11 February 2016

The Daedalian General Membership Meeting was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in North Austin on Thursday, 11 February 2016. It was a luncheon meeting with members gathering after 1100 hours. Following a social period, the Flight Captain, Ron Butler, called the meeting to order at 1200 hours. The Flight Captain led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Provost Marshall toasted our departed brothers, sisters, and the Commander-in-Chief. Our honored guests were introduced and toasted by the Flight Commander. Rip Torn mentioned two You Tube videos you might watch: "Sh!t pilots don't say," and "Sh!t pilots wives don't say". The previous minutes were approved.

Charlotte Firestone Ken Firestone
Rich Cardiel Scott Stevens

There were 34 members, 2 guests, and the speaker in attendance. $140 was collected for the scholarship raffle. In April, we expect to meet for lunch on the 14th. In response to the Flight Captain's request, 27 donors have sent us $2300 for scholarships and CFIP support. We are still accepting donations. We present awards at 11 local Junior ROTC students and need volunteers. These are cream of the crop students, and one of them from Westwood also got a full scholarship to a prestige school in the East. Louis Davenport, a flight surgeon, and reserve F-16 pilot, is our newest member. Stu McCurdy reported his grandson had been given an appointment to West Point. After a short break, Ron Butler introduced our speaker, Lt Gen Brett Dula, who is a past National Commander. His son is a tenth generation military person. He said the number one question that elementary students ask about flying fighters or other small airplanes is how do the pilots go to the restroom. While at SOS, then Captain Dula, had lunch with Alexander de Seversky. His father was one of the first persons to own an airplane in Russia. Alex soloed before age 14, and was the world's first Aeronautical Engineer when he graduated from the Imperial Russian Naval Academy and post-graduate school . He entered active duty just in time for WW I, and on his first mission as an aviator against a German destroyer, he was shot down and lost a leg below the knee when the bombs he was carrying exploded in the crash. Since the Navy wouldn't let him fly after he recovered from his wounds, he stole an airplane at an air show and showed the audience that he could fly very well. After his arrest, the Czar had to intervene personally to get him out of prison! He claimed 13 aerial victories and was the most highly decorated Russian Navy pilot of the Great War. After the war, he applied to be the Air Attache to America. He was approved by Lenin, but was instructed not to take any money to the U.S.. He filled up his leg with as much gold as he could carry and left for Vladivostok with his mother. When the train was stopped by White Russians, all the Red Russian sympathizers were killed. When the train was stopped by the Red Russians, the same thing happened to the White Russian sympathizers. At their destination, his mother and he were the only ones left, as de Seversky was a widely recognized war hero. While in the US, he felt he couldn't safely return to Russia; so, he made the US his home. He went to work for the War Department.

During that lunch with the SOS students, Alex ask everyone if they knew he invented the relief tube. About 1922, the Chief of the Air Service, Maj Gen Mason Patrick, was not a pilot. In visiting units by air, every time the general had to urinate, his pilot, Lt Millard Harmon, had to land. Lt Harmon approached Alex with the problem. Alex poked a hole in the airplane, and inserted a metal tube. He figured the slip stream would suck out the urine (venturi effect). On the next flight, the general began pounding on the Lt Harmon to land. The venturi effect was too strong and it sucked the general's uhhhh.... member ...into the funnel that Alex had attached to the tube, and Gen Patrick could not extricate himself! Later Alex was involved with the gyroscopically stabilized bombsight, in-flight refueling, filed 364 patents, and his team developed the P-47 Thunderbolt.

Many years later, retired Sen Barry Goldwater stopped by Barksdale in a C-21. He was then very old and would take 45 seconds to descend the aircraft's 3 steps. The senator had to use the men's room - - badly, and said the C-21's toilet was too difficult to use. Brett had met the airplane, and suggested the senator use a piddle pak. Though he'd never heard of the device, he asked Brett to get him one so he could evaluate it. After seeing one, the senator asked for a case; he was so happy that he said he would use it at home!

The females who fly up to 12 hour missions in the U-2 and their associated space suit, use a special diaper and throw it away after the mission.

Brett told us about a friend who commanded a couple of Space Shuttle missions. On one mission they had a newly designed toilet that sorta had spin cycle for solids. When the toilet broke during the first day of the mission, the crewmembers just had to defecate and catch "it" in plastic bags. After 5 days, one chap just couldn't do this, and he wound up incapacitated.

Brett's talk featured an unusual subject - - but an entertaining one!