Our Friends

Museum Hosts Tuskegee Airmen Youth Group Tour, Young Eagle Flights

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum recently hosted a youth group participating in a week-long activity at nearby Scott AFB sponsored by the local Tuskegee Airmen chapter.  EAA Chapter 64, also located at St. Louis Downtown Airport, provided volunteer pilots for Young Eagle Flights around the St. Louis area in a variety of aircraft.  Between flights, the teens learned about St. Louis aviation and aerospace history from the museum’s docents and the exhibits and activities, including the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of a real McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jet fighter.  The museum hopes to work with the Tuskegee Airmen chapter regularly in the future.  (Photos by Mark Nankivil)

St. Louis Aviation Community Mourns the Passing of Bob Kraemer

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and the St. Louis aviation community mourn the passing of Bob Kraemer, a long-time museum member and benefactor, US Navy pilot, CFI, Stearman and Pitts pilot and friend to many.   More on Bob can be found in his memorial here.

Aerospace Community Mourns the Passing of McDonnell Douglas Engineer Les Eash

Lester E. Eash

Eash, Lester E. age 95, on Wednesday, April 16, 2014; preceded in death by his beloved wife of 57 years Daisy A. Eash, loving father of Susan (Roger) Stewart, Sally (Kent) McMillen, John (Marie) Eash, grandfather of 7, great-grandfather of 11, uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend to all he met. Born in 1919 in Jet, OK, Les moved to Goshen, IN at age 4. It was during that time working on his father’s farm that he saw the Akron dirigible and became fascinated with aviation. After high school, he moved to Wichita, KS to live with his brother and attend Friends University. While in school, he worked for Stearman Aircraft (now Boeing) and Coleman Stove as a draftsman. After leaving school, he worked for several companies and eventually moved to St. Louis to work for Curtiss-Wright when he met Daisy. After marriage and closure of Curtiss-Wright, he and Daisy spent a short time in Toledo, OH working for WillysOverland and then returned to St. Louis for a job opportunity at McDonnell Aircraft Co. in 1945. Les worked on various aircraft programs at McDonnell Aircraft including the Banshee, Voodoo, and Phantom. One of his most memorable assignments was the designer and operator of the trapeze mechanism for the XF-85 Goblin parasite strike fighter that was designed to be carried in the bomb bay of a B-29 bomber. His last assignment at then McDonnell Douglas was Project Engineer for the DC-10 wing subsystems. This assignment led to a transfer to the Douglas Co. location in Long Beach, CA in 1976. After retirement from McDonnell Douglas in 1978, he went to work for Parker Hannifan as a Program Manager and then fully retired in 1980. While in California, he received a patent for the Champopper, a device used to open and retain the cork from a champaign bottle. He and Daisy returned to St. Louis in 1987 to enjoy time with family and friends. Les enjoyed singing in his church choirs and barbershop choruses, bowling, golf, Dixieland jazz music, returning to Indiana for High School Reunions, leading volunteer groups and spending time with family and friends. Let his faith, friendship and rolling with the punches philosophy be an inspiration for us all. Services: Please join the family in celebrating Lester’s life by attending a memorial service at St. John’s United Church of Christ in St. Charles, MO on Friday, 9 May at 7:00 p.m. Lester donated his remains to the Washington University School of Medicine. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Johns United Church of Christ Music Program in his memory.
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Apr. 22, 2014

Mr. Eash participated in programs recognizing his work on the McDonnell Aircraft XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter test program sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum and the Missouri Aviation Historical Society.  We encourage you to re-visit these stories featuring Mr. Eash:

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum

The Aero Experience

Local Aviation Legend Carl “Chub” Wheeler Honored on 102nd Birthday

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, located in historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport, hosted a birthday celebration Sunday for local aviation legend Carl “Chub” Wheeler who recently turned 102 years old.  Family and friends gathered to commemorate his life and an aviation career that spanned nearly 70 years.  Wheeler, a Founder and Life Member of the museum, took his first airplane ride in 1930 at Curtiss-Steinberg Airport (now called St. Louis Downtown Airport, where the museum is located) and soloed in a Curtiss Robin in 1935.  During his aviation career, “Chub” Wheeler instructed new flight students at Parks Air College during World War II, managed Curtiss-Steinberg Airport in 1946-1947, flew corporate DC-3s for several St. Louis businesses, and flew for the Defense Mapping Agency in the 1950s.  He continued to fly until the age of 92, and owned a number of aircraft.
Museum staff welcomed Wheeler, his son Jim and Daughter Mary Kay Sunday morning, and they quickly became the center of attention.  They were delighted to find that a flight around the St. Louis area was being prepared for them.  Mark and Elaine Harter flew in their 1937 Waco YKS-7 cabin biplane especially for the occasion, and in no time all three were ready for takeoff.  Harter, who earned his tail-wheel endorsement from none other than “Chub” Wheeler himself in the 1980s, flew his special passengers along the riverfront and received permission for a few fly-bys near the museum.  Following the flight, all guests were treated to barbeque lunch, birthday cake, and a presentation of a special birthday gift to Wheeler.

For additional coverage of the event and a biography of “Chub” Wheeler, click here.


“Art” Davies, One of the Museum’s Founding Members, Passes Away

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, and the aviation community, thanks you for a lifetime of dedicated service to family, country and aviation.

Charles Arthur Davies (April 11, 1925 – July 5, 2013)        

Charles Arthur Davies (April 11, 1925 – July 5, 2013)                               

Charles Arthur “Art” Davies, Jr., age 88, of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, departed this life on Friday, July 5, 2013, at Lake Regional Health Center in Osage Beach, Missouri.Charles was born April 11, 1925 in Slater, Missouri, the son of Charles Arthur, Sr. and Magelalen McAteer Davies.Art served his country proudly during World War II in the United States Army from August 2 1943, until his honorable discharge, December 7, 1945. He had also served in the US Coast Guard. Art was a graduate of Christ the King High School located in University City, Missouri, and a graduate of Washington University School of Architectural Engineering. He retired from McDonnell-Douglas-Boeing after 38 years of employment.

Art attended St. Monica Catholic Church in Creve Coeur, Missouri. He was one of the original founders of the Spirit of St. Louis Aviation Museum in Chesterfield, Missouri, now located in Cahokia, Illinois.

Art is survived by his wife Mary Alice, of Sunrise Beach, Missouri; his sister Patricia Newcomb; and his brother, William Davies.  Art was preceded in death by his parents; and his first wife Margaret Dietz Davies. 

Aerospace Community Mourns the Loss of Rose Church, “Flight Nurse to the Astronauts”

The aerospace community mourns the recent loss after a brief illness of our dear friend, Mrs. Rose Church, the “Flight Nurse to the Astronauts” during the budding Mercury and Gemini spacecraft programs at McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in St. Louis, MO.  Starting out as an industrial nurse at McDonnell Aircraft in the early 1950s, she essentially created the job of flight nurse for the space program when McDonnell Aircraft became the prime contractor for Mercury and later Gemini spacecraft.  Her work brought such esteem from the astronauts, many of whom went on to the Apollo program, and the NASA hierarchy that she was invited to the last Space Shuttle launch as a VIP guest nearly 50 years later.  She continued to educate the public about the space program after leaving McDonnell and during her second career in real estate, and was a life member of, and generous contributor to, the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia.  She will be remembered not only as an aerospace pioneer, but even more so as a lady who showed kindness and service to all she encountered.  Rose Church dreamed of going to the moon – her plan was a one-way colonization mission for older folks – but those who knew her are confident that she is now far beyond the moon, touring the universe with the One who created it.

For more information about Rose Church, please visit the previous posting on The Aero Experience http://aeroexperience.blogspot.com/2011/07/rose-church-flight-nurse-to-mercury-and.html and the Missouri Historical Society’s biography page at http://www.historyhappenshere.org/archives/7300.






Museum Open House and Fly-In Offers High-Flying Adventure

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and EAA Chapter 64 held its Fall Fly-In Saturday, offering a new way to experience aviation history – flights in a 1941 Waco and a T-6 Texan warbird.  The event was held Saturday near historic Curtiss-Wright Hangars 1 and 2, with the museum and EAA aircraft on display.  Other organizations, such as IPMA, SWIC, Wicks Aircraft Supply, St. Louis Flight Training and the Lions Club were represented and provided information about their services to the community.  The most dramatic impact on the visitors, the aircraft flying overhead, was an added bonus this year.  The museum is proud to include Kevin Kegin’s Waco UPF-7 (http://kevinkeginamericanwarbird.com/) and Greg Vallero’s AT-6F Texan (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Warbird-Rides-USA/180169395331362?v=info) in it’s activities on a regular basis.  We encourage you to visit the museum during regular open hours of Friday-Sunday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, and contact Kevin and Greg for your flight in these beautifully restored 1940s era aircraft.

For a posting on the Metro site, please visit http://www.nextstopstl.org/7145/.

Check back often for our event updates.

Rose Church, Flight Nurse to the Astronauts, Receives Life Membership at Museum

Ms Rose Church, “Flight Nurse to the Astronauts” at McDonnell Aircraft during the Mercury and Gemini space programs, received Life Membership in the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum today.  Members of the museum Board of Directors hosted Ms Church at a luncheon and visited the Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) Prologue Room Museum near Lambert St. Louis International Airport.  Life Membership was bestowed in recognition of her generosity to the museum, including the donation of an extensive space program artifact exhibit.  The Museum is very grateful to Rose Church and the other Life Members who have contributed greatly to the success of the museum.

Ms Rose Church receives Life Membership (also pictured, friend Frederick Wear)

St. Louis Aviation Community Mourns the Loss of Delia Greer, Dear Lady of the Skies

Delia Greer (left) and Jean Murry

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Delia Greer on Monday, 23 July, 2012, in her home.  Delia was not known to have any medical issues so her death is quite unexpected. Delia had been a member of the Ninety-Nines for nearly 30 years and was quite active in local Ninety-Nine events.  She had been a volunteer at Wings of Hope since 1999 and had participated in several missions to post-Katrina New Orleans as well as to Haiti and to Central and South America.  Also, at Wings of Hope, she was the chief flight nurse of the Medical Air Transport that transports patients to medical facilities throughout the Midwest.  Two weeks ago at the Ninety-Nines International Annual Conference in Providence, RI, Delia Greer and Jean Murry received the Ninety Nines Award for Humanitarian Service for their work with Wings of Hope.  Delia was also a member of the Commemorative Air Force at St. Charles County Airport (Smartt Field), the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and the Gateway Chapter of Missouri Pilots Association.
Libby Yunger, Greater St. Louis Chapter of the Ninety-Nines
(photo courtesy of Ladue News)

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum Builds Relationship With St. Louis Science Center

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum is building a mutually positive relationship with the nearby St. Louis Science Center.  The two organizations have worked together in the past, with the Science Center previously exhibiting space memorabilia from the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum’s premier Mercury and Gemini space program artifact collection, and currently displays models provided by the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum (previously named St. Louis Aviation Museum) in its Flight! gallery.  Both museums exchange marketing materials to increase awareness of each other’s programs and events, and each will continue to work together to promote Midwest aerospace history and future development.  Please regularly visit this site, The St. Louis Science Center at http://www.slsc.org/Home.aspx and The Aero Experience aerospace media site http://aeroexperience.blogspot.com/ for future features.