The Golden Eagles Continuing History 2020

This Historical Summary is compiled by CAPT. W.C. McCamy, USN (Ret.).
Assisted by Web Master CAPT J. R. Davis, USN, (Ret.).

The Continuing Historical Summary covers the period from the Golden Eagles Reunion of 10-14 April 2019 held at the DFW Westin Hotel, Fort Worth, TX to the 2020 Virtual BOG meeting of 02 May 2020 due to the cancellation of the Golden Eagles Reunion in Jacksonville, FL for 2020. The cancellation was the result of a nationwide pandemic and concern for the health and safety of our membership.

2020 BOG Minutes

The Golden Eagles 2020 Board of Governors Virtual Meeting 1300 - 1500, 2 May 2020
Golden Eagles - For record keeping purposes, this document will become the 2020 members meeting minutes.

Board Member attendees:
• LtGen Harry Blot Harry Blot – Chief Pilot
• VADM John Mazach – Pilot
• RADM Jay Campbell – Co-Pilot
• LtGen Keith Stalder – Navigator
• Colonel Gary VanGysel – Radio Officer
• CAPT Roy Cash – Engineer Officer/Historian
• RADM Don Weiss – Membership Selection Committee Secretary
• Colonel Don Beaufait – Board Member
• VADM Marty Chanik – Board Member
• Colonel Bob Hickerson – Board Member
• ADM Timothy Keating – Board Member
• CAPT Lonny McClung – Board Member
• CAPT Butch Christie – Board Member
• CAPT Phil Gay – Board Member

Invited attendees:
• LtCol Mike Stortz – Southeast Flight Leader
• Colonel Gary Elsten – Central Flight Leader
• CAPT Curt Dosé – West Flight Leader
• RADM Don Boecker, Nominating Committee Chairman
• LtCol Howard DeCastro, Membership Selection Committee Chairman
• CAPT Bill McCamy, Engineer Officer/Historian, designate
• CAPT JR Davis, Webmaster

Pilot’s Report: VADM John Mazach
Welcomed the BoG and invitees and thanked all for their great work and assistance.

Chief Pilot’s Remarks: LtGen Harry Blot
Thanked the Pilot for his stewardship and the exceptionally good work.

Co-Pilot’s Report: RADM Jay Campbell
Thanked the Pilot, Flight Deck, Board of Governors, and Mike Storz for their terrific work, in general, and on the cancelled Jacksonville reunion in particular. He also requested the leadership to closely watch the web site so that we can keep it up to date and make sure it remains relevant.

“Tommy Tomlinson” Award announcement: RADM Don Boecker
Charlie Bolden presented the award this year on February 4, 2020, at NAS Patuxent River MD, the engraved wristwatch and autobiography of Tommy Tomlinson "The Sky is the Limit" in CD format, to LCDR Sean "Crush" Delaney, USN from VX-23. Crush is the Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) lead test pilot flying the EA-18G Growler in all phases of electronic warfare.

Navigator’s Report: LtGen Keith Stalder

1. Navigator Keith Stalder presented the Minutes of the Board of Governors Meeting held on 19 April 2019 in Ft Worth, TX via E-Mail last month. There were no changes.

2. The Golden Eagle Membership now includes:

o 200 Regular members
o 52 Emeritus members
o 3 Honorary members

3. During the Year: Six members were accepted into the Golden Eagles. Eleven members (8 Emeritus, 2 Regular members, and 1 Selectee) made their Last Take Off. Three members transferred to Emeritus and 8 Golden Eagle Ladies died

4. There were no resignations

The Co-Pilot confirmed the Member minutes from the 2019-2020 reunion in Ft Worth had been posted on the web site for reading, comments for the Navigator, and that comments had been incorporated, if required. The minutes were approved.

Radio Officer’s Report: Colonel Gary VanGysel
1. The Golden Eagle fiscal year runs from the end of March to the first of April each year. FY-20 started 1 April 2020
2. On 1 April I will publish the financial report to the flight deck and submit taxes for FY-19. All numbers discussed for the FY 19 financial report are rounded to the nearest whole thousand:
3. We started the FY with approx. $78k in liquid assets; we ended FY 19 with approx. $82k in liquid assets. Those assets are $39k in checking; $21k in savings and $22 k in a CD.
4. Add to that number the worth of 150 sets of miniature wings valued at $7,500 we have a net worth of $90k
5. In FY-19 our gross receipts were $46k; our gross disbursements were $42k. Our net change in operating funds was a positive $4k.
6. As I continue, you will hear me talk about flight escrow accounts. Remember, when we increased the dues to $100, the BOG decided that $10k of our $20k annual dues would be held in escrow for use by the flights to cover reunion expenses; essentially passing that money in savings back to our members.
7. Some highlights numbers for FY 19 were:


Southeast flight (George Trautman) collected $22k in their charitable campaign to help offset some of the costs of the Jacksonville reunion.
What is interesting is that only $7k was collected from industry; $15k was contributed by members. $10k of that money came from one member, who requests to remain anonymous.
Membership dues and fees collected was $22k


$2,500 was given to the National Naval Aviation Museum.
$2,500 was given to the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society.
We purchased the watch for the annual Tomlinson award (test pilot of the year) ($320)
I disbursed $22k back to southeast flight, which is what they collected in their capital campaign
I disbursed $10k to central flight to help balance the books for the ft worth reunion. I had previously advanced $2k to central flight, so in the end, they used $2k more than what was in their $10k escrow account from annual dues.

FY-20 what’s ahead:
West flight has been advanced $2k from their escrow account for their reunion in Idaho. They have $8k remaining from our 2020 dues collection. We will plan again to give $2,500 each to the museum and NMCRS and support the Tomlinson award by paying for the watch. Curt Dosé will coordinate the west flight Idaho reunion and has chosen roger box to be his treasurer. Two very capable members.

I collected dues again this year using only Email. I want to thank the flight leaders who were instrumental in getting the word out and then chasing down those that were delinquent. All dues, with the exception of 4 members, were in the treasury by the end of January. That is exceptional! Thank you!

Engineer Officer/Historian: CAPT Roy Cash
• This was to be our 60th Regular Reunion.
• There were 123 members signed up to attend the 2020 Reunion.
• There are six Golden Eagles who will be in violation of the requirement to attend at least one of every four annual reunions if they do not attend the 2021 Reunion. CAPT McClung asked if those who would have been in violation had they missed this year will have a year of grace because of the reunion cancellation. The Pilot responded affirmatively.
• Working nine member bios to bring those up to date. Each have received at least three requests/reminders. Flight leaders have been advised.

Nominating Committee Report: RADM Don Boecker

Chief Pilot: Bill Gureck
Pilot: RADM Jay Campbell
Co-Pilot: LtGen Keith Stalder
Navigator: VADM Marty Chanik
Member Selection Committee Secretary: RADM Donald A. Weiss
Engineer Officer/Historian: CAPT William C. McCamy
South East Flight Leader: RADM Ernie Christensen
These four new members replace the following Board Members who have served two-year terms:
Northeast Flight: Col Larry Adkinson replaces VADM Marty Chanik
Southeast Flight: Gen James F Amos replaces ADM Tim Keating
Central Flight: CAPT Daniel C. Brandenstein replaces Col Bob Hickerson
West Flight: VADM William C. Bowes replaces CAPT Lonny McClung

These four Board Members have one more year of service on the Board:

CAPT Warren B. Christie, SE Flight
CAPT John P. Gay, NE Flight
Col Donald A. Beaufait, Central Flight
CAPT Thomas A. Morgenfeld, West Flight

Flight Leaders:

CDR Curt Dosé remains as West Flight Leader
Colonel Gary Elsten remains as Central Flight Leader
RADM Ernest E. Christensen replaces LtCol Mike Stortz as the Southeast Flight Leader
RADM Matt Moffit remains as Northeast Flight Leader

The Pilot thanked those who have served on the Board of Governors for their service.

Membership Selection Committee report: LtCol Howard DeCastro

LtCol DeCastro thanked Don Weiss for taking over in mid-year and thanked the selection committee for a disciplined and thoughtful review.
The names of nine new Navy and three new Marine selectees were provided and approved unanimously by the Board.

Membership Secretary Remarks: RADM Don Weiss

Don viewed the just completed Selection Committee effort as a model process. Better write ups that help the MSC understand the “stick and throttle” qualities of the nominees are needed. This year there was one Navy “last look” and two Marine “last looks”, none of which were selected by the MSC. The GE who nominated them will to be notified by the Pilot and a record retained. There are 27 Navy and 8 Marine nominees in the candidate pool for next year, at this point. Two will be Navy “last looks”.

Site Selection Committee Report: Mike Storz reported Flight Leader Site Selection Committee results on where we are headed in next 3 or 4 years.

West – 2021, Coeur d'Alene ID, 28 April to 2 May/contract signed
Northeast – 2022, Lansdowne, VA 6 April to 10 April/contract signed
Central – 2023, TBD, vetting San Antonio, and New Orleans
Southeast – 2024, 28 April to 28 April, Jacksonville, FL AFRI has waived the $15 registration fee and the contract is signed

Old Business: None

New Business:
Golden Eagle Web Master assistance/transition: J.R. Davis discussed, and the Co-Pilot confirmed the need for a back-up who could fleet up. JR will vet candidates, identify a possible volunteer, associated costs, and provide an update to the Flight Deck. The Flight Deck will make the final decisions.

2021 Memorial Service:
The Flight Deck plans to include the 2020 LTO Eulogies with the 2021 LTO Eulogies at the 2021 Reunion Memorial Services. There are two options for Memorial Ceremony LTO Eulogy delivery under consideration currently.

Unless we decide not to, GE will be required renew our Trademark between May 3, 2020 and May 3, 2021. This must be done every ten years and the cost is about $800. If the person filing makes a mistake and must refile, it costs an additional $800. We have not had a Mark infringement in almost 20 years. If it is decided to not renew, there is still some protection under first use. The Mark was adopted in 1966 when the Golden Eagles changed their name from The Bald Eagles to The Golden Eagles. A party that is infringing can be directed to cease and desist with support of the USPTO, but it is not legally enforceable.
If we renew the Mark, there is a REQUIREMENT to use the mark in commerce. We comply with this by selling the Chronolog at reunions. If we drop the Mark, we do not have the sales requirement and can provide the Chronolog free of charge. If we renew, we are required to continue selling the Chronolog.

Flight Deck recommendation:
Surrender US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) protection of our Mark. After discussion, a motion was made and passed to not renew the trademark. The Navigator will follow up on how to accomplish this.

Photographer for 2021 reunion: The nominating committee will look for a volunteer.

Bylaws changes:  Below are by-law change recommendations, italic and underlined.
Article II-Membership
Section 1. a. Regular Member
Sub-paragraph (2) Current Qualifications: (a) Those who were superior pilots as demonstrated by their cockpit performance: (b) Those who were pioneers in or made significant contributions to some new or developing aspect of Naval Aviation: (c) Those who have earned peer respect for superior flying skills, dedication to flying, wide Naval Aviation experience, leadership, personal character and professional judgement: and (d) Such other criteria as from time to time may be established by the Board of Governors.  All within this category must be of 60 years of age or older and no longer be serving on active duty.
ARTICLE IV – OFFICERS Section 10. Engineer/Historian
b. Maintain a “Continuing History” record of Association activities. Prepare a summary report thereof to be included in both the annual Board of Governors and Members Meeting Minutes, and present that summary at the annual membership meeting. Submit the detailed “Continuing History” report to the Web Master after the conclusion of the annual Reunion, for posting in the History link on the EPNAAO website.
Add: e. Provide a written brief, summary of career achievements of each newly selected member to the Pilot, for his use when introducing new members at the annual Reunion.
f. Perform such other duties as the Pilot or Chairman of the Membership Selection Committee may direct.
Section 11. Membership Selection Committee Secretary.
a.  “Maintain on a continuing basis a register of individuals nominated for membership.  The register will be kept in three categories: (1) Those nominees who are 60 years of age and older and are no longer on active duty; (2) Those nominees under 60 years of age and/or still on active duty; (3) Those nominated for Honorary Membership.  Selection of nominees for Regular Membership shall be made from category (1) and (3)Those nominees in category (2) will be moved to category (1) when they meet the age and active duty requirement.  Nominations for category (1) and (3) will be kept in the register for five consecutive years.  A nominee not selected after five selections committee meetings is no longer eligible for selection.  Additional nominations for an individual who has failed selection during the first five selection committee meetings or a member that has been previously dropped from the rolls (IAW ARTICLE IX), will not be accepted.”
Section 14. Web Master. The Pilot shall appoint a Web Master to maintain a modern, attractive, constantly updated, on-line website, that includes administrative, historical, membership and other such information as appropriate to supplement the Chronolog. 

  1. The History link shall include the annual “Continuing History” report provided by the Engineer Officer, and appropriate photographs taken during the year and at the annual Reunion.
  2. Members Meeting minutes shall be included, as a matter of record, in each of the annual “Continuing History” reports.

Article IX-Termination of Membership
Section 1.  Any member who fails to pay annual dues within 90 days of receipt of the second notice of payment due, or who, without reason acceptable to the Pilot, fails to attend at least one out of four successive annual membership meetings, may be dropped from the rolls by vote of the Board of Governors.  Once a member has been dropped from the rolls, that member shall no longer be eligible for nomination/selection in the future. The Pilot shall notify a member who is in jeopardy of membership termination, in writing, of the reason, therefore.
After discussion, all changes were approved by the Board of Governors for presentation and voting by the members.
Honorary GE memberships  
The Chief Pilot asked for confirmation that a decision had been made to never have another Honorary GE.  After a discussion of the history and challenges of Honorary Memberships, it was decided to review the issue for final determination next year.  The Navigator will add it to Old Business for the 2021 BoG meeting.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance  
The USCG Golden Eagles requested that we consider supporting the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance organization. CGMA This is an independent non-profit charitable organization that serves the entire Coast Guard family.  It receives no government funding and has provided more than $200 million in financial assistance since 1924. Most CGMA assistance is provided through interest-free loans and personal grants.
Recent reports indicate that the COVID-19 situation is placing financial stress on the resources of many junior military members of all services, due primarily to their spouse’s loss of income caused by workplace shutdowns and costs resulting from to PCS delays. This stress is exacerbated among USCG families because they do not have access to DoD services at most duty locations. CGMA is presently offering interest-free loans of up $6,000 per family to those in need due to COVID-19 impacts. It is also worth noting that during the Federal Government shutdown early last year, for the first time in our nation’s history, USCG service members were not paid for more than a month because the Department of Homeland Security was not funded by Congress. Sixty-seven percent of all CGMA assistance during that period went to individuals E-6/GS-7 and below to help them through that loss of pay.

Approved in the amount of $1500 annually

Industry fund raising:
A discussion of the advantages, disadvantages, and need, or not, to raise industry funds for the annual reunion was held. The Pilot re-affirmed that it is a Flight Leader prerogative for their reunion.
Final Issue: Election slate of Principal Officers and Board of Governors
The Board of Governors approved the election slate of Principal Officers and Board of Governors.  The election slate presented in these minutes is provided to the membership for approval.  A Special Notice will alert the membership to access these minutes on the Golden Eagles website for their review, and if desired, comment to the Navigator.

Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 1500.

Golden Eagles Flight Activities

WEST FLIGHT: Curt Dosé reports:
Golden Eagles attended Gene Tissot’s services in Monterrey and Peggy Shelton’s services in San Diego. Presence greatly appreciated by both families. May God Bless and welcome Gene and Peggy.
General J.K.Davis, USMC (Ret) made his last takeoff on 31 July 2019 and his services were held at the Paradise Falls Wedding Venue in Oceanside on October 22. He will be interred with his wife, June, in Arlington in the Spring of 2020. May they Rest in Peace.

Tom Hayward won an award for most straight deck traps and a standing ovation for his service at the Awards Luncheon during the Annual Tailhook Reunion in Reno. Royce Williams won an award for earliest straight-deck traps and Don Shelton won for most straight-deck night traps and earliest attendance at a Tailhook Reunion – he attended the first one held at Rosarito Beach. Congratulations to all!

West Flight had an extraordinarily successful Valentine’s Day Mini-Reunion 2/13/20 at the Coronado Yacht Club. Truth be told, our party provided tasty food excellent wine, fine chocolates, and a red rose for all our ladies.
We did not have as good success with our planned 3/26/20 tour of near-by General Atomics Aeronautical. Tom Cassidy has set up a VIP talk, tour, and luncheon for Golden Eagles to see and learn about Predator and Raptor UAVs. This tour is on hold until we have regained virus control, at which point it will be rescheduled. We will follow with a tour of LA’s SpaceX and their amazing Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Starship rockets. Golden Eagles from any Flight will be welcomed to join in on these tours.

CENTRAL FLIGHT: Gary Elsten reports:
Pensacola Mafia held well-attended luncheons at the Naval Aviation Museum in May and July this year. Since then COVID-19 has closed any activity. When we get past COVID-19, a late fall Mini in San Antonio or New Orleans would be ideal and fun
The Central Flight is also looking at venues for the 2023 Reunion and will share any results when they are available.

NORTHEAST FLIGHT: Matt Moffit reports:
The 2022 Reunion location has been contracted, and we are returning to Lansdowne! The dates are 7 to 10 April 2022. That is the week before Easter so we are de-conflicted. Thanks Ted and Molly from AFRI for coordinating and facilitating the contracts. Lots to do between now and then.

Northeast Flight supported LtGen Pittman’s funeral at MCB Quantico on 9 March 2020. Also present were several members of Southeast Flight. Thanks for their support! As is typical with other families, the Pittman family really appreciated our presence. May he Rest in Peace.

At the Mount Vernon Country Club on 12 March 2020, we received a sobering presentation from Dr. Joe Gutierrez on his experiences as a child in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion, occupation, and liberation of his homeland. Doc Joe went on to become a Navy doctor supporting the Marines in Vietnam. Quite a career and an even more impressive life!
“Lurch” Joyner’s Celebration of life was April 11 with a house full of GEs and his interment at the Naval Academy will be on October 11 at the Naval Academy Columbine. May he rest in Peace.

On 17 May, we enjoyed a luncheon at the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis with our guest speaker, Mike Manazir, RADM, USN (Ret), and Vice President for Boeing Navy Systems. He presented an update on the MQ-25, the Navy’s unmanned carrier-based tanker. Updates on the FA-18, EF-18, P-8, and Boeing’s role in the Navy’s Readiness Recovery Program.

May 18 found GEs of Northeast Flight in Raleigh, NC at the burial of Bill Shawcross. The event was very well attended by family and friends and much appreciated support of the GEs as the organization meant a lot to Bill. May he Rest in Peace.

Mike Malone’s Celebration of Life was held 30 July 2019 with many GEs in attendance and he will be buried at sea later. May he Rest in Peace!

Former CNO and Emeritus member ADM James Holloway was buried at the Naval Academy on 18 December with a huge gathering of family, friends and GEs at the Naval Academy Alumni Hall following the service. His wife Dabney died on 7 April 2020. May they Rest in Peace.

Northeast is planning another Mini reunion this fall. Dates have not been identified, but we will ensure to de-conflict from Tailhook and Thanksgiving. Odds on favorite location will be the The Tides Inn in Irvington, VA.

SOUTHEAST FLIGHT: Mike Stortz reports:

We enjoyed an extraordinarily successful Mini-Reunion at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Jacksonville from 24-26 September. Our trial run filled in the template for the Maxi in April with golf, tours, ladies’ events, and shopping. The Hyatt bent over backward to cater to our Welcome Aboard party and closing banquet and we expect nothing less from them in April.

A celebration of life for By Fuller was held at the NAS JAX Chapel on 11 October and four Golden Eagles attended as honorary pallbearers. Lovely service quickly and efficiently handled by NAS JAX at a truly short notice. May he Rest in Peace.

Our very own Bob Crippen was presented the 38th Order of Magellan Award by the Circumnavigators Club in March 2020 at a ceremony in Naples, FL. Previous recipients include Neil Armstrong, Jacques Cousteau, and John Glenn. Crip’s wife, Pandorra, was also recognized as the first female Space Shuttle engineer.

Southeast Flight was heavily involved in planning efforts for the 2020 Reunion in Jacksonville, FL, regretfully, the reunion had to be cancelled on 17 March due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Subsequently, all reservations and transactions were unwound except for a small, non-refundable sum. All GE member registration monies were returned in full with no action required on their part. There remains a significant balance in the SE treasury earmarked for the 2024 Reunion which we will host probably at the same venue.

A huge thank you!!! The end of the month of April would have had us all in Jacksonville celebrating our 60th Golden Eagle Reunion (2020). The Reunion also would have marked the end of my time as Pilot and the turnover to Rabbit Campbell as your new Pilot. All of that was not be! We did a virtual turnover at the end of the scheduled virtual BOG meeting on May 2, 2019.

I consider this organization to be very special, a treasure really, and having been able to share my time as Pilot with all of you has been and honor! Rabbit will take great care of The Golden Eagles as he, like all of us who have served as Pilot, has been in training for six years. I hope the Flight Deck has been successful in keeping you informed and I know that when we meet in Coeur d’Alene next year we will all be looking forward to an overdue opportunity to share time with great people and great friends.

As always, my thanks to the Flight Leaders and others (special thanks to Bob Hickerson who publishes every NOTAM and Special Notice you read) who helped with inputs for all the Quarterly Reports. And, my thanks to all of you who make the Golden Eagles so special.

John Mazach