Board of Directors

President, Director : Edward B. Lapotsky

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Edward “Ed” Lapotsky was born in Danville, Pennsylvania, and raised in the coal-cracker, anthracite mining town of Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, boyhood hometown of General James M. Gavin.  He graduated from Mount Carmel Area High School in 1971, then moved west to Southern California to attend college graduating from El Camino College in 1973 and California State University in 1975 with AA and BA degrees in Political Science/International Relations and history.  He later attended Oxford University in England as an exchange scholar and studied politics, political science and economics.  Upon his return to the USA in 1976 he entered the US military. Some of his schools and assignments were as follow:

– Combat engineer (Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri)

– Airborne School (Fort Benning, Georgia)

– Special Forces Qualification Course (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

– Special Forces Detachments A-741 (Scuba), A-743 (HALO) A-746 (Special Weapons) at Fort Bragg, NC

– Delta selectee (Fort Bragg, NC)

– Officer Candidate School (OCS) Fort Benning, Georgia, commissioned in military intelligence

– Battalion S2, Assistant Operations Officer, HHC Commander, Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany

– Battalion S2/HHC Commander (Fort Bliss,Texas) and Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Kaiserslautern, Germany

– Intelligence Analyst-Observer Controller, Division G2 (National Training Center,Fort Irwin, California

– Commander, Headquarters, National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California

–  Principle, counterintelligence operations 1988-1993

His awards, recognitions and association membership include:

– US Army Meritorious Medal (3 oak leaf clusters)

– European Chairman, General Gavin Memorial (Mount Carmel,Pennsylvania)

– Chairman, General Gavi nState Historical Marker (Mount Carmel,Pennsylvania)

– Coordinator, 50th Anniversary Battle of the Bulge with US Embassy, Luxembourg and Spangdahlem Air Force

– Founder and President, World War Two Society Europe

– Life Member Special Forces Association (Chapter 64, Carlisle, Pennsylvania)

–  Life Member, 82nd Airborne Division Association

– Life Member, American Legion

– Life Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

– Life Member, Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

–  Associate Life Member Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge and St. Louis Gateway Chapter VBOB

His Motto:  TEAMWORK! 

 

Vice-President : Francine Duchemin Noyon

Chaplain : Jerry Lucchesi

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO. I graduated from Beaumont High School in 1960 and St. Louis University with a BS in Business Administration in 1968.

The majority of his professional career was spent in the field of transportation and logistics management. He later worked for the State of Missouri in Division of Child Support Enforcement and the Division of Workforce Development. Jerry retired in 2004 and moved to Germany where he worked as a substitute teacher and a transportation specialist for the Department of Defense.

In 2013 his wife retired from the Department of Defense and they returned to their home in Columbia, Missouri.
Jerry served six years in the US Army Reserves and was honorably discharged on February 13, 1969 from the 226th Transportation Company, rank Specialist 4th Class.

He is currently semi-retired and actively involved in volunteer work, both in the community and in church. He enjoys traveling, reading (especially books about WW II history), attending historical lectures and religious study classes, listening to music, going to the movies, and watching sports. (a St. Louis Cardinal and Mizzou Tiger fan).
Current affiliations include C-47 Club; St. Louis Gateway Chapter Veterans of the Battle of Bulge; Central Missouri Honor Flight; Missouri Veterans History Project, and Calvary Episcopal Church.

Secretary : Bobby Wingate

Bobby Lee Wingate Jr. grew up in Upper Darby PA. After High School graduation  13 June 1973, he enlisted in the Army and took Basic Combat Training at Ft Ord Ca (A-4-3)  in July and August 1973.  He ompleted his AIT at Ft Polk La (B-4-3) and was awarded 11C mos (Indirect Fire Crewman) 81mm Mortars.

Attended Airborne school at Ft Benning Ga with 45th Company TSB and was awarded his Parachutist Wings on 7 Dec 1973.

He then reported to Ft Bragg repo and was assigned to B2/325th ABN INF, Wpn’s Plt 82nd ABN Div  and served with unit from Dec 1973 till August 1977.

Bobby became aware of the C-47 Club in 1984 at 82nd ABN Div National Convention in Valley Forge Pa., where he met many members of the Club at their hospitality suite and has maintained a close relationship with the Club and members since then. He believes strongly in keeping the C-47 Club and its WW2 Members History and Spirit alive.

It is an extreme honor for him to be a Member, Secretary,Quartermaster and Liaison to the 82nd Airborne Division.

Treasurer : Gordon Sumner

L. Gordon Sumner, Jr., PhD is a Managing Director with The Unicorn Group.  He is also the CEO, Gordon Sumner Consulting, LLC, an American Indian/Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business located in Springfield, VA.  Based on his many years of experience with the Federal Government, Dr. Sumner provides support to the Department of Defense, State and local governments and agencies with a focus on Guard/Reserve issues, operations and personal management, and strategic development, business development and Planning.  He assists corporations with problem solving at a macro-level.  As a professional educator/trainer, Dr. Sumner assists with training development. He also supports his clients by analyzing complex issues and developing high-level strategies which results in sound recommendations to resolve key, and sometimes, sensitive issues in a timely manner.

Dr. Sumner, a former member of the Senior Executive Service and Presidential Appointee, he recently served at the Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense level as the Executive Director, National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (NCESGR) and principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on all matters involving employer support programs for all the Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces including the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and the Coast Guard Reserve.  He was responsible for budget administration, operational, administrative and logistical support for NCESGR, its staff and volunteer committees.  Dr. Sumner provided leadership and management for more than 250 military uniform and government civilians, defense contracted personnel, and over 4,900 volunteers organized into 54 field committees throughout the states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

His business experiences include serving as Managing Director, SY Technology during the acquisition of the company by L3 Communications, followed by the merger of SY Technology with Coleman Research Corporation into SYColeman.  During this time he lead his Division with multi-million dollar contract wins plus a successful merger over a two-year period resulting in increased contracts and support to the Department of Defense.

A retired senior Army officer, Dr. Sumner served in a variety of command and staff positions including Infantry, Air Defense and Aviation within the United States and overseas.  A decorated combat veteran, Airborne, Ranger, Army Master Aviator, he served on the Army Science Board and was the Army’s representative to NATO’s Army Training Sub-Group.  In his last active duty assignment he served as the Chief, Institutional Training, G3/ODCSOPS, with overall responsibility for the Total Army’s Institutional Training base worldwide.

Education:     

Doctor of Philosophy, Madison University

Senior Fellow Graduate, Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government

Senior Fellow and Affiliate Faculty, George Mason University

Masters of Business Administration, Auburn University

Masters in Education, Boston University

BS in Ed, Music Performance and Music Education, Jacksonville State University

Awards and Recognition:  Dr. Sumner’s awards and decorations include the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, Commandant of the Coast Guard Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, Legion of Merit (OLC), Bronze Star(V), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (3OLC), Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Master Army Aviator Badge and Airborne Badge, Ranger Tab, and various other US and foreign awards and decorations such as “The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” and the Order of Saint Michael.  He is a proud recipient of the National Guard Bureau “Minute Man” award.

Judge Advocate, Director : Henry L. Young Jr.

Director : Theodore ”Ted” Podewil

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Theodore (Ted) Podewil was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan raised in a family with military service. He worked for Bo Schembechler (Football) at University of Michigan. Attended Eastern Michigan University and Webster University in St. Louis MO. Enlisted in the US Military in 1975. Was Officer in Charge of the “Old Guard” Museum while assigned to the 3d Infantry. Currently a resident of the fine state of South Carolina.

Airborne School, Ft Benning, Georgia

Infantry Officer Basic Course

Platoon Leader, 2/58 and 1/41 Mechanized (M) Infantry, 2d Armored Division, Ft Hood, Texas

Infantry School, Dragon (Anti-Tank) Trainers Course

Platoon Leader and Executive Officer (XO), 3d Infantry (The Old Guard), Ft Myer, Virginia

Air Assault School, Ft Campbell, Kentucky

XO HHC 3d Brigade and Assistant S3, 1/31 (M) Infantry, 2d Infantry Division, Camp Howze, S. Korea

Infantry Officer Advance Course, Ft Benning, Georgia

Pathfinder Course, Ft Benning, Georgia

Tactical Intelligence Officer (TIC) and Advance TIC courses, Ft Huachuca, Arizona

Counterintelligence Familiarization Course

Advanced Military Police Orientation Course

S2, 2/504 Airborne Infantry Battalion and 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, 82d Airborne Division, Ft Bragg, North Carolina

Combined Arms Staff Officer Course, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas

Commander, Co B 3d Battalion, Basic Training, Ft Jackson, South Carolina

S3, Headquarters Troop Command, Ft Jackson, South Carolina

Command & General Staff College

Light Wheel Mechanics Course and Ordnance School Officer Advance Course, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

Commander, 175th Maintenance Company (DS), Ft Jackson, South Carolina

Senior Transportation Officer Qualification Course

S3, 1182d Transportation Terminal Battalion, North Charleston, South Carolina

Special Warfare Center & School, Civil Affairs Officer Advance Course, Ft Bragg, North Carolina

Public Safety Officer, 360th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne), Ft Jackson, South Carolina

Military Assistant to Commander, United Nations International Police Task Force, Banja Luka Region, Bosnia

Mobilization and Deployment Officer, Directorate of Plans, Training and Mobilization, US Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, Germany

Life Member of:

504th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association (Assn)

82d Airborne Division Assn

2d Armored Division Assn

2d Infantry Division Assn

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10692, Grafenwoehr Germany

National Pathfinder Association

Member of:

American Legion Post 6, Columbia, South Carolina (SC)

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (Associate)

82d Airborne Division Historical Society

82d Airborne Division Living History Detachment

South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation (SCHAF), Columbia SC

Military Timeline Impressions (MTI), Columbia SC

Pacific War Museum (Founder)

National WWII Museum (Founder)

Eisenhower Foundation (Founder)

Medal of Honor Museum, Charleston SC (Founder)

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, National/South Carolina

 

WWII C-47 Club:

Former Director, WWII C-47 Club to 4 June 2016

Vice President, WWII C-47 Club, June 2016

Director : Henrik Moe

Director : Paul DeVries

Colonel (Ret) Pauld DeVries graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York in 1961 with a commission in Infantry.  He had a distinguished 30 year military career wearing 10 differentt airborne patches serving with the airborne.  His other assignment were with mechanized and airmobile units.  Paul retired in 1991 and resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Sue.  They have 3 children and nine grandchildren.

Director Chloe Gavin Fauntleroy

Chloe Gavin, daughter of the late General James M. Gavin and Jean Emert Gavin, has worked in corporate and securities law for 34 years and currently serves as a compliance officer.  She started her career at Saloman Brothers  prior to entering law school.  She holds a Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law and earned her BA in Russina History and Literature from Harvard College.  She also co-authored a study with Mohamed El Baradei, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  Chloe has served as a trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy as well as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Mead School.  She lives in Riverside, CT, USA.  She and her husband have four children.

C-47 Club Inc. Historian Regina Wirtanen Buker

Since 1970, Regina Wirtanen Buker has had a rewarding career as a teacher and lecturer and has worked professionally in government and as a director of several Baltimore area nonprofit agencies. For the past twenty years, Regina has served as the director of HARBEL Housing Partnership, a successful regional pre-purchase education and counseling program designed to lessen the risk of foreclosure for new homeowners.

Regina serves as the communications director for the 442nd Troop Carrier Group and editor of The Skytrain Gazette, a newsletter for the TCG’s veterans and their families. She is a member of the National WWII Gilder Pilots Association, Troop Carrier Community, and the C-47 Club.

Ms. Buker is a creative nonfiction writer and recently completed The Skytrain Pilot: Flying a C-47 into Combat. She is the 2012 recipient of the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Combs Gates Award for her book The Skytrain Pilot.

Through The Skytrain Pilot, Ms. Buker introduces the story of Lieutenant George Neale Wirtanen, her father. Wirtanen, a C-47 pilot, flew planes that were unarmed and unarmored, at low altitudes, to drop paratroopers and supplies, and tow glides during six major European invasions. She chronicles the Lieutenant’s compelling war story through a selection of more than 800 letters he wrote to his new bride, along with veteran interviews from Wirtanen’s 442nd Troop Carrier Group, log entries, and squadron reports to reveal an authentic account of a Skytrain pilot’s life. Currently she is editing the book and finalizing her book proposal.

Ms. Buker resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, Norman K. Buker. They have two daughters and one grandchild.

Contact Information: skytrainpilot@gmail.com

 

ADVISORY BOARD OF PAST PRESIDENTS

Joseph P. Schwan, President
David R. Foy, Past Director
Richard Becker, Past Director
Douglas ”Doug” Dillard, Past Director
Barbara Gavin Flauntleroy, Emeritus Director

C-47 CLUB COMMITTEES

–          Awards Committee

–          Historical Committee

–          Nominations and Elections Committee

–          By-Laws Committee

–          Membership Committee (includes Health and Welfare)

–          Reunion Committee

 

SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS

–          Club Quartermaster USA : Bobby L. Wingate Jr.

–          C-47 Club Liaison to 82nd Airborne Division : Bobby L. Wingate Jr.

–          C-47 Club website : Patrick Brion

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