May 9, 2017

Invocation and Pledge

Bill Mesler


Kelly Shanley- Ken Baker
Ken Kulak
Kathy McCoskey

Happy Dollars:

  • Susan Priest- had a test done, she is physically “normal”, Ad for Hickson’s- loved their pre-inked stamp, was incredibly cheap!
  • Tom Drewitz- had the pleasure of celebrating his Granddaughter’s first birthday!
  • Bill Mesler- Looking forward to 70-80 degrees and sunny next week for family trip to Disneyland (grandchildren)
  • Rich Podgurski-
    • Pitch for President’s Night- Main Pavilion June 6 $35 (-$12) from 6pm-9pm
    • Observer Reporter, huge thank you for all the advertising and the new website
    •  Grandparents are grateful that their grandbaby is out of the ICU and is in good shape and home
  • Kathy Sabol- Bar Association is happy to sponsor the OR voter’s guide
  • Betsy West- happy that the opening of the Washington Farmer’s Market is next week, and is happy all her friends are back!
  • PDG Bob Hillberry- happy to be home and happy to vote!
  • Ken Baker
    • Grateful for the club's donation to the food bank in the amount of $1,195.00
    • Food Pantry- moved locations, and we plan on a tour of the new location after a Rotary Meeting
    • Sunday Brunch-President’s Pub May 14, 1130am-230pm Judy Figel
  • Diane Ambrose and Guest-Kathy happy for Citizen’s Library Wine Festival June 16 5:30-7:30pm $25 in advance $30 at the door
  • Ken Kulak - Wants to thank Rotary for working and helping with the Restoration of the Main Pavilion, also wants to Thank Rotary for trusting him with the Project (see next meeting-June 2nd)
  • Shirley Moore:
    • Had the pleasure of attending Trinity High School’s Symphony and listen to Bracken Burns, Tim Murphy and Sophomore (from Trinity) Sydney Shook (soprano) singing beautifully!
    • Sad $- Dave stayed home and missed it to watch the Penguin’s game☹


  • Nat Roe: Well wishes for his wife who is still ill.  Would appreciate a call or a card!
  • Joe Manning assured Rotary that the flag pole will be up on June 15 for Flag Day. Presentation will be at 2:30 on the 15th (Flag Day)
  • Food Bank: need more donations, Rotary matched $700.00
  • President's Night at the Washington Park Pavillion June 6th at 6 PM. No noon meeting that day. Celebrate the success of Joe P's service as president of our club for the last year and a half. Be There!

Program: Jason Capra Founder of Vintage Wings Inc.

Jason is a personal friend of President Joe P.
Jason was able to fly before he and Joe could drive and flew around everywhere in town. 
At 15, his first job was fueling airplanes and cutting grass.  
He grew up in South Franklin, and has been flying for 15 years.  He is an airline pilot and has flown to 275 different cities. 
He loves Washington County so he made his way back to us! 
He dreamed of owning a WWII aircraft.
Has flown in 60 airshows in formation.
Driving through Ohioe , he found a Douglas C-53 Skytrooper sitting in the weeds.  It broke his heart, so he grabbed the serial number and located Ken Joseph the owner (he owns 8 airplanes). 
They made a deal for Jason to buy the aircraft for $100,000. He needed a down payment of $20,000, then had 365 days to come up with the $80,000.
He started the 501-3C nonprofit (Vintage Wings Inc.) and in 8 months raised the $80,000 he needed to buy the aircraft.  
The aircraft hadn’t been flown in about 25 years, but will be restored and at the Washington County Airport!
Facts about the Aircraft:



It is a guarantee that every DC-3 still out there has an amazing history. Any given DC-3 type airframe probably had a noble career as a civilian transport or cargo hauler some time before or after the Second World War. It is arguably the most significant airline aircraft in history, and was also named by General Eisenhower to be one of the four tools that won World War II. So what makes 41-20095 so special and deserving of preservation? 

Vintage Wings Inc. Douglas C-53 Skytrooper was on the factory floor in Santa Monica, California when Pearl Harbor was attacked and was accepted by the USAAC weeks later in January 1942. This DC-3A was turned into a citizen soldier after war was declared, just like so many young Americans at the time. Given serial number 41-20095 it was accepted on January 29th, 1942 and sent to Bolling Field, Washington DC. The aircraft was then assigned to the Ferry Command on March 16th, 1942 and was sent to Palm Beach AAF in Florida. It was from here that our C-53 flew to Africa and took place in Operation Torch, while still retaining her ATC markings but recieving the British "Fin Flash" and yellow circle around it's national insignia. 

In July 1943, 41-20095 was then transferred to the North Atlantic Wing of the Air Transport Command where it shuttled troops and VIPs over many theaters of operation. It may have moved to the Pacific during its time with the ATC, as it was reported to have been General Douglas MacArthur's personal transport for a two month stint. Stories handed down with the aircraft tie it to other American greats including General Jimmy Doolittle, Glenn Miller, and Eddie Rickenbacker. The aircraft was last assigned to FEA, Cairo Division until May 12th, 1945.

 After the war, its C-53 airline type configuration made it a valuable resource in the post-war rebirth of the worldwide airline transport system. It was sold to the Danish Airlines and flew as the Gorm Viking on the Danish/SAS famous Flying Viking service. The airline operated her until its merger with SAS who sold the airplane in 1952.

After its career as an airline aircraft, our C-53 found itself headed back to the United States where it became outfitted as a corporate DC-3. In October 1952, it was registered to Rampo Foundry & Wheel Works in New York as N9959F. From here it went to Air Carrier's Corp. and was changed yet again to N34D. 

In 1963, the aircraft made one of its most important moves to the State of Ohio. From 1963 TO 1983 it was known as "Buckeye One," the official state transport aircraft of the Governor. The airplane participated in the opening of many General Aviation Airports in the state of Ohio. Governor Rhodes was a champion of aviation and our C-53 was his pride and joy. His Director of Aviation and DC-3 pilot, Norm Crabtree, is famously quoted as saying that "the airport runway is the most important main street in any town." They recognized the importance of General Aviation and their goal was to open an airport in every county in Ohio. After it's retirement, it was then flown to the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio where she sat until 1990.

Reregistered by Ohio University of Athens, Ohio as N34DF, the aircraft was bought by the school for its engines alone to keep their own DC-3 flying. Left engineless at Dayton, Ohio the aircraft faced an uncertain fate until Ken Joseph entered the picture. Ken bought engines for the airplane and had it brought to a condition in which the FAA issued a Ferry Permit so the airplane could be flown to Beach City, Ohio. After its flight in 1992, it is here that our C-53 has sat awaiting fate. It was a chance encounter while driving through the Ohio countryside that Jason Capra stumbled across what we named "Beach City Baby" in the summer of 2014.

Our C-53 is representative of the men and women of the Greatest Generation and the rich legacy of the DC-3 in every way. A civilian drafted into service weeks after the US entered the war, it has served in multiple theaters under multiple commands and worked under legends of the era. After the war it went back to a peaceful job doing what it knew best, flying passengers in luxurious service. In its golden years the C-53 became a politician of sorts, and an ambassador of aviation spreading the word to children around the State of Ohio. We want to continue that final educational mission, while paying homage to its entire career. 

Our goal is to create a flying classroom; A mobile living history museum. Static aircraft in museums serve a distinct and valuable purpose, but a flying aircraft with all its sights, sounds and smells simply can not be replicated in a museum. The cabin and cockpit will become a classroom with learning modules using key points in its distinct history that align with key points in aviation history. Guests will see the significance of its role as a Military C-53 in winning the war and as a DC-3A creating the model for the modern air transportation system. Flying into airshows, fly-in's and other aviation related events, it will offer more then just a silent and empty cabin. Our core goal is to inspire future generations by telling the amazing history of 41-20095 as only it can do. 

Now it is our turn to write this amazing airplane's next chapter. With your help we can bring "BEACH CITY BABY" back to life. Don't let this beautiful piece of American aviation history fade away or worse, be cut by the scrapper's torch. With your contribution and help we can put our C-53 back where it belongs, in the air. 


Thanks to Brandi Butler for the Club notes!

Upcoming Programs

May 09, 2017
Vintage Wings
May 16, 2017
Incubator Project
May 23, 2017
May 30, 2017
Jun 06, 2017
Jun 13, 2017
Jun 20, 2017
Brothers to Brothers
Jun 27, 2017
Coin Mint
View entire list

Executives & Directors

Vice President
International Service
Assistant Treasurer
Club Service
Assistant Secretary
Community Service
New Generations
Vocational Service
Public Relations

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Member Birthdays
Mark Kurchena
May 15
Bill Price
May 19
Bill Allison
Colleen Allison
May 1
Mike Pecosh
Lindsay Pecosh
May 1
Dorothy Tecklenburg
John Tecklenburg
May 6
Betsy West
Bill West
May 8
Bill West
Betsy West
May 8
Gist Wylie
Linda Hepburn
May 10
Bob Wicker
Karen Wicker
May 18
Join Date
Joseph Gisoni
May 1, 1981
36 years
Mark Kurchena
May 3, 2016
1 year
Bill Mesler
May 6, 2014
3 years
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
Washington Rotary
We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
W & J College, The Commons
60 S. Lincoln St.
Washington, PA  15301
United States
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