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SENIORS Vol. 43, No. 3 September 2008


Carl F. Barley, Editor

FROM THE FLIGHT DECK If you are like me, it seems that our last annual convention in Ft. Myers is still fresh in my mind, but here we go telling of the next one so soon. Yes… that’s right…you can now register for the April 15-17, 2009 AGM and Convention that will take place in San Diego, California and avoid the problem of forgetting later. Details of our wonderful hotel, varied tours to interest everyone, and the other scheduled activities are included in this issue. The officers of the Seniors Club Chapter there have set up a terrific reunion for all of us, which includes a really hospitable Hospitality Suite, music and dancing at the Banquet, and unique aviation-oriented tours. In addition, to help keep both your expenses and waistline down, the SAN Chapter will be hosting a free continental breakfast each and every morning in our spacious hospitality room! As you know, the weather is always excellent in that city, and it offers great sightseeing and Pacific Ocean activities. A system of trams runs nearby, where you can easily travel to many other parts of the city at a reasonable cost and without driving. The special hotel prices are well below other high quality rooms in that area, and when making your phone reservations, you’ll have a choice of pool or golf course views from your balcony. You will also love seeing the beautiful tropical gardens in the center of the courtyard near the inviting pool and whirlpool spa. We sure would enjoy seeing a big crowd of our TWA family and friends at this West Coast gathering.

GOOD NEWS ON HEALTH INSURANCE Many of us using the American Airlines-United Healthcare medical insurance were filled with fear when they announced yet another changeover in their premiumcollecting agents, beginning last June. The previous change to Ceridian caused many difficulties and undue stress for some of us, and took a long time to fix. The good news seems to be that so far the new company, PayFlex Systems, is a great improvement. It appears they have been very efficient in acknowledging payments and account setups, and also provide good monthly records Page 1


Marc Brecy, Webmaster

showing everything. If by chance you have had any difficulties with the new agency, let me know and we’ll get things worked out.

JETNET ‘RETIREE BENEFITS’ CHANGES The entire Retiree Benefits page on “jetnet” has recently been completely redesigned, and it is now easier to locate what you are looking for. As all of our American Airlines communications must now be through “secure” sites, this is the place to get connected to various insurance sources, personnel services, or many other useful places. When the “Retiree Benefits” selection is made from the Home page, you will see two columns of direct links labeled Benefits Basics, Resources, Updates & Information, and Financial links. These are fairly self-explanatory, but the blue box at the left corner may be the most useful of all. Choosing the Contacts will bring out a list of specific addresses, and the Forms & Guides opens a redesigned listing of virtually every form you might need. This is much easier to use than the rather confusing previous source, and I suggest you visit it to see if forms you use have been changed. An important example – the UnitedHealthcare and Medco Prescription Drug Reimbursement forms to get credit for your purchases ARE now different. At the upper right corner, a circled question-mark and “HR Assistant” is found. By selecting this, you can enter into a live chat with Employee Services during weekday business hours, or send a secure email message to them. Answers to your inquiries will also be available here.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS In the March 2008 TWA Seniors Skyliner and some previous issues we outlined the procedures to notify both the TWA Seniors Club and American Airlines of a change of address or other related information. You must notify each separately. Please note that the procedures for notifying American by Jetnet have changed slightly. The new Jetnet procedures are shown below.

TWA CHANGE OF ADDRESS PROCEDURES If you have a change of address, you will need to notify TWA Seniors Club and American Airlines.

You will need to notify each separately. To notify the TWA Seniors Club, you will need to send your updated information to:

By now, I’m sure that we have all recently changed our jetnet passwords per the new requirements. Don’t forget to change your jetnet password every 90 days... A new and mandatory requirement for all AA and TWA retirees and employees. Go to jetnet home page and click on the Change Jetnet Password link…….. Every 90 days!

TWA SENIORS CLUB MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES Retiree: TWA retirees and Ozark retirees listed in the official files obtained from TWA, LLC by the TWA Seniors club in February 2002, and thereafter maintained by the Seniors Club. Associate: Any former TWA or Ozark employee who did not qualify for official retirement. Associate members, upon payment of annual dues, shall be eligible to participate in all Club activities. Survivor: The survivor of a Retiree or Associate Member. Upon payment of annual dues, they shall be eligible to participate in all Club activities.

TWA Seniors Club 3311 W. 114th Circle #F Westminster, CO 80031-7171

Any change of address or status should be sent to the addresses published periodically in the TWA Seniors Skyliner. You must notify both the TWA Seniors Club and American Airlines.

or by e-mail to:

Annual Dues: $15.00 per calendar year, from January 1st through December 31st . The mailing label on your Skyliner newsletter indicates the "paid through date" of your membership, and to assure continuing your privileges, dues should be sent no later than the First of each January. Make checks payable to: TWA Seniors Club, and mail to:


Loretta Hammers, Treasurer TWA Seniors Club P. O. Box 901439 Kansas City MO 64190

All TWA retirees that have access to Jetnet may update their own address by selecting Resources on the right column of the Jetnet Home Page. Under that you will see “Update My Information”. Hit That and in the center you will see Update My Contact Information. Move to the bottom of that window and select “Update Now”. You will then receive a page of information that applies to you. You can press and update your information.

If you do not have access to Jetnet, you will need to send the following information to A A Human Resources. #1,Your American Airlines issued TWA retiree number. #2, A copy of your AA issued ID, or a government issued ID, (drivers license, passport, identification card, etc.) Mail these required items along with the new address, phone number and emergency contact information to: American Airlines Human Resources P.O. Box 619616 M.D. 5141 HDQ1 Dallas/Fort Worth Airport

Date paid __________Check number _________ Detach and mail to Loretta Hammers TWA SENIORS CLUB MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION (Or Annual Dues Payment)

"Employee"Name _______________________________ Spouse Name _________________________________ Address_______________________________________ City__________________________________________ State ___________________________ZIP___________ Phone (





IMPORTANT - PLEASE COMPLETE ALL SPACES BELOW Attention International retirees. There are phone numbers that you can use to call AA in London for travel help. Interline AA London Tel: +44 208 577 4881/4624/4602| Fax: +44 208 572 8646|. E-mail The only problem with these phone numbers is that this department is operated mainly by P/T staff so sometimes you may not get an answer, but if you send an e-mail with any queries you may have, usually they will answer on the same day. For assistance with other problems contact Accounting AA London Tel: + 44 208 577 4744 Tel: + 44 208 577 4953. Staff Travel and Interline|AmericanAirlines® Trinity Square, 23-59 Staines Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW3

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Email_________________@ ______________________ TWA Payroll Number_____________________________ Retirement Date_________________________________ Qualifying member status (check X)

Retiree _____ Associate _______ Survivor _________ Member of Regional Chapter:______________________

THE SKYLINER PRESERVATION PROJECT UPDATE By: Ona Gieschen, TWA Historian With your generosity we have reached our first milestone, that of collecting a bit over $3,000 that we estimated would be needed for the micro filming of the entire set of Skyliners. We have completed the filming of the issues for 1960 through 2002 the last issue. Thanks too for loaning us many of those issues. Those issues are now preserved on film and are available for your use. We are in the process of reviewing the earlier 1929-1959 publications and with your expert help in finding the missing issues we will be able to microfilm these soon. I find these older one really fascinating. From TAT's need to tell the traveling public, the stockholders and its employees of the sophistication and safety of the operation, through the progression in TWA's "Firsts". In the 30's-40's Jack Frye's 'Between You and Me' column kept us informed of the 'doings' from the top staff while the center pages of the Skyliner came under the by-line of 'Along the Line' and was devoted to the doings of each of the stations. The hostess news came under the 'SKYWAY SALLY' heading. Other issues dealt with all the highs and the lows of our operations, the deliveries of every aircraft, the tragedy of each and every loss. Many of you will find articles featuring your part in these tangible artifacts that are so quickly disappearing. WE are most happy that you have helped us to preserve this changing technology. What we need now is to make it more accessible by digitization. Many of you are familiar with TARPA TOPICS the organization of retired TWA flight crews that have used digitization. This process is expected to be very expensive, perhaps $1 a page but I believe the history of TWA as written in the pages of the Skyliner is our legacy. Our human experiences, people who made the airplane fly and the people who flew in them go beyond the hardware and the inanimate airlines and their builders. WE are those people and our stories are told weekly, monthly, yearly, issue-by issue in our TWA publications. We have this wonderful opportunity through the WHMC-UMKC to make them easily accessible through digitization. The $3,100. that so far has been collected has been for the most part been given by individuals. We are very appreciative of the gift of $500 that the TWA Seniors gave us at the AGM 2007 meeting in Scottsdale as well as the TWA DCS Alumni Association meeting in Tucson who gave us $200 through the association, but almost each of the DCS members gave us individual checks ranging from $25.00 to $350.00 totaling more than $1000.00. This from a small group of 73 members and friends, we salute you. Many of our contributions come as memorials from family and friends of loved ones who have 'gone west'. What better way to have their legacy live on forever? YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT HELPS KEEP HISTORY ALIVE. We can't do all this without YOU! Remember that WHMC-UMKC is a non-profit organization and the Skyliner project is supported by donations and bequests! Your contributions are tax-exempt. I have become aware that I have neglected to tell you all the method of Page 3

accessing these complete tapes. They are stored in the WESTERN HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONUNIVERSITY MISSOURI KANSAS CITY on campus. Researchers may visit here and make copies of the film. Film may also be borrowed through a local library lending service. You will need to have your library contact WHMCKC and you need to make sure that your library has a microfilm reader. Depending on the WHMC-KC staff availability they might make copies of selected pages for a fee. When digitized, current plan is that it would be accessible via www. (thru WHMC-KC site) and free. You will need to contact David Boutros, Associate Director for further information. 302 Newcomb Hall, University of Missouri Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Mo 64110. email

Editors note: Just imagine, every issue of our TWA Skyliner and its predecessors could be made available to everyone, online, if the digitizing process can be accomplished. What a wonderful opportunity indeed. All we need is your help in funding this project. Please send financial contributions to: Ona Gieschen TWA Seniors Club Historian, P.O. Box 901439, Kansas City, Mo 64190. Checks should be made out to WHMC-KC. Please add Skyliner fund in the memo line.

GOOD NEWS-BAD NEWS ON REFUNDS A question about refunds for unused tickets purchased through the Airline Retirees Pass Bureau (ARPB) came up recently, and Mr. Blyth at the Pass Bureau explained the policy in effect for most listed airlines there. If none of the flight coupons have been used, a full cash refund is available from that airline. If any coupon has been used however, there are no cash refunds. Delta Airlines only, does not allow any refunds for issued pass-tickets. If you have ZED tickets purchased at American for OAL travel, refunding for completely unused tickets is possible at AA ticket counters. Partially used tickets are refundable up to one year of issue but must be mailed to: American Airlines Passenger Refund Services, P.O. Box 582880 MD 756, Tulsa OK 74158-2880.


Set amidst tropical palms and lush, inviting gardens, the Crowne Plaza San Diego's intimate atrium setting is the perfect place for your stay in the heart of San Diego. The Crowne Plaza San Diego is conveniently located in Mission Valley, close to all the city's finest attractions.

AMENITIES AND SERVICES Close to shopping and local attractions Heated Outdoor Swimming Pool and Sundeck Lush Tropical Landscaped Courtyard and Poolside Terrace "Be Good to Yourself" Massage and Spa Treatments 403 Newly Upgraded Guest Rooms with Private Patio or Balcony Sleep Advantage Bedding and Amenities Hotel Policies: Better Bath Experience Quiet Zone Check-in time: 4PM Guaranteed Wakeup Call Check-out time: Noon Heated Outdoor Swimming Pool and Sundeck King room max occupancy: Large Whirlpool Spa up to 4 guests Complimentary Shuttle Service to Old Town, Double-double room occupancy: Fashion Valley and Metro transit center up to 6 guests (max of 4 adults) Pay-Per-View Movies and Free HBO No pets allowed In-Room Safe Deposit Box Fitness Center Barber Shop "W. H. Smith" Gift Shop Guest Laundry / Valet Dry Cleaning Controlled Parking, Fees Apply Game Room


Located in the Heart of Mission Valley on Hotel Circle North, the Crowne Plaza San Diego provides easy freeway access to the business district, recreational and sightseeing attractions in San Diego. Riverwalk Golf Club: Adjacent Old Town San Diego: 2 minutes Mission Bay: 5 minutes SeaWorld: 5 minutes Qualcomm Stadium: 5 minutes San Diego Zoo: 10 minutes Downtown San Diego: 10 minutes San Diego International Airport: 10 minutes Convention Center: 15 minutes Seaport Village: 15 minutes PETCO Park: 15 minutes Legoland: 35 minutes

Food and Beverage options:

Full Room Service Available The Islands Restaurant (Casual Dining) Kona CafĂŠ (Quick cup of Coffee, Beverages, Snacks, etc.) The Islands Sushi and PuPu Bar (Sushi, Appetizers, Cocktails) Page 4

For Hotel Reservations Call Toll Free: 1-800-882-0858 (US and Canada) 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 297-1101 Fax (619) 297-6049 Be sure to ask for the TWA Seniors Club rate TWA Seniors Rate: Single, $120.00, double, $120.00, triple, quad, add $10.00 per person. TWA Seniors rate valid 3 days prior and 3 days after AGM. Deadline for Hotel bookings will be: March 11, 2009. For TWA Seniors Club AGM reservations, fill out and mail the form on page 6.

Thursday, April 16, 2009 San Diego Aerospace Museum, Balboa Park

Tours and Activities Schedule We cordially invite you to join us on several of these fun and reasonably priced tours.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 Old Town Trolley Tour

Departure times are whenever you please. This 32 mile two hour narrated tour of San Diego and Coronado leaves the hotel via provided shuttle to “Old Town Historic Park”, where the tour originates. You can get off at any of 7 stops that might interest you and reboard the following trolley. The price includes a free shuttle at any later time, or day, to Old Town where you can spend ”a day” exploring many shops, exhibits and restaurants. Lunch on your own. Tour Price $32.00

10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Join a small elite group (6 at a time) for a guided tour of the basement to see aircraft under restoration. Presently a 1932 Boeing P-26 “Peashooter” is under construction. This is the area that no one ever sees, the place where aerial junk becomes a beautiful display. There will be ample time to wander through the “normal” displays in the public areas. TWA exclusive bus. Tour Price $ 25.00 If old automobiles are your thing there is an excellent museum about 100 feet away. Admission here is “on your own”. $ 6.00 extra at the door.(Seniors)

Thursday, April 16, 2009 San Diego Harbor Excursion.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

11:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Relax on a two hour cruise passing North Island Naval Air Station, the Submarine Base, Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma Lighthouse, USS Midway, Hotel Coronado, and a host of other interesting spots. Lunch on your own – there is food, drink and a bar aboard. The trip is fully narrated. TWA exclusive bus. Tour Price $36.00

USS Midway Museum

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 Golf on your Own

shuttle is available.

Riverwalk Golf Course is next to the hotel. Tee times will be set for you and all that play. Senior Green Fees will be between $40.00 and $50.00, payable at the course. Titleist Golf Clubs available for rent - $45.00. Hotel

9:30AM - 12:30PM. Explore a real aircraft carrier! Enjoy a self guided audio tour at your own pace. There are 24 aircraft, and more than 60 great exhibits. Elevators to eliminate the steep “ladders” that the crews used. A quick snack or lunch on your own is available on the Fantail. TWA exclusive bus. Tour Price $24.00 Page 5


Choice of wines, live dinner music and dancing after! There will be a cash bar cocktail party at poolside before the banquet, from 5 to 6 PM.

TWA Seniors Annual General Meeting and Convention San Diego, CA April 15, 16 and 17, 2009 Registration Form Last Name_________________________________First*______________________________ Spouse/Other______________________________ First*______________________________ Address_____________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip Code___________________________________________________________ Phone_______________________E-mail__________________________________________ *Please provide your name as you would like it to appear on your name tag. All Attendees Must Register.




Registration Fee $25.00

$________ $_________ $__________

TWA Seniors Club 2009 dues (if not already paid)



OPTIONAL TOURS (See page 5 for complete description) City Trolley Tour

Fee $32.00 $________ $__________ $__________

San Diego Aerospace Museum

Fee $25.00 $__ _______ $__________ $__________

USS Midway Tour

Fee $24.00 $________ $ __________ $__________

Harbor Cruise

Fee $36.00 $________ $__________ $__________

Final Banquet

Fee $49.00 $________ $ __________ $__________

GRAND TOTAL ................................ $__________ Mail to: R.A. Davis - TWA-AGM, 1349 Via Firenze, San Marcos, CA, 92078-7235

Make Check to “TWA-AGM”

Golf on Your Own. Desired “Tee Time” _________________ Meal Choices London Broil,

marinated flank steak, thinly sliced w/green peppercorn sauce.

Lemon Chicken,

Mahi Mahi,


(Hawaiian fish ) w/ mango sauce...............

Includes: Green salad Veggies, rolls, butter, Oven roasted potatoes, Black Forest cake, Red & white wine on the table, coffee tea etc.

Chose one for each person.

AGM Registration deadline April 8, 2009 If cancellation is received after April 8, 2009, the committee reserves the right to assess fees based on costs incurred due to cancellation.

Hospitality Facilities

A light continental breakfast will be available each morning. Breakfast rolls, Bagels, Cream cheese, Jellies, Juice and Coffee. Open from 7:00 AM until 10:00 AM. ------ An open Bar from Noon until ????? ------ Registration will also take place here.

NOTES: Fashion Valley Shopping center close by. Featuring: Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcos, Saxs Fifth Ave, Macy’s, JC Penney and 200 specialty shops........ Hotel shuttle. Reserve your hotel room directly with the hotel 1-800-882-0858

Keep Copies!

Hotel parking $5.00/day

Airport to hotel transportation: Taxi, cost approximately $20.00. 1 to 4 same price. Hotel does not pickup or return. TWA Seniors Club 2009 dues must be current. Page 6

International Chapters News

GREECE CHAPTER President - Soula Dadou Phone: On June 11th 2008 the Greek Chapter held their AGM at the “ETAL” Club in Athens. The meeting was successful as we had 3 new members joining our chapter! 45 members attended the meeting as we had many absences due to sickness and family problems. Everybody was enjoying and was happy to meet with old colleagues again after so many years. The vice From left to right: Mrs. Docos, Mrs. H Delevante, Mr. C Docos, Mrs. L. Merenditis, Mrs. S Dadou, Mrs. A. Picard, Mrs. L Vergi, Mrs. president D. Katsifara, Mr. C Constas, and Mr. E. Metaxas. International Mrs. Annie Picard was invited to our AGM and we were all very delighted to have her with us. The evening closed with a tasty buffet and plenty of Greek wine, toasting and wishing to each other a nice and cool Summer. Our next meeting will be next October hopefully after a great Summer vacations for all.. Soula Dadou

Northern Italy Chapter President - Fabrizio Forleo


MXP Annual General Meeting – June 15 2008 As is the custom, hallowed by tradition, we TWAers in the Milan area convened on June 15 in the woods bordering the Ticino River to celebrate our AGM. The expected turnout was a little larger than the previous year’s; among others present were a few retired Customs officers, with whom we once were in touch on a daily basis, along with some family members. But what really made the difference was the participation of three TWA Captains, two of whom, for the occasion, came from abroad: Captain Ed White, Captain Peter Nevins, and Captain Louis Salamone, a regular participant in our meetings. Dulcis in fundo, the constant, pleasant attendance of Madame Annie Picard, our International Vice President, straight from the French capital. Meandering through recollections we admitted that the MXP operations department had, since its origin, an inimitable (please allow me the self-complacency) relationship with the cabin crews, which, in the course of years, paved the way to excellent station performance. Its source derived from the professional attitude acquired and transmitted in a line from employee to employee. Too many, but above all continuous, have been the commendations, oral and written, received from crew members, at all levels, as to the quality of the department performance, to consider them simply occasional incidents. These very special feelings have escorted the TWA MXP operations department personnel throughout its existence. This is also one of the reasons, if not the main one, to be grateful to the three TWA Captains convened here, as representatives of a larger group under different horizons. The Captain, this mythical figure in the aeronautical field, was the source of the operational decisions we have always tried to guess, to anticipate, in order to make the most of the daily payload. It was they who held, however, the privilege and the responsibility of the final Page 7

word, the unchallengeable decision. It was not the moment to discuss the unfortunate decline of the Company; we simply wanted to be appreciative of this breed of men who had devoted time and energy to the fortune of TWA. And to bow down to all others lost on the line of duty. The magnificence of the woods, the suave scents of springtime, the gentle intertwining of birds in flight, the rustle of leaves under gentle breeze, the slow flowing of water in a near-by rivulet enlivened the scene on that day, a rather gloomy one because of a persistent rain; but which, indeed, did not prevent the happy-go-lucky atmosphere to prevail. We were all delighted by a host of culinary specialities, “risotto ai funghi”, specialités de la maison and a variety of other savory items, some directly from the wood-fired grill, the fruits of the fertile imagination of our TWA ladies. Wine, accordion music and dances, eternal ingredients for a cheerful atmosphere, played their roles, vivifying the party. A bingo session put the final note on a gloomy, rainy, but beyond all expectations, agreeable day. Special thanks to Captains White and Nevins and their wives for their participation. We hope to see them all again on some other occasion along with any other guests willing to join us. God permitting, next on the schedule this year, around the middle of October, will be our “Chestnut fest”….Fabrizio Forleo

PARIS CHAPTER President - John Margiotta

mailto: Once again, we will be holding our Annual General Meeting at UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, in their 7th floor restaurant On Saturday 11 October 2008 at 12 noon 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75007 PARIS. The main entrance at 7 place de Fontenoy could be closed for maintenance work at the time of our AGM in this case the entrance will be at 125 Avenue de Suffren. The closest Metro station is: Ségur. The Paris TWA Seniors Club is going strong with 161 members. Thanks to this and your generous contributions the financial situation of our club permits us to subsidize this cocktail and lunch, the price will be 30 euros per person for our members and spouses who paid their subscription to the club in 2008* and 55 euros (cost price) for friends. Please return your inscription bulletin request to: John Margiotta, 14 rue Jean Jouvenet, 77380 Combs La Ville, France. Tel & Fax: 33 16060 2480. Checks in euros should be made out to: TWA Seniors Club. Special arrangements for payment will be made for those of you who do not have a Euro bank account. The cut off date is 20 September 2008. Once I receive your inscription

bulletin. I will send you a “Boarding Pass”. Please bring this with you as you may need it for the security in UNESCO. I hope to see you at what is always a great cocktail and lunch, and this year at an unbeatable price. * For those who did not pay their dues for 2008 and wish to pay the price for members you will need to pay a minimum of 20 euros for 2008 and again for 2009.

Inscription Bulletin for the Annual General Meeting of the TWA SENIORS CLUB, PARIS INTERNATIONAL CHAPTER. Saturday 11 October, 2008 at U N E S C O PARIS. Name ……………………………………………..……………. Address…………………………………………..…….………. Number of members…… at 30 euros =


Number of people……… at 55 euros =


Membership subscription for 2008 and/or 2009 .......euros. Total………………. euros. …..John Margiotta

Domestic Chapters News

ARIZONA CHAPTER President - John E. Murphy mailto: Since our Chapter closes down operations during the hot summer months, there is not a lot of news to report. The "Flown West" list keeps growing and during recent months, Gene Fox (Retired MCI Mgr), James Coughlin (Retired Pilot) and Larry Gordon (Retired Passenger Agent) passed away. Larry was an Agent-in-Charge at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport during my tenure there 1980-86. He was a good worker and well regarded by his peers. We also lost Terry Michaels, wife of Hank Michaels (Retired Pilot). Terry and Hank were active members of our Chapter and rarely missed our luncheons. She was a lovely lady and certainly will be missed. At the end of this baseball season Yankee Stadium will be demolished and the Yankees will move into a new stadium being built next door. This event triggers a memorable event for me. Back in September 1949, Bill Mendina (Maintenance Foreman at Gander and later at Boston and Hartford) and I decided to travel to New York for the last two games of the season between the Red Sox and Yankees. The Yankees had to come on top in both games to win the pennant. We were promised good seats but the deal fell through and we had to settle for General Admission seats located in the upper deck of right field. One of the vendors who was selling field glasses (we used to call them spy glasses) came our way and looking straight up at me said "Field glasses one dollar a pair and where you're sitting you are going to need them." In retrospect the seats were OK and the Yankees won both games which made us happy. Of course, looking back the trip probably would not have materialized if we didn't have the advantage of TWA travel. Good old TWA - great memories! That's all for now - looking forward to seeing you when we start up in the fall…..John E. Murphy SONORA CHAPTER President Richard ‘Rick’ Lichtenberger We've had no meetings during the summer but will start again on September 16th at our usual location [The Golden Corral located on 1st and Wetmore.] Members start to gather Page 8

by 11:30AM for some social time before lunch at noon. Meetings will be held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month thru November. December 9, 2008 has been reserved for our annual Christmas Party at the Skyline Country Club. If your travels bring you to the Tucson area, please join us for lunch…….Rick Lichtenberger


mailto: TWA Seniors of NW Arkansas summer outing was on June 19th.We had 12 members that went to Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri. We ate lunch in the restaurant there and then went on the Chapel tour. Walked thru the Gardens and ending up at the gift shops. Quite amazing place that was enjoyed by all. Fall outing will be a overnight trip to Branson, Mo…..Rich Kerr


mailto: Although the summer is mostly gone, we here in the Pacific Northwest have already completed three most successful events with still five more to go this year. Everyone is excited about our Annual Picnic coming up in August and being followed with a fall luncheon in the heart of the Napa Valley in September. Our Annual Golf Tournament will be held in October and the big Texas BBQ in November. Our Christmas Party and AGM will be held again in December. It's been an exciting year for us thus far and all are anxiously awaiting to participate in the coming events. Recently our group taken of a portion of the Pacific Northwest chartered a rail car on the Photo Ambassadors prior to boarding the Sacramento Train Trip. famous Sacramento River train and some 44 of the members enjoyed a great lunch as we rode the rails for 3 hours. They wined and dined us as we rode the rails along the great Sacramento River. Our membership is now 413 paid members…….Claude Thomas

SAN DIEGO CHAPTER President – Marcia Davis mailto:

The San Diego chapter held their June meeting at the 94th Aero Squadron's Officers Club, adjacent to Montgomery Airport in San Diego. Amid memorabilia of WW1,(a German Tri-plane was tied down just outside our tables), a great lunch was enjoyed by all. Our August get together Carl and Joan Schmidt at a recent will be in Oceanside, at the convention planning session. El Camino Country Club, on the 21st at 11:30AM. Join us - we'll make you feel at home ! Our Board has been busy, meeting with the hotel and tour operators, and planning the 2009 AGM-Convention. It's going to great --- plan on coming to sunny San Diego next April.

Three members of the Executive Board, Bill Cottrell, Mike Swift and Fran Daino met with our board to coordinate activities at the upcoming convention. Details in another section of this issue…..Marcia Davis


mailto: Hello from sunny Southern California. Our June luncheon at the popular Proud Bird Restaurant near LAX was attended by 100 enthusiastic members and five guests. A special TWA Memorabilia raffle brought in an extra $175 to be used to offset some of our luncheons costs. Every little bit helps in these strained financial times. We also added five new members to our current membership of 246. Our last get-together was August 12th at Khoury's Restaurant overlooking the waterfront on beautiful Los Alamitos Bay. Of course, the weather was perfect. We raffled off a wonderful piece of artwork created by TWA artist Ron Sandberg. Dates to remember: Please join us if you are in our area. October 7 - Luncheon at Simon's Waterfront, Ports of Call San Pedro October 17 - TWA Reunion Dinner/Dance at Proud Bird by LAX. Contact Bob Nelson October 19 - LAX Reservations Annual Reunion - Mijares Mexican Restaurant - Pasadena. Contact Brian Pritchard at email: Our best to recovering members Jim McGann and Trish Corirossi. Please check out our new website and visit with TWA friends.……… Joan Burd for Trish Corirossi - Secretary


President - Gail Grahn

What a season – the Olympics are in full swing, the heat oppressive, the Election looms, and we begin to hold our breath during this part of hurricane season. But looking back: Letting the Good Times Roll. Our February meeting at the Mardi Gras Casino in Hollywood, FL, brought a fun group to enjoy our luncheon, the yearly elections of the Board, and in the true Mardi Gras spirit, a little seduction by Lady Luck for those who wished to partake of the gaming. Our election retained Gail Grahn as President, Bunni Earle as Secretary, and Bert Coville as Treasurer. We welcome our new Vice President, Amy Langdon; and send a bouquet of many thanks to Diane Holmes for the past years she has served. In addition to elections, those present voted to have four get-togethers per year. To Honor and to Celebrate All families have their joys and their sorrows, and it certainly has been so with our family at TWA. The Gold Coast chapter came together on July 17th to commemorate the 12th anniversary of our loss of Flt. #800 - to be thankful for the many happy memories we shared over the years with our friends on board, and to deepen the bond with our friends still here. Beginning with a lovely dinner at Athena-by-the-Sea Restaurant, we then gathered for the Memorial at the far end of Anglin’s Pier over the Atlantic Ocean. At 8:35, timed to coincide with the ceremony in New York, the names and then a prayer were read, memories shared, and white carnations consecrated to the sea below. Page 9

We encourage those who can to continue to support the beautiful Memorial at Smith Point, NY. Contributions to the upkeep should go to the Families of TWA Flight 800 Assoc. Civic funding was cut, so the memorial is very much in need of private donations for its upkeep. Our Fall meeting will be for Oktoberfest, - (don’t be shocked but it’s in October); and our Holiday Party in, guess when, December. Details to follow…..Gail Grahn



Greetings one and all. It's very hard to believe as you read this article that almost 3/4 of 2008 is now history. Everyone reading the Skyliner knows that the Southwest Florida TWA Seniors Chapter hosted in Apr a very highly successful AGM. We are now gearing up for our own AGM which is set for a luncheon at 11:30 AM on Oct 7, 2008. We too will be electing a new slate of officers and be making plans for our Christmas Luncheon meeting in early Dec. Tom Vourlos will assume the Presidency at the October meeting. Our October meeting will be held at Hemingway's Island Grill in the Coconut Point Mall in Estero. I will be sending out directions on how to get to this restaurant to our Chapter members in a message by September 1 along with cost and menu, etc. Anyone wishing to attend if you are in the SW Florida area, is more than welcome. Those who do not receive directions from me by September 2nd, please email me just in case I have lost your email address. I have had problems with my email system recently. I would like to thank all members of the Southwest Florida Chapter for your support and attendance over the past years. My particular thanks go to the following members: Betty Smith who has served our group admirably as Treasurer while also serving as President of the Clipped Wings International. She has kept me out of trouble in our normal operations and did a superb job during the lead up to and execution of the April AGM. Vicki White, who with her loyal and strong backed husband, Tonto, er George, performed the major part of setting up and running the April AGM and without whom it would never have come to pass. Vicki also has been of great assistance in finding restaurants and negotiating with the managements for our meetings after the Duval Restaurant closed. Tom Vourlos who has provided me with sage advice and assistance over the years since he joined our Chapter and acting in the position of Public Relations and, of course, will be replacing me as President. Congratulations and best of luck Tom. Kathy McMichael who was the sparkplug who conceived the idea of us holding the AGM in our area while in a meeting with Bill Cottrell, Int'l President and persuaded me that we could do it. With all the fantastic assistance I received from everyone, she was right. There were other volunteers and I thank them also. I thank the following members of the National Board for their assistance in setting up the AGM: Bill Cottrell, President; Fran Daino, Secretary; Marc Brecy, Web Master and Carl Barley, Editor of the Skyliner (with my apologies for late submission of reports).

Folks, it's been a wild but interesting ride and I thank you for putting up with me. Tom, Frank and Dick, I hope you've been happy with your choice. Please send all correspondence to Dale Davis, Pres. at with a copy to Tom Vourlos, Public Relations at in regard to our Oct 7th AGM or other subjects. .Dale E. (Dog Easy) Davis


Committee Chairpersons – Darlene (Queenie) Ficke & Judi Washburn Koruba mailto:

Another successful luncheon was held on June 22nd at White Fence Farm. This time we were in the comfortable and bright Frontier Room with seventy-two in attendance. The cordial staff saw to our every need and served a most delicious meal. The fried chicken was tasty as always and the signature corn fritters plentiful and "devoured" by all. Many of our 'regulars' were there, and we were delighted to welcome a number of new attendees who-we hope-will make these get-togethers part of their routine plans. After an article in our newly-formatted Windy City Newsletter heralding the virtues of subscribing to the SKYLINER, we're pleased to report that twelve Ambassadors have "signed up" -- and we hope for even more in the coming year. If anyone is breezing through our fair city, we will be at Arlington Park Racecourse on the 11th of September, Alpine House on 26th of October and Drury Lane on the 10th of December and we will welcome you with open arms…. ……….Darlene (Queenie) Ficke

INDIANA - HOOSIER CHAPTER President - Ruth Ann Willis

The semi-annual luncheon of the Hoosier Chapter is being planned for October, venue to be determined. Monthly breakfast gatherings continue at the Brickyard on the first Monday of each month. All are welcome in Hoosierland………Ruth Ann Willis TWA HEART OF AMERICA ALUMNI – KANSAS CITY President – George Doering mailto: Hello from Kansas City!! In our last Skyliner I reported to you that we had a lousy spring, well so far this summer hasn't been to great either. Like a lot of the country, we have had really hot or rainy weather. By the time you receive this Skyliner we will have had our biggest event of the year, Our Family Reunion Aug. 23rd. I wish that I could report on that evening, but I will later. September will find our Club going to Granny's Chicken for a home style chicken dinner. We are looking forward to another great luncheon. October 14th we are going to take a bus tour to the Lake of the Ozark's. This will be an all day event featuring snacks, dinner and a boat tour on the lake. On our way back home to K.C. we will enjoy some wine and cheese and crackers along with a lot of conversation. November 5th will again find us at Cinzitti's for our Italian Buffet. Like always the food is great and our TWA family spends time chatting with each other. Page 10

Just a "heads up" December 5th will be our AGM and Christmas Party. At this event we will elect our officers for 2009, enjoy good food, and be entertained. We will also have our yearly collection for The Harvesters Food Pantry. If you are in K.C. during any of our events, be sure to call and come and enjoy our local TWA family. Contacts in KCGeorge Doering - Thelma Leighty or our 1st VP Sondra Kostelac. As always please remember our fallen TWA families in your prayers and keep the TWA spirit alive…George Doering

OZARKS CHAPTER President - Charlene Nielsen

mailto: (573) 873-1964 Hello, from Beautiful Lake of the Ozarks! On June 28, 2008 we had our annual picnic at the Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camdenton, Mo. It was a good turn out of 25 members and a Great Time was had by all. The best part, besides seeing old friends, was sharing a variety great side dishes that went with our hamburgers and brats. Our next get-together will be held September 9TH at the sunrise Cantina at 12:00PM in Sunrise Beach. All are welcome and If you plan to attend please give Margie and Ron a call or e-mail them at Save this Date... Tuesday December 9Th at the Stockton Restaurant, located in the Osage Beach Outlet Mall. FYI... Did anyone notice that the USA Olympian Athletes in their dress outfits were wearing our TWA F/A scarves and ties that we wore from 1978 to 2001. They looked "sharp"! Well, this was short and sweet and I send my warmest regards!............... Charlene Delmonico Nielsen

STL GATEWAY CHAPTER President – Bob Carter

mailto: Summertime has hit the mid-west. It has been hot & humid in STL. We still have good attendance at our monthly luncheons. Our planned trip to Fairmount Race Track, which always has a good turnout did not happen this year. We had a few of our STL Retirees go West this past month. This always hurts, as the number of TWA retirees is dwindling. Our Christmas party will be the first week in December, and hopefully by then it will be a lot cooler…… Bob Carter

NEW MEXICO CHAPTER President - Dave Richards

mailto: New Mexico Chapter TWA Seniors. Aug 5 2008, August 13th 11:30am Village Pizza in Corrales. Sept. 3rd Horse races at the Fairgrounds in the Jockey Club. Eat at 1:30PM, Races at 2:30pm. Oct. 22nd 11:330am Furr's on Wyoming between Menaul & Indian School. Nov. 15th 9am JB's on Eubank & Lomas next to Owl. Dec. 13th 11am Christmas Party at KAFB Mountain View Club... Sorry to tell you today is Aug 5th and my 77th Birthday.. I will expect a Card and Money... Thanks in advance and remember this date.. I have been away for three weeks in Akron, Ohio due to the passing away of my brother Bob's wife Darla who was 65yrs and a great woman... Gone West: Fred Spuhler and wife Marian... Fred was our General Mgr in ABQ and was living in Tucson for sometime.. Fred was 98 yrs. and was a great man to know in TWA...He will be missed...

Remember the next meeting will be an AGM meeting in San Diego on April 15th thru April 17th in 2009. Just heard that a few people are having a hard time getting into Jetnet, did you forget to change your password every 90 days..... I would like to see more people join the TWA Seniors Club and receive the TWA Seniors Skyliner because we will keep reminding you of all the changes that are going on in the Airline business so you will be ready to fly and eliminate those problems………….Dave Richards

DCS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION President - Tom Donahue mailto:

Plans are being formulated for our next formal event in 2009 at Chicago in late September/early October; dates will be forthcoming on the website when finalized. This year, the group scheduled two informal gatherings. We joined up on Sunday, August 3, in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley, at the Old Rhinebeck alums Don Fleming, Jan Golon and Tom Brown enjoy Aerodrome, to DCS the beautiful setting at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. enjoy the air show and fellow alums. August 2/3 was also airline weekend at the aerodrome. Anyone wearing airline insignia or other “gear” received a $4 discount on the entrance fee. If you’ve not been to the Aerodrome, give it a try next time you’re in the area; see: A Sunday brunch is planned for October 12 at the Home Port Restaurant in Bremerton, Washington. The group will journey there from Seattle via ferryboat. Alums are encouraged to come to the Emerald City early and attend an airline memorabilia show at the Museum of Flight on Saturday. See: For those who have not been to the museum, plan to spend the day. Check it out at: We continue to update and expand our website. It contains stories and pictures, plus a DCS name list and all the latest news about the group. Visit us at ….. Jon Proctor

CLIPPED WINGS INTERNATIONAL INC. President - Betty Smith (239)-498-7191 mailto:

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2008 TWA Clipped Wings International Bill Borden Memorial Scholarship Award. The annual scholarship award is named in honor of Bill Borden, Vice President of TWA In-Flight Services and an honorary member of our organization who passed away in 1990. Blair Brettschneider will be entering her junior year at the University of Miami and is pursuing a degree in Journalism and American Studies. Her long term goal is to work for a magazine published in English which Page 11

targets young Hispanic girls in the United States and accents their culture. Peter Clements will be a junior at Northern Illinois University and is studying for a degree in business. He plans to continue his education to attain a Master’s Degree in accounting, with a minor in finance and wants to become a CPA. TWA Clipped Wings International has awarded scholarships each year beginning in 1980 to further the educational endeavors of a current member, member’s child or grandchild. For TWA Clipped Wings membership information please contact: Wendy Smith, 13104 Mohawk, Leawood, KS, 66209 -4106. E-mail or our Website listed above…...Betty Smith

SILVER WINGS INTERNATIONAL, INC. President - Anita Ridpath (831) 685-9433 mailto:

Silver Wings is proud to continue support to the Airline History Museum in Kansas City and the TWA Flight 800 Memorial. Also the Silver Wings International Dwight Dedmon Charity Committee has begun its annual fundraiser for the Evelyn Lauder Breast Cancer Research Fund (BCRF). BCRF gives 95% of all donations to various research to find a cure. Evelyn Lauder and BCRF underwrite the expenses of running the charity. They even let us reserve Silver Wings donations to non-animal testing research! September 17–21, 2008, our annual convention and gathering of friends is to be held in the great city of Toronto...a city of rare openness, energy and style -- an intimate metropolis showcasing world-class dining, shopping, creativity, architecture and entertainment. Its skyline includes the CN Tower, one of the Modern Wonders of the World; miles of waterfront, boardwalks and trails; and distinct neighborhoods with inspiring surprises--from artisans' exhibits to cool cafes--around every corner. In Toronto there is enough live theatre to rival New York and London. We are looking forward to a wonderful and memorable experience...,Lee Ann Weise Editor, "From The Wings"


Where does the summer go? Seems like I've stepped on a banana peel the way it flies by. Pac. NW Ambassadors Pres. Claude Thomas and Diane Renna stopped by last weekend on a return home from Reno to SFO...we had a great lunch together at a restaurant called Gar Woods...overlooking Lake Tahoe. It's a popular spot...his VP, Tex and Marion Luedtke did the same thing traveling thru on the 4th. Living at Tahoe means there's a powerful magnet to have friends drop in...we love it! We are receiving more and more reservations for our fall convention in Nashville...Sept 29th thru Oct 2nd. This is shaping up to be a fabulous of our better conventions. We invite all TWA'ers to come join us and enjoy the variety of tours we have set up...not to mention the GAYLORD OPRYLAND MEGA-RESORT we'll be staying at...three atriums and nine acres under glass...all set to different themes. Why don't you come join us? Cheers,…………… Guy Fortier

“NO CLOUDS TODAY ?” In the sixties, women airport ticket agents were still a rarity. What chance would she have with a transfer request? Phoenix seemed so far away, so remote from New York. It seemed practically in a foreign country. Marguerite was well traveled but had never been to the southwest. Again she relied on her usual boldness. Why not try? On her days off she flew to Phoenix. Upon her arrival, she sought the TWA airport manager’s office. She explained to the receptionist the purpose of her visit, and waited as she went into his office. Through the open door Marguerite heard a booming “Why in the h*#l didn’t she make an appointment? Send her in.” Marguerite walked in the office. Without ceremony the manager told her, “Sit down. Why didn’t you fill out the proper transfer forms?” ”Because I am a woman” replied Marguerite. No sooner those words passed her lips than he slapped his desk roaring, “I can see that.” Marguerite knew right away that they would get along. Making eye contact she boldly added, “The application form has a space for sex, and I thought that if you saw ’F’ in that spot it would probably mean that the form would end up in ’file 14’.” He liked her honesty and straightforwardness. “I’ll send my decision to your supervisor.” By his smile and strong handshake Marguerite knew that the transfer was in her pocket. It was! Upon her return to work the approved transfer was waiting for her. April 1962 Marguerite left New York for her new life in Phoenix. She had good feelings about it. She had liked the open spaces seen on her first visit. The flight was to be unforgettable. Her pass privilege allowed her to fly first class if a seat was available. That day she was lucky! The aircraft made its scheduled stop in Chicago and all passengers disembarked except one man in first class and several in coach. A ticket agent came in to check the meal status with the flight attendant. All of a sudden, Marguerite hear her name called, ”Marguerite, what in the world are you doing here?” It was Rick, a former co-worker who had transferred to Chicago. They talked about ’remember when’ and caught up on little non-hurtful airport ’gossip’. As soon as Rick left, the other passenger stood up. I heard your conversation. Extending his hand he introduces himself, ”I am the governor of Arizona. I overheard your conversation with the agent. May I be the first person to welcome you to our state?” A rare, unusual and exceptional greeting. At the arrival gate in Phoenix, the governor deplaned first, followed by a smiling Marguerite. A band was playing on the tarmac. What a reception’. It was to celebrate the arrival of the first aircraft at the newly built Terminal 2. Her life in Arizona started on the right note! Marguerite bought a second-hand car and found an apartment. Her search for a house would start immediately. In no time at all she had adjusted to her new life. She enjoyed the exceptional weather and relaxing by the pool. No more commuting on the crowded Long Islands parkways. What a life! Maita was born in the Basque region of France. She spent four oppressive years of German occupation. During 1943/44 she was a courier for an underground escape network dangerously smuggling downed Allied Air Forces crews and Jews over the Pyrenees mountains into Spain. (See article in the December 2005 TWA Seniors Skyliner.) In the United States since 1946 Maita retired after a thirty-year airline career. Her writing career started after her husband’s death. Maita is also an artist…Maita Floyd, Author - Lecturer Page 12

My Dad, Harry Cloud, worked for TWA from August 1942 to May 1985. During World War II in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Goose Bay Labrador, and Gander Newfoundland. Around VE day he was transferred to Cairo and spent much of the next 5 years in and around the Med mostly in Cairo and Rome. The following story appeared in the August 1949, TWA Skyliner shortly after he was "TDY" to Tunis to perform maintenance on through flights on the many flights to and from Cairo. "A couple of clouds couldn't stop Captain J.H. Park from getting through. As the international captain rolled into Tunis he was met by Sales Representative Andre Baroukh. They stopped off at the weather office for a look-see. “No clouds today”, grinned Park. “Ah ha” (chuckled) Baroukh, “that's what you think”. Park looked at the map again. “What I mean,” explained the Tunis TWAer, “is that the Clouds are aboard the flight-Mechanic Harry Cloud and his wife (Aggie)(are) going back to Rome.” My mother, Aggie, passed away in December of 2003, but they had many fond memories of various pass riding trips. He has a bunch of other stories about flying as an unofficial flight engineer on various flights around the Middle East and Northern Africa as well as taking early UN officials to Geneva, Switzerland as well as working on the flight line at MKC, DCA and IAD. ♦ ♦ ♦ My Dad, has some pictures of a cone placed over the remains of an engine mount for number 3 on a Constellation that experienced a fire shortly after takeoff from DCA. The fire made it impossible to feather the engine. The wind-milling engine rained fire and parts over Northern Alexandria. The flight crew managed to get the plane back on the ground where emergency response crews put out the fire. The photo was taken in approximately 1956. Standing in front of where engine number 3 used to be are DCA TWA mechanics Harry Cloud (r) and the late Paul Salazar. A metal conical faring was fabricated and attached to what was left of the engine mount. The plane was flown at slower speed and at an un-pressurized altitude back to Kansas City. It’s arrival reportedly caused quite a stir as the shops and offices emptied out to see the aircraft. The Shark Mouth “Flying Tiger” paint job was applied by Ramp Serviceman William Steig, who was quite an artist, often drawing cartoons poking fun at, among other things, the crowded ramp space at the south side of Washington National (now Regan) Airport. The ramp was shared by TWA and Northwest with busy American just barely around the corner. Thomas A. Cloud ,

By: Merenna Morrow

As I read my husband’s TWA Seniors Skyliner, dated March 2008, I felt compelled to send you a couple photos and short story. Ahhhhh…..MEMORIES do indeed come to each of us who enter Ted’s “ready room” in his hangar located at Columbus, Montana, USA. Retired TWA Captain Ted Morrow (hired 3-171967 and retired May 5, 1998) has been collecting TWA memorabilia for some time. One can’t help but go “back in time” when you visit him at his hangar. As you sit in his MD-80 First Class Seat or his L-1011 Business Class Seat, cozy up with a TWA throw, read a book on TWA History and sip a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate out of a TWA Mug, you can’t help but feel good! As you look along the wall you will find Vintage TWA Posters aligning the wall, from the front of the hangar to the back, all beautifully framed out of respect for our wonderful airline, Trans World Airlines. Of course, there are a few TWA Model Airplanes sitting around as well; from the Constellation, to the 727, the MD-80 and more; all decked out in their own TWA Logo specific to their period in time. If you happen to notice a model of an America West Airplane or a US Air aircraft stuck here and there, that’s our son, Tim, second generation Commercial Pilot getting his airline in there, too! When you have a chance to travel down I-90, through Columbus, Montana, be sure to give Ted a call at 406-780-1363 or e-mail him at: If Ted is in town, he would love to have you stop by and go back in time with him in his little TWA Corner of the World. TWA provided a wonderful lifestyle for Ted and our family; we give thanks each and every day that we were given the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful family, the Family of TWA....



office. Not to be outdone by Capt. Morrow’s wonderful office in his hangar at left, our editor’s wife Jo, just had to take the opportunity to show off her husband’s Ahhhhh Memories too. Here surrounded by a fine collection of TWA memories is where he gets some of his inspiration for our great TWA Seniors newsletter. Just need an MD-80 F/C seat!

Our cartoon of the month is created by TWA Senior, James Kappen.

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July 8, 1949, TWA Celebrates the 20th anniversary of it’s Coast to Coast service. This Ford Tri-motor was re-commissioned and flown from Los Angeles to Washington, as part of the ceremonies.

Martin 202, TWA fleet number 212, delivered to TWA September 1, 1950.

Northrup Alpha, restored by TWA employees during the1970’s. Shown here at TWA Overhaul Base MCI, prior to going to the Smithsonian Air museum where it currently resides. Page 14

LIBERTY BELLE ENGLAND TRIP By: Norman Schippers, TWA mechanic, retired

Our trip to England to join the Liberty Belle tour was a huge success! Bev and I flew over on American airlines and joined up with the Liberty Belle B-17 group in Cambridge. Bev flew home on AA and I flew back on the B-17. Every where we landed the B-17 was a star, the media interviewed Don Brooks, founder and pilot and chief pilot Ray Fowler at every stop. The press dubbed this" the return of the Yanks". The British have an intense interest in WW11. They are taught a lot about it in school and most have had some family member who was involved. We had people tell us if it hadn't been for America they would be speaking German. The Duxford Air Show was a great air show. There were fly bys of Spitfires(9) Hurricanes (3) P-51s, There were two other B-17s beside the "Belle". The British B-17 was grounded because of engine problems. The French B-17 that flew in the show was to be put in a museum after the show because of operating cost. There were a lot of low fast fly bys with steep pull ups and victory rolls, very impressive. Duxford has been a RAF base since the twenty’s and they still use the wide grass strip for take offs and landings. This base played a pivotal role in the Battle of Britain. We used the grass for all our operations. They do have one hard surface runway now but no one used it for the show. On our return trip we stopped in Coventry England and Wick Scotland. At Coventry we gave ground tours and taxi rides. We were unable to sell rides because of government regulations, but the people would line up just to go on board and for lb99 we gave taxi rides it did help with some of the big expense of the trip. We paid $10 a gal for av gas in England. We spent the night at Wick which is on the Northern tip of Scotland, and fueled up (1700) gals for the trip to Iceland, we also filled our 30 2&1/2 gal jugs with 60 wt. oil. There were WW11 airfields scattered all along our route North. You could still see their out line even though most of them were in crops now, and a few had runways. When we would pass over an airport the tower would request a low pass and we would give them a buzz job. They really liked that. The field at Wick Scotland was a Lancaster and Spitfire base during the war. Folks told us this was where they flew out to bomb Germany's heavy water production in Page 15

Norway. (atomic bomb development) There were huge hangers there for the Lancasters. Wick is a launching point today for aircraft to fly to Iceland that don't have the range to fly non stop to the US. It was cold and windy there in July. Our next stop was Keflavik Iceland. We knew it was going to be very cold even though we were only flying at 8000 ft. We dressed in layers and had sleeping bags to ward off the cold but after a couple hrs it would soak through, we had a lot of air leaks around the ball turret and other places and we tried to stop them up with rags and towels, but not much help. Of course there was no heat or oxygen on board. After doing a low pass over Reykjavik we landed in Keflavik. The coast along Iceland was very scenic we could see glaciers, water falls and geysers. It never did get dark here. Our next stop was to be Narassq Greenland which is on the southern tip of Greenland. It is strictly a VFR airport one way in and one way out and no place for a missed approach. This is where the Belle stopped for fuel going over. After waiting 3 hr for the weather to clear we decided we had a enough fuel to fly right across ice cap to Kangerlussuaq (try pronouncing that) and was reported to be clear all the way. We spent the night here (no darkness) and had to pay $20 per gal for fuel. The ice cap was 10,000' thick where we flew and we were at 12,000 ft. I thought it had been cold before but it was colder over the ice cap, below zero. We thought we were seeing ships in the distance but when we got closer to Greenland discovered they were huge icebergs that had broken off the ice cap. Over the ice cap the surface was so smooth and white that you couldn't tell if it was the ice cap or clouds. There have been aircraft to fly right into the ice thinking it was clouds, and survive. The flights on to Goose Bay and then to Bangor Maine where beautiful with 100s of lakes and pine trees as far as you could see. It was fantastic trip! We put approx. 75 flying hrs on the Belle. We had no big problems, the engines never missed a beat, the engines burned about 1 gal of oil per hr. (except for #3 which burned 3 gal per hr.) and we had a small flap problem. When we got to Bangor every one left for home except mechanic Tim and me. We had to do a Phase check. We found #3 compression good but valve guides a little worn, we will probably change that engine at winter maintenance. Would I do a flight like this again? Heck yes but not

All photos from the website

soon. The Belle is on the US tour now and Bev and I will probably work St Louis the end of August. Go to our web site for pictures and city schedules. ‌..Norm



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Marc Brecy, Webmaster

September 2008  

TWA Seniors Club newsletter

September 2008  

TWA Seniors Club newsletter