Aerie Newsletters

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Current News

Updated 9/25/2020
Flown West - Capt. Wayne Coburn "Coby" Johnson flew West Sept 20, 2020. See Pathfinders for his obituary.
Updated 7/30/2020
The following note is from Don Burrows. Also note that an update has been added to Capt. Mahoney's obit showing where you can send donations in Capt. Mahoney's memory if you are so inclined.

A chat today with Trish Mahoney revealed that she's holding her own but (NO surprise!) that she has her "moments". She's dealing with ALL the legal stuff that ensues when a death in the family occurs. My sis who lost her bubby on the 4th is dealing with the same. Patti & Trish talked also & was grateful that many are offering up supplications of healing & courage. In a box of pix found in the garage aka the cavern, yielded up many old pix from Army daze in RVN to a pix of Dick, Trish & me taken by Patti the day after Christmas '96. Happy & very good times @ our respective lake casas. A date for the final service @ Arlington still TBD! Be safe & well, all. When we daily pray (you really should, y'know) pray for the Mahoney's, our wonderful if imperfect country & that we won't lose it in our collective wisdom & efforts to improve & NOT destroy & for each other! I can't get my head around ALL the mayhem & destruction & the laissez faire attitude by some elected officials! Feckless & timid!!! Blue side up, take good care. D&P out west & thankfully 5 hrs. away from "Portlandia" & 6 from SEA!!! Peace!
Updated 7/16/2020
Flown West - Capt. Richard Patrick Mahoney flew West July 14, 2020. See Pathfinders for his obituary.
Updated 7/12/2020
Flown West - Capt. Ronald "Ronnie" Howell flew West exact date unknown. See Pathfinders for more information.
Updated 6/30/2020
Flown West - Capt. Louis Roert Nelson Sr. flew West June 13, 2020. See Pathfinders for more information.
Deceased Flight Attendant - Joyce Elizabeth Phillips June 15, 2020. See Flight Attendant News for more information.
Updated 6/23/2020
Deceased Flight Attendant - Joyce Elizabeth Phillips June 15, 2020. See Flight Attendant News for more information.
Updated 6/14/2020
Flown West - Capt. Thomas Sierer flew West June 11, 2020. See Pathfinders for more information.
Updated 6/14/2020
Flown West - Capt. Danny B Hamby flew West June 10, 2020. See Pathfinders for more information.
Updated 6/12/2020
Flown West - Capt. Nevin Remaley flew West June 2, 2020. See Pathfinders for more information.
Updated 5/12/2020
Capt. Martin Mylet:
Captain Martin M. "Marty" Mylet passed away on 5/5/20 at his home in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Captain Mylet began flying in the United States Air Force in 1959. His commercial flying career with USAir lasted over 30 years until retirement in 1995. His home base was Pittsburgh International Airport. He is survived by his wife, 3 children and 1 grandchild. Condolences can be emailed to the Mylet family at YTRAM32@MSN.COM.
Updated 4/26/2020
Capt. Arlen Ingman:
We have just received word that Capt. Arlen Ingman passed away in a nursing home in Bealeton, Va. He has been ailing for the past several years. We have no further information. Because of the present Coronavirus situation the thinking is that a memorial service will be held after the Coronavirus period has passed us.
Updated 4/21/2020
Shirley Kirby:
Shirley Kirby, wife of deceased pilot, Bill Kirby, passed away on April 17th after a short hospital stay. She fell and broke three ribs and went downhill very fast. She was 83. She will be cremated and buried at Bushnell with her husband and son. There will be a celebration of her life sometime after the corona virus is over.

The addresses for her two daughters are:

Erin Donnelly
5001 SW 20th Street
Apt. 4510
Ocala, Florida 34474

Dana Hawkins
12297 SE 86th Avenue
Belleview, Florida 34420
Updated 4/6/2020
Captain Ed Rickard:
Former Pittsburgh Base Chief Pilot, Captain Ed Rickard, passed away on Mar. 31, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. Captain Rickard was 81 at the time of his passing, and had requested that he be cremated. At a later more suitable time his cremains will be interred in his beloved Wyoming.

His wife Betsy's contact information is provided below..

Elizabeth Rickard
6152 Spinnaker Loop,
Lady Lake, Fl 32159
Updated 3/7/2020
From James Brown:
It is with great sadness that my best friend and mate passed away on March 4, 2020. Cheryl Horst Brown from the Flight Attendant class of 1969, known and referred to as "Pickle". She was Jim's co-pilot on the many years of RV travel. Her favorite being a camping trip to Yellowstone with early morning drives through the park looking for critters. Cheryl loved life and always had a great since of humor during her 17 years as a Flight Attendant. She has requested to not have a viewing or service, she will be interned at the Brown family plot in Johnson City, Tn.

Please no calls at this time but cards may be sent to Captain Jim Brown, 4328 Heritage Trail, Leesburg, Fl 34748.
Thank You,
Soaring Eagles
Updated 2/7/2020
Flown West - Captain Robert V (Bob) Thompson flew West January 30, 2020. See Pathfinders for obituary.
Updated 1/29/2020
Flown West - Captain Ed O'Brien flew West October 31, 2019. See Pathfinders for obituary.
Updated 1/9/2020
Flown West - Captain Don Greenfield flew West January 8, 2020. See Pathfinders for obituary.
Updated 12/31/2019
Soaring Eagles Dues Notice -
Dues for 2020 are due in January. Checks should be made to Soaring Eagles and sent to:
Soaring Eagles
8860 Peninsula Dr
Terrell, NC 28682
- $40.00 for those who are younger than 80.
- $25.00 if you were age 80 before January 1, 2020.
- $00.00 if you were age 80 before January 1, 2017, however, you may voluntarily pay dues if you wish.
Paul Sturpe, Treasurer
Updated 12/30/2019
Flown West - Captain David Byron Kelley flew West December 28. See Pathfinders for obituary.
Added 12/29/2019

This is the beautiful framed print that was presented to Chairman Edwin I Colodny at this years Soaring Eagles Reunion. Mr Colodny generously donated it back to the Soaring Eagles so that it could be auctioned off, with the proceeds going into the Save Our Stinson Fund.
Bidding closes at midnight Dec. 31, 2019.
Those wishing to bid may do so by submitting your bid to Currently one bid has been submitted for the minimum of $350.00.
The successful bidder will be responsible for shipping costs. I will attempt to have Mr. Colodny write a note to be attached to the back of the framed print. I am not inclined to disturb the professional framing work.
Joe Kernan
Updated 12/25/2019
Flown West - Captain Herb Dudley flew West August 27, 2019 after an extended illness. See Pathfinders for obituary.
Updated 12/18/2019
Flown West - Captain Jack Semenko flew West December 15, 2019 after an extended illness. See Pathfinders for arrangements and obituary.
Posted and Revised 11/25/2019
A Friend Passes
Just info for those that went to Dr. Pete Parent for their Phy , that his wife Evelyn passed away this last week. Notes or cards can be sent to him at :
426 W Main St Monongahela Pa 15063
Denny Graff
Revised 11/23/2019
Flown West - Captain Charles "Chuck" Croco Flew West November 23, 2019 after suffering either a heart attack or stroke. It is possible that there were elements of both. See Pathfinders for details.
Posted 11/15/2019
Flown West - Captain Gerald "Rod" Donovan
We just learned of Captain Donovan's passing. It occured 10/23/2018. s name has been added to the Pathfinders list. No other details are available.
Posted 11/ /2019
Minutes of the 43rd Soaring Eagles Reunion now listed under a new navigation button named .
Posted 10/30/2019
Flown West - Captain Lester A. Roberts
See Pathfinders for details
Posted 10/30/2019 Flown West - Captain Richard Pearson
See Pathfinders for details
Posted 10/30/2019
Flown West - Captain John Wholley
We just learned of Captain Wholley's flight West. He flew West in 2017. See Pathfinders for details
Posted 10/9/2019
Flown West - Captain William Tracy
See Pathfinders for details
Posted 10/8/2019
Ship for our Soaring Eagles Cruise
Posted 9/29/2019
Welcome to our newest members :
Pamela Stepanian=, Pat Riley, Jan Grieco, Pamela Dunlap, Vicki Johnson, Pamela Orbe Barbara Gonzalez, Linda Friend, and Gayle McGlinn.
Sign up for the Reunion and welcome these Ladies in person.
Posted 9/29/2019
Flown West - Captain Bill Patchett
See Pathfinders for details
Posted 9/29/2019
Celebration of Life - Dan Friel
Barbara Pressley has planned a Celebration of Life for Dan Friel as follows:
October 12, 2019 3:00 to 5:00 PM
American Legion Post 130
400 Oak St
Falls Church, VA 22046
Posted 9/19/2019
An Eagle Flies West - Captain Charlie Boivin
See Pathfinders for details.
Edited 9/9/2019
An Eagle Flies West - Captain Dan Friel
See Pathfinders for details.
Posted 8/11/2019
An Eagle Flies West - Captain Earl Bates
See Pathfinders for details
Posted 8/4/2019
An Eagle Flies West - Captain Earl Stone
See Pathfinders for details.
Posted 8/4/2019
Reunion Hotel Reservations
When you are making hotel reservations via the internet, you can do everything except to choose the option of a single room with two beds. In consultation with the Sales Staff at Tampa Westshore Marriott we offer the following guidance. Make all of your selections as you normally would, then since you cannot select a two bed option, you will have to contact the hotel. They will make that change for you. Simply email or call her at 813-282-5812, and she will edit your reservation to reflect a two bed option.
Posted 6/30/2019
New Member
Welcome to our newest Eagle, Captain Doug Burke who is the son of Captain Ed Burke who was hired by All American Airways in 1950. The Burke's were able to fly together before Ed retired some years ago.
Posted 6/12/2019
Flown West
Information will now be found on the Button on the Top Navigation bar.
Posted 5/21/2019
Welcome New Eagles
Please join me in Welcoming our three newest Eagles.

Captain Ron Friedhoff, Allegheny DOH 1/79 and a retirement date exactly one month from today. Welcome aboard the Soaring Eagles Captain Ron, and Happy Retirement on 6/20/19.

Ginny Friedhoff, Ron's wife Allegheny DOH 1/79 and the date that she quit flying is unclear at this time, but she did stop flying.

I had the pleasure of flying with the Friedhoff's when I was a fairly new Captain in DCA,, and we had a great time. I look forward to reminiscing with them about the good times at the upcoming reunion.

Our third new member Patricia Riley, was hired as a Flight Attendant by Mohawk Airlines 5/69 and flew until 1/2005. She and her husband Robert reside on the West Coast, but we hope they will be able to join us in Tampa this year.

Captain Joe Kernan, President
Posted 5/8/2019
The 2019 Reunion Registration Form has been added.
You can access it - - > HERE < - - or from the top navigation bar under the Reunions Button.
Posted 2019
Member dues are now payable January 31 each year. Current REGULAR dues $40.00, Members age 80 by January 31st dues are reduced to $25.00.
The Soaring Eagles need your support. Make your check payable to the USAir "Soaring Eagles" and mail to Treasurer:
Captain Paul Sturpe, 8860 Peninsula Drive, Terrell, NC 28682. Telephone (828) 478-1133
Remember to include an update of your status.
Posted 2019
A new service for our membership.
Captain Sturpe has set up a PayPal account enabling you to send fees to the Treasurer. Using your PayPal account make your funds payable through PayPal to:
We hope this service makes it easier to stay current as a Soaring Eagle.
or u.s.= mail
Captain Paul Sturpe, 8860 Peninsula Drive, Terrell, NC 28682.
Posted 2018

'Soaring Eagles' Officers for 2019

  • President - Joe Kernan
  • First Vice President - Judy Schmidt
  • Second Vice President - Alvahn Mondel
  • Secretary - Judi Todd
  • Treasurer - Paul Sturpe
  • Immediate Past President - John Davis
  • Advisors - Bill Leefe, Bob Knapp, Seth Schofield, Counsel- Ron Natalie


Posted 8/21/2020
Honorary Membership
On Aug. 14, 2020, the Soaring Eagles Executive Board voted unanimously to confer Honorary Membership on Brigadier General Charles McGee.
Instrumental to the growth of the Tuskegee Airmen Association, he holds the record of 409 aerial fighter combat missions over three wars. Military honors include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with Two Clusters, two Presidential Unit Citations, and many others.
Charles McGee entered this world in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 7, 1919, the second of three children born to Lewis McGee, Sr. and Ruth McGee. With Charles' father being a minister, teacher, and social worker, the McGee family moved often, living in Ohio, Florida, West Virginia, Illinois, and Iowa. After graduating from Chicago's DuSable High School in 1938, he earned money for college by working in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Attending the University of Illinois in 1939, he joined the ROTC and was a member of the Pershing Rifles. It was there that Charles met the love of his life, Frances Nelson.
With war declared after Pearl Harbor, Charles heard the army was recruiting to train colored soldiers as mechanics at nearby Chanute Field, for the expected colored soldiers' flight program. He applied for a pilot's slot in this experimental squadron and passed the examination. With his call to service inevitable and college completion doubtful, that fall Charles worked at a steel mill. He and Frances were married on October 17, 1942. Two days later he received his orders and soon was at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama to begin rigorous flight training with his fellow black cadets.
On June 30, 1943, Charles graduated from flight school in Class 43-F. By the beginning of 1944, Second Lieutenant McGee had joined the pioneering all-black 332nd Fighter Group, 12th Air Force - flying P-39 Airacobras from a base near Naples, Italy. By May of 1944, the 332nd was with the 15th Air Force, flying P-47 Thunderbolts - and later, P-51 Mustangs - on fighter sweeps and long-range bomber escort missions out of Ramatelli. The 332nd, also known as the "Red Tails", soon earned the respect of their Luftwaffe counterparts and of the white bomber crews they protected. By November of 1944, with 136 missions and a Focke Wulf 190 to his credit, Charles was heading home.
He returned to Tuskegee as a twin-engine instructor. Upon war's end, the Tuskegee Army Air Field was closed, and Charles joined the 477th Composite Group at Lockbourne Air Base, near Columbus, Ohio, in 1946. After several stateside assignments, May 1950 found Charles in the Philippines at Clark Field, as Base Operations Officer.
June 1950. Another war broke out - in Korea. Charles soon found himself back in a Mustang and in combat, with the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron based out of Pusan. Over his tour, Charles flew 100 low-level bombing and strafing missions. Returning to Clark, Charles took command of the 44th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, eagerly transitioning into the F-80 jet fighter. In 1953, Charles graduated from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base and later flew F-89 Scorpions with the Air Defense Command.
Charles was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1959. The McGee's and their three children spent the next few years on assignments in Italy, North Dakota and Missouri. By 1967, another war - Vietnam - called Charles into combat. Leading the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron out of Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon, he flew RF-4C Phantoms on 173 more dangerous missions.
The Air Force next sent Charles to Germany, promoting him to Colonel in 1969. In June 1972 he took command of the 1840th Air Base Wing at Richards-Gebauer, near Kansas City, Missouri. On January 31, 1973, after 30 years of military service, Charles retired from the Air Force. His 409 aerial fighter combat missions over three wars is a record that still stands.
Charles' military honors include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with Two Clusters, two Presidential Unit Citations, and many others. Charles then went back to school, finally earning that long-delayed degree. His civilian career included serving as Vice President of a real estate holding company, and Manager of the Kansas City Downtown Airport.
He was instrumental to the growth of the Tuskegee Airmen Association, and his many additional honors include the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, the National Aeronautics Association Elder Statesman of Aviation induction, the Air Force Association's Lifetime Achievement Award and, on March 27, 2007, as a Tuskegee Airman, the Congressional Gold Medal. Charles remains a highly sought after speaker and, with his motto of "Do while you can", continues to inspire young and old alike.
At the appropriate time, I will go to Washington to make the formal presentation of the various artifacts that will signify General McGee's membership in our organization. We are honored and pleased that the General accepted our Honorary Membership. We are honored to welcome him to our family.
Joe Kernan
For the Board
Posted 6/2/2020
Unprecedented.............Reunion cancellation
When the Covid 19 Pandemic became the overriding concern for all the world, I began to have concerns about its the impact on our ability to conduct our 44th, Soaring Eagles Reunion as scheduled.
As you all know the Reunion is the centerpiece of our year, and an event that many of our members look forward to attending. Believe me I look forward to it as much as anyone does.
You may have noticed that I have not sent out any messages encouraging attendance, as I normally would have done by June. I was waiting to assess the status of the various states that were in lock down and had various other restrictions in place.
Although our event is held in Florida, our membership is scattered all over the country, and are subject to the regulations in the various states where they reside.
The state of the Airline Industry was also a factor to be considered, as many of our members Non-Rev to the reunion, and some purchase full fare tickets.
Although we have a few members under the age of 65, the vast majority are in the vulnerable category as defined by the CDC. As a matter of fact, most are in the upper reaches of the category.
After discussion with the Tampa West Shore Marriott it is not possible to determine with any certainty what the conditions in Florida will be in late October. As an example, there may still be social distancing regulations in effect. Although Florida seems to be opening a little quicker than other states, there are still the unknown elements. Masks or, six-foot separation simply would not work for us.
Every year at the end of the reunion we execute the contract for the next reunion, and we did that in 2019. Ron Natalie reviewed that contract and advised that absent Federal or State restrictions being in place at the time of the reunion, The Soaring Eagles could be held to the provisions of that contract that deal with cancellation. Cancellation at this time would have made the Soaring Eagles subject to $8500.00 in liquidated damages. Notwithstanding this provision I was able to work out an alternate resolution with the hotel management.
By agreeing to rebook the reunion for October 22, 23, 24, 2021 the Tampa West Shore Marriott has agreed to credit The Soaring Eagles with the $8500.00 dollars in liquidated damages that would have been due had we not re-booked the event.
I advised the Soaring Eagles Board, and advisers of the foregoing information, and it was with great reluctance, and sadness that the decision was made to cancel the 44th Annual Soaring Eagles Reunion and reschedule for the above-mentioned date.
Some may say, "Well I would have attended". Others and I on the board would have said the same thing. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of putting our members' health at risk, or the organization's financial health for that matter. Simply put, better to err on the side of caution.
We hate it, but it is what it is.
Joe Kernan
For the Board
This website is intended to recognize the contribution made by Employees and Managers who built USAir.

USAir became an airline created by mergers involving several airline companies which brought effective resources to the system in the form of routes, equipment and well qualified employee groups.
The management team developed by Mr. Leslie O. Barnes began a movement toward a growth pattern developing into one of the largest and most efficient airlines in the world. Mr. Barnes was succeeded by Edwin I. Colodny as President and Chairman. Mr. Colodny established a great management team that included Mr. Seth "Butch" Schofield, who eventually became President and Chairman.
These officers took advantage of opportunity to grow and prosper. Mergers were brought to completion that considered the welfare of all employees in addition to strengthening the airline marketplace standing.
Allegheny, Lake Central, Mohawk, Pacific Southwest, Piedmont are the airlines that formed USAir.

Chairman Leslie O. Barnes and Flight Attendants introduce modern jet prop service using the Napier powered Convair. The Napier powered Convair was short lived. It was replaced by the Allison powered 580 Convair. The seven Flight Attendants wearing the bright colored outfits were on loan from Hawaii as a promotional plan for the service.

Retired Chairman Ed Colodny accepts his Eagle Award from the Soaring Eagles in recognition of his outstanding service to USAir and the employee groups. Mr. Colodny's appreciation is obvious.

Retired Chairman and CEO Seth "Butch" Schofield displays his Soaring Eagles Award recognizing his outstanding service to USAir and the employee groups.

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