Memorial EAL Radio Show Host and
Former Eastern Captain, Steve Curtis  Thompson

Steve Curtis Thompson was born in Clyde, NC to the late Judd Curtis and Mary Lee Thompson.

Captain Thompson started a long and distinguished career in aviation as a Co-pilot for Piedmont Airlines at 19 yrs of age, and held numerous flight management positions while at Eastern, including Manager Latin America Operations. Steve served as an Eastern Airline Captain and his tenure with Eastern began in 1957 until 1991, eventually retiring with Eastern Airlines as a Captain on the L-1011 Tristar.  Steve after the demise of Eastern Airlines was employed as Northeast Sales Director for an Avionics Manufacturer. He was also a Certified Flight Instructor for this company.

His career in aviation led him to the love of his life for almost 60 yrs, his surviving wife, Glenda Snow Thompson, formally from Mt. Airy, NC. His love and passion for flying was second only to his love for family. After the untimely deaths of both his parents, he became the patriarch to his 5 younger siblings, their expanding families as well as his own growing family. All three of his children acquired the same passion for aviation and pursued careers in that field.

Steve was our Host who joined Neal shortly after the inception of the EAL Radio Show and brought his vast Radio Station experience to the EAL Broadcast having worked as an Announcer and Disc Jockey during his high school and college years.  He hosted the show from Roaring Gap, NC, in the mountains near the Blue Ridge Parkway, and at times when Steve and Glenda were visiting our area, he was on the broadcast with Neal in his Ponte Vedra studio.

Neal had many a grand time together with Steve during these years, and his dedication to the EAL Radio Show will never be forgotten, nor will Steve. He was a special person and there for us whenever we needed him. Friends like Steve are very hard to come by, and he will be missed terribly.
We love you Eastern! See more photos of Steve and his family in Members/Photo Albums/Memorial


William Machauer was born on September 1, 1932 and passed away on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at the age of 84.

William was a resident of Califon, New Jersey (a borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey) at the time of his passing.  He was married to Betty Machauer.

Bill worked for Eastern Airlines from 1966-1991. When Eastern folded in 1991, he joined a group of pilots to start Kiwi Airlines, which operated until 1996. He retired from flying for large airlines when he turned 60, but continued to train other pilots and fly as an on-board engineer.

Services were held Friday, February 24, 2017 in the Coughlin Funeral Home, 15 Academy Street, Califon, NJ 07830. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lebanon Township Volunteer Fire Department, 532 West Hill Road Glen, Gardner, NJ 08826.

Pilot approaches 7 million miles- Pilot Bill Maucher, 76

                                                                                                                                   By By Rachael S. Brickman, October 28, 2008

LEBANON TWP. -- Pilot Bill Machauer, 76, has never feared flying, even after experiencing a near mid-air collision in the '70s when a jet passed by so closely to one he was flying that he could see the passengers' faces in the windows. "It was over in two seconds," he said nonchalantly. His wife Betty is equally low key. "I was always more worried about him driving to the airport," she said, smiling.

That near-miss moment is now little more than a blip on the radar screen of Mr. Machauer's 57-year career. He's still going strong after amassing more than 30,000 hours of flight time and almost 7 million miles.

His interest in aviation was sparked by the frequent planes he saw flying overhead as a boy growing up in Elizabeth. After college, he bought a $500 two-seat training plane with the encouragement of co-workers at Standard Oil, where he worked as a laboratory technician. "I was single. I had money in my pocket," he said, laughing.

While serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve during the Korean War, he worked as an air traffic controller stationed at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, Calif. He eventually landed his pilot's license and a few years later was approved to teach and fly commercially.

In 1966 he was hired by Eastern Airlines. "I had 4,400 hours, which was a lot for a newcomer," he said. He advanced straight to the head of the class, moving from a small twin-engine airplane to piloting a Boeing 727. When Eastern folded in 1991, he joined a group of pilots to start Kiwi Airlines, which operated until 1996. He retired from flying for large airlines when he turned 60 but continued to train other pilots and fly as an on-board engineer.

After stints training others in flight safety and piloting corporate aircraft, he changed course and settled into flying for Somerset Air Service in Bedminster, where he's in his 10th year. He never knows where he'll end up until the phone rings -- during the past few weeks he's flown to Pittsburgh, Rockland, Maine and Annapolis, Md.

Throughout his varied career he's never stopped savoring the life of a pilot. "What you see in the air is so much different, a different perspective," he said, adding that the challenge of operating complex equipment and racing against the clock to stay on schedule have kept it all fresh. Surprises are also part of his job, he said, relating how a family from Puerto Rico tried to place a large bag into a storage compartment at the front of the plane during one of his flights. As it turned out, "They were trying to bring Grandma back in a body bag to bury her," he said.

Mr. Machauer, who has lived in the township for more than 35 years and has served on its Board of Adjustment for almost as long, still meets for weekly breakfast with a local group of former Eastern pilots and their wives, including Tom and Eileen Mast of Delaware Township, Bob and Barbara Burgard of West Amwell Township, Robert and Barbara Herder of Raritan Township and Larry and Gretchen Link of Flemington.

He seems perplexed at the idea of retiring. "I've been doing this for so long, it's just something I keep doing," he said. "And I saw some beautiful sunsets the past few weeks."


EVERGREEN, Colo. - David Charles Hill, 67, of Evergreen, Colorado, passed away on Friday, December 16, 2016. David grew up in Dover, N.H. and moved to Evergreen, Colorado, in 2004.

He is survived by his wife, Penny Hill (Raney), his three children, Kristen, Joshua and Robbie Hill, of Colorado, and his brother, Michael Hill, of Berwick, Maine. He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Lois Hill (Pinkham) and his brother, John Hill, of Berwick, Maine.

Penny and family and their crew are having a Pizza and Salad Dinner at Dave's home on Friday evening (March 3) about 7:00 P.M. for all Piedmont, US Airways and AA friends who are coming out for the memorial. Everyone except management and the media are invited. They have been asked NOT to attend. This would be very upsetting to Penny and our crew.  We do hope some will be able to attend.  If you are planning to come, could you please let me know...thanks, Sylvia Loflin Baird [email protected](336)803-5066, 609 Old Mill Road High Point, NC. 27265

SERVICES: A celebration of David's life will be held at Christ the King Church, Evergreen, Colorado, on March 4, at 10 a.m., with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in David's memory be made to Air Passenger and Passenger Health Research: Toxic Oil at - See more at:

This tragic story was forwarded to me by Colleen Fields

-Bill Kingston

It is with a sad heart that I advise you that Captain David Hill aka “Mouse” took his life this weekend. David was hired by Piedmont March 9, 1981 starting in ORF. 

B767 Aircraft, number 251, had eleven incidents of TCP exposure prior to the event on  Jan 10, 2010. David was the Captain, Mickey Fowler F/O, Sylvia Loflin Baird was one of the Flight Attendants when they were exposed to oil fumes during flight on that aircraft. The entire crew was taken off on stretchers. 

He and the First Officer lost their licenses due to chronic health issues from the exposure. Most of the flight crew never flew again either. Captain Hill was denied Workers' Compensation from the company twice which had a major impact on his well-being, health care and family finances. The pain of losing one's career and health became too much for him to bear so he ended his life. The you-tube video was November 22, 2016. Further info on:

Please remember his family during this tragic time Cards may be sent to:
  Penny Hill
26315 Sweetbriar Trail
Evergreen, CO 80439


Former EAL Captain Patrick Glenn passed away at the age of 93 on January 26. 2017. He was born in Paducah, Kentucky on October 14, 1923 to Ruth and James H. Ware, and attended grade school and high school in Metropolis and Herrin, IL. He and his beloved wife Fran of 58 years, moved to Hinsdale to raise their family in 1959. Frances Glen preceded his death and passed in 2010.  He remained a resident of Hinsdale for nearly 60 years until his passing.

His Eastern years (1946-1983) were some of his very best memories. He was first based out of MIA, then MDW, then ORD for many years. Just before retirement when he was flying the new A300's, he was based out of NY for two years.

“Pat” as he was known to family and friends, began his career in the Naval Air Corps where he was a fighter pilot and flight trainer during WW2. Although he had planned on a navy career, he was persuaded by an Eastern Airlines recruiter to accept a job as a commercial pilot instead. He started flying with Eastern on his 23rd birthday (straight out of the Navy). However, a true patriot, he continued to fly one weekend a month in the Navy Reserves for his first 15 years with Eastern.

He flew for Eastern Airlines for 37 years, logging tens of thousands of hours of flight time, and millions of miles. He was initially based in Miami, but spent the majority of his career in Chicago (Midway then O’Hare), with a brief stint in NY.  He quickly moved up the ranks at Eastern and was promoted to Captain. Over the course of his career he was licensed to fly 24 different jet aircraft.  Pat flew his last flight on his 60th birthday (mandatory retirement at the time).

To this day, those who flew with “Captain Pat” still recall his kind easy-going nature and his quick-witted and entertaining sense of humor with his crews, passengers, and friends. Everyone who knew him from childhood until his recent passing described him as a “true gentleman.” Even in the last week of his life, the nurses who attended him repeatedly commented on how kind, gracious, appreciative, and gentlemanly he was with all of them.

Together with his wife, he was a lifelong gardener and served as the Treasurer of the Western Chicagoland Rose Society. He took great joy in their extensive and much-loved gardens. He was also long-time supporter of the First United Methodist Church of Hinsdale. 

He is survived by his two daughters Renee Glenn of Nevada City, CA and Brenda Strom of Alexandria, VA; his cousin Jane Randolf of Dekalb, IL, and his loving caregiver and “adopted daughter,” Adrienne Staron of Countryside, IL. Services were held at the Adolf Funeral Home 7000 S. Madison St. Willowbrook. Interment at Oak Brook, IL.

If you knew him, or know any of his friends, Renee Glenn is asking to please spread the word.  She knows he would want her to say thank you to all of you for the wonderful years he spent working with many of you.

Renee Glenn and the family sends their thanks to the wonderful Eastern family. Even after all these years, the bonds are still amazing.

Howard Meuche, Director of Business Division for the EAL Radio Show Broadcast passed away, January 5, 2016. Howard was well-known to all of the Eastern Airline Listeners as one of their Host as well as being the best friend of the Producer, Captain Everett Neal Holland. Howard has been a dear friend to the Hosts of the EAL Radio Show and will surely be missed by all of the Eastern family.

Howard was the President of Universal Scientific, which is one of the largest manufacturers of printed circuit boards in the mid-west. He has an exceptional background and for the past 18 years Howard used his impressive background and the advantages it offered, and was instrumental in the sale of over 100 small and large businesses. In addition, Howard also performed appraisals for small Midwestern banks involving loan qualifications.


Howard graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute with a Chemical Engineering degree and later received a Masters of Sciences Degree from Seton Hall University in Business Management.


He has held various top management positions, including companies that manufacture electronic products ranging from radio tubes and relays to printed circuit boards used in many products.


Howard is an inventor and has some 12 patents to his credit and has written various technical papers for the institute of Printed Circuits. He is retired, devoting his time to charitable work, along with his hobbies of fishing and writing short stores.

Howard’s latest book is “All The Stories 4” (From Here and There) which is a potpourri of stories written over a period of time about the places Howard and his wife, Lou, have been, as well as situations that Howard found himself in during his travels. There are a few autobiographical stories about growing up and stories about family situations, as well as some about individuals that Howard has known. It also encompasses quite a few stories about his unique business experiences.

Howard resided until his death, with his wife Lou, and their cat, Maxi; in a Retirement Community in Jacksonville, FL.

Samuel L. Higginbottom,

 Former President and CEO of Eastern Airlines

 (Courtesy of Jana Higginbottom) By Chabeli Herrera ([email protected])


Samuel L. Higginbottom, former President of Eastern Airlines came to realize the world was slowly becoming one, each country dependent on each other.


His son, S. L. Higginbottom, Jr. said “As President, COO and Director of Eastern Airlines in the 1960s and 1970s, Higginbottom strove to hire applicants based on merits, not skin color or country of origin”, and Higginbottom also said, “That’s the way the world would be in the future,”   Jana Higginbottom, his wife who still has hints of her Brazilian heritage when she speaks English, said, “The funny thing is that my husband, would never ever once correct my English...he was so amazing”.


An Ohio native, Higginbottom came to Miami in the mid-1960s to work for EAL, then a dominant name in air travel. Higginbottom enrolled in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and received a Bronze Star for his service. He attended Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and become Sr. VP of Engineering/Maintenance at TWA. “His passion wasn’t flying and aviation as much as it was business”, said Jana.   A 1991 Miami Herald article written by Editor, Larry Birger stated that Higginbottom’s contributions to EAL were highlighted in just those terms: “Samuel Higginbottom was responsible in part for major expansions of the Engine Service Center during the 1960s when he persuaded the airline to do maintenance on jet engines for customers other than Eastern”.


Higginbottom in 1974, after three years as President for Eastern, went on to become the Chairman/CEO of Rolls-Royce Inc... Higginbottom was named an Honorary Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, for his contributions to the industry and his work with Rolls-Royce. He retired from Rolls-Royce in 1986 and settled in Miami, where he met and married Jana Higginbottom in 1998, following the death of his wife of nearly 50 years, Fair, from Alzheimer’s. “He was brilliant,” said Jana Higginbottom.


Higginbottom remained involved in the business world after retirement and served on HEICO’s Board of Directors since December 1989, until the time of his death. Higginbottom was also on the Board of British Aerospace Holdings and served as a Director of the First National Bank of Miami, now part of Wells Fargo, and AmeriFirst Bank. He served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens. “His insight into business, world affairs, education and people were legendary and I counted on him for his wise counsel over the course of several decades,” said Laurans Mendelson, HEICO’s Chairman and CEO. “He was a key leader and developer of the U.S. aviation and airline industries where he helped usher in the Jet Age.”   Among his other interests, said wife Jana, were fishing, cooking, tennis, golf, and most of all, cars. He had almost 100 cars throughout his life. “We would always tease him; he was trying to match his age with the number of cars” Jana Higginbottom said. “He was short two or three cars to 95.” His last one: a BMW 7 series.


Samuel Higgenbottom in nearly a century of life, died November 15, 2016 at age 95, and services were held in Palmetto Bay. Donations can be made to Columbia University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

Ronald G. Correard Memorial


Ron's passion for flight began at an early age and stayed steadfast until the end. Ron credited his career in aviation to Arthur Godfrey's 1953 show, where at the age of 12, Ron saw Arthur Godfrey on a flight with Captain Eddie Rickenbacker flying a "Connie" Constellation. Ron to his delight in the 1960’s was part of the crew on that same aircraft with that "Connie" nose number.

When he began flying, he would fly to Portland, Maine and back before school, getting lobster. His 28-year career with Eastern Airlines began in March 1964 as a Flight Engineer, rising to the rank of Captain, and subsequently as an Instructor and Member of Eastern's Management team in Miami, Florida, with special expertise in safety. He flew numerous special missions while in management, including flights associated with Operation Desert Storm, and in cooperation with various Federal Agencies.

Once the operation of Eastern Airlines ceased in March 1991, he hired on with the FAA in September of 1991. He moved to Hillsboro, Oregon to become FAA Flight Inspector for an additional 12 yrs. Once he retired, he moved back to the sunny weather of Florida, into a community that he embraced. He enjoyed giving a helping hand to any of his neighbors whenever possible.

Throughout his life his family was an integral part, as he grew up in Staten Island, with his brother Lou and had three aunts and one uncle nearby. His father was a role model of hard work and dedication to his profession and his mother had a heart of gold. Ron met Carol Manning January 13, 1961 (Friday the 13th), in Miami Florida. They married September 12th, 1964, and moved to Connecticut where they raised their three children. There was a celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary in August 2014, while on a cruise with Carol, their children and grandchildren.

Ronald G. Correard left on his final flight to heaven on October 8, 2016. Ron is going to be deeply missed by his wife Carol and his family and also by anyone who got to know him and his stories and jokes.

Services and interment were held in Staten Island NY. Memorial donations may be sent to: Arthur M Godfrey Aviation Foundation Inc., Scholarship Fund, 1545 East Lake Parker Dr, Lakeland, FL 33801 in memory of Ron Correard and in support of a Student Aviation Scholarship to be given in his name, to further their young dreams as he was so fortunate to have been able to accomplish his dreams.


Jim Graybill was born in Mason County Kentucky in 1933 and all he ever wanted to do was to fly. He grew up in Shelbyville where he washed airplanes at the grass strip to earn money for flying lessons. He soloed at age 16 from Bluegrass Airport. After Shelbyville High School, he attended Parks College, University of St. Louis studying Aeronautical Engineering.

When he graduated from the University of Kentucky, with his BS in Aeronautical Engineering, he joined the United States Marine Corps, hoping to fly but fate intervened and Jim found himself training other Marines as a Drill Instructor at Paris Island, SC. This ability was something that was needed during the Korean Conflict and soon he found himself on the battlefield where he received a Purple Heart and a battlefield commission as Captain.

Once out of the military, Jim worked as a flight instructor at Dick Bomer's Flying Service on Bluegrass Field and Dick Mulloy's Kentucky Flying Service at Bowman Field in Louisville. An airline slot opened and Jim found himself working for Eastern Airlines starting in 1961. During his career Jim has logged more than 33,000 hours flying a variety of aircraft including the Martin-404; Convair CV-440; Lockheed L-188, L-1011, L-1049G; Douglas DC-7, DC-9; Boeing B-720, B-727, B-737, B-747, B-757, B-767; Gulfstream G-IV, G-IV SP, plus numerous light single and twin-engine aircraft. Jim is Captain rated on the Boeing B-727, B-757, B-767, DC-9, L-188. He is also an FAA Pilot Examiner and check airman on Boeing B-727, B-757, B-767 and Gulfstream G-IV.

Jim retired from Eastern Air Lines in 1989, after the strike, and continued to work as a pilot in Amsterdam flying a B-757 for Air Holland. Back to the states, he joined FlightSafety Incorporated, Savannah, GA, and American Trans Air Airlines in Minneapolis, MN. Jim has written recurrent pilot examination guides for all G-IV instructors, examiners and check airmen. He participated in writing the syllabus for initial and recurrent G-IV students.

His ratings include Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, Airplane Multi-engine Land. Instructor ratings: CFI, CFII, MEI; Type Ratings: L-188, B-727, B-757, B-767, DC-9, and G-IV. FE Certificate: Reciprocating Engine Powered Aircraft, Turbo-prop and Turbo-jet Powered Aircraft; Commercial Pilot Privileges: Airplane, Single-engine Land. He attended classes at NASA in Cockpit Resource Management.

In January 2006 he retired from FlightSafety International, Savannah, GA and returned to Kentucky with his wife, Beverlee. He is an active volunteer with the Aviation Museum of Kentucky as a docent. He is also an avid collector of Eastern Airlines memorabilia. His house is literally a museum honoring the once proud airline.

Captain James "Jim" Graybill

We just received the below information on Funeral Services for Captain Jim Graybill from Mrs. Beverlee Graybill, his widow...


Jim Holder



The funeral service for Captain James L. Graybill, who died March 8, 2016, will be held on April 8, 2016.


The service and burial will be at 11:00 am that day in the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA. You can Google the cemetery for driving directions. We are asked to arrive at 10:30 to assemble our group.


Jim and I would be so proud to have Jim's Eastern pilots and others who loved Eastern Airlines as much as he did attend this short ceremony. It will be with full military honors provided by The Department of Georgia Marine Corps League.


Jim's stepson, Major John Andrew Forrest (ret), is in charge of all of the funeral preparations - the cremation, obtaining the wooden urn that looks like the box Jim made for the Graybill family bible and it is a fitting resting place for his remains.


John Forrest is my only child and he has been a great help to me in this sad time. Victoria-Lynn Amanda Forrest, my granddaughter and John Andrew Forrest, Jr. my grandson will be here to honor their Step Grandfather, the only Grandpa they have ever known. And there was great love shared with them.


Thank you for sending this message out to the Eastern Members.


You can reply to me, Beverlee Graybill, wife, at [email protected] or call me at 678-909-5549.

Mr Floyd Hall passes away

It is with sadness to report that Floyd Hall passed away yesterday. Right to the end, he had great recall of events and people involved in matters Eastern. I was last with him Sunday. As he faded in and out of sleep, he apologized for not having a good day, yet he was animated when speaking about some of his old colleagues.

He had a great love for the Eastern Airlines family saying on more than one occasion that his years with Eastern were the best of his career.

May he rest in peace. 

Paul Bousquet