Aerospace Legacy Foundation

Your portal to America's aerospace history

Aerospace Legacy Foundation (ALF) is a community based non-profit organization (501c3) including aerospace retirees and the public at large. Preserving Southern California's Aerospace and Aviation History including Downey's aerospace legacy.

Preserving Our Past, Focusing On The Future


BALD EAGLES RETIREE BULLETINS

This page is dedicated to all the men and women of the North American Aviation Bald Eagles Organization

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  The luncheons were a time to reminisce with old friends and colleagues.  

The luncheons were a time to reminisce with old friends and colleagues.  

  Ed Rusinek (right) speaks humble words of praise for the North American Bald Eagles group during their last luncheon.

Ed Rusinek (right) speaks humble words of praise for the North American Bald Eagles group during their last luncheon.

  James Kindelberger Graham (center) accepts a beautiful F-86 scale model from the North American Aviation Bald Eagles at their 55th and final luncheon.

James Kindelberger Graham (center) accepts a beautiful F-86 scale model from the North American Aviation Bald Eagles at their 55th and final luncheon.

The North American Way

Sam Iacobellis (right) visits "Bald Eagle" comrades.


North American Aviation Bald Eagles

Retiree Bulletins

An Extensive History of North American Aviation Compiled by Ed Rusenik and the NAA Bald Eagles Staff

All in Adobe Acrobat Reader format (PDF)

Click a date below to read

 2004-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2004-3 Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2006-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2006-4_Winter  North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2007-1_Spring   North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2007-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2007-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2007-4_Winter   North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2008-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2008-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2008-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2008-4_Winter    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2009-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2009-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin (Article by Stan Barauskas)

2009-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2009-4_Winter    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2010-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2010-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2010-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2010-4_Winter   North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2011-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2011-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2011-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2011-4_Winter North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2012-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2012-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2012-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2012-4_Winter North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin  

2013-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2013-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2013-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2013-4_Winter    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2014-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin   

2014-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2014-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2014-4_Winter    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2015-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2015-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2015-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2015-4_Winter    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2016-1_Spring    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2016-2_Summer    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2016-3_Fall    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

2016-4_Winter    North American Aviation Bald Eagles Retiree Bulletin

North American Aviation Skywriter Newsletters Here


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North American Aviation-  By Sam Gnerre

"Incorporated on Dec. 6, 1928, North American Aviation’s formation followed the founding of the Boeing Company in 1916 and Douglas Aircraft in 1921. For its first few years, North American operated as a holding company, owning parts of many other aviation firms, including Douglas and General Aviation Manufacturing Corp. in Dundalk, Maryland.

In 1934, federal antitrust legislation required that the company give up its holdings in other aircraft companies. At that point, under engineer Dutch Kindelberger and designers Lee Atwater and J.S. Smithson, North American became an aviation manufacturer, moving into General Aviation’s plant at Dundalk.

Its stay there would be temporary. After the company won its first airplane contract for 42 NA-16 trainers in 1935, Kindelberger began moving North American’s manufacturing operations west. He built temporary quarters in El Segundo near the southeast corner of Los Angeles Municipal Airport, more than a decade before it became Los Angeles International Airport. The company rented 20 acres there for $600 a month. A permanent factory was finished on the site and occupied in January 1936, with 250 employees.

The NA-16 trainer, the first U.S. military plane to have an official model number, which would evolve into the BT-9 and then the AT-6 Texan, became an important aircraft in the training of American and British pilots. The company focused on such smaller planes at first, choosing not to compete with larger operations which could produce bigger, multi-engine planes.

These trainers became essential with the outbreak of World War II and the resultant need to train thousands of men quickly to become pilots. By the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, North American’s employment had risen to 23,000 people, and it was producing more than 300 aircraft per month". More here

 

"The B-25 became famous when Col. Jimmy Doolittle (below) used them in his famous raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942. Immortalized in the book and film “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” The Doolittle raid was the first U.S. air attack on the Japanese mainland and was an important morale booster early in the war effort."  

By Sam Gnerre

Kindelberger and Gen. Jimmy Doolittle

"Perhaps the company’s most outstanding wartime achievement was the development of the P-51 Mustang fighter. The plane grew out of Great Britain’s desire to purchase more P-40 Flying Tiger fighters from the U.S.

Lee Atwood convinced the British that North American could provide it with an even better fighter. A prototype of the proposed new design was rushed into production and first flew on Oct. 26, 1940. Britain had the planes in service by April 1941. Its first engine had performance problems, but once Rolls Royce engines began to be used in the P-51s, their superior performance made them one of the most important Allied weapons of the war. By war’s end, more than 5,000 P-51s were in service for the U.S.

"...The company turned out more than 40,000 airplanes during the war, including 9,498 B-25 Mitchell bombers, 15,586 P-51 Mustangs, and 15,498 trainers of various types. North American built 14 percent of all aircraft produced by U.S. manufacturers for the war effort.

The firm’s orders dropped off rapidly after the war ended, causing it to close its plants in Kansas City and Dallas. North American engineers already had been working with the new jet engine technology, and now that effort moved forward quickly with the company producing a variety of postwar jet fighter designs.

The company hit the jackpot with the F-86 Sabre Jet, the Air Force’s first swept-wing fighter jet. Its first test flight was in 1947, and it went into production in 1948. It would become the premier fighter plane of the Korean War, which began in 1950. North American expanded again, ramping up production in El Segundo and building plants in Downey and Columbus, Ohio to keep up with demand." Sam Gnerre-South Bay Daily breeze

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  Edgar Schmued and Dutch Kindelberger. Along with others like Ken Bowen, they made the P-51 Mustang a real winner for the Allies in WWII.

Edgar Schmued and Dutch Kindelberger. Along with others like Ken Bowen, they made the P-51 Mustang a real winner for the Allies in WWII.

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From the Mustang to the Sabre Jet, from the Apollo spacecraft to the B-I bomber,

North American Aviation left a lasting legacy of aerospace excellence

From the Boeing Website- By Mike Lombardi and Erik Simonsen read The High and the Mighty 

 Click Image To Load  The High and the Mighty

Click Image To Load The High and the Mighty

 

 

Bald Eagles Luncheon 2016

Images by Larry Latimer


 

The Last Hurrah

Bald Eagles Luncheon 2017

James Kindelberger Graham

... spoke at the North American Bald Eagles Retiree luncheon Saturday April, 29.

Jim is the grandson James Howard "Dutch" Kindelberger,  

American aviation pioneer who led North American Aviation from 1934-1960.

2017 North American Aviation Bald Eagles Luncheon Images Here

  James Kindelberger Graham

James Kindelberger Graham

  Dutch Kindelberger with Prince Bernhard and grandson "Jimmie".

Dutch Kindelberger with Prince Bernhard and grandson "Jimmie".


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North American Aviation Bald Eagles

Annual Reunion Image Gallery

From the Bulletins

42nd Annual NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Photos- Lee French

Above- 45th Annual Bald Eagles Reunion

Above- 45th Annual Bald Eagles Reunion

Above- 46th Annual NAA Bald Eagles Runion. Image- Lee French. Summer 2008 Bulletin.

47th NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Images Lee French. Summer 2009 Bulletin.

Above- 48th annual NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Summer 2010 Bulletin. Lee French.

Above- 48th annual NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Summer 2010 Bulletin. Lee French.

Above- 50th Annual NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Color images here.

Above- 50th Annual NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Summer 2012 Bulletin

Above- 52nd NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Photos by Lee French. Summer 2014 Bulletin.

Above- 53rd annual NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Summer 2015 Bulletin. Images- Sandy Snow

Above- 53rd annual NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Summer 2015 Bulletin. Image- Sandy Snow.

Above- 54th Annual NAA Bald Eagles Reunion. Summer 2016 Bulletin. Images Sharon Simonsen.

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The Aerospace Legacy Foundation

Preserving Our Past, Focusing On The Future