Harold D. Hayden 1917-1987 EAA # 4473
Harold was a charter
member of Chapter 839. He ran the 3M airport in Bristol, PA and
later ran the airport in East Stroudsburg where our Chapter
originated. Harold provided our Chapter with its first airplane
kit, a Quickie, which was later sold to buy a 1946 Aeronca. That
was basically the formal start of our Chapter.
Minhoff 1914-1995 EAA
Micky’s aviation career
began in 1929 when he was entered into the Glider Group at
Dinslaken, Germany. In 1935 he was enrolled in the Motor Plane
School. In 1936 he took a flight instructors course for motor
planes in Neuruppin where he remained as a flight instructor
until 1940, while also doing glider flights in Oldenburg. Also,
in 1938, Micky completed his blind pilot course. In 1940 he was
awarded his Blind Flight Instructor’s certificate. In 1941 he
received his Glider Instructor’s certificate and gave
instruction for rubber tubing winches and glider towing. In 1943
he became a test pilot instructor for the German Air Force in
all classes up to, and including, the Blind Pilot’s certificate.
Mickey flew approximately 120 different motor planes, nearly all
German. He also flew the “Booty Machines” including French,
Czech, Polish, Russian, English, American and Italian. In 1945
he began flying one man jet fighter planes. Mickey moved to the
United States after World War 2. He owned a machine shop in New
York City where he also performed works for NASA. Micky operated
a glider towing winch at the East Stroudsburg and Pegasus
airfields and became partners in the operation with Steve
Paul Cilurso 1926-2001
EAA # 531518
Paul was an
active member of Chapter 839 who never missed a work session.
Paul was instrumental in building the Chapter’s RV-6 in JJ’s
shop. For the first part of his working Career Paul was a Police
Officer while the second half was spent in manufacturing. Paul
was a World War 2 Veteran and an avid aviation enthusiast.
DDS, James Meckes 1924-2002 EAA # 598439
James worked on the construction of the Chapter’s RV-6 and N3 Pup projects. He later became a partner
with JJ Banks on a Cessna172. James spent his military career in
World War 2 as a Celestial Navigator on the B-17’s.
His B-17 went out the night before D-Day to gather
weather information for General Eisenhower. That weather report
from his B-17 was the deciding factor for the next day’s
Don Roland 1922-2004 EAA
Don learned to fly in the J-3 Cub and later went on to become a Naval
Fighter Pilot in World War 2 where he flew Grumman Wildcats and
Hellcats. Don then became a Night Qualified Fighter Pilot and
was stationed with the Carrier Group which was preparing for the
invasion of the Japanese Homeland which thankfully never
Steve Lakatosh 1921-2006 EAA # 43118
Steve was an original part owner of Pegasus
Airport and was also an avid aviator. He became a flight
instructor and would lend his time giving Bi-Annual flight
reviews for the members of Chapter 839. Steve was also part
owner with Micky Minhoff in the Glider operation at East
Stroudsburg and Pegasus airports. Steve was also a military
pilot and served with the Army Air Force in Panama when World
War 2 broke out. He remained there until 1944 when he started
flying the A-20 Attack Bomber. Steve then volunteered for Combat
Cargo missions in a twin engine Curtis C-46 in which he
delivered cargo to the Philippino Guerillas who were fighting
the Japanese at that time. He and his Co-Pilot were momentarily
captured while landing at a jungle airstrip. They managed their
escape and flew the C-46 to a friendlier airstrip. Steve also
flew the “Pea Shooter”, the Boeing P-26, which was the first
monoplane produced for the services. In civilian life he was an
Executive Pilot who mostly flew CEO’s.
Thomas Dodd 1922-2006 EAA # 523573
Tom liked to fly radio controlled models down
the middle of New York City streets. He met JJ when a model
aircraft had gotten stuck in a tree at the Hialeah Model
Aircraft Field near Smithfield, PA, along the Delaware River. JJ
recruited Tom as a member right on the spot. Tom became a steady
worker in the earlier days of the Chapter, working on the N3
Pup. He was instrumental in building an EAA Bi-Plane with 839.
Steve was an excellent craftsman and model aircraft builder.
Steve was employed by the New York City Police Department. His
military career began when he joined the Marines after the
bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was in the first deployment to
Guadalcanal where the Marines took Henderson Field from the
Japanese. Steve was an ammunition carrier for the water-cooled
30 Caliber Machine Gun.
Neal Bond 1963-2009 EAA # 824020
Neal carried a Sport Pilot’s License and was
an active member of Chapter 839. Neal flew when he could find
the time and loved aviation. Apart from being an active member
of our chapter, Neal also gave his time to community affairs. He
was a member of the West End Radio Controlled Group for 23
years, a member of the Monroe County Bees Keepers Association, a
member of the Old Time Tractors Club, a volunteer for the West
End Little League and West End Soccer League, a volunteer for
Boy Scout Troop # 98 and Cub Scout Pack # 98. Neal also ran a
remote aircraft show for the “Make a Wish” Program called “Wings
Full of Wishes.”
Neal would always find time to give of himself. All one had to do was
ask. He was a true craftsman who always came up with innovative
ideas when working on a project or helping a fellow member. Neal
was a “doer”, a friend, and an inspiration to all that knew him.
John Parker, Sr. 1926-2010, EAA # 129210
John helped purchase a Commonwealth that was
flown and owned along with Art Schwedler and John Parker Jr. The
aircraft now sits in the large hangar waiting to fly once again.
John Sr. was an avid aviator who received his pilot’s license in
the early 1940’s. John was a World War 2 Naval Veteran and the
youngest Sailor aboard the USS Tuscaloosa. At age 17, while on
the ship, he shook Dwight D. Eisenhower’s hand one day prior to
the D-Day invasion of Normandy. John and his dad started the
Parker Oil Company in 1955. John served on the Stroudsburg
School Board in the 1960’s and 70’s, was a Monroe County
Commissioner, belonged to the Monroe County Housing Authority,
the Monroe County Solid Waste Authority, the Mount Pocono
Authority, a member of the Public Library Board and the Monroe
Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Ivan L. Battern 1925-2011,
EAA # 169671
Ivan grew up in the Quad Cities of Illinois
and Iowa. At the age of 16, he entered the Marine Corps and
served during WWII in America Samoa, Wallis Island, Abemama and
Tarawa. After the war, he attended the Spartan School of
Aeronautics in Tulsa, Okla. After graduation, he dusted crops in
Oklahoma and Texas. He was hired as a pilot by Pan American
World Airlines. Due to industry realignments, he flew for
various airlines including Eastern Airlines, Trans Ocean and
USOA. In 1955, he was hired by Seaboard World Airlines, a
scheduled air cargo carrier, as a relief captain. In 1980
Seaboard merged with The Flying Tiger Line. He retired as a
captain of the B747 in 1984. His airline career had taken him
around the world.
In 1971, he purchased what was the unused
Barrett Airport in Canadensis, restored it and renamed the
airport the Flying Dollar. At the Flying Dollar, Captain Battern
restored many airplanes and was known in the area by both locals
and tourists for his aerobatic rides.
John James Banks (JJ) 1923-2013 EAA # 200020
JJ was one of the Charter members of
Chapter 839 in Stroudsburg, PA. He had been a member in good
standing since the Chapter was formed in 1984. JJ was president
of the Chapter for two years, Chapter vice president for two
years, flight advisor for ten years, recruiter (he recruited
over 20 new members), and technical advisor for over ten years.
He was the lead man on
the Chapter’s Zenith 701 project. The project was completed and
can be viewed on our Chapter website (eaa839.org).
His overall commitment to the EAA was
unsurpassed. He was the chapter “go to guy” on all aviation
topics, but it didn’t stop there.
His vast knowledge on many
other subjects made J.J. Banks an inspiration to all who knew
him. He was a modest soft spoken person and at times very
humorous. When you needed an answer, you went to JJ. He truly
exemplified the true spirit of aviation.JJ was always involved in our Young Eagles
Program. He had flown young Eagles for ten years from 1988
through 1998 in two of his RV-4’s. He would brief the youngsters
on the flight to be taken and then depart, letting the Young
Eagle take the controls and find their way back to the airport.
Can you imagine how exciting that must have been?
In 1998 he had a stroke that kept him from
the left seat. Some folks may have stopped their involvement
right there, but JJ continued volunteering on every Young Eagles
event that the Chapter had. JJ
had fully supported all Chapter activities and had given his
JJ had spearheaded the following Chapter projects:4) The building of a Quad City
1) The restoration of a 1946 Aronca
2) The building of an RV-6
3) The building of a N3 Pup
5) The Zenith 701
Military Service and
Service to the Aviation Community
JJ’s Military service
was with the 8th Army Air Force, Air Depot # 2, Warton, England where he spent
one and one half years repairing aircraft from 1943 to mid 1944.
When repairs were no longer needed due to the rapid production
of aircraft at that time JJ guarded German prisoners in Reinburg,Germany.
After the German surrender, JJ was sent to Okinawa, where he
guarded Japanese prisoners until he returned home in 1946. JJ worked on the
first VOR Station in Pennsylvania on Bangor Mountain in
Stroudsburg. The station was named Tannersville VOR with a
frequency of 114.2. It was functional from 1951 through 1953. It
could be tuned in all the way from Washington, DC while on the ground. The station was too powerful and interfered
with other stations having the same frequency so it was taken
out of service in 1953-54. Frequencies were hard to come by in
the early VOR days.
JJ went on to work on
fourteen more VOR stations throughout the country, the furthest
being Paducky, KY., constructing roofs and ventilating systems. JJ would fly
three workers home each evening if the jobs were within one
flying hour of Stroudsburg, PA. If the jobs were more than an
hour away, his crew would stay until the job was completed.
JJ also flew from Stroudsburg, PA
to Washington, DC to pick up Senator Rooney for a dinner engagement that the
Senator had in E. Stroudsburg, PA. He did this in a Cherokee
that he had sold to a friend a few weeks before the trip.
Personal Achievements in Aviation
JJ worked for Glen Martin, building the B-26
from 1941 through 1942. In 1946 he worked for ERCO (Engineering
and Research Corporation) building the Ercoupe. Some
of JJ’s other personal achievements were winning a Zenith model
flying contest, held when he was in high school, at the 109
Infantry Armory. There he kept his model flying without hitting
the ceiling or walls of the Armory for four minutes and twenty
seconds. Five rubber bands, a custom made specially pitched prop
and the correct rudder deflection were the deciding factors.
He said that was the start of his aviation career. JJ flew gliders with
Mickey Meinhoff, who left Germany to work with the US Space Program as a machinist. He flew
gliders, which were winched then catapulted, from Pegasus
Airport. JJ’s longest solo glider flight was four hours and
fifteen minutes in a Sweitzer 126. He said he had to come down
because he was freezing and had to, you know….pee!
In 1986 JJ built a Mong Bi-plane which he
completed himself.Also to his credit, JJ had built two RV-4’s;
one in 1987 which he completed himself and another in 1990 with
Jimmy Giatrakis. On the latter project, Jimmy bought the kit
while JJ purchased the engine.JJ held a private, glider and instrument