Subject: William L. (Bill) Hirsch Flew West 09-25-1947 - 12-13-2020


To all that knew Bill Hirsch: we received news today that Bill passed this morning. He was in the hospital for weeks and made his final flight, He will be missed. The following is the funeral information :

                                                                             NF WALKER MERRICK Funeral Home

                                                                             2039 MERRICK AVENUE

                                                                             MERRICK, NY. 11566

 Mike Scott, Former Eastern employee

On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 9:20:53 AM EST, Brian Basham <> wrote:

Good Morning Captain Holland,

My name is Brian Basham and I am the Grandson of Charles "Chuck" Basham who was a member (President in 1990) of the Retired Eastern Pilots Association. I was forwarded your contact info from Jerry Frost who said you would be a good contact to get in touch with. My Grandpa passed away in the early 2000's and I'm working on gathering/collecting memories, stories, memorabilia etc. to give to my dad (Scott Basham) for Christmas with anything involving my Grandpa's time as a pilot. 

Jerry recommended getting in touch with you to see if you might be able to do a segment on your show where people can check in and share their stories of their times with Chuck Basham. I'm open to all suggestions or ideas that you might have and I would love to be able to present my dad with some great memories or stories that other pilots had with my grandpa. It would mean the world to him.

My grandpa flew the DC-3 so I ordered a model airplane DC-3, had the National Air and Space Museum send us some information (hasn't arrived yet so not exactly sure what they sent), and I would love to finish off the package of everything with your show discussing it or whatever you see fitting.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration, Captain Holland, and I'm greatly looking forward to hearing from you soon!


Brian Basham

C. 407-782-6356

Merle Franklin Hescock, Jr. (“Bud”) Flew Into The Clouds!

Merle Franklin Hescock, Jr. (“Bud”) passed away Sunday, September 27 in Jacksonville, FL. He was 74 years old.

Bud was born on July 28, 1946 in Norwood, MA to Merle and Flora (Suriano) Hescock of Walpole, MA where Bud was brought up. As a young man, Bud became a sailor and honorably served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.

Bud went on to achieve a successful career after the war, as a commercial airline pilot and rising to the distinguished rank of International Captain. Aviation was his passion, and to him, there was “nothing like being in the clouds.” He retired from United Airlines in 2003 after 18 years of service.

Bud was known for his outgoing personality, infectious sense of humor and personal empathy for others. He was a committed servant to his church, Saint George Episcopal Church, and later found a loving community at Faith United Methodist Church. A philanthropic volunteer, Bud served in American Red Cross disaster relief efforts, including those for hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Ike. Bud also devoted his time as a guardian ad litem and drew satisfaction from service to his fellow man. Among other interests, Bud loved to cook. Every recipe was always “very simple.” He loved to garden, restore houses, play guitar, and follow the stock market. He loved being near the water. He was a mariner at heart and retired to a home on Little Marsh Island.

He was preceded in death by his two parents, who passed in 1994, and is survived by one brother and three adult children, James, Kimberly and Kristen. He was a hands-on Father for his children; an umpire for his son's little league baseball and a coach for his daughters' basketball teams. 

He will be deeply missed.

Obituary for Captain Harold "Hal" Nord Jr.

December 28, 1928 ~ July 20, 2019 (age 90)


CCaptain Harold "Hal" Nord Jr. passed away unexpectedly 07/20/19 at Viera Hospital. He was born 12/28/1928 in Manistee, MI; he was the son of Harold Nord Sr and Anna Nord.


Captain Nord was a graduate of Manistee HS; Michigan State University (BA) 1950; and Emory Riddle University (MBA) 1993. He served his country in the USAF beginning 1950 in active duty and concluding as a reservist when he retired with the rank of Major. Captain Nord's career as a pilot includes numerous citations and awards. He amassed over 33,000 hours of flight time without incident earning him the Orville and Wilbur Wright Award for excellence.


He belonged to numerous local, civic, and aviation groups. Some examples are the EAL Retired Pilots Association, Rotary Club and Quiet Birdman to name only a few. He flew into combat zones to bring soldiers home from Viet Nam during that war. As an Alaskan pilot he had an extraordinary history. During his career with Eastern Airlines he flew numerous aircraft from the Electra to the L1011. Captain Nord continued in retirement working in Presidential campaigns, civic events and aviation affairs. He is survived by his family: Fiancee, Audrey Spinney of Viera, Fl along with children Harold III in St Augustine, FL and Karen Nord in Santa Fe, NM


A service of remembrance will be held starting with a viewing at 10:00 am, July 25 at St Johns Church in Viera, FL; 5655 Stadium Parkway; Viera, FL 32940. Those who wish to remember Captain Nord in a special way may send gifts/flowers to St. Johns Evangelist Catholic Church, attn: Audrey Spinney at the Stadium Parkway address noted.

Eugene Joseph “Gene” Casadaban, 90, a resident of Norwood, LA, was retired after flying for Eastern Airlines 45 years. He was also one of the former Editors of the "Repartee" and a proud veteran of the United States Army. He was a beloved father and uncle. Gene passed away on Thursday, April 25, 2019.

There will be a visitation on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Jackson, LA from 10am until funeral mass at 11am. Burial will be in Eastern Star Cemetery.

He is survived by his daughter, Roxanne René Casadaban Thornton and her husband Kenneth A Thornton of Baton Rouge, LA; two grandchildren, Travis Alexander Thornton and Derek Eugene Thornton; two great-grandchildren, Hannah Claire Thornton and William Alexander Thornton. He is also survived by his beloved dogs, Katie and Ben. He was preceded in death by his wife, Hazel Louise Quinn Casadaban; his father, Emile Reme Casadaban, his mother, Anita Rose Lassalle Casadaban and five siblings, Cyprian Emile Casadaban, John Adrian Casadaban, Marie Louise Casadaban Aherns, Anna May Margiotta and Anita Rose DeHarde.

Many heartfelt thank you’s to Baton Rouge Hospice for their much-needed help and care, Ollie Steele Burden Manor Nursing Facility for their wonderful care of my Dad and to Mrs. Shenika Johnson and her staff
Dennis Paul Cholley
January 4, 1935 ~ January 31, 2019 (age 84)

Dennis “Denny” Cholley, 84, passed away on Thursday, January 31, 2019. He was born in Louisville , Ohio on January 4, 1935 to parents Paul Joseph and Kathryn Cholley. After graduating high school, he served in the US Air Force. While stationed in Germany he and his late wife Peggy started their family with their first child. After he was honorably discharged, he moved to Georgia where he was a flight instructor at Griffin airport and ran a small farm.

After having 2 more kids, he then took a job with Eastern Airlines as a commercial pilot and relocated his now family of 5 to Miami, Florida. They would go the Florida Keys every weekend to go boating, fishing, etc., until he finally packed them up to move there permanently. He would commute to Miami airport but said the fishing and lifestyle were well worth the drive. He was employed with Eastern Airlines and Kiwi Airlines a total of 41 years. As if commercial flying and raising a family didn’t keep him busy enough, Denny ran two charter boats and an auto repair shop in Key Largo, Florida. After spending over 40 years in the Keys, he moved to Kissimmee to be closer to his granddaughters, at Peggy’s request of course!

Denny’s passions included flying, fishing on his boat, and brewing his own homemade beer. Recently, he began raising his beautiful Monarch butterflies. He was an avid reader, philosopher, and a bit of a philanthropist. He was a generous man, donating to over 20 charities/organizations each month. He kept very busy as a member of the Audubon Society, ACLU, North American Fishing Club, Silver Falcons, and he was a volunteer tax preparer with AARP.

Denny is survived by his son Kurt Cholley, daughter Krista Kelly, granddaughters Jessica Livengood (Josh) and Alexis Neusch, and siblings, Lynn Cleveland, Tami Reed, and Ronny Cholley. He is predeceased by his wife Peggy of 60 years, and his son Kelley who was tragically killed in 1980. He will be so missed by the many who loved him; he was simply called by his son (Kelley) and the great love of his life (Peggy). “The beautiful irony is that our loss is another’s reunion.”

A Celebration of Life will be held at Conrad & Thompson Funeral Home at 511 W Emmett Street, Kissimmee, FL on March 9th, 2019 at 6pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society.

The Cholley family is being cared for by: CONRAD & THOMPSON FUENRAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICES, 511 Emmett Street, Kissimmee, Florida 34741; 407-847-3188.



On December 19, 2018, Eastern Airlines Retired Association (EARA) lost a devoted leader, dedicated co-worker, and faithful friend.  Our Vice-President, Vito Louis Borrelli, passed away unexpectedly from a very aggressive form of cancer which robbed him from us within weeks of his diagnosis. He was 93 years old.

Vito’s life revolved around his family. Not a day went by when he was at the EARA office that he found an excuse to tell a story or anecdote about one of his children or grandchildren. With Marie, his wife and partner of 67 years, Vito raised three children: Margaret, Phyllis, and Louis who blessed them with eight grandchildren: David, Melissa, Christina, Michelle, Megan, Rudy, Jeffrey and Andrew and four great-grandchildren: Kaylee, McKenna, Claire, Eleanor plus two on the way. A proud Italian who enjoyed savoring Marie’s Italian cooking, Vito’s happiest moments were spent at family reunions and get-togethers. 



Vito was an active member and usher at St. Mark Catholic Church as well as a member of his local chapter of the Knights of Columbus. He lived his faith every day of his life and was always ready to lend a hand to anyone, in particular to members of EARA and its volunteers. There was a good atmosphere in the EARA office when Vito came in to work.  His door was always open and he spoke to you with a smile on his face.



Vito began his career at Eastern Airlines in 1967 in Miami, FL as an Electrical Journeyman. He received several promotions during his years at Eastern to the positions of Foreman and Supervisor, eventually becoming Manager of the MIA Facility and being elected to the Eastern Airlines Hall of Fame in 1986.



Vito served proudly during WWII. He was buried with Military Honors at the South Florida VA National Cemetery located in Lake Worth, FL. Two of our EARA Directors, Bob Murphy and Al Sasiadek, who are also veterans, participated in the ceremony.


Miami International Airport, in partnership with Honor Flight South Florida and Eastern Air Lines, hosted its first-ever Honor Flight for more than 60 World War II and Korean War veterans. After departing MIA Saturday morning on EA Flight #1941 (named after the first year of World War II), the group of veterans and their escorts, referred to as “Guardians”, received tours of the World War II Memorial and other military sites in our nation’s capital.  On October 17, 2015, Eastern Airlines once again provided transportation for another Honor Flight from FLL and Vito was there escorted by his daughter Phyllis. As Vito commented later, “I felt like an Ambassador for Eastern on the flight”.  EARA, the Eastern Airlines Retirees Association, was founded by John DeRose who approached Vito to join EARA in 1981. In 1991, Vito was elected Vice-President; but upon the sudden death of Mr. DeRose in 1996, Vito became President and held that position until 2001. With the help of Roland Moore, he negotiated a lease for the EARA office which is located in the former EAL Employees Federal Credit Union on NW 36 St in Miami across from what was the Eastern Airlines MIA Base and Headquarters. Vito’s goal was always to continue John DeRose’s promise to keep EARA open for EAL retirees and, with the support of dedicated EARA volunteers like Dick Strama and Pat Sorrentino who both also served as President, he had carried on John DeRose’s legacy. Vito was serving another term as EARA Vice-President at the time of his passing.



If you’ve had the opportunity to fly or take tours at an airline employee discount, you can thank Vito for it. Benefits for EARA members was one of Vito’s most enjoyable and proudest duty. He attended Pass Bureau Conferences and worked hard to obtain all the airline discounts and other benefits that Eastern Airlines retirees who are members of EARA currently have. All the EARA members need to do is check the centerfold of their most recent KIT issue and pack their bags.



On Friday, December 19, 2014, the Eastern logo and the hockey stick in Caribbean over Ionosphere Blues was seen in the skies of MIA again and Vito was there. He was available for Ed Wegel with whatever information and in whatever capacity he could, to help Ed Wegel achieve his dream of seeing Eastern fly again. The ceremony of the B737-800 Spirit of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker took place at the Landmark FBO in Miami Springs, FL and Vito was there, along with a group of EARA members and volunteers.



Vito was instrumental every year in putting together a successful EARA Picnic and helped the EARA members in charge, usually Pat Sorentino, and other EARA volunteers.  He and Marie were usually the first to arrive in order to set-up and to work the Welcome/Check-in Table. In addition, Vito procured passes and gifts to raffle at the Picnic.  A grand time was always had by all that attended.



The Wings of Man: The Story of Eastern Airlines as Told by Its People” is a collection of stories written by the employees of Eastern Airlines: the pilots, the flight attendants, the station managers and other staff who helped make Eastern truly the “Wings of Man”. Vito had his hand here, too. With the help of Roland Moore, Vito put together a book of stories obtained from employees.   


Vito, with the help of Roland Moore, was instrumental in securing, preserving and procuring a location for the cataloguing and storage of Eastern records and Memorabilia. The first location was at the Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where students of Aviation History meticulously sorted and catalogued everything that Vito and Roland were able to obtain, including donations from by former EAL employees and retirees. The Vito-Roland duo have followed the EAL Memorabilia to the University of Miami’s Eastern Airlines Archive and to its current location at MIA’s new Hall of Aviation in partnership with HistoryMiami Museum which unveiled it’s “A Century of Flight: The Story of Aviation in Miami” exhibit on March 23rd, 2019 in the South Terminal, International Greeter’s Lobby.



The October 2015 Eastern Pioneer Reunion & Celebration: The Old Eastern Meets The New Eastern took place at The Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Vito was there. Vito worked together with the EAL Radio Show with raffle donations and recruited EARA volunteers. It was at this Reunion that attendees were able to see and hear Ed Wegel speak about his plans for the future of the New Eastern.



Spread Your Wings, Dear Friend. We love you and will never forget you or all your contributions to your family, our country, our beloved Eastern and EARA. Say hello to Eddie and please look over us from up above. Guide us in spirit so Eastern will never die and, as was your wish and is ours as well, may one day truly come back again! Donations may be made in Vito’s memory to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Hollywood, Florida.

From: Everett Holland
To: Dorothy Gagnon; Jim Holder; Chuck Allbright; George Jehn; Normajean Borger; Don Gagnon; Mike Scott; Jerry
Subject: Fw: Vito
Date: Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:05:18 PM
Sent----- Forwarded Message -----

From: Everett Holland <>
To: zall.michael
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2018, 10:46:06 AM EST
Subject: Vito Borrelli


We, at the EAL Radio Show, are saddened to learn of Vito's passing. He was a giant among the EAL groups.

The radio show was so honored to have recognized Vito and his contributions to the Eastern Legacy a few years ago in Ft Lauderdale. He seemed so at home with his Eastern friends.

Please pass our deepest sympathy to his wife and family. We will miss him greatly. Neal Holland and all of the hosts at the Eastern Airlines Radio Show.

Neal Holland and the EAL Radio Show Team

Memorial Of  T, Gina Rose - - Tragedy in Parkland
The Daughter of A United Airlines' Captain, Tony Montalto

A pilot lost his daughter in the Parkland shooting and over 100 colleagues came to her funeral.


(CNN) — In a Parkland father's moment of darkness, over 100 colleagues stood by his side to ensure he knows he is not alone. United Airlines Captain Tony Montalto and his family held a funeral for their daughter, Gina Rose, on Tuesday at Mary Help of Christians Church in Parkland. Employees from multiple divisions of United, JetBlue, Spirit, American Airlines and FedEx attended to honor the young girl's life.Lined up together in uniform, the pilots created an image of true solidarity. "This is a beautiful example of how the United family supports one another," said United Airlines spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin. The heartwarming moment was captured by United Captain Dan Petrovich, who works alongside Gina's father. "(There were) no specific plans for what we did; it just happened out of love and respect for the suffering of a member of our United and aviation family," he told CNN.

Fourteen-year-old Gina was a member of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's winter guard on the marching band. She was described as sweet and artistic by those who were close to her. The Winter Guard International mourned her death Thursday, saying, "Unfortunately, one of the victims in yesterday's St. Valentine's Day Massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was a member of the school's winter guard.

"No student should ever go to school afraid," the group said.

One of her middle school color guard instructors told The Miami Herald that Gina "was the sweetest soul ever."
"My heart is broken into pieces. I will forever remember you, my sweet angel," Manuel Miranda told the paper.
Shawn Sherlock, Gina's aunt, posted a tribute on Facebook, describing her niece as a gifted artist."I know somewhere in the heavens she's designing the latest and greatest trends and has her art book she always carried with her as well," she wrote.

Letters Released on The EAL Radio Show Program
 Monday Evening, February 12, 2018, Episode 352
Swift Air Donation of Memorabilia
James E. Hartley Plaque & Captain Eddie Fountain
(Edward Vernon Rickenbacker)

Hijacking of Flight 1320 from The REAL World, Fall 2014 magazine

Request on Behalf of Captains Robert Wilbur Jr. and Charles White,
Recipients of The Daedalian Trophy

We request any one that may know where the Daedalian Trophies mkay be, that were given to the Recipients as Awards and dedicated in the Eastern Miami Training Center that disappeared at the closing of the Eastern Facility, please let us know. Both of these families would be honored to get their Trophy back; Captain Robert Wilbur Jr. and Captain Charles White (who got his award posthumously).

Please contact us so we can follow through on behalf of their families to locate these precious Awards. We thank you for any assistance that you may be able to give us and appreciate your help.

©Captain Charles White, Flight 853 Hijacking, Houston, TX

©Captain Charles White,
Flight 853 Hijacking, Houston TX

By Jack Sanders, The Ridgefield (Conn.) Press.

(Jack spent many hours researching and writing this article and we want to ensure we credit the writing to Jack. Thank you, Jack)

An Eastern Airlines Constellation Flight 853 loading at Logan Airport in Boston. The doomed ‘Connie’ had taken off from Logan and was heading to Newark when it collided with a jet airliner over South Salem. — High Sierra Spotters

The field in North Salem shows the scars from the crash landing as well as the wreckage at upper left. Notice that the field is on a hillside, an upward slope for the landing airliner. Firefighters appear ghostly beside the burned wreckage of the Eastern Airlines Constellation that crashed in nearby North Salem 50 years ago this week. — Syd Greenberg photo, via Rich Remsberg Image Research

Airliner crashes and burns, but most on board survive

The mid-air collision of two airliners 50 years ago tomorrow was tragic for some — including the pilot, who was later hailed as a hero. For most, however, the end of Eastern Airline Flight 853 was miraculous.Late in the afternoon of Dec. 4, 1965, a TWA Boeing 707 jetliner, on its way from San Francisco to Kennedy Airport, collided with an Eastern Airlines Super Constellation Flight 853 on a flight from Boston to Newark. The crash occurred over South Salem, slicing 25 feet off one wing of the jetliner and much of the tail off the Constellation, and raining pieces of aircraft over Lewisboro and eventually Ridgefield.Both planes went into a dive, but both flight crews managed to wrestle control of their aircraft. Despite its damage, the TWA jet limped to a safe landing at Kennedy. The Eastern “Connie” was not so lucky.

The Constellation was critically damaged, unable to be steered in traditional ways. However, Captain Charles J. White found that by adjusting the throttles of the four prop engines, he could maintain some control of direction and elevation. He turned the plane northeastward toward Danbury, perhaps thinking of heading to Danbury Airport. The plane flew over western Ridgefield, still dropping parts from the collision, passed over Lake Mamanasco, and turned westward toward a large field on Fox Lane Farm, just south of Route 116, about 300 yards across the Ridgefield line in North Salem. Keeping his plane’s nose up and wheels retracted, Capt. White pancaked the 55-ton Constellation into an upward-sloping field of Hunt Mountain. As the airliner slid along, the left wing struck a tree, shearing it off and causing the aircraft to burst into flames. Only four of the 53 passengers and crew were killed — one of them was Capt. White, who succumbed to smoke inhalation while trying to get the last passenger out of the cabin.

 Like a bomb

“It was like watching a dreadful movie and not being able to do anything,” said Will Johnson of nearby Hobby Drive. Johnson had heard the plane’s engines whining and stalling as the pilot struggled to control the aircraft, and was watching as the plane came down. “It sounded like a bomb going off, an orange-colored blast,” he told The Press. Johnson — a cartoonist who drew for the famous comic strip Nancy — was the first to call police reporting the crash. Ridgefield Police and Fire Departments were the first emergency personnel to arrive. In the following two hours, scores of fire trucks and ambulances from towns miles away responded — many more than were needed. They were joined by at least six helicopters from various agencies. Passengers and crew were evacuated to many area hospitals, but most to Danbury, the nearest. Spectators, too, clogged roadways for days, creating huge traffic jams. Some people even managed to picnic on grounds overlooking the crash site. One of the first people on the scene was Marion Rikert of Ridgebury Road, who was visiting a neighbor when she witnessed the plane coming down. After calling the fire department, she sped to the scene to assist. She helped bring many victims to a horse barn at the Fox Lane Farm. ,“I was surprised at how calm and efficient everyone was,” she told The Press afterward. Rikert witnessed unusual reactions of crash victims.

Many passengers wanted to know where they were and some were so insistent that she had to show them a map with North Salem on it. “They seemed relieved,” she said. “They had found some connection and seemed satisfied that they knew where they were.” One man was concerned about making it to his house in New Jersey and, despite the chaos of the crash scene, kept asking others how he would get home. A woman was worried about the mink coat she was wearing when the plane crashed, but which had somehow gotten lost. “She wasn’t about to leave until she found that coat,” Mrs. Rikert said. Someone retrieved it from the ground near the fuselage. Another victim took a dog into her arms, held it, and just cried, Rikert said. Though he had been burned and otherwise injured in the crash, a priest who’d been a passenger moved among the victims, administering last rites to some and consoling others. Nearly 50 years later, Jim McGinnis recalled what it was like aboard the doomed plane. He was a 20-year-old Army private on his way home to New Jersey on leave. “The aircraft started to do all kinds of gyrations,” he told The Journal News of Westchester in 2014. “You could hear the engines revving and revving. We hit the ground, not knowing if we had wheels or anything. We just scraped, you could hear all the scraping, the friction. Then, after what seemed a tremendously long time … the aircraft stopped. And I looked around like, ‘Wow.’ I went for my hat under the seat and all I could feel was dirt.” It was another Army private whom Capt. White was trying to help. The soldier’s seat belt was stuck. Both were overcome by the smoke, and both died.

 Extraordinary courage

In 1965, Dick Aarons, a young reporter specializing in aviation for The Philadelphia Daily News, was sent to cover the crash. Aarons, who is still an aeronautical journalist, now lives in Ridgefield and volunteers for the town as an emergency coordinator. Like many others, he was impressed with Capt. White and the crew of the Eastern airliner. “Thanks to the extraordinary skills and courage of the Constellation crew, 50 people survived that accident, and except for Capt. White’s selflessness, it would have been 51,” Aarons said. White, he added, demonstrated airmanship that “would inspire a generation of young pilots toward excellence.” Aarons explained in a 2004 magazine article that after the collision, “there was no response from the controls or trim tabs, but the crew discovered through trial and error that some degree of control was available by adjusting the throttles. The aircraft descended through solid clouds and recovery was made below the clouds by use of the throttles only. Then, several zooms were made back into the clouds as the pilots attempted to gain control over their airplane.”

Capt. White and First Officer Roger I. Holt Jr., 34, found they could maintain limited control by adjusting the power, but the aircraft was still descending at 500 feet per minute. “It was apparent to the crew that their airplane was mortally wounded and that they needed to find someplace to put it down.” The landscape below was mostly wooded, and the few fields were barely big enough to handle a single-engine plane; there was no way a four-engine Super Constellation with a 123-foot wingspan could land. “Capt. White told passengers the aircraft was definitely out of control and that a crash landing would be made,” Aarons said. “He advised everyone to remove sharp objects from their pockets and to fasten their seat belts tightly.” As the plane headed north over Ridgefield, Capt. White spotted the sizable pasture on Hunt Mountain. “He aligned the aircraft using asymmetric thrust, told passengers to ‘brace yourselves’ and descended into the up-sloping hillside with wheels and flaps retracted. At the last moment, White jammed the throttles forward, pitching the nose up, allowing the Connie to pancake into the 15% slope.” The plane skidded 700 feet before coming to rest, one wing broken off and the fuselage in three pieces.The fact that White was able to fly the aircraft without controls and then maneuver the plane so the nose was aiming upward in line with the hillside, Aarons said, was “a remarkable feat of airmanship.” White was later laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, close to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; he had been a major in the U.S. Air Force.

The cause?

What caused the two airplanes, with experienced flight crews, to collide? Investigators found nothing malfunctioning with either aircraft and that both had been flying at their assigned altitudes — 10,000 feet for the Constellation and 11,000 for the Boeing jet. Federal investigators eventually determined that an optical illusion, due to an “up-slope effect of cloud tops,” caused the Eastern crew to misjudge the elevation of the TWA jet. While the two planes were in fact 1,000 feet apart in elevation, they seemed to be at the same level because of the cloud formations. As Aarons described the event, “First Officer Holt looked out his right window. The Connie was flying into the sun and ducking in and out of a ‘fluffy’ cloud deck with tops about 300 feet above the airplane’s flight level. “Suddenly, as the Connie emerged from a cloud puff, Holt saw the TWA Boeing in his right side window at the 2 o’clock position. The aircraft appeared to be converging rapidly and at the same altitude. Holt shouted, ‘Look out,’ placed his hands on the control wheel and made a very rapid application of up elevator simultaneously with the captain. Crew members and passengers were pulled down into their seats.” The crew of the TWA jet then spotted the Eastern airliner “on what appeared to be a collision course.” The jet’s captain and copilot performed evasive maneuvers, but the left wing of the jet clipped the triple-tail of the Constellation. Aarons noted that the accident was among several that ultimately led to changes in spacing of aircraft near busy aviation centers, improved air traffic control radar, and better onboard equipment for reporting altitude.

Odd coincidences

The accident included two odd Ridgefield coincidences.The heroic Capt. White was the brother of Elsa Caddell of Catoonah Street. Her husband, Loren, had been president of the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, which had been among the first emergency personnel on the scene. (The Caddells, incidentally, were in the news 10 years later when their 43-pound house cat, named Spice, made the Guinness Book of Records.) One of the passengers in the crashed plane was Aleta D. Styers of Niles, Mich., who was flying east to visit Ridgefield friends who lived on West Mountain Road — less than two miles from where the plane crashed. After she was treated at the scene, Styers called her friends and asked them to pick her up in North Salem, 50 miles north of where she was supposed to have landed.

From: Stephen Brillaud
Date: February 10, 2018 at 7:38:09 PM EST
To: Bob Senderoff
Subject: Re: Arrangements

Albert Etienne Brillaud, Age 91 of Port Orange, Florida peacefully entered into rest on Sunday, February 4, 2018. He was beloved husband for over 65 years to Mary Molloy Brillaud.

Al was born and raised in Manhattan, New York on December 19, 1926, son of the late Etienne and Agnes Brillaud. Al served his country as an aircraft mechanic in the Unites States Army Air Corp and was a pilot for Eastern Airlines until his retirement in 1986. Mr. Brillaud was a passionate aviator, and spent much of his spare time working on airplanes for himself and friends.He was a lifetime member of Knights of Columbus, a Key man and Governor for the Long Island chapter of the Quiet Birdmen Association and served as President for multiple years, for the Eastern Airline Retirement Society.

Al lived with his wife Mary in Massapequa Park, New York for over 50 years where together they raised their seven children. He was the dedicated and loving father of Stephen Brillaud ,from Germantown TN, Mary Ann Brillaud-DiMarco of Shelton, CT, Jeanne Theisen of East Patchogue, NY, Theresa Healey of East Patchogue, NY, Patricia Junge East Patchogue, NY, Richard Brillaud of Nesconset, NY and Margaret James of East Patchogue, NY.

He leaves behind twenty-four cherished grandchildren, Renee, Danny, Michael, Christopher, Patrick, Katie, Allison, Michelle, Mary Elizabeth, Brian, Matthew, Robbie, Nicole, Tarajean, Anna, Dougie, Jack, Max, Liam, Bridget, Timmy, Valerie, Megan and Erin and three great grandchildren, Karina, Brooklynn and Robbie.He is survived by his brother Andre Brillaud of Wilmington North Carolina as well as many nieces and nephews.He has slipped the surly bonds of earth and dances the skies on laughter-silvered wings. He has put out his hand and touched the face of God.
Donations in lieu of flowers are requested to the New York Fire Fighters Burn Center Foundation, 16 Revillo Road, Bayville NY 11709. In honor of Albert E Brillaud, the father in law of the Late Lt Michael Healey, who perished on 9/11/2001

Friends are invited to attend a mass of Christian Burial on February 17th at 10:00 a.m. St. Joseph the Worker, 510 Narragansett Ave, East Patchogue, NY 11772

On Feb 10, 2018, at 1:32 PM, Bob Senderoff wrote:

Update on the Eastern 401 Memorial Location Set - Funding Page Live

The city of Miami Springs has donated land on which a memorial marker can finally be placed for Eastern Flight 401.  A page to accept donations is live at: Donations to this go to the non profit Air Disaster Foundation, which is collecting funds to pay on the behalf of the Eastern 401 Memorial. Photos are live on the site as well. Please feel free to pass this along to any interested parties. Be well, The Eastern 401 Family.

Watch this video from Ron Infantino, one of the surviving passengers discuss the crash.

December 29, 2017 -  The EAL Radio Show Special Program Honored The 45th Anniversary of Flight 401 on December 29, 1972

Click here to take you to the full story written by the Elders:

Go to the hyperlink on our website under Eastern Aircraft Incidents relaying article:

Bryon Mayo, January 28, 2018

RE: Flight 401 Memorial

Thank you for the adding to the group! I would really like to know how I can help/contribute to memorial that is being built. I think it’s so important that no one ever forget and most importantly have a place to visit. I’ve been to the ValuJet couple times and find it to be such a peaceful and comforting place to go. I really would like that for the family’s and loved ones to have and people as myself to just remember all the wonderful people who are no longer with us on this beautiful earth but show are appreciation for the sacrifices that we’re made and to the all great rescue personal.

To: Jim Hirschman, Ron Infantino, et al
Subject: Re: 45th Anniversary of Eastern Flight 401
Date: Monday, January 08, 2018 8:30:36 AM

Dear Jim, Eastern Family and Friends of Eastern Airlines,

Our Thanks to All of You!

We are so thankful to have the Eastern family and people like yourself who we consider part of our Eastern Family, to give honor on the special 45th Anniversary Memorial Broadcast that Captain Neal had on December 29, 2017. We truly appreciate all your letters and trust that we gave back in some way by having this Memorial Program in honor of such a tragedy that day. We thank Captain Neal also for giving us the time and effort to show our respects and to honor those that died that day, and to those who survived with memories of that day.

The first respondents and volunteers are also in our thoughts and prayers for all you did to help in whatever way you could that cold night. Folks like you are never forgotten and will always have a place in our hearts for all you did and do daily. Yes the survivors, too, are to be loved and honored for preserving the memory of those who did not survive. More importantly to be honored, as Jim said "for lending mental and spiritual support to your group through all these years".

We thank you too, Jim along with the U.S. Air Force workers, local ambulance companies, Dr. Nagel and your paramedics for being a guardian to all on that flight 401. Thank you also for recapping some of the scene that night and we will indeed place this letter and all the notes we received on our website for our members to read. Our thanks to all of you once again for all you do to keep the memory alive and for being a part of our 45th Anniversary Tribute to Flight 401.

May God bless and keep all of you safe.

Dorothy Gagnon on Behalf of Captain Neal Holland
and the EAL Radio Show Hosts

Jim C. Hirschman MD  (ret. Miami and Coral Gables Fire Depts.)

Recent:  Subject: Re: 45th Anniversary of Eastern Flight 401
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2017 04:45:01 +0000 (UTC) 23:10, Friday night  12/29/2017.

 I just checked my email and found this series of messages.  You survivors are to be loved and honored for preserving the memory of those who did not survive that moonless, cold night. And you are to be honored yourselves for lending mental and spiritual support to your group through all these years.

Dr. Eugene Nagel and I were most bewildered when we got the phone call, late that evening, to respond, call up our recently minted lead rescue fire-fighters/ rescue men ( later to be titled "paramedics").  We went to the rendezvous at Opa Locka Airport, to be taken out to the crash site by the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. It was dark. The water was cold and the saw grass was, yes, like an edgy saw.. Anyhow we went to work. The story has been told before, and other than the medical aspects, I was astounded how many little pieces that  1011 had been broken into.. Oh, the cockpit, and parts of wings and tail could be made out, but, wow, even many of the seats were in shreds.

We were not the only volunteer rescue folks there to help you , The U.S. Air Force workers were there and local ambulance companies braved long one way dirt roads to help transport some easy to reach survivors back to civilization, and care. We four, Dr. Nagel and I and our paramedics stayed until the last living soul had been found and retrieved.

Nagel and I retrieved numbers of folks and got them loaded on helicopters. How many I didn't count. I rode with the last group in an helicopter which took us to the landing pad at Miami Mercy Hospital.   

God bless you all, once again on this anniversary, and forever more. 

Jim C. Hirschman MD  (ret. Miami and Coral Gables Fire Depts.)


From: "Pamela Villavicencio R."

Subject: Re: 45th Anniversary of Eastern Flight 401
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:53:57 -0500

Thank you, Peter. 

Pamela Villavicencio R."


Peter, 401 Eastern


As we close in on the final hours of December 29th - the last Friday of the year, as it was back in 1972 - our thoughts turn to Flight 401. Survivor Ron Infantino will be on television today in a syndicated program called Through the Decades.  This link shows the markets and channels we are in around the country. The program airs daily at 7a, 7p, and 10p ET.

Also, tonight The Eastern Airlines Radio Show (podcast) with retired captain Neal Holland will broadcast a tribute honoring the crash. Tune in today to hear Captain Neal relate this tragedy and also to tell about the 40 survivors and family members that will gather on Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 4 p.m. They will be at the ValuJet Memorial in Southwest Miami-Dade County to remember those lost on the Eastern flight as ValuJet Flight 592 crashed about two miles away from the Eastern site.

The radio program's  call-in number is 213-816-1611 at 3:00 P. M. ET  You can listen here:

Wishing you all the best in the New Year!


From: Joe Popson

Subject: Re: 45th Anniversary of Eastern Flight 401
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2017 20:58:42 +0000

I too would like to thank Peter and let all of the other survivors that I am remembering this again today.  It was good to hear your voice, Ron.

Joe Popson


From: Ronald Infantino

Sent: Friday, December 29, 2017 12:15 PM

To: Eastern 401

Subject: Re: 45th Anniversary of Eastern Flight 401

Thanks Peter for your email about this very special day. Today 45 years ago changed so many lives forever. Miss my Lilly.

On Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 10:56 AM, Eastern401 . <

Lanny Armstrong Obituary

The EAL Radio Show sends our condolences and sincere sympathy in the loss of their loved one, Lanny Armstrong, who passed away October 28, 2017 at the age of 78 after an illness.

Lanny worked for Eastern Airlines for 30 years, both in Ramp Service and as the EAL International Agent for Air Freight. He also had his own freight business down in Hollywood, FL for many years.

Lanny was well known as one of our "Bulldog Friends" that we all knew and loved. We enjoyed seeing and to speaking with him at both the Bulldog Picnic and again at the EARA Picnic. He will surely be missed!

Memorial for former Eastern Captain W. M. (Bill) Stack

Passed away, August 18, 2017

Robert Stack reported that his Dad, Captain Bill Stack, passed away on August 18, 2017. He was an Eastern Pilot from 1961 to 1982. Our condolences to Robert and his family in the loss of their Dad.

It is with great sadness that I announce that Captain W.M."Bill" Stack has flown west. Dad started his career with Eastern in 1951 after a short period flying for Capital airlines. He retired in 1982 after flying DC3 thru A300. He always said that he would pay EAL to have his job.

Robert Stack

Memorial Former Eastern Pilot, Clyde Elwood Roach

ROACH, CLYDE ELWOOD, 96, of Miami, FL passed peacefully at home May 21. He was born Feb. 8, 1921 in Miami.

Clyde was a WW II Veteran awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal for saving the lives of most of his crew members when his aircraft was shot down in the English Channel.

He retired from Eastern Airlines in 1981. During his 40 years of employment, he rose from cleaning the floors in airplanes and stocking supplies to flying as Captain and Instructor.

Survived by his wife of 70 years, Roxie Jo Logan Roach; Children, Stephen Roach (Tina), Roxanne Roach, Marilyn Allen (Keith); Grandchildren, Robert Roach and Stacey Pearce (Lance); Great-Grandchildren, Juliana, Chloe, Annalise and Logan.
Clyde will be missed by his family and friends, and those whose lives he touched with his kind and gentle nature.

Contributions in his memory may be made to Vitas Hospice http://vitascommunityconnectio donate or a Florida Greyhound Rescue of your choice

Published in the Miami Herald on May 28, 2017

More of Clyde's life in
"I Remember."

Memorial Captain Joseph F. Kucklick

In Memory of Captain Joseph Frederick Kucklick
April 1, 1938 - May 6, 2017

Captain Joseph F. Kucklick passed away peacefully at home on May 6, 2017 following an extended illness. Joe grew up in Olmstead Falls, Ohio. He graduated from Bowling Green State University and later attended law school at Western State University in San Diego, CA.

Joe served in the military for 6 years during which time he was an Army Pilot and had 3 tours in Vietnam. In 1969, he was hired by Eastern Airlines where he began his commercial aviation career. In 1976, Joe met his wife JoAnn, who was a flight attendant, the love of his life and his best friend. He was with Eastern until their demise in 1990. Joe flew many different aircraft during his career, his favorite being the L1011. During his tenure with Eastern, he and JoAnn lived in Miami and Merritt Island, Florida but spent a good deal of time in Utah and Colorado, where Joe had a land development company.

Joe was a gifted athlete and sports played a major role throughout his life. He developed a love for golf at an early age, caddying at Columbia Hills Country Club in Cleveland. As a child, Joe was a competitive equestrian and played many sports. In high school he played basketball and football and was offered scholarships for both. He chose to play football for Bowling Green where he was also on the tennis and diving teams. In the military, he played handball and golf and was on the rifle team. While working for Eastern, Joe became an expert snow skier and was on Eastern’s racing team, competing with other airlines all over the world.

In 1997, Joe and JoAnn moved to Jacksonville. Joe retired and kept very busy with outside activities, particularly golf. He loved living at Deercreek and entertaining the many wonderful friends he made there. Joe will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. His beautiful smile, sense of humor and zest for life will be in our hearts forever.

He is survived by his wife, JoAnn; daughter, Stephanie Kucklick-Guerrero; grandchildren, Ivy Guerrero and Liam Kucklick-Guerrero; numerous nephews and nieces, and his beloved pets, Stinky and Clancy. Special Thanks to: Otilia Cruz for her loving care during Joe’s illness; Dr. Choisser for his support and medical expertise; Martin Sanguinette, massage therapist and special friend; and, our team at Community Hospice and Vitas.

A Celebration of Joe’s life with full Military Honors will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 at Deercreek Country Club, 7816 Mc Laurin Rd., N. Jacksonville, FL 32256. Due to restrictions at our venue, children are unable to attend.

The family asks that any donations be made to the Jacksonville Humane Society or Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Rd. , Jacksonville, FL 32257.

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, 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 (


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.

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
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 or call me at 678-909-5549.

Floyd D. Hall

Floyd D. Hall (April 4, 1916 – April 26, 2012) was an American businessman and Pilot who served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Airlines from 1964 to 1976 between the tenures of Eddie Rickenbacker and Frank Borman.

Hall was born in Lamar, Colorado, the son of a hotel owner. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1936, served in the United States Army Air Corps for two years, then joined TWA as a pilot. Upon the outbreak of World War II, he returned to the Army Air Corps, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1946, he returned to TWA, where he worked as a pilot for ten years, then in management. In 1964, he was hired by Eastern Airlines as chief executive. He died in Woodstock, Vermont.

Floyd D. Hall, a former airline pilot who rose to chairman and chief executive of Eastern Airlines in the mid-1960s but who was unable to stem the financial difficulties that eventually led to the company’s demise, died on April 26 at a nursing home in Woodstock, Vt. He was 96. His daughter, Nancy Morton, confirmed his death.