Wednesday, July 20 -Meeting Lee and Faith Sutkus

Getting a drink of Oil- Ann Arbor

After a wonderful breakfast made by Marla at the Queen’s Residence, we caught a taxi back to Ann Arbor field, where Mark, owner of Aviation Center had put up the OY-1 for the night.   ‘Lady Satan’ got her morning cup of oil as we packed up.  It was only a 15 minute flight to Oakland-Troy, where Lee and his wife Faith were waiting, along with a news reporter and photographer.

It was great to talk to Lee Sutkus and Faith, and get to peruse his father, John Sutkus’ personal log book, which held the history of his flights beginning with  military flight training in 1943 up to flights over Korea in F4Us in the early 1950s.    Exciting to us were the entries that recorded Mr. Sutkus’ flights in 02766 on Iwo Jima, and again later in Hawaii when they returned home after the campaign.

The local marine reserve unit, the Marine Wing Support Group 47 represented by Col. Mike McCarthy and Lt. Col Lyndell (correct..?-will check that…) were also  on hand to see 02766 and get some pictures.  Both Lee and Faith took flights in the aircraft;  Faith has both fixed wing and helicoptor flight time and was delighted to record the time in her log book.

Lee Sutkas, son of VM04 pilot J. Sutkas and Jerri

After a restful lunch and more conversation, we made preparations to continue our journey westward.  Lee and Faith entrusted us with their father’s log book, to keep with the airplane, in tribute to his service with VM04.  We are honored to accept such a gift and it will be cared for as the piece of history it is.

We head southwest after leaving Oakland-Troy, down towards Indiana, where we land at Goshen Field, a great little airport with history back to WWII.  It was 107 and 90% plus humidity however, so we didnt tarry long.  We then made a due west course, to skirt the lake, and after passing Joliet field, we again headed north to De Kalb field, in Illinois, due west of Chicago.

Chris Col Mike McCarthy and Lt. Col airplane talk

Col. Mike McCarthy & Lady Satan

Dave ‘Dakota’ and the airport manager Tom Cleveland were waiting for us. We’d arranged an overnighter at Tom’s field so we could meet Dave (a client of ours) and deliver some Victory Girl stickers.   (The stickers are enroute- we mailed them instead…).     Chris did a great job of landing the old girl into a brisk 16 knot crosswind, and Tom and his crew quickly pulled 02766 into a cavernous hangar and gave us use of the airport courtesy car.  Thanks you guys!

We enjoyed good company  and good food at Johnnys Chophouse before getting to a hotel and doing a faceplant.   Tommorrow, West Bend and we meet up with son Hans Bergen.

Tom Cleveland of De Kalb airport 16 knots, crosswind at De Kalb

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