Chance Vought Survivors Club

The first meeting of the present Chance Vought Survivors took place in October 22, 1992 with the objective of getting a few Chance Vought retirees together for fellowship, to keep alive the Chance Vought heritage and share their career experience. This was initiated by telephone calls from Gail Swan and Egan Fry to a group of 12 other North Dallas CVA retirees, inviting them to a lunch get together at an E1 Fenix restaurant on Forest Lane on that date. There it was decided that follow up meetings should be held and that other North Dallas CVA retirees should be invited to come. There was no speaker and each paid his own tab. Gale Swan and Egan Foy are responsible for planning and organizing this meeting.

The second meeting of the North Dallas Chance Vought Retirees was on January 19, 1993 at a Red Lobster restaurant with a presentation by Alan Starr on an SAE sponsored program to assist schools in Engineering Studies. There were 33 invites. Responsibility for organizing and chairing had passed to Milt Rudick.

Select to view photos of the gathering of Vought retirees in 1993, at Red Lobster.

The third meeting was on April 13, 1993 at a Spaghetti Warehouse on Beltline Road and in response to numerous requests a few non North Dallas CVA retirees were invited. Ed Russell of Loral gave a presentation on future Company plans. There were 56 invites. The meeting was organized and chaired by Fred Randall.

The fourth meeting on September 14, 1993 represented a major change to its present form under the leadership of Bill Micchelli. There was agreement by the members that the name would be changed to CHANCE VOUGHT SURVIVORS, that invites would be 21 qualified people and the meetings would be moved to a suitable Club with space for growth. Qualified members had to be professional level personnel that had worked for Chance Vought Aircraft Company. that is, they had drawn a paycheck from the company prior to 1 October 1961. and were retired. A grandfather clause covered a few CVA members still working or consulting. The new meeting place was the Energy Club on North Central Expressway; Paul Thayer gave a presentation describing his around-the- world trip in a Cessna 414. It was also decided that the chairman would serve for one year and there would be three meetings a year. There were approximately 108 invites.The meeting was organized and chaired Bill Micchelli.

The fifth meeting of The Chance Vought Survivors was on January 25, 1994 at the Energy Club on North Central A fixed price for a buffet of $20 was established at the previous meeting. Walter Hesse gave a presentation on the status of solar energy R & D. Bill Micchelli organized and chaired the meeting.

The sixth meeting was held on May 25, 1994 at the Energy Club. There was a general discussion on future meetings rather than a speaker. The Invitee list had grown to around 150. Bill Micchelli organized and chaired the meeting.

The seventh meeting was on September 28, 1994 at the Royal Oaks Country Club to get more space, better arrangements, and better parking. Gordon Williams, President and CEO of Vought Aircraft Company, discussed Northrop's plan to acquire the Company. Jake Benner organized and chaired the meeting.

The eighth meeting was on January 24, 1995 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Felix Fenter gave an overview of the Loral Corp. with emphasis on Loral Vought. Attendance was approximately 130. Jake Benner organized and chaired the meeting.

The ninth meeting was on May 10, 1995 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Jack Welch shared some of his experiences as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. Attendance was around 140. Jake Benner organized and chaired the meeting.

The tenth meeting was on September 13, 1995 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. A review of existing Chance Vought Company history documentation and the need for a comprehensive history was discussed. Attendance had stabilized in the 130 to 150 range. Ed Cvetko organized and chaired the meeting.

The eleventh meeting was on January 24, 1996 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Lee Stetson gave a presentation on the planning and actual move of the Company from Stratford to Dallas Ed Cvetko organized and chaired the meeting.

The twelfth meeting was on May 8, 1996 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Whit McCormack spoke on the various approaches being evaluated to accumulate and maintain a Chance Vought history. Ed Cvetko organized and chaired the meeting.

The thirteenth meeting was on September 18, 1996 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Dr. David Stumpf of Arizona State University discussed his book "Regulus the Forgotten Weapon system". Herb Epstein organized and chaired the meeting.

The fourteenth meeting was on January 27, 1997 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Mr. Melvin Hans briefed the group on the plans and objectives of the Aviation Heritage Museum at Alliance Airport. Herb Epstein organized and chaired the meeting.

The fifteenth meeting was on May 22, 1997 at Royal Oaks Country Club. Mr. Normal Augustine, CEO and President of  Lockheed Martin and CVA Survivor, gave a discussion of aviation matters. Herb Epstein organized and chaired the meeting.

The sixteenth meeting was on September 17, 1997 at the Royal Oaks country Club. Hank Merbler discussed the plans for a web site of the Vought Heritage to be funded by Northrop Grumman and constructed by retirees. Bob Fisette organized and chaired the meeting.

The seventeenth meeting was on January 21, 1998 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Several members discussed plans and progress on the Vought Heritage web site and on restoration of an aircraft Bob Fisette organized and chaired the meeting.

The eighteenth meeting was on May 20, 2998 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Walter Humann, a CVA Survivor: discussed Optimism about the DFW area and stressed civic duty along with some of his own contributions. The list of invites had grown to about 350 and 109 were in attendance. Bob Fisette organized and chaired the meeting.

The nineteenth meeting was on September 18, 1998 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Ralph Crosby, Sector) President of the Integrated Systems and Aerostructure Sector of Northrop Grumman spoke on the new organization and the Company future. John Ryan organized and chaired the meeting.

The twentieth meeting was on January 20, 1999 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. 121 members were present. There was no speaker but the time was devoted to socializing. Hank Merbler briefed on the status of the web site. John Ryan organized and chaired the meeting.

The twenty-first meeting was on May 19, 1999 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. There were 127 present including members and guests. Don Emmick, a Chance Vought Survivor, gave a presentation entitled, "The Common House Fly as a Power Plant for the World's Smallest Aircraft". John Ryan organized and chaired the meeting. Clint Hawk was introduced as next year's Chairman.

The twenty-second meeting was on September 29, 1999 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Jack Gallagher, Jr., Executive Director, Military Tilt rotor Programs, Bell Helicopter Textron, gave a presentation on the V-22 Osprey. There were 130 Survivors and guests present. Clint Hawk organized and chaired the meeting.

The twenty-third meeting was on January 26, 2000, at the Royal Oaks Country Club. An update on the restoration project of an A-7 airplane and report of the Vought Heritage Web Site, which has just gone on line, was given. Retirees prepared the site. Joe Engle reported on a trip to France where F-8 airplanes were flying and being retired. There were 160 Survivors at the luncheon. Clint Hawk organized and chaired the meeting.

The twenty-fourth meeting was on May 5, 2000 at the Las Colinas Country Club in Irving. Jay Musselman gave an update of the missiles division activities. There were 136 Survivors in attendance. Clint Hawk organized and chaired the meeting.

The twenty-filth meeting was on September 8, 2000 at the Las Colinas Country Club in Irving. Dan Hem, formerly of E Systems, gave a talk on "The Top Secret-Silent War''. There were 130 Survivors present. Clint Hawk organized and chaired the meeting.

The twenty-sixth meeting was on January 26, 2001 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Gordon Williams, President and CEO of Vought Aircraft Industries gave an update of the answer company after being sold by Northrop/Grumman. There were 124 Survivors present. Ed Cvetko chaired the meeting for Clint Hawk who was ill.

The twenty-seventh meeting was on May 25, 2001 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. The fee was increased to $22 due to increased costs. Jeff  Fegan, Executive Director of the DFW International Airport was the shaker on the master plan for the airport. There were 107 attendees. Ed Cvetko spoke briefly on the restoration program. Clint Hawk organized and chaired the meeting.

The twenty-eighth meeting was on September 7, 2001 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Jim Berry, President of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control addressed the group on the Company business position. There were 120 members and guests present. Clint Hawk organized and chaired the meeting. He Announced that Betty Pearce (1949) would be the next Chairperson in January 2002.

The twenty-ninth meeting was on January 11, 2002 at the Trophy Club Clubhouse, between Fort Worth and Dallas. Lt. General (Ret) Harry Blot. Vice President and Deputy Program Manager for the newly won $200+ billion contract for the Next Generation aircraft. There were 139 Survivors present. Betty Pearce, our new president, organized and chaired the meeting.

The thirtieth meeting was on May 31, 2002 at the Trophy Club Clubhouse. Paul Thayer asked our long time friend and positive thinking coach, Ed Forman, to be our speaker. He will be with us to review useful information and fun ideas on improved vitality and longevity. There were 114 attendees to hear Ed. Betty Pearce organized and chaired the meeting.

The thirty-first meeting was on October 16, 2002 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Our speaker was General (Ret) Jack R (Jack) Dailey, Director of the Hall Air & Space Museum in Washington DC. He spoke about the new museum at Dallas International Airport. 118   Survivors attended this meeting. Because Betty Pearce was ill Ed Cvetko and Clint Hawk chaired tile session.

There was no meeting in January 2003.

The thirty-second meeting was on May 6, 2003 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Herb Kelleher, retired Chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines was our speaker. There is nobody in the aerospace industry better known and respected than Herb. His speech went the whole gamut of the aerospace business. There were 161 Survivors present, our largest ever meeting. Paul Thayer, our new President organized and chaired the meeting.

The thirty-third meeting was on October 15, 2003 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Gene Cereal, astronaut extra-ordinare was our speaker. Of particular note was his induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in the year 2000. There were 126 survivors present. Paul Thayer organized and chaired the meeting.

The thirty-fourth meeting was on January 14, 2004 at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Since Paul Thayer accepted the invitation to speak "because I am certain nobody in the group has heard all my navy fighter pilot and experimental test pilot stories and since they have gotten better over the years many would be unrecoverable anyway". There were 124 Survivors present. Paul Thayer organized and chaired the meeting. There were 126 Survivors.

The thirty-fifth meeting was on May 19, 2004 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Tom Risley, President of Vought Aircraft, Inc. was to be our speaker but was called out of town at the last minute. As such, Judy Northup, Vice President of Vought became our speaker and did a great job of bringing us up to date on "company'' business. We had 122 Survivors present. Harry Englert, our new president, organized and chaired the meeting.

The thirty-sixth meeting was on September 4, 2004 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Norm Augustine, former CEO and Chairman of the Lockheed Martin Executive Committee was our speaker. He is an author, holder of more than 20 Honorary Doctorate degrees and is a much sought after speaker. There were 157 attendees (Survivors) at this meeting. Harry Englert organized the meeting but was in the hospital at the time. As such, Walt Hesse chaired the meeting.

The thirty-seventh meeting was on January 19, 2005 at the Ruthe Jackson Center. Our speaker was Michael Morris, Director of Transportation at the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Michael is the "point man'' for information on planning and funding the numerous transportation programs in the DFW area. Included will be area maps so you can identify your favorite "bottlenecks" in your area. We had 98 Survivors in attendance. Harry organized and chaired the meeting.

The thirty-eighth meeting was on June 17, 2005 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Tom Vandergriff was our speaker but spoke for only about 10 minutes. There were about 95 survivors in attendance. Jim Gathings organized and chaired the meeting.

The thirty-ninth meeting was on November 16,2005 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love field. Dan Hamilton of the museum was our speaker. There were 94 Survivors in attendance. Jim Gathings organized and chaired the meeting.

No meetings were held in 2006 and 2007.

The fortieth meeting was held on January 25, 2008 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Graham (GT) Tomlinson of BAE Systems, Inc., where he was Chief Test Pilot for Strike and STOVL aircraft was our speaker. He is currently Lead Project Test Pilot at Lockheed Martin for the F35B STOVL variant of the JSF. Subject of his presentation was "A Pilot's viewpoint of STOVL from Harrier to Lightning 2". Ninety Survivors were in attendance. Bob Turney organized and chaired the Meeting.

The forty-first meeting was held on May 14. 2008 at the Ruthe Jackson Center. Lt. Col. Todd M. Reichert was our speaker. LTC Reichert has been in numerous Army units in the US and abroad. He earned a masters degree in Management and Control at Michigan University and currently serves as Professor of Military Science at Stephen F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas He served two tours in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His presentation to us centered on his Afghanistan experiences. 85 Survivors were in attendance. Bob Tunney organized and chaired the meeting.

The forty-second meeting was held on September 24, 2008 at the Ruthe Jackson Center. We had 3 speakers to summarize the update the Survivors on the status of the Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation's Restoration Program and Heritage Data Center. Hank Merbler covered the restoration, Dick Atkins, the data center, and Ed Cvetko, future plans. There were 79 Survivors in attendance. Bob Tunney organized and chaired the meeting.

For the forty-third session the Survivors were invited by the Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation (VAHF) to attend the rollout celebration of the rebuilt F4U Corsair. The ceremony was held on January 24, 2009 in a Hanger (Bldg. 76) at the Vought Aircraft Industries Inc. plant in Grand Prairie. Total attendance was close to 400, including approximately 85 Survivors plus their guests. Bob Turned coordinated Survivor arrangements with VAHF.

The forty-fourth session was held on May 13, 2009 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Bob Turney organized and chaired the meeting. Our speaker was Jay Miller, an aviation literature collector, a journalist author, photographer and aviation business agent. Jay also serves in an advisory capacity to the Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation. As a collector of aviation literature he amassed what many considered the largest most comprehensive privately held aviation library in the world. When sold to the Aerospace Education Center in Little Rock Arkansas in 1992, it weighed 21 tons. As a journalist and author he is the author of 36 books. As expert in aviation photography, he also entertained us by projecting his artistry with beautiful airplane shots on the screen.

The forty-fifth session was held on September 8, 2009 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Bob Tunney organized and chaired the meeting. Our speaker was special in that he was an associate to our late Dr. Walter Hesse who spoke to the Survivors on the subject of energy back in 1994. His name was Dr. Robert Walters, Vice President Marketing, Entech Solar. Mr. Walters was a go-founder of  Entech. His speech was an update of the one given by Walt Hess.

The Forty-sixth session was held on March 31, 2010 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. The meeting was organized and chaired by Glenn Repp, our new Survivors president. Glen came up through the Vought test lab in 1953 and retired as Missiles Flight Test Projects Manager in 1989. The speaker at the luncheon meeting was LTC Jack Keaton from the US Army Fires Test Directorate of the Operational Test Command at Fort Sill, OK. There were 82 Survivors in attendance.

The Forty-seventh session was held on August 4, 2010 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Glen Repp organized and chaired the luncheon meeting. Speaker at the meeting was Clint Bruce, a Dallas native, graduate of USNA (four year starter on the football team), Veteran Navy SEAL and founder and President of Trident Response Group. There were 59 Survivors in attendance.

The forty-eighth session was held on February 9, 2011 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Tommy Thompson was the speaker at the meeting and presented the forgotten Vought F8U-3 Super Crusader. Glenn Repp organized and chaired the luncheon meeting. Because of an ice storm, there were only 16 survivors in attendance.

The forty-ninth session was held on July 13, 2011 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Terry Mitchell, Assistant Director of Aviation for the City of Dallas was our speaker at the meeting and presented a video presentation of the modernization work being done at Dallas Love Field His presentation also included some of the History of the airport. Glenn Repp organized and chaired the luncheon meeting. There were 66 Survivors in attendance.

The fiftieth session was held on November 9, 2011 at the Ruthe Jackson center in Grand Prairie. The speaker was L. Col (USAF Ret) Bruce A Bleakley, Director, Dallas Frontiers of Flight Museum. He spoke on the history of aviation in the Dallas Region and presented interesting power point pictures. Glenn Repp organized and chaired the luncheon meeting. There were 65 survivors in attendance.

The fifty-first meeting was held on April 11, 2012 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. The speaker was April Culver, Executive Director of Dallas based Challenge Air. Challenge Air is a non-profit organization that offers motivational, inspirational, and life-changing experiences to physically challenged and seriously ill children through aviation events across America. The events are known as "Fly Days". Privately owned small airplanes are volunteered for use by volunteer pilots to allow each child to participate in actual flight as a go-pilot. Glenn Repp organized and chaired the luncheon meeting. There were 48 survivors in attendance.

The fifty-second meeting was held on July 18, 2012 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. The speaker was Jay Miller, an Aviation Literature Collector, a Journalist, Author, Photographer and Aviation Heritage Foundation. He gave a slideshow of beautiful airplanes. Glenn Repp organized and chaired the luncheon meeting. There were 55 survivors in attendance.

The fifty-third session was held on November 7, 2012 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. Mr. Mike Montefusco was our speaker and talked about flight simulation. He gave us a slide show about his experience as a system flight test engineer at EAFB. Glenn Repp organized and chaired the luncheon meeting. There were 44 survivors in attendance.

Chance Vought Survivors Club - History