Special Notice: 0816

Dear Golden Eagles,

This is an advance copy for the BOG meeting.

Minutes of The Golden Eagles, Board of Governors Meeting, Virginia Beach, VA, 10 May 2015, Attendees:

  • Chief Pilot: Jerry Zacharias
  • Pilot: Don Boecker
  • Co-Pilot: Howard DeCastro
  • Navigator: John Mazach
  • Engineer Officer/Historian: Robert Shumaker
  • Membership Selection Committee Secretary: Jack  Batzler
  • Web Masters: J.R. Davis and J.R. Wilson
  • Board Member: Lew Chatham
  • Board Member: Jim Joyner
  • Board Member: Gil Rud
  • Board Member: John Cox
  • Board Member: Leighton Smith
  • Board Member: John Lockard
  • Board Member: Bill Pickavance
  • Board Member: Bill Bauer
  • Northeast Flight Leader: Larry Adkinson
  • Southeast Flight Leader: Bill McCamy
  • Central Flight Leader: Jerry Breast
  • West Flight Leader: Jay Campbell
  • Chairman, 2015 Nominating Committee: Fred Lewis
  • Rupe Owens
  • Bill Gureck

Pilot’s Report:  Pilot Don Boecker opened the meeting at 1330 and thanked all the Flight Leaders for their hard work during the year arranging support for funerals (Arlington and San Diego), maintaining/communicating status of their Flight members and arranging mini reunions. It was agreed to send out member updates as they become available to all Golden Eagles. Pilot also thanked Co-Pilot and the Navigator for their work during the year.
Pilot reminded all about blue dots on nametags identifying new members and green dots identifying family of deceased members and urged all to take the time to welcome these folks to the reunion.
He also handed out a one page info paper on the Veterans History Project which is affiliated with the Library of Congress and urged all present to call Mr. Bob Patrick, the director of the project if you have an interest in recording your own personal account of your military service.

Chief Pilot’s Report:
Chief Pilot Jerry Zacharias presented a history of The Golden Eagle Trademark and its importance to the organization since there are numerous other organizations that call themselves Golden Eagles. Our trademark “The Golden Eagles” with Navy pilot wings is what we should have on any official correspondence and on any clothing. Our trademark is good till 31 May, 2021 and must be renewed between 31 May, 2020 and 31 May, 2021.

Co-Pilot’s Report
:  Co-Pilot Howard DeCastro thanked the Pilot for an excellent year and then led a discussion on the results of a study that he and Jim Flatley, Rupe Owens and Roger Carlquist did regarding the distribution of Golden Eagle donations to Naval Aviation Museums. He also discussed donations to other charities, level of membership dues and whether the cost of miniature gold wings should continue to be the responsibility of new Golden Eagle members.
The results of this discussion resulted in the following recommendations being made and agreed upon by the Board of Governors:

  • Continuation of the donation to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola
  • Donating $7500 for a 14”x24” plaque at the Naval Aviation Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, VA
  • Continuation of our gift of the Tommy Tomlinson Award to the Test Pilot of the Year
  • Donating $2000 to the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society this year and make an annual donation of up to $2000 as funds permit to be decided by the BOG
  • Continue the cost of annual dues at $50
  • Continue to charge new members for their wings
  • Encourage all of our members to give generously to the aviation museum of their choice but forgo donations to any additional museums by The Golden Eagles

The BOG also wants to make sure that our donation to the National Naval Aviation Museum is distributed in a manner that best helps the museum and the Navigator has an action to discuss this subject with the President and CEO of the Museum Foundation and report back.

Navigator’s Report
: Navigator John Mazach presented the Minutes of the Board of Governors Meeting held in Virginia Beach on 1 May 2014 and the Navigator’s Report listing The Golden Eagles personnel actions since the last Reunion.
There are now 200 Regular Members, 48 Emeritus Members and five Honorary Members for a total of 253 Golden Eagles. During the last year:

  • Eight Members were accepted into The Golden Eagles
  • Seven Members (six Emeritus and one Regular) made their Final Take-off
  • Seven Members transferred to Emeritus status
  • Fourteen Golden Eagle Ladies passed away

Navigator also reported out on a task assigned by the Pilot concerning possible catapulting of ashes of deceased Golden Eagles (or some other personal effects) in the nose of a MK-76 practice bomb in place of the normal white smoke for a final cat shot event. The logistics, responsibilities and reporting of such an event proved to be a bit too much for the operational forces to support and the idea was abandoned with no further study intended.
At the Pilot’s Request a motion was made to accept the Minutes of the 2014 Board of Governors Meeting and the Navigator’s Report.  The motion was made, seconded and passed.

Radio Officer’s Report:  Co-Pilot Howard DeCastro gave the Radio Officers report in Ron Jesburg’s absence and he presented the Financial Report covering the period from 1 April, 2014 to 31 March, 2015
That report is summarized below:

Beginning Cash                                                                                              $  30,201.46


  • Chrono log Sales                                 $       490.00  
  • Contractor Donations                         $    4,800.00 
  • Member Donations                             $          50.00    
  • Reunion 2014 Net                               $    3,713.37
  • Membership Dues/Fees                      $  10,086.00
  • Wings Sales                                         $        480.00  
  • Interest CD                                          $        161.92 
  • Interest NFCU                                      $          57.85

Total Receipts                        $  19,839.14                                                                                                                                                                                                               

  • Annual Tomlinson Award                   $       286.88
  • Chrono log Expenses                           $            9.12
  • Directory and Printing                        $    1,506.63  
  • Postage & Delivery                             $        410.59
  • Reunion Advance and Pass Thru        $     5,800.00
  • National Naval Aviation Museum       $     2,500.00
  • Transfer to CD                                     $         161.92
  • Supplies and Materials                       $             3.18
  • Dues Rebates                                      $           25.00

Total                $   (10,703.22)


Cash as of 31 March, 2015                                                                                         $  39,337.38

            NFCU Savings/Checking                                              $  39,337.38
            NFCU CD                                                                     $  20,322.57
                        Total Funds                                                                                         $  59,659.95
            Reunion Flight Loan 2015                                           $    4,000.00
            Wings Inventory/Value on Hand                                $    1,973.40                $    5,973.40

Total Assets                                                                      $   65,633.35

At Pilot’s request, a motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the Radio Officer’s Report.
Engineer Officer/Historian Report: Engineer Officer Bob Shumaker reported that there were 145 regular members signed up to attend the reunion in Pensacola. No members were in violation of the requirement to attend at least one of four consecutive reunions. Three individuals must attend the 2016 reunion to satisfy this requirement:

CAPT Ernest Beauchamp
CAPT Tom Hudner
CAPT Maurice Fitzgerald

The Engineer stated that all regular members have submitted their biographies and they have been posted on the website and included in the Chrono log except for:

GEN Amos - new member
COL Richard - new member
CAPT Snodgrass
RADM Moffit - new member

The Engineer also summarized various Flight activities by region and noted that CAPT Bill McCamy assumed the role of the Southeast Flight lead.

Transfers to Emeritus status include:
GEN Davis
COL German
COL Mitchell
RADM Speer
CAPT Trout
VADM Waller

Final Takeoffs since last reunion include:
CAPT Roger Sheets                          Regular Member
CDR Harold Buell                             Emeritus Status
CAPT Richard Shulte                       Emeritus Status
COL Murray Staples                        Emeritus Status
MGEN Hal Vincent                           Emeritus Status
CAPT John Chalback                        Emeritus Status
VADM Gerald E. “Jerry” Miller    Emeritus Status

Membership Selection Committee, Secretary Remarks:  MSC Secretary Batzler reminded everyone of the importance of succinct write-ups on new nominees. He also cautioned the group that many of the write-ups for perspective new members were beginning to get verbose and redundant. Jack also outlined how the process works for informing members of new augments (new members). The Quarterly reports list new members as well as Emeritus transfers, NOTAMs and Special notices.
MSC Chairman Bill Gureck noted that this the Selection Committee selected nine USN and three USMC members.  In previous years the number had been 12 USN and four USMC but lower attrition allowed for selection of fewer members. Bill also noted that write-ups for perspective new members were becoming too much like award citations. He also offered the opinion based on his position as MSC Chairman and past Pilot that five years gets a perspective member a very fair look by the board.

Site Selection Committee Report
:   Co-Pilot Howard DeCastro led a discussion of how sites are selected and the importance of having Golden Eagles geographically co located at the sites for planning/execution purposes. The following are locations for future Golden Eagle Reunions:

  • 2016, Orlando, FL, 21-24 April at the Buena Vista Palace
  • 2017, San Diego, CA, 26-29 April at the Downtown Westgate Hotel
  • 2018, Northeast TBD
  • 2019, Central TBD

Flight Leader Reports: Pilot congratulated Bill McCamy for his assuming the Southeast Flight Leader position.

West Flight Lead
Rabbit Campbell reported that mini reunion lunches at the San Diego Yacht Club were very popular and that West Flight members were supporting memorials at Miramar National Cemetery including arrangements for a flyover at the most recent memorial. Pilot and Rabbit also had an interesting discussion regarding the assignment of a “wingman”-active member- to Emeritus members to provide updates to The Golden Eagles on the health and wellbeing of the Emeritus members.

Northeast Flight Lead
Larry Adkinson reported that Northeast members were still supporting memorials/burials at Arlington National Cemetery and are now able to provide graveside eulogies when there is no chaplain available to do so.
Larry also provided an update on Gene Tucker’s health as well as Dave Rogers. Gail Seely’s (Golden Eagle Jim Seely’s wife) passing was also mentioned.

New Southeast Flight Lead Bill McCamy gave an update regarding the 2016 reunion and announced that a Southeast Mini Reunion would take place on 15 October in Orlando to continue planning for the 2016 reunion. Bill discussed volunteers still needed and indicated that the Southeast Flight would use the Armed Forces planners to assist them in preparing for the 2016 reunion.

Central Flight Lead
Jerry Breast discussed a mini reunion that Central Flight held in Nashville, TN at the Opryland Hotel. Mini reunion was well attended and Nashville offered many entertainment venues and proved it could easily be the site for a future Central Flight hosted Golden Eagle Reunion.
Jerry also thanked the Pensacola “mafia” for the superb planning and execution of the 2015 reunion.
He also welcomed Bob Rasmussen as his relief as Central Flight Lead and lamented the fact that Ras had retired from his job at the National Naval Aviation Museum and hoped that the relationship that The Golden Eagles have with the Museum would remain strong.

Nominating Committee Report
:  Fred Lewis indicated that four new nominees for the Board of Governors were nominated as well as new Flight Leads for the West Flight and Central Flights.

 Board of Governors:

  •         Joe Anderson – replacing John Cox
  •         Joe Barth – replacing Jim Joyner
  •         John R Davis – replacing Gil Rud
  •         Larry Ernst – replacing Lew Chatham

  • Central Flight Leader                      Bob Rasmussen
  • West Flight Leader                          Gil Rud

A motion was made, seconded and approved to accept the new nominees.

Old Business
Pilot Don Boecker announced that LCDR Patrick B. Bookey, USN, of Flight Test Division at Pax River had been selected as Test Pilot of the Year and was presented with The Golden Eagles Watch as the “Tommy Tomlinson Award” winner.

J.R. Davis, our Webmaster and Executive Assistant to the Pilot announced that the Flight realignment effort was complete and reflected in the 2014-2015 Membership Directory. He also announced that the new 2015-2016 directory should be out by the end of June, 2015.

New Business: Pilot Don Boecker discussed the need to find a new Executive Assistant to the Pilot to replace J.R. Davis and there was a discussion of the responsibilities of his position. J.R. will continue as the webmaster.
Adjournment:  A motion was made, seconded and passed to adjourn the meeting at 1510.