scholarship Fund, or Aley United Methodist Church. Arrangements in care of Tobias Funeral Home-Beavercreek Chapel. Online condolences may be sent to www.tobiasfuneralhome.com

Maj (USAF, Ret) Paul A. Nicholas (1921 - 2019)

Dear Flight 9,

I’m sorry to inform you that Paul Nicholas took his “Last Flight” this week at the age of 98. Paul actively attended Flight 9 meetings until his health prevented him from coming. We will miss his company. His obituary is listed below. A visitation will be held this Friday October 11 from 5 pm – 7 pm at Newcomer North Chapel (4104 Needmore Road, Dayton, OH 45424). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 10 am at St. Peter Catholic Church (6161 Chambersburg Road, Huber Heights, OH 45424). Burial will take place at a later date in Ogden City Cemetery in Ogden, UT. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

In Loving Memory of
Paul Anthony Nicholas
1921 – 2019

Paul was born in Salina, Kansas on January 17, 1921 one of four children to Clara and Jerry Nicholas. They moved to Hays, Kansas in 1933 where he graduated from high school in 1938 and attended Fort Hays University until 1940.

He then transferred to Montana State University in Missoula where he continued his studies in Forestry and played collegiate level basketball earning a scholarship and varsity letter.

Paul also worked part-time in the summer months with the U.S. Forest Service as a forest fire fighter and in one of the early smoke jumper response unit, parachuting on forest fires and other medical emergencies in the northwestern United States.

He then entered military service in 1942 as a parachute rigger and certified mechanic for the U.S. Army Air Corp. After completing flight training, he became certified to fly the PT-17 Steadman, BT-13A Vultee, AT-6 and the B-25 aircraft. He went on to be commissioned as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and later became a certified helicopter pilot.

He was a veteran of World War II and Korea with Air Sea Rescue (later known as the Air Rescue Service) and was stationed on various islands in the Pacific Theater and the west coast of the United States. Paul flew bombers, amphibious planes, cargo planes and helicopters as the missions required.

In 1949 he married the love of his life, Barbara Blenderman and they began their family, having 6 children while being on active duty.

At the end of the war an Air Force directive communicated that his air crew would be assigned logistic duties and he moved to McChord AFB Washington to oversee supply, personnel equipment and Para Rescue Medical personnel.

In 1960 he was transferred to the Air Defense Command (ADC) headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO for a staff materials position. During ADC tour, while keeping his pilot duties, he returned to Fort Hayes University under Project Bootstrap and complete his Bachelor of Science degree.

Retiring as a Major after 20 years in the U.S. Air Force in 1964, he entered Civil Service at Hill AFB in Ogden, UT, where he was assigned as an Equipment Logistic Specialist supporting tactical air to ground and bombing ranges used by the Tactical Air Commands. He was awarded multiple Sustained Superior Performance Award and the ALC Commanders Award in these roles.

Continuing his logistical leadership, he worked with the F-16 program on equipment guidance and was transferred to the Simulator Program Office at ASD, Warner Robins AFB and Wright Patterson AFB OH in 1975 for support of the aircraft simulators used in the Air Force inventory. His last role was working in Source Selection with aircraft manufactures on critical equipment system requirements.

He retired from the Civil Service 1983 after 20 years and began his volunteer service. He enjoyed working at the Wright Patterson AFB Medical Center for over 35 years in the various functions within the U.S. Air Force pharmacy. During this service he received the Retired Activities Volunteer of the year recognition at WPAFB.

Paul was a member of Saint Peters Parish and the Knights of Columbus (4424). Paul was a reserved, quiet and joyful personality with friends. He actively enjoyed golfing, bowling, ballroom dancing, swimming, exercise programs and salmon fishing in Michigan. As a father, he took on a wide variety of outdoor activities and sports involving all of his children throughout the years.

Paul was a member of various fraternal and military organizations including the National Smoke Jumpers Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars (9977), American Legion (2021), Fraternal Order of Eagles (2641), Order of the Daedalians (Flight 9), Dayton Area Chapter of Military Officers Association and Paul was an active member of the Senior Citizen Centers at Huber Heights, Fairborn and Lathem centers.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 50 years, Barbara A. Blenderman and eldest son, Gary Lawrence Nicholas.

Paul is survived by two daughters: Constance (Gary) Cline of Lafayette, CO and Therese (Teri) Nicholas of Huber Heights, OH; and three sons: Paul B. Nicholas of Salt Lake City UT; Patrick (Jae) Nicholas of Las Vegas, NV; Michael (Claire) Nicholas of Pataskala, OH. Paul is also survived by three grandchildren: Brandon, Shae, and Zane and a very special companion: Barbara Markley of Huber Heights, OH.

Visitation will be held on Friday, October 11, 2019 from 5 pm – 7 pm at Newcomer North Chapel (4104 Needmore Road, Dayton, OH 45424). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 10 am at St. Peter Catholic Church (6161 Chambersburg Road, Huber Heights, OH 45424). Burial will take place at a later date in Ogden City Cemetery in Ogden, UT.

Maj Gen (USAF, Ret) MILES C. DURFEY (1930 - 2019)

Dear Flight 9,

I just recently heard about the “last flight” for fellow Daedalian, Major General Miles “Bud” Durfey. Please keep his friends and family in your thoughts and prayers. Condolences and memories may be shared on the following website:


His obituary follows:

Durfey, Miles
1930 – 2019
Miles C. Durfey, age 88, passed away Friday, June 7, 2019. He was born on December 13, 1930 in Springfield, Ohio to the late John and Virginia Durfey. An outstanding jet fighter pilot, Miles attained the rank of Major General, retiring as Ohio Air National Guard Chief of Staff in 1985, after 28 years of service flying a variety of aircraft. A distinguished lawyer, Miles served as a Senior Assistant Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney, senior attorney for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and Administrator of the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals and Court of Claims of Ohio. At his retirement in 2011, he was Ohio’s longest continually-serving state employee, at 54 years. An accomplished athlete, Miles will long be remembered for introducing the sport of competitive shell racing to central Ohio. Miles will be greatly missed by his wife, Eleanor; daughters, Laura (Dave) Cuaz and Virginia (Curtis Crocker) Abbott; grandchildren, Burke and Ellie Abbott, Peter and Finnian Cuaz; brother, John Durfey; and sister, Cynthia Smith. He will also be missed by hundreds of Ohio Air National Guardsmen and thousands of Ohio lawyers who considered him to be a mentor, consummate professional, and a great friend. Funeral Service will be held at 5 PM on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL, 1740 Zollinger Road, Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221, where family will receive friends from 6-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 1581 Cambridge Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43212 or to Motts Military Museum, 5075 S. Hamilton Road, Groveport, Ohio 43215. To share memories or condolences, please visit www.schoedinger.com.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from June 13 to June 14, 2019

John buck photo
Maj Gen (USAF, Ret) John T. Buck (1931 - 2019)

Dear Flight 9,

I’m sad to announce the last flight of one of our fellow Flight 9 Daedalians – Major General John Thomas Buck. His obituary follows:

Major General John Thomas Buck, USAF, Ret., 87, of Farmington, passed away late Monday evening, March 18, 2019, at Ascension Providence Hospital, Southfield Campus.

John was born April 4, 1931, in Detroit, to the late Howard G. and Euphemia G. (McLeod) Buck. He married Nancy L. (Isley), on December 27, 1953, at the First United Methodist Church of Farmington.

Maj. Gen. Buck was vice commander of the Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, with headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

He graduated from Farmington High School in 1949, and from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree and a commission as a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College, both located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

The general entered pilot training in November 1955 and received his wings at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in December 1956. He was then assigned as a fighter pilot in the 34th Fighter-Day Squadron at George Air Force Base, Calif., with additional duty as squadron adjutant until July 1960.

He was then selected for exchange duty as a pilot with the Marine Corps Fighter Squadron VMF 333 at Beaufort Air Station, S.C., with additional duties as air tactics officer and aircraft maintenance officer. During this tour of duty, he also qualified in aircraft carrier operations. General Buck transferred to Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., in September 1962 as a pilot with the 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron, with additional duty as a wing maintenance test flight pilot. During this assignment he received Army parachute training and was awarded jump wings.

In August 1964 he entered the Air Command and Staff College and concurrently earned his master’s degree from The George Washington University. After graduation in July 1965, he was assigned to the Direct Air Support Center at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., as a fighter duty officer supporting the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions of the U.S. Army. The general was selected to attend the Special Forces Officers Course at Fort Bragg, N.C., in January 1966. In the summer of that year, he went to Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, assigned to the 1st Australian Task Force as a forward air controller and air liaison officer, and later with the 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Bien Hoa as a flight commander. While in Southeast Asia he flew 367 combat missions.

From July 1967 until June 1968, General Buck was with the Allison Division of the General Motors Corporation at Indianapolis under the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Education-With-Industry program. He then joined the F-15 System Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, serving successively as chief, Production Division; deputy director, Procurement and Production Directorate; and airframe project manager. From 1969 to 1973, General Buck flew with the 121st Tactical Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard. He entered the Air War College in August 1973.

Following graduation he was assigned to Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., first as deputy for surveillance and navigation systems in Electronic Systems Division in July 1974; then as commander, 3245th Air Base Group in June 1975; and finally as deputy for control and communications systems, also in the Electronic Systems Division, in March 1976. After leaving Hanscom Air Force Base in May 1978, he become chief of the Special Projects Office at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium. In May 1980 General Buck returned to Hanscom Air Force Base and served as deputy for airborne warning and control systems, and deputy for tactical systems at Electronic Systems Division. He assumed his present duties in February 1983.

The general was a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.

He was promoted to major general May 1, 1980.

John followed his Air Force career with a senior management role at Hazeltine Corporation in Green Lawn, New York. Following his time with Hazeltine, he moved to Buffalo, New York, becoming President of Sierra Research Division of LTV Corporation. He retired from Sierra Research in April, 1998, and moved to Farmington, Michigan.

His interests included University of Michigan athletics, golf, flying, traveling, serving his Phi Delta Theta fraternity alumni group, maintaining connections with fellow fighter pilots and his many grandchildren.

Surviving are his beloved wife of 65 years, Nancy; children, Tom (Karen), Judi Mynsberge, Michael (Judy Apostolico-Buck), Kevin (Anne) and Mary Gillman; grandchildren, Andrew and Jonathan Buck, Jennifer Nicole (Chris) Drain, Nate and Kelsey Mynsberge, Christopher, Ian and Laurel Buck, Allie and Justin Buck, and Amanda and Kimberly Gillman; and great-grandchildren, Aria, Liam and Jackson.

The family will receive guests on Saturday, March 23rd, from 1-4 pm, with military honors rendered at 3:30 pm, at the Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home, downtown Farmington.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to the Air Force Museum Foundation, PO Box 33624, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, 45433-0624; Fisher House Michigan, 3250 Plymouth Road, #103, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105; or the University of Michigan Buck Family Scholarship, for the benefit of students from Farmington, Buck Family Scholarship Fund – 571768, 101 North Main Street, Suite 850, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

Kindly keep John and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Volabamus Volamus
We Flew We Fly
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

George gianopulos
Mr (CIV) GEORGE GIANOPULOS (1930 - 2019)

I am saddened to tell you about the Last Flight of one of our regular Flight 9 meeting attendees – George Gianopulos. We will sorely miss his presence.

Although his obituary isn’t currently published, I’ve been given the following information:

George’s viewing will be at Marker & Heller Funeral Home, 5844 Troy Pike, Huber Heights, Sunday January 13th, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Prayers will be at 4:00 p.m.

Funeral services will be at the Annunciation Church, 500 Belmonte Park N, Dayton (near the Dayton Art Institute-where the Greek Festival is held every September), Monday January 14th, 10:00 a.m.

My understanding is that in lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations in his memory be made to either the Annunciation Church or to the Triumph of Flight (c/o Wright Image Group, 1605 N. Main St, Dayton OH 45405)

From the bio I found on line, George lived a very active and fulfilling life. He was very active in the “Triumph of Flight” project and served as the Fund Raising VP.

Born and raised in Springfield Ohio, George became a naval aviator when the Korean War broke out. He flew a variety of fighters, completed active duty, and moved back to Dayton. After two years at WPAFB, he went to work for Projects Unlimited, Inc. for the next 21 years, and worked his way up to VP of Sales. He then went to work for Western Gear/Lucas Aerospace, opened the company’s mid-west Field Marketing Office, and later became the director of all seven of its Field Marketing Offices in the U.S. Seventeen years later, he launched George Gianopulos & Associates where he continued to work as an independent aerospace marketing consultant. George was a multi-faceted individual – as a member of NAMI he was deeply involved in helping substance abusers through AA and NA; as a member of his church, he served on the Greek Festival and Investment Committees, and sung in the choir for over fifty years; as a pilot he indulged his love of aviation by periodically roaring into the air in an SNJ/AT-6. He is a member of the Daedalians, the Wright “B” Flyer, the Old Crows Association, EEMG, DADCA, and AFA. He’s proud of and passionate about our Dayton heritage as the “Birthplace of Aviation!”

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Pilot dad
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) FRANCIS E. GOTCH (1928 - 2018)

This is the hardest “Final” flight message I have had to send out. My Father, Lt Col (ret) Francis “Gene” Gotch took his last flight Saturday evening. He died peacefully with us by his side. He had a sensational life of of over 90 years, 60 of them married to my wonderful Mother – Joan. My Dad spent 28 years in the Air Force traveling and flying throughout the world. He was the one instrumental in signing me up to become a Daedalian and I loved coming to meetings with him. It was our very special Father-Daughter time together that I will forever treasure.

His obituary will be out shortly on the Tobias Funeral Home site. We will have a visitation from 9:00 – 10:20 at St Luke Catholic Church on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek on Friday November 2nd. A Mass of Christian burial will follow at 10:30. Following mass, lunch will be served in Kramer Hall at St Luke Church. Dad will be laid to rest at a date to be determined at the Dayton National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Flight 9’s Air Power Promotion Fund.

Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Francis esterlin dayton oh obituary
Maj (USAF, Ret) Francis E. Esterlin, II (1930 - 2018)

Dear Flight 9,

With great sadness I announce the last flight of Maj (ret) Francis (Frank) Esterlin. Frank has been a very active member attending many of our Flight 9 meetings. We will surely miss his presence.

His family will receive friends this Friday at Tobias Funeral Home in Beavercreek, and a mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 Saturday morning at Saint Luke Catholic Church. More details follow in his obituary.

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
We Flew, We Fly
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Major Francis E. Esterlin, USAF (Retired), age 88 of Beavercreek, passed away Monday, September 24, 2018 at Hospice of Dayton. He is preceded in death by a daughter, Nancy Rosenfeld, three grandchildren; Katy Hollen, Brian Wical and Miles Rosenfeld, a brother Gary Esterlin, and his parents, Frank and Dorothea Esterlin. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Julia Esterlin. His children also survive him: Linda Hollen and husband Bob of Beavercreek, Dennis Esterlin of IN, and Karen Reeder and husband Kevin of Centerville, as do 11 grandchildren: Cliff (Jenny) Hollen, Amy (Eric) Buschur, Jessica Esterlin, Kristin Esterlin, Casey (Mike) Sparks, Mallory (Keith) Simpson, James Rosenfeld, Wesley Rosenfeld, Alex Federici, Lauren Federici and Lindsay Federici, as well as numerous great grandchildren to whom he was “super grandpa”. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Carol Esterlin of CA, and many dear friends. Frank was a retired Air Force pilot, having served in Vietnam during the war, after earning degrees from Pomona College and USC. He was a member of the Daedalian Club and was passionate about photography, woodworking, opera, and especially his family. Friends may call at the Tobias Funeral Home Beavercreek Chapel, 3970 Dayton-Xenia Rd., on Friday evening, September 28, 2018 from 5-8 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Luke Catholic Church, 1440 N. Fairfield Rd. at 10 AM on Saturday, September 29, 2018. Interment will be in Beaver Cemetery following the Mass. In Lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Hospice of Dayton, The Salvation Army, or St. Vincent DePaul in Francis’ memory. Condolences for the family can be made at www.tobiasfuneral home.com

Col (USAF, Ret) JOHN E. MANTEI (1936 - 2018)

Dear Flight 9,

I’m saddened to pass on the “Last Flight” announcement of a former member of our flight – Col John E Mantei. His obituary follows:

USAF Col. (Ret.) John E. Mantei, age 81 of Fairborn, passed away Monday August 6, 2018 at the Miami Valley Hospital. He was born November 28, 1936 in Menominee, MI, the son of the late Cyril and Stella (Nault) Mantei. John was a member of the first graduating class of the Air Force Academy, Class of 1959. He served his country in the US Air Force as a test pilot, an F106 pilot, and a pilot during Vietnam; an engineer; and as University of Michigan ROTC Commandant. He retired at the rank of Colonel in 1985 after 26 years of service. He was devoted to his family, a great dad, and was an active member of the Wright-Patterson AFB Catholic Community for many years. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Sue in 2013; brother, Patrick; sister, Judith; brothers-in-law, Bob Lippert and David and Mike Vanhaverbeke; sisters-in-law, Dorian, Barbara, and Joan; and nieces, Anna and Angela. He is survived by his children, Terese (Martin) DeSimio, Michael (Amy) Mantei of Lebanon, Matthew (Judy) Mantei of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Patrick (Lea), Dominic (Lien), Zachary, Jacob, Caitlin, Mia, Elyse; sisters, Marie, Anne (Gerry), Sue (Ed); brothers, Leo, Tom (Pat), Bob (Rosanne), Bernie (Paula), Frank, Pete (Mary); sister-in-law, Joyce; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and other extended family. The family will receive friends on Sunday August 12, 2018 from 3:00 until 5:00 P.M. at the Belton-Stroup Funeral Home, 422 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Rd., Fairborn. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday August 13, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. at the Prairies Chapel, 682 Chapel Lane, Wright-Patterson AFB, Father Donald Moss Celebrant. Burial with military honors will follow at the Dayton National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Air Force Aid Society at www.afas.org.

Please Keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
We Flew We Fly

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Peet odgers
Maj Gen (USAF, Ret) Peter W. Odgers (1932 - 2018)

Flight 9,

Sadly, I just got word that Maj Gen (Ret) Peet Odgers, former Commander of the AF Test Center at Edwards and former B-1 Program Director, passed away yesterday. Peet was also a valued member of the Gathering of Eagles and a former member of the Pioneers of Stealth. He was a tremendous individual. As many of you know, his lovely wife Carol passed away a number of months ago. Please keep them both in your prayers.

There is no obituary yet, but I’ll send any further info I get.

I did find his bio on the internet along with his military photo:
Major General Peter W. Odgers is deputy commander for B-1B, Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

General Odgers was born in 1932, in East Orange, N.J., and graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy, Pine Beach, N.J., in 1950. He received a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., in 1955 and a master’s degree in systems management from Southern Methodist University in 1967. The general is also a 1960 graduate of Squadron Officer School and a 1974 graduate of the Air War College, both at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

Upon receiving his commission in the U.S. Air Force from the Naval Academy, he attended pilot training and received his wings in August 1956. During his first assignment as a pilot, General Odgers flew worldwide cargo missions for the 20th Air Transport Squadron, Dover Air Force Base, Del., of the Military Air Transport Service (now the Military Airlift Command).

He went to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in January 1958 as aide to the commander of the Air Technical Intelligence Center. He then worked as assistant chief and later chief of Flight Services Branch, in developing high altitude reconnaissance sensors. Following completion of the Air Force Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in 1961, General Odgers spent five years flight testing reconnaissance aircraft; first at Ling Temco Vought, Greenville, Texas, and then at General Dynamics, Fort Worth, Texas.

From August 1967 to September 1968, he served at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, where he flew RB-57s. Returning to the United States, he was again assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where he spent two years in the Directorate of Flight Test, Aeronautical Systems Division, as a bomber operations officer. In April 1970 he became chief, Test and Deployment Division, A-X System Program Office (now the A-10 Close Air Support System Program Office). He remained with the A-X program through the prototype phase, later becoming chief of projects and finally deputy director.

After graduation from the Air War College in June 1974, he returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as chief of projects and later as deputy director for the F-15 System Program Office. From June 1977 to June 1979, he commanded the 4950th Test Wing, also at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He then became deputy chief of staff for test and evaluation, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The general became commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in September 1982. He assumed his present duties in July 1985.

A command pilot with more than 7,700 flying hours, General Odgers military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1982, with date of rank May 1, 1979.

Volabamus Volamus
We Flew, We Fly

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Bob shaw obit
Lt Col (USAFR, Ret) ROBERT L. SHAW (1947 - 2017)

Dear Fellow Daedalians,

The plans for final internment have been made for Bob “Mouse” Shaw. If anyone plans on attending his burial at Arlington cemetery on July 19th at 9 am, Please contact his wife Sue. She has reserved a block of rooms if you need accommodations. Also, his obituary has been published and is attached below:

FORT MILL, SC – Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Linford “Bob” Shaw, age 69, of Fort Mill, SC, and formerly of Beavercreek, Ohio, died at his home on March 15, 2017.

Born in Durham, NC, and raised in Danville, VA and Spartanburg, SC, and a 1965 graduate of Spartanburg High School, Lt. Col. Shaw was the husband of Susan Sittner Shaw, and the son of Frances F. McDowell and the late Linford L. Shaw. Mr. Shaw received a BS degree from Purdue University, and a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

Lt. Col. Shaw served honorably in the US Navy, US Navy Reserves, and the US Air Force Reserves as a fighter pilot, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force Reserves, after twenty-three years of service. An accomplished pilot, Bob was also an author and Military Channel commentator on fighter combat, as well as a patent holder. Bob’s seminal book on fighter combat, Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering, Naval Institute Press, is published in multiple languages and is used as a textbook by the air forces of numerous countries around the world. He was formerly President and CEO of FCI Associates, Inc., and was an avid researcher of military flight.

Lt. Col. Shaw is survived by his wife, Susan Sittner Shaw, of Fort Mill, SC; his daughter, Robin Shaw Wilcox and her husband Ken, and his granddaughter, Audrey A. Wilcox of Seattle, WA; his daughter, Rachel Frances Shaw, of Philadelphia, PA; his mother, Frances F. McDowell, and his brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Janet Shaw, of Spartanburg, SC.

Internment services with full military honors will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 9:00 am. The family requests that memorials be made to Flight 9, Order of Daedalians, Box 33564, Bldg. 16, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, OH.

Please keep his wife Sue and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Jenkin's photo
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) JAMES R. JENKINS (1934 - 2017)

Dear fellow Daedalians,

I’m saddened to tell you that Flight 9 member Jim Jenkins had his final flight in Fort Walton Beach on Saturday the 11th of March. The obituary and funeral arrangements are now attached below.

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Lt. Colonel James Russell Jenkins, Ret. August 18, 1934 – March 11, 2017

Lt. Colonel James Russell Jenkins, Ret., of Ft. Walton Beach, FL passed away Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Ft. Walton Beach Medical Center. Jim was born August 18, 1934 in Charleston, West Virginia to James Ion and Marella B. Jenkins.
Jim was married to his love and best friend, Patricia F. Jenkins for 61 years. He served our country for 22 years as a pilot in the Air Force. He served in Vietnam as a Forward Air Controller. Jim received 22 medals with two being the distinguished Flying Cross. He graduated in 1964 with his aeronautical engineering degree, there were several organizations he belonged to, 33degree Mason, Scottish Rite, Shriner, a member of Daedalians, American Legion, Moose Lodge and Am Vets. Jim was an avid golfer.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia F. Jenkins; son, James R. Jenkins, Jr (Peggy); grandchildren, Anthony Jenkins, Gina Kasten, James Stevens, James R. Jenkins III (Sarah), Jai Henry, Christopher Jenkins and Tricia Moore; great grandchildren, Raymond Dunbar, John Kasten, McKenzie Gerth, Haiden Jenkins, Kayden Wilt, Lucas Henry and Jai Henry.

James was preceded in death by his parents; brother, David; daughters, Denise Henry, Dawn Matilla; and son, Jay Jenkins. Jim had a love for his dogs, Toby, Sunny, Roxie and Dixie Belle.

Masonic Services will be held Friday, March 17, 2017, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at Davis Watkins Funeral Home, 113 NE Racetrack Road, N.E. Ft Walton Beach, FL. Graveside services will follow starting at 12:00 P.M. at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, FL with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Skoog photo
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) ROBERT E. SKOOG (1926 - 2017)

Fellow Daedalians,

Sadly I pass along the last flight information for Daedalian member Robert Skoog.
Visitation and funeral will be this Thursday January 5th from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the Turner & Son Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Funeral services will take place at 12:00 p.m. following the visitation at the same location. His obituary follows:

Lt. Col. Robert E. Skoog, U.S. Air Force (ret.), age 90 of Columbus, formerly of Hillsboro for 43 years, passed away Sunday January 1, 2017 at the Ohio State James Cancer Hospital. He was born August 9, 1926 in Dayton, Iowa the son of the late Anton H. and Anna Elizabeth (Person) Skoog. Lt. Col. Skoog proudly served his country in the United States Army for 2 years and went on to serve his country in the United States Air Force for 27 and a half years. During his lifetime he logged 13,000 flying hours as a pilot. He was a member of the Faith in Christ Lutheran Church in Springfield, Ohio. After retirement he was the Safety Service Director in Highland County in the 1970’s. He was a member of the Hillsboro Lion’s Club, Highland County Pilots Association, Air Force Daedalians, American Model Airplanes Association and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. His latest accomplishment was establishing the Robert E. Skoog Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. Mr. Skoog is survived by four children, Robert A. (Jane) Skoog of Troy, Ohio, Marilynn (Edward) Hilt of Fort Myers, Florida, Dr. Jean (Elliott) Heisman of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, David A. (Stacia) Skoog of Royal Oak, Michigan; seven grandchildren, Rob (Michelle) Skoog, Melissa (Dan) Neal, Eric (MariAlice) Hilt, Evan (Rebecca) Heisman, Adam Heisman, Sarah Skoog and Kit Skoog; seven great grandchildren, Isabella Skoog, Sophia Skoog, Andrew Skoog, Sebastian Neal, Ayrton Neal, Oliver Neal and AnnaLynn Hilt; two sisters, Alice Lindsay of Bradenton, Florida, Mary Ann (Gene) Knopf of Dayton, Iowa and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Ann Elizabeth Skoog on November 27, 1990 and a brother, Herbert Skoog. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Thursday January 5, 2017 at the Turner & Son Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Funeral services will take place at 12:00 p.m. following visitation Thursday January 5th at the Turner & Son Funeral Home. Pastor Jeffrey Lee will be officiating. Burial with military honors presented by the Highland County Honor Guard will take place in the Hillsboro Cemetery following services. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Robert E. Skoog’s name to the Peace Lutheran Church, 231 Harry Sauner Rd., Hillsboro, Ohio 45133, Faith in Christ Lutheran Church Memorial Garden Fund, 1603 Moorefield Rd., Springfield, OH 45503, James Cancer Center, https://cancer.osu.edu/givingback or to the Civil Air Patrol, P.O. Box 3990, Columbus, OH 43218.

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
We Flew, We Fly

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

John warlick photo
LCDR (USNR, Ret) JOHN H. WARLICK, JR (1925 - 2016)

Dear Fellow Daedalians,
With a saddened heart I have to tell you that one of our fellow Daedalians, John Warlick, has taken his final flight. He’s now in Heaven flying with the angels and his lovely wife Evelyn. I’ve known John Warlick since I was a little girl. He gave both my Father and Father-n-Law rides in the Wright B flyer. He was an amazing man and he’ll be surely missed by many. His obituary follows:

In Memory of
John Henderson Warlick Jr
June 22, 1925 – November 27, 2016

John Henderson Warlick, Jr., 91, passed away at his home on November 27, 2016, surrounded by family. John was a resident of Beavercreek, OH for the last 46 years. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama. John is proceeded in death by his wife of 64 years, Evelyn Martin Warlick, parents John and Eva May Warlick, and infant sister. John was a long-time member of Aley United Methodist Church in Beavercreek.During WWII, John was a decorated Navy pilot on three aircraft carriers. His last assignment was on the carrier, Coral Sea. He then served in the Navy Reserve, totaling 22 years of military service. He retired as Lt. Commander John Warlick. During John’s long engineering career, he remained active in General Aviation Manufactures Association (GAMA). He obtained his Bachelors of Science degree from Auburn University and then completed a Masters degree from Georgia Tech. John was most proud of his constructing, and then piloting the Wright “B” Flyer airplane. He and Evelyn organized and traveled with the Wright “B” around the United States and overseas. The Wright “B” Flyer hangar in Miamisburg, Ohio is named in honor of John and Evelyn Warlick. John has earned numerous military and civilian accolades, of which includes being inducted into the Air Force Hall of Fame. Most important to John was his family and especially his grandkids. He is survived by his sisters; Arla Howard and Wilma Cork of Coker, AL. Other survivors are: daughter Judy Warlick Simmons of Beavercreek, OH and son Tim (Nadine) Warlick of Sahuarita, AZ. Grandchildren are: CJ (Tonya) Simmons of Columbus, OH, Christy (David) Tehan of Xenia, OH, Rusty (Jaime) Warlick of North Vernon, IN, Anthony (Elizabeth) Warlick of Crossville, TN, Melissa Irvin of Perrysburg, OH, Kaydi (Jason) Heitman of Gilroy, CA, Craig (Amy) Warlick of Lawrence, KS, Ross Warlick of Sahuarita, AZ, and Kent Warlick of Fort Collins, CO. There are 12 great grandchildren. Visitation will be held Wednesday, November 30, from 5:30 to 8 pm at Tobias Funeral Home (Beavercreek). 3970 Dayton-Xenia Rd. A funeral service will be 2 PM Saturday, December 3, 2016 at the Ridout Funeral Home, Elmwood Chapel, Birmingham, Alabama. A military burial will be held Saturday at Elmwood Cemetery , Birmingham, Alabama. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to: Evelyn and John Warlick Wright “B” Flyer Hangar fund at 10550 Springboro Pike, Miamisburg, OH 45342, to the American Cancer Society , or to one’s favorite charity. Online condolences may be sent to www.tobiasfuneralhome.com

God Bless John Warlick and his family

Volabamus Volamus
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Flanik photo
Maj (USAF, Ret) ROGER J. FLANIK (1936 - 2016)

Dear Fellow Daedalians,

I am saddened to announce the final flight of one of our fellow Daedalians. Maj Roger J. “Bud” Flanik passed away peacefully in his home this past weekend. His obituary follows. A viewing will be held tomorrow, and services followed by his funeral will be on Friday. Details are all listed below in his obituary.

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
We Flew, We Fly

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Roger J. “Bud” Flanik, 1936 – 2016

Maj. Roger J. “Bud” Flanik, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), 80, of Dayton passed away peacefully at his home on May 21, 2016.

Bud was born in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Emil and Marie Flanik, where he developed a lifelong love for the Cleveland Indians (and an equally intense dislike for the New York Yankees, which he dutifully passed down to his son.) In his teens, he and his mother relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he played running back for his high school football team as well as clarinet in the marching band, switching uniforms to perform at halftime. According to his high school yearbook, he was known as “The Highwayman” due to his sleek ’54 Mercury convertible that was the envy of all who saw it.

After high school, Bud returned to Cleveland to attend Western Reserve University. While in Cleveland, he was introduced to Janice (Jan) Friery, a beautiful Miami University freshman. While she interested him, college life did not; he dropped out of Western Reserve after a year to seek greater adventure in the Air Force. Upon graduation from Officer Candidate School in Texas, he was assigned to the 307th Bomb Wing in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he served as a navigator in the B-47 Stratojet in the Strategic Air Command at the height of the Cold War, and was in his jet, ready to roll, on a runway in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Bud and Jan were married in a driving snowstorm in Cleveland in 1958, and he earned his pilot wings shortly after. A few years later, they welcomed a daughter, Jennifer, in 1963, and a son, Barry, in 1966. Over his 21-year Air Force career, Bud was often gone, flying all over the world from bases in Nebraska, Washington, Alaska, and South Carolina, in aircraft including the B-47; the C-124 Globemaster; the C-141 Starlifter, which he used to transport vital cargo from distant locales to the family backyard, such as clay hibachis and rickety motorbikes; the T-38 Talon trainer; and the T-39 Sabreliner.

He also piloted the EB-66C “Pig Sooie” electronic jamming aircraft in combat missions over Southeast Asia during several tours from 1970 through 1973. Flying with the 42nd Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron, Bud cleared the way for countless U.S. aircraft to safely carry out their missions through some of the most advanced air defenses in the world. For his achievements, Bud was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross medal, as well as five Air Medals.

Bud retired from the Air Force in 1977 with the rank of major and more than 10,000 flight hours to his credit. He then attended and graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Aeronautics before moving his family to Dayton, where he served as Superintendent of Airport Operations at Dayton International Airport until his retirement in the 1990’s. He was a proud and active member of several organizations, including Queen of Martyrs Parish, the Order of Daedalians, and the Quiet Birdmen. Bud was larger than life, and loved many things: singing loudly around the house; fishing of any kind; camping with the family in their trusty Airstream trailer; listening to jazz; amateur woodworking, with an emphasis on “amateur”; haggling with car dealers, even though he had no intention of buying a car; bad puns; long-winded setups; never asking for directions; and good times with coworkers, friends, and old squadron buddies. But more than anything, he dearly loved his wife Jan, who was his guiding light and other half for more than 57 years.

Bud was preceded in death by his mother and his father; his brother, Robert Flanik; his brother-in-law, Robert Friery; and his aunt, Jolan Petro, and his uncle, William Petro. He is survived by his devoted wife, Janice; his loving children, Barry (Kirsten), and Jennifer; and his four grandchildren: Jarret, Ashleigh, Kate, and Luke, who were the light of his life. The family would also like to thank all of the doctors, nurses, and caregivers who took great care of him in recent months.

Visiting hours will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at the George C. Martin Funeral Home at 5040 Frederick Pike in Dayton. Friends and relatives are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial in his honor at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, at Queen of Martyrs Church at 4134 Cedar Ridge Rd. in Dayton. Burial with military honors will follow at 3 p.m. at the Dayton National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the charity of your choice.

Bob tweedie picture
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) ROBERT L. TWEEDIE (1933 - 2015)

Dear Fellow Daedalians,

I’ve attached Bob’s Obituary. You can also find it in Sunday’s Dayton Daily News. The picture was taken of Bob and his wife, Inez, this September in Troy.

November 4, 1933 -December 2, 2015

Lt. Colonel Robert (Bob) L. Tweedie, USAF, passed away on December 2, 2015.. He was born on November 4, 1933 in Webster City, IA to Murle E. and Dorothy L (Crouch) Tweedie. In 1940 the family moved to Washington D. C. He graduated form Calvin Coolidge High School in 195l. He attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Ia. He was married to Inez M. Groote in Grundy Center, Iowa on Januray 24, 1953. He graduated form Coe College in June 1955.

While in College he was active in the ROTC unit, and was commissioned as a second Lieutenant upon graduation. In October 1955 he entered pilot training class 57 E. He trained in the T-6 in North Carolina and the TB-25 in Oklahoma.. After getting his pilot wings he flew C-130’s and was stationed in Tennessee, Japan, Missouri, Texas, Europe, Vietnam, Hawaii and Wright Patterson AFB, OH He retired from the Air Force in 1979 from Wright Patterson AFB, OH.

Robert passed away peacefully, surrounded by family members who will miss him dearly. Robert is survived by his wife, Inez; daughters, Sherrie (Gordon) Finch, Pamela Tweedie: grandchildren, Christopher (Susan) Tyrrell, Lisa (Larry) Ford, Jennifer (Nicholas) Vice and great-grandchildren, Christopher, Evan and Brian Tyrrell, Daniel and Jack McCoy, Adelyn Ford and Hazel and Mabel Vice. He was predeceased by his parents and a great granddaughter, Rachel Tyrrell.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Order of Deadalians, Flight 9 Scholarship Fund, Box 33564 Bldg 16, Wright-Patterson AFB Base, OH 45433 or to the American Cancer society.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Newcomer Funeral Home; 3380 Dayton-Xenia Road; Beavercreek, OH 45432. Phone (937) 429-4700 Visitation, st the Newcomer Funeral Home, will be on Friday, December 11 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM and the Funeral,at the Newcomer Funeral Home will be on Saturday, December 12 at 1:00 PM. Interment will be at the New Carlisle Cemetary in New Carlisle, Ohio.

God Bless,
Kathy Staiger
Flt 9 Captain

Photo bob greshel
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) JAMES T. GRESHEL (1934 - 2015)

Fellow Daedalians,

i was just made aware of another Final Flight for James Greshel.

James (Jim) Greshel was born on April 4, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio; the son of the late Leroy and Mary Greshel and passed away October 1, 2015 at the age of 81. He moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1944 and graduated from North High School in 1951. Jim then graduated from Ohio State University in June of 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering and was commissioned as a USAF 2/Lt. Jim continued to proudly serve his country in the U.S. Air Force until 1985, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. After retirement he worked as a Division Administrator with the Michigan Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aeronautics. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, beloved wife Lois and granddaughter Amanda Greshel. He is survived by children, Ted (Laurel) Greshel, Terrie Greshel, Tammy (Bill) Higgins; nine grandchildren; five great grandchildren and sister, Marilee (John) Peterson. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, October 9, 2015 at Trinity Church, 3355 Dunckel Road., Lansing, MI. For those desiring, contributions may be made in memory of Jim to the Association for Christian Conferences, Teaching and Services, PO Box 27239, Denver, Colorado 80227. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing Chapel. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.greastlansing.com.

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

God Bless,
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Col (USAF, Ret) LESLIE L. DUNNING (1922 - 2015)

Dear Fellow Daedalians,

It has come to my attention that one of our former members, Colonel Leslie L. Dunning, had his final flight. Below is the information we found in his obituary. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Volabamus Volamus
We flew, We fly
Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Colonel Leslie L. Dunning

Friday, September 18, 2015
6:00 PM until 9:00 PM
425 North Main Street
Princeton, IN 47670

Saturday, September 19, 2015
10:00 AM
425 North Main Street
Princeton, IN 47670

Colonel Leslie L. Dunning, U.S. Air Force Retired, of Kettering, Ohio, passed away on September 13, 2015. Colonel Dunning received his bachelors degree from Purdue University and a MBA from the Air Force Institute of Technology. The WWII veteran played a prominent role in the development of the B-58 and F-111 aircraft.
Funeral services will be held at the Colvin Funeral Home, Princeton, Indiana on Saturday at 10:00 a.m., interment to follow. Visitation from 6-9 pm on Friday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Hospice of Dayton and the American Lung Association. Online condolences may be expressed at www.colvinfuneralhome.com

Henry head shot
Lt Col (USAF, Ret) HENRY R. POPLAWSKI (1914 - 2015)

Fellow Daedalians,

I wanted to follow up with you on the funeral arrangements for Henry “Pops” Poplawski. I’ve also attached his obituary. On Saturday, July 25th, there will be viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 St Helen’s Catholic Church off of Burkhardt Road in Dayton. A funeral mass will immediately follow at 10:30. Henry will be buried on Tuesday, the 28th at 10:00 at the VA cemetery in Dayton.

Henry loved attending the Daedalian meetings. Before, he passed away he gave our flight 9 $100,000 to support our Air Power Promotion Fund which will give scholarships to many cadets for a very long time. His generosity will enable many students to attend Air Camp and solo in our CFIP program. Please come show your last respects to a wonderful and kindhearted aviator. We will sorely miss him at our meetings!

Henry Richard “Pops”
Lt Col Henry Richard Poplawski, USAF, Ret, took his final flight on July 15, 2015. He was 101 years young.
Henry was born May 26, 1914 in Worchester, MA to Stephania Baremba and Leopold Poplawski. He was the 5th of 7 children.
His loving wife Claytrice Mary Gannon predeceased him on February 8, 2006.
The tallest boy in school at 6’1”; “Pops” played basketball and graduated from Commerce High School in 1933. After finishing one year of Worchester Polytechnic Institute in 1936 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, completing training as an aircraft mechanic, and was stationed at Selfridge Field, MI. While there he became a Link trainer (simulator) instructor, and during the off hours taught himself how to fly the simulator. He applied and won a cadet flying spot in 1938, and reported to Randolph Field, TX in February 1939. “Pops” soled on April 5, 1939 and graduated flight training in November – Class 1939D. His first assignment was to the 6th Air Transport Squadron, Middletown Air Depot, PA, where he flew the C-47 around the country. Between 1940 and 1941 2Lt Poplawski supported the development of airborne parachute drops at Ft Benning, GA. From September 1941 to October 1942, he was assigned to the Pan American Africa Airways, operating a military air transport line in Africa. He had the opportunity to transport Gen Joe Stilwell over Jerusalem and into China, ferry RAF fighter aircraft, and establish the supply network to support the North Africa Campaign.
Between October 1942 and August 1945, Captain Poplawski served as a test pilot for the Glenn L. Martin Company in Baltimore, MD, flying the B-26, A-30, and PBM. “Pops” joined the “Caterpillar Club” when he successfully bailed out of a crippled B-26G on November 8, 1944.
Henry married his wife Claytrice Mary Gannon on May 26, 1944, and following the war, they both attended and graduated from the University of Southern California in 1948. “Pops” returned to the Glenn L. Martin Company, working as guided missile Engineer from 1948 to 1951. Captain Poplawski was recalled to active duty and assigned to the Pilotless Training Unit at Lowry AFB, CO from 1951 to 1955. From 1955 to 1959, he served in the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) in Washington, DC, and from 1960 to 1964 served in the Foreign Technology Division, Detachment 4, Tokyo, Japan. “Pops” returned to Wright Patterson AFB, OH in 1964, continued to work for the Foreign Technology Division and retired from Active Duty in April 1966.
In 1966, Lt Col Poplawski joined the USAF Civil Service, and continued to work for the Foreign Technology Division from 1966 until his retirement in 1977. In his retirement years, “Pops” traveled the world on numerous cruises, always enjoying the company of his wife, the adventure of seeing new worlds, and writing poetry. Lt Col Poplawski was a long time member of the Order of Daedalians – “Fraternal Organization of Military Pilots” and Saint Helen’s Catholic Church.
Many thanks to the staff at Liberty Nursing Home, Brighton Gardens, and Hospice of Dayton who cared for Henry in his last few months.
There will be a visitation on Saturday July 25th at 9:30 followed by a funeral mass at 10:30 at St Helen’s Catholic Church, 605 Granville Place, Dayton Ohio. Burial will be at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Dayton at 10:00 on July 28th. Memorial contributions may be made in Henry’s memory to Flt 9 Order of Daedalians or Saint Helen’s Catholic Church. Please visit: www.Tobiasfuneralhome.com

God Bless,
Kathy Staiger
Flt 9 Captain

CAPT (USNR, Ret) EDWARD A. GILLESPIE (1928 - 2015)

Dear Fellow Daedalians,

As we were mailing out our annual dues/ballot forms we became aware of the final flight for Daedalia Edward Allen Gillespie. Here is the obituary along with some stories about him that I found on the web. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
God Bless,
Kathy Staiger
Flt 9 Captain

Obituary for Ed Gillespie
Ed Gillespie, 86 of Gahanna, Ohio, a highly accomplished aviator and test pilot of many high performance military and civilian aircraft, took his final flight to heaven with an angel of God flying “right seat”, on July 9, 2015. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on July 28, 1928, Ed passed away July 9, 2015. He was preceded in his death by his parents, Arthur and Rhea Gillespie, brother, Art, and son, Allan Gillespie. A licensed pilot at age of 16, he joined the US Navy at 17 and was accepted into the Navy flight training program. As a carrier based fighter pilot during the Korean conflict he flew many combat missions in service of his country. Passing on an opportunity to join the Blue Angels, he entered Test Pilot Training school where he graduated in 1956. He remained in the Navy Reserve where he retired at the rank of Captain after 26 years of additional service. In 1956 he took a position with North American Aviation, Columbus, Ohio, where he was employed for 30 years, retiring as Chief Test Pilot for Rockwell International. With over 15,000 flight hours primarily accumulated in short, intense flights in single cockpit high performance aircraft, in over 100, jet, rocket, recip, helo and turbo prop military aircraft, his record of aviation accomplishment during his long career is matched by very few, living or dead. Skilled, smart and courageous, he would often describe his most harrowing flight events later simply with: “piece of cake.” Aviation was his passion and the many people he knew that were involved with its history and operations, he proudly called his best friends. His very proud and loving surviving family is his ex-wife and lifetime dear friend, Janette; sons Scott and Dan and daughter Devon Hattey; grandchildren Lauren, Ian and Savannah, and great grandchildren Henry and Cian. Ed’s deceased son, Allan, is surely meeting with his dad now to plan a new adventurous trip that they both so loved. Memorial services will be held at 5:00 pm Saturday, July 18, 2015 at the Schoedinger Northeast Chapel, 1051 E. Johnstown Rd. (at Beecher Rd.), Gahanna, Ohio 43230 where family will receive friends from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. In lieu of flowers the family asks that a donation be made in the memory of Ed Gillespie to Capital Area Humane Society, 3015 Scioto-Darby Executive Court, Hilliard, OH 43026; Or to: Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Attn: Development 875 N. Randolph St. Ste 225,
Arlington, VA 22203.

It has been 66 years since Ed Gillespie logged his first flight in a Navy airplane. That was an SNJ at North Whiting Field, FL in March 1949. On July 9, 2015, Ed Gillespie passed away at home after telling his family he had the most wonderful, thrilling life and that he was looking forward to this next exciting adventure he knew he was about to take.
Ed first soloed in September of 1944 at a small airfield near his hometown of Ann Arbor, MI. Ed was a recognized high school athlete who excelled in swimming, football and track. He was always physically active and as much he enjoyed participating in various sports, flying was his true passion. He enlisted in the US Navy’s Aviation Midshipman Program while still a 17-year-old in high school. After schooling in Engineering, at Syracuse University and Western Michigan University, he began Navy preflight training in the summer of 1948 with over 200 civilian flight hours already logged. He completed flight training without a “Down” and carrier qualified in SNJ’s and F4U Corsairs aboard the CVL’s USS Wright and USS Cabot. He was awarded his Wings of Gold, in May of 1950 and was selected to attend Jet Transitional Training (a choice assignment in those days), while still a Midshipman. The airplanes utilized were single-seat TO-1’s (Air Force P-80 Shooting Stars) as there were no two-place jet trainers at that time.
Fleet duty as carrier based F2H Banshee pilot, Ed covered several oceans and as many ships during the next three years, including 80 combat missions in Korea. As the high man in the F2H he also served as technical director and pilot for four USN training fly on to fly the Banshee. This assignment almost cost him his life during filming of an intentional inverted spin when he finally regained level flight barely above the ocean. At that time he was still so naïve that he didn’t know the contractor had not yet successfully tested inverted spins in this airplane!
After three years of squadron duty, Ed was offered the very envious choice of either joining the Blue Angles or attending the US Navy Test Pilot School (TPS). He decided it would be better for his career to know more about aerodynamics instead of joining the air-show circuit, and subsequently graduated in TPS class Eleven in early 1954. From there on Ed was test flying continuously until he was in his 70’s. Ed flew every propeller or jet attack / fighter airplane in the navy’s inventory while serving as a test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center. An example was the infamous F7U Cutlass. Before it entered the fleet, Ed was one of the high time USN pilots in the unusual fighter. Unlike some of the other pilots, he almost began to enjoy the airplane and he believes that it’s rugged airframe later saved his life on at least two occasions.
Following his 1956 graduation from the USN Line School in Monterey, CA, Ed left active duty Navy and began to work for North American Aviation in Columbus, OH as an experimental test pilot. He found that he still had to deploy regularly as more than half his time was spent flying contractor test flights at NATC Patuxent River, NATF Lakehurst, NAWC China Lake, Edwards AFB, or NASWF Albuquerque.
In 1964 he applied for the Astronaut Program when it first opened to civilians but was disqualified because he was few months older than the maximum age limit, which was 36 at the time. That year he also became the Chief Test Pilot at North American Aviation, unfortunately due to the tragic death of one of his best friends during a test flight. For the next 24 years Ed continuously performed almost daily experimental flying in all series of Trojans, Buckeyes, Furies, Vigilantes, Savages, Broncos, Phantoms, Voodoos, and other lesser known, but just as demanding, types. Hundreds of these flights were at or approaching the structural/aerodynamic limits estimated for the aircraft. He further completed USN helicopter training and qualified in AV-8 Harriers and the X-22, both also vertical risers.
Shortly after becoming a civilian, Ed also wanted to continue to serve his country. He missed the tradition and camaraderie of the Navy. He joined the USNR and stayed active in the Reserves for the next 26 years. He eventually commanded an A4 Skyhawk, squadron, tested Phantoms at NAS North Island, performed carrier suitable tests in maximum gross weight Vigilantes at NATF Lakehurst, and instructed at the US Navel Test Pilot School as part of his Reserve commitment. His last assignments were Annual Training as the Commanding Officer of NAS Brunswick, NAS Oceana, and NAF Loges (Azores). In 1982 he retired as a Captain with 36 total years of service in the Navy.
After also retiring from North American Rockwell in 1988, Ed thought his test flying was over…thinking who would want to hire an aging test pilot? It so happened that there were jobs where experience was appreciated and he was soon employed to establish a test program and fly the structural and flutter flight tests on a major modification of the Air Force T-37. In order to satisfy the Air Force that a senior citizen could still safely fly a jet, he completed a three-month training program in the airplane at age 62. This made him the oldest graduate of pilot training ever at Randolph AFB! After two years with the T-37 Tweet, he did test work on a French designed amphibian biplane. Most of this was done while flying from Canadian lakes and seemed to be more fun for Ed than dangerous, however, two other pilots were later killed in the airplane and the effort ended. He also flew first flights in some WW1 replica biplane fighters. This lasted for another two years and proved to Ed that the airplanes of that day were indeed structurally limited, and marginally stable.
In the middle 90’s he began a lengthy flight test program on a civilian single-engine jet the BD-10J. It looked like a small F-18 and climbed like one! It was powered by a 3,000-lbs thrust engine and the airplane weighed only 4000 lbs. Needless to say it was a real screamer and provided plenty of unwanted scares and adrenaline rushes. Most of the testing was done at the Civilian Flight Test Center at Mohave, CA. Ed did all of the first flights (five different wing/tail configurations) and demonstrated the capabilities of this airplane to the US Military at several military installations. A fatal crash of a skilled, but impatient, ex-fighter pilot almost ended the program. With increased emphasis on engineering, and a steadier paycheck promised, Ed resumed testing a modification of the airplane with another company near Lake Tahoe, NV. Unfortunately, due to a mechanical failure, the president of the company was also killed in the airplane, which ended this promising program.
Ed was elected a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in 1977, but has never been in the right time frame or position to participate in any high visibility programs such as Space. On the contrary, he was always a work-a-day test pilot who always managed to complete the often “hairy” mundane test tasks and deliver the necessary engineering data without ever losing an airplane.
Capitan Gillespie served in the US flight test community longer, continuously, and successfully, than any other civilian or military pilot. He was very proud of the fact that he always landed every airplane that he took of in. Some were not all in one piece or they were on fire, but they all got back. Having been within microseconds of death several times during his long career, he credited his survival on a combination of good flight planning, conservative flying, moderate skill and lots of luck! Ed had 15,000 hours of flight time, most in single pilot military airplanes. He would not have traded the excitement of his flight time for any amount of other types of flying. After more than 50 years in his chosen high-risk profession, Ed has finally taken his last flight. On his final day here on Earth, Ed said to his family that he was looking forward to this next adventure and was excited to see what else God had in store for him. It comforts his family knowing that he lived life to fullest. Ed often said that he had the best life anyone could have ever asked for.

Original Article written by Capitan Jim Shaw, USN (Ret.). Wings of Gold, Winter Edition,1999. Edited by Devon (Gillespie) Hattey

Edward A. Gillespie – a career recollection (edited by son, Scott, after his demise)

As a 17 year old high school senior, I enlisted in the Holloway Midshipman program. That ONE decision later proved to determine my life’s path from then on. I had been president of every one of my classes since the sixth grade. I had been flying light planes since age 14 and held a private pilot rating. I had athletic scholarship offers from several universities, but the Navy’s offer was my choice and I thank God to this day that I made the right one. The U.S. Navy provided me the education, the technical training, and taught me the leadership qualities that later allowed me to enjoy an adventurous life, full of excitement, world travel, and public and peer recognition for my efforts.
I entered the fleet in one of the very first jet squadrons. (VF-11) and we proceeded to help standardize many of the procedures for the night and day operation of jets from the straight deck carriers. I “saw the world” from the Mediterranean to South America (first carrier around the horn), to combat in Korea. I turned down orders to the Blue Angels in favor of attending the USN Test Pilot School. My Patuxent tour enabled me to test fly just about every new airplane in the navy’s post war inventory, single and multi, props and jets. I enjoyed the challenge of test flying and in 1956 accepted a position as an Engineering Test Pilot for North American Aviation. I continued in this profession for the next 50 years. In 1974, I was selected by my peers as “Fellow” in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. I flew high performance, single pilot jets until I was 77 and quit only because I wanted to try something different.
In 1977 (In honor of the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh’s Atlantic flight) another former naval Aviator and I made an Atlantic crossing, from New York to Paris, in a very small, 30’ (8’ beam) single engine boat. We successfully fought some horrendous storms during the 31 days it required for the crossing. It is recognized as the smallest boat of this class to ever make the voyage.
In 1986, I kept pestering the Columbus, Ohio, City Council that the original airline terminal building at Port Columbus was of historical significance. They wanted to tear it down which was their business choice due to the asbestos and PCB which was contained in the structure. Without their financial help or encouragement, I therefore undertook the restoration, using my own money. I hired several retired senior citizen friends to assist me and in the following 4 years we restored the 50,000 sq. ft., four story building to the original 1927 configuration with authentic “Art Deco” landscaping and architecture. I converted it to rental office spaces and it was later bought back from me by the Columbus Port Authority. It is now designated a National Historical Landmark. I received much publicity for “saving” this beautiful piece of history for posterity and by 2001 I had managed to recover the very costly restoration expense.
In 1964, I applied for the Astronaut Program when it was first opened to civilians but was disqualified due to being over the age limit (36), however I was made the Chief Test Pilot for NAA and became the only person to retire, still alive, having been a pilot for my entire company career. I was also appointed a Director for the B-1 program.
I became active in the USNR because I missed the people, the uniform, and the satisfaction of serving my country. USNR assignments included CO of an Attack Squadron (A-4s), instructor (several years) at the USN Test Pilot School and as the reserve CO of NAS Brunswick, NAS Oceana, and NAF Loges (Azores). I retired as a Captain with 36 years of service. Patuxent River NATC requested my occasional return to active duty to perform specialized flight tests for which they considered me to be particularly qualified. It was “nice to be needed” if only for two weeks at a time.

The following was published in Naval Aviation News:

It is believed that Captain Ed Gillespie has served the U. S. flight test community longer, continuously, and obviously successful (he is still alive!) than any other civilian or military pilot. He is most proud of the fact that he has always been able to complete his missions without losing the airplane (lots of damage though) and in the thousands flight hours in his profession, that is rare, if not a record.

This is one of my Dad’s many “sea stories”, as was relayed in a letter to a friend. I include this here to give a little taste of my father’s ability to tell funny, exciting and true stories from his exciting career

Scott Gillespie

Dear Roy,
Whenever I think of my time at Jax main side, I am reminded of your mentioning that when I was flying Banshee -1s and -2s, you once mentioned that you were a teenager living there, on the base, I assume, and that you used to watch us flying. Good thing you couldn’t see in our cockpits ‘cause we were sure inexperienced in jets and making many mistakes with our transition from Bearcats to jets.
Our skipper at the time was an old “Horse soldier” named Ralph Werner. He was a great leader and you would have liked his blunt, no messing around ways to get the job done. He had actually been in the Army’s Horse Calvary during early WWII and later had gone through Navy flight training. In 1950 I was assigned to VF-11 (Red Rippers…..another story) I was still a "flying midshipman’ and he didn’t know what to do with a Middie with wings. To watch me closer, I became his wingman, also due to my young good eyes and the fact that his were showing signs of his age. He was then only a LCDR and in his thirties, but he still was an old guy for a fighter pilot in those days. He was gruff, not particularly academically talented, but he was fearless and didn’t take crap even from his immediate seniors. He had a mug like an oft beat-up boxer. We called him “Bull”, not to his face, but I think he secretly liked the nickname. He had guts, was a rough pilot, and was an outspoken leader. Later in my career he was the detail officer for the Blues and he got me orders to join them in Corpus. At the same time I had a chance to go to USNTPS, so I more or less reluctantly went to Pax as I thought it would be better for my USN career… and it probably was.

In the fall of 1950, we flew aboard the brand new straight-deck Oriskany off Mayport which was on its way to Gitmo for initial shakedown sea trials. Their new H-8 cats were “down” so Skipper Werner told the captain that we would land, do a 180 and taxi to the deck’s fantail and then, as the only airplane on the whole deck, use the whole length for takeoff.. We had practiced this on the beach and knew it could be done if we didn’t fill our tips and had at least 15 knots across the deck.
The first four plane division flew to the boat and I followed the skipper around the pattern. When he took a fouled deck wave off, I continued to motor on as the LSO was giving me a steady “Roger” and I took his “cut”. Needless to say, I also took some flak from the other guys in the flight as they thought I should have let him make the first jet landing on the new boat. But I was just a dumb nugget and so therefore made the first jet landing on the “Big Risk.” It was actually the 3rd landing as the ship’s SNJ had made the first two the previous day. Incidentally, Skipper Werner and I (the oldest and youngest) were the only two pilots in the squadron who had any previous jet experience. He had been at Pax for a time and I got mine as a Middie going through JTU-1 at Whiting, flying single seat P-80s which the Navy called TO-1s.
In Gitmo, the H-8 cats were finally declared operational but the learning curve of the ships’ company was pretty flat. I once was fired, at night; with my engines at idle while I was bent over in the cockpit checking my circuit breakers. After jam accelerating, (eight seconds from idle to MIL). I was blowing foam when I finally got to MIL. Luckily I couldn’t see the water because of darkness but the guys on board could and they figured I was not going to stay airborne.
During the ship’s shake down the number four screw vibrated severely during flank, or even moderate speed runs. The ship was then recalled to the Brooklyn yards to fix that problem so VF-11 was off loaded and billeted in tents at Leeward Point, across the bay from mainside. Great flying and the whole squadron’s uniform was shorts, no shirts, for two months. We flew lots of night FCLPs at mainside, McCalla (about 4000’ with 60’ cliffs at both ends). In the flight pattern, we had to dodge the several blimps moored on and around the field.
By mid-February, it became apparent that the Oriskany was not going to come back for us in the near future so we were told to return to NAS Jacksonville and wait for deployment on the Wasp. Our maintenance sailors really worked and somehow got all 16 Banshees up for the mass flight home. I flew the skipper’s wing. We all rendezvoused ok and proceeded to stay VFR with cloud tops at about 25,000 in the US. After two hours we were at 35,000’ above the low freq beacon (NIP) at Jax and getting a bit “skosh” on fuel. GCA was not operating and there was no Approach Control or other radio aids then.. ..Just the tower.

The Skipper called “Jax tower, this is Accommodate One Zero One over you at 35,000 feet with sixteen Banjos. What’s your weather?”

The tower replied “Stand by Sir and I’ll get you the latest sequence”

The skipper replied with heavy voice inflection, “I don’t want to listen to you reading anything!


The poor guy stammered “Well Sir the ceiling is about a thousand feet and we have light rain.”
The skipper said, “Can you see the river?”
“Yes Sir”
“Can you see the other side of the river?”
“Just barely, Sir”
“We’re coming down!”
And with that said he proceeded to make his own IRF tear drop descending approach, out over south side Jacksonville, with a sixteen plane formation to a VFR break at 250 knots, 800’ and everyone was happy ever after.
Skipper Werner was a leader but very rough!

Jacqies young
Col (USAF, Ret) JACQUES E. YOUNG (1923 - 2015)

Flight 9 Daedalians,

I’m sorry to inform you about the final flight of our member Colonel Jacques Young. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. I’ll also be emailing you a copy of a story written by Rob “Cricket” Renner about “Jumpin’ Jacques” P-51 Mustang.

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Below is a copy of the obituary:

Colonel Jacques Edward Young, WWII Veteran

24 June 1923 – 4 March 2015

Jacques Edward Young (Jumpin’ Jacques) beloved husband of Eleanor Shafer Young, for 65 years, made his final sortie from Indianapolis on 4 March 2015. He was born on 24 June 1923 in Indianapolis to the late Ferris E. and Mary E. (Rooker) Young.

Graduating from Bedford, Indiana HS, Jacques attended Purdue University for two years in the Mechanical Engineering Department (ROTC) before enlisting in the United States Army Air Corps, training at stateside flight schools in the Stearman PT-17 (soloing on October 20, 1943), the Vultee BT-13 “Vibrator” and the North American AT-6 “Texan.” Assigned to the Pacific, he initially ferried P-40s from New Guinea to the front lines. Jacques then joined the 3rd Air Commando Group, which had been activated on 1 May 1944. Their unique mission: establish and maintain airfields behind enemy lines in the Philippine Islands; provide for their own supply/defense and attack the enemy’s rear areas while flying air support for allied infantry. Jacques flew 101 combat missions in the Pacific between 15 January and 1 September 1945.

Returning stateside he graduated in the first Purdue Aeronautical Engineering Class in 1949. Jacques worked as a performance engineer at WPAFB in the Aeronautical Systems Division between 1949 and 1980. Duties in this position included creating cockpit friendly multi-axis performance charts, in the days before electronic computers, up to and including the Rockwell B-1B. Jacques also flew in the Ohio Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Squadron/178th Fighter Wing (P-51D/H “Mustang” and F-84E/F “Thunderjet/ Thunderstreak”), deploying to the Berlin Crisis in 1962. Jacques then served as the Air Force Reserve’s Great Lakes Commander, where he was promoted to Colonel in 1971. Jacques flew 6,500 hours in single engine aircraft in the Army Air Corps, Air National Guard, Civil Air Patrol and General Aviation.

USAF Command Pilot; Life Member of the Order of Daedalians-Flight 9.

Loving father of Deborah Rasper (Alan) and Kurt Edward Young (Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Solomon) and Grandfather of Alison Marie Rasper, MD. Proceded in death by his only sister Virginia Ellen Young.

A memorial service, at a later date, will be held at Ft. Myers Chapel with inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to: Order of Daedalians-Flight 9 Scholarship Fund; PO Box 33564, Bldg16; WPAFB, OH 45433-0564. The Daedalians are the Fraternal Organization of American Military Pilots. The Scholarship Fund supports middle school, high school and college (ROTC) students interested in aviation and flight. http://flight-9.org/

Godspeed Jacques, Dad and Granddaddy!

Maj (USAF, Ret) JAMES W. HARDIN (1920 - 2015)

I’m sorry to report that one of our Flight 9 Daedalians, James W Hardin (Jay) recently took his final flight. I’m still trying to find out more details on his exact date of death. Jay entered the Army Air Corp in WWII to become a glider pilot. He was redirected to regular pilot training and ended his career as a KC-97 pilot. He ended his flying career at the Wright Patterson Aero Club with over 10,000 hours of instruction given, mostly to Private Pilot applicants. Here is some information about a memorial service for Jay which will be held on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 2:00 PM at the, Fairborn St Luke United Methodist Church, 100 N. Broad Street
Fairborn, OH 45324

Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

CDR (USN, Ret) ROBERT P. ARMSTRONG (1925 - 2014)

I’m saddened to inform you that Commander Robert P Armstrong USN (Ret) launched on his last mission on 30 December 2014 from Hospice of Dayton. The takeoff was comfortable and his son Mark was at his side. He will be interred on Friday January 9th at a private graveside service in Atlanta GA. There will be no Dayton memorial, or other events in Atlanta. Also he did not want an obituary to be published. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Lt Col (USAF, Ret) NORMAN D. STUCKEY (1919 - 2014)
Dear Fellow Daedalians,

I am sorry to pass along the final flight notice of Lt Col (ret) Norman Stuckey. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. The obituary follows:

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

USAF Lt. Col. Norman Dale Stuckey, age 95 of Fairborn and Dayton, passed away October 7, 2014. He was born April 26, 1919 in Centerville, Iowa, the son of the late Austen and Josie (White) Stuckey. Stuckey was stationed at Hickam Field 7 Dec., 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. During WWII he flew the B-17 known as “Jack the Ripper” over Germany (1943-44) and was shot down close to Munster. He was a POW in STALAG LUFT 1 for 16 months. Most of his career he was an instructor pilot and command B 52 pilot. After retirement, Col. Stuckey owned an advertising business and was an officer in 11 clubs, including Fairborn Rotary, Mensa, and Dayton Shriners. His hobbies included collecting carriages, antique tractors and breeding Clydesdale horses. In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by 2 sisters and a brother-in-law, Mary Stark, Helen (Bob) Schoene. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Frances (Cushing) Stuckey; daughter, Susan (Michael) Bulkeley of Richardson, TX; son, Stephen (Virginia) Stuckey of Centerville, OH; daughter, Claire (Clive) Carter of Whales; 7 grandchildren, David, Anne and Claire Bulkeley, Kathryn (Seth) Harrell, Allison Stuckey, Faye and Helen Carter; brother, John (Liz) Stuckey of Mississippi; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Sunday October 12, 2014 from 2:00 until 4:00 PM, with a Masonic service at 3:45 PM, in the Belton-Stroup Funeral Home, 422 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Rd., Fairborn. A memorial service will be held on Monday October 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM in the Bath Presbyterian Church, 4624 Bath Rd., Huber Heights, Rev. Doris Whitaker officiating. Inurnment to follow at 2:00 PM in the Fairfield Cemetery with full military honors.

Col (USAF, Ret) DANIEL J. BIGELOW (1935 - 2014)

Dear Fellow Daedalians,

This has been a very sad week for our Flight 9 Daedalians. I am still waiting on more information, but I wanted to let you know that Dan Bigelow has taken his final flight. He died of cardiac arrest at 1040 AM on the 11th of August. I will pass on more information when I receive it. He was an active participant in our flight and will be greatly missed. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Kathy Staiger
Flight 9 Captain

Col chop hunter photo
Col (USAF, Ret) CHALMER E. HUNTER (1921 - 2014)
Fellow Daedalians,

I am saddened to inform you about the last flight for Colonel Chalmer “Chop” Hunter. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.
Kathy Staiger
flight 9 Captain


Col. Chalmer E. (Chop) HUNTER

News Death Notice
HUNTER, Col. Chalmer E. “Chop” 93 of Springfield, took off on his final mission Sunday August 10, 2014. He was born in Dawn, Ohio on January 26, 1921. Chalmer graduated from Versailles High School in 1939. During World War II, Chalmer was assigned to the 107th TAC Reconnaissance Squadron and flew the F-6D (recce verson of the P-51) in Europe. After returning to the states, Chop married his dream girl, Jean Ann Bean in July 1947. In 1949, while working at Master Electric he joined the newly formed 162nd TAC Fighter Squadron, Ohio National Guard. Having accumulated over 800 hours of combat time in the Mustang, he was a qualified pilot. In the guard, Chop flew the P-51H, T-33A, F-84E, F-84F and F-100 aircraft and accumulated approximately 8,400 hours of flying time. Colonel Hunter retired in 1976 as Director of Flying Operations for the 178th TAC Fighter Group at Springfield and also from the 121st TAC Fighter Wing, Rickenbacker AFB. Chalmer was a life member of Deadalians, the National Fraternity of Military Pilots. Every mission he was given whether participation in the Ricks Trophy race, the nuclear plumb bob testing or organizing a Holiday dance, he devoted the same amount of care, devotion and detail. Chop was preceded in death by his loving wife Jean Ann his parents William Estley and Callie Mae Hunter, brother and sister Ralf and Byrdine niece Sue Byrd, Edward and Ann Hunter grandparents. Survived by the immediate family members that during his illness cared for him for the past few months his son and daughter-in-law Brian and Sharon Hunter of Springfield, Tab and Nikolai Hunter both of Springfield, also Chop’s nephew and his wife Steve and Lorrie Lawson. Chop’s son from Toledo Ohio and his wife Glenn and Sandy, granddaughters; Michelle and Christine and three great-grandchildren also his faithful companion ABBY (Irish Setter). Special thanks to Gem City Health Care and Hospice of Dayton for their caring, help and compassion. A gathering of family and friends will be held Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the LITTLETON & RUE FUNERAL HOME, where funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. August 15, 2014. Burial with full military honors provided by the 88th Air Base Wing Honor Guard, WPAFB will be in Enon Cemetery. We express special thanks to Hospice of Dayton and also special thanks to Gem City Health Care and Dr. Sarihan for their help caring, help and compassion. You may express condolences to the family at www.littletonandrue.com

Published in Dayton Daily News from Aug. 12 to Aug. 13, 2014