Most of us are told early in our flying careers that there are some OLD pilots and some BOLD pilots, but very very few OLD, BOLD, PILOTS. In this group however, are Army, Navy, Marine & Air Force aerial combat veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War skirmishes, and the Middle East who, as a result of their skill, daring and boyish good looks, are clearly OLD and BOLD. A gathering of these bold pilots was held at All- American Hawkins-Reeve Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916 August 14.
Hosted by the VFW Post 7916, The East Coast Chapter of the Old Bold Pilots (OBP) Association met for an informal luncheon. Chuck Wilson, Past VFW District 10 Commander, Past Post 7916 Commander, and OBP member welcomed all and spoke on the history of the VFW, Post 7916, and some of the historical artifacts in the Post Black Cat Lounge. 98-year old Air Force Ken Chilstrom spoke about some of his WWII, and Flight Test experiences. He brightened the day of the Navy and Marine Aircraft Carrier pilots with his proud recounting of being one of the VERY few USAF Carrier Qualified Pilots.(see Ken’s bio below!)
The OBP began over three decades ago on the West Coast, when Bernie Schechter, Howard Dentz, John Simone and Bob Woodruff, all former US Army Air Force P-47 "Thunderbolt" pilots, started getting together at an Oceanside restaurant for breakfast and to reminisce about their fighter pilot days. They were soon joined by Byron Cramblet and Bill Hosmer.
From the original four WWII fighter pilots, OLD BOLD PILOTS has evolved as it has grown to over 100 members both East and West Coast of the US. Our current membership represents all the branches of United States military service plus civilian and airline pilots, crew members and aviation enthusiasts. Many members are indeed aviation legends! Do click on their biographies.
A few East Coast Old Bold Pilot Members of Note:
Kenneth Chilstrom, WWII Fighter Pilot, Test Pilot
Eugene "Gene” Deatrick, B-29, B-52, A-1E, Test Pilot
Whitey Feightner, WWII, USN Fighter Pilot, Blue Angel, Test Pilot
Robert F Dunn, USN Fighter Pilot, Vietnam
Spence "Sam” Armstrong, USAF Fighter Pilot, Test Pilot
Joseph T Anderson, USMC Harrier Pilot
Charles "Chuck” Wilson, U-2 Pilot, VFW member & OBP member
Archie "Hap” Simpson, WWII USMC Pilot-Sunk Japanese destroyer: Guadalcanal
Bernard "Barny” Nolan, WWII, B-17 & B-24 Pilot: flew D-Day Mission
Wolfgang Samuel, USAF Master Navigator, Famous Aviation Author,
Adelbert "Buz” Carpenter, SR 71 Pilot and OBP member
Art Nalls, USMC, Harrier Pilot, Test Pilot
William F Readdy, USN, Test Pilot, Astronaut