Robert I. Bromschwig

Robert Irvin Bromschwig

1924 ~ 2023

Obit Photo Robert Bromschwig Star and Tribune

    Captain Robert I. (Bob) Bromschwig, age 98, of Eden Prairie, MN passed away March 06, 2023 at NC Little Hospice House in Edina, Minnesota.

   Born on May 24, 1924, in St. Louis, Missouri, Bob grew up in Springfield, IL. As a teenager Bob was always interested in aircraft, he enjoyed building gas engine powered model airplanes. Bob graduated from Springfield High School and thereafter attended junior college for a year before enlisting in the US Army Air Corps in 1942 as an Aviation Cadet.

Obit Photo Robert Bromschwig young pilot

   In 1944, after earning his Air Corps wings, Bob was trained as a fighter pilot and deployed to Wattisham, England and assigned to the 434th Fighter Squadron, under the 479th Fighter Group of the Eighth Army Air Force. This Air Group flew both the P-38 and P-51 fighters, Bob was qualified in both. The day before and on D-Day, the 479th flew escort and fighter sweeps of the Normandy landing areas.

Obit Photo Robert Bromschwig P 51

   Bob had the unique experience of shooting down a German ME-262 jet fighter using a propellor powered P-51. WWII ended and Bob was eventually mustered out of the Army in 1946. In civilian life during the years 1946 to 1949, Bob attended college which teaching flying at the Springfield (IL) Municipal Airport (now gone).

     At Springfield Bob courted his wife to be Margaret Copp on the ground and in the air, sometimes traveling by small airplane for dates. Bob and Margaret were married in 1949. The year 1949 was a big one for Bob; he married Marge and also went to work for Northwest Airlines (date of hire July 5, 1949).

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David W. James

David W. James

1942 ~ 2022

Obit Photo David James

   Captain David James, age 80, died on December 16, 2022.  He was predeceased by his wife Catherine Ann (Cathy) on September 30, 2022, and previously a son, Kevin James. David and Cathy are survived by Greg James, Lori Menalis, Josh James, Elizabeth Studenski and four grandchildren. An excellent family obituary can be found at this website:

An aviator’s obituary

   David James received flight lessons at Southport Airport in Apple Valley, MN.

Obit Photo David James student pilot

   David James student pilot

If you tried to land at Southport Airport today, you would end up in a Target shopping cart. Little did David know that in a few short years many of his copilots and Second Officers would be living in homes just south of the airport where he learned to fly. Veterans could buy new homes there and qualify for a loan, nothing down and a gross paycheck of $550 @ month in a new community.

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Kenneth F. Hoverson

  Kenneth F. Hoverson  

1934 ~ 2022        

Obit Photo Kenneth Hoverson Cadet

   Captain Kenneth F. Hoverson, age 88, of Rogers, MN passed away November 24, 2022, in Buffalo, MN. Ken was born in Lidgerwood, ND on February 8, 1934, the son of Kenneth L. and Eva (Franta) Hoverson. He grew up in Buffalo, MN and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1951.

   After high school Ken attended the College of St. Thomas for 2 years before entering the U.S. Navy in 1953 as a Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD). He began the Navy and military training at NAS Pensacola, his flight training was mostly at nearby Saufly Field where Ken trained in the North American SNJ. His single engine training included carrier qualification on the USS Monterrey. Toward the end of his flight training Ken was assigned to NAS Meridian Mississippi for multiengine training in the Beechcraft SNB-5.

Obit Photo Ken Holverson SNB 5

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Roger A. Bruggemeyer

Roger A. Bruggemeyer

1930 ~ 2022

Obit Photo Roger Brugemeyer

Captain Roger Allen Bruggemeyer, of Grand Rapids, Minnesota flew west on November 14, 2022 of complications from COPD. Roger was born to Albert and Josephine Bruggemeyer in Oak Park, Illinois on May 27th, 1930 he was 92 years young.

His father owned a supply company located at 4 North State Street in Chicago where Roger worked as a delivery truck driver during his high school and early college years.

Roger attended and graduated from Proviso High School in 1948, and then went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Superior, in Superior Wisconsin, graduating in 1952 with a degree in History. After graduation, Roger joined the Naval Aviation Cadet program at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

Upon graduation of the Aviation Cadet Program, Roger was awarded his wings of gold and transferred to the United States Marine Corps where upon he was assigned to VMFA-312, the Checkerboards, flying the F4U Corsair in Miami, Florida. A particular training sortie stood out from the others.

Flying as dash 2 in the section, he observed a surfacing submarine. After confirming no US submarines were in the area, he deduced it to be of Soviet origin and so informed his section leader. The two descended at tactical speed and flew close-aboard the Soviet submarine’s conning tower to show the submarine they were discovered. The submarine promptly dove to avoid any further contact, and undoubtedly filed a report on the extremely rapid defensive response of the US!

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Charles D. Hagen

Charles D. Hagen

1930 ~ 2023

Obit Photo Chuck Hagen ALPA 002

     Captain Charles ‘Chuck’ Hagen, age 92, died Saturday January 14, 2023, in Denver Colorado. Chuck had struggled with Alzheimer’s Disease. Chuck was born in Minneapolis, MN to parents Blanche and Edwin Hagen. He was an only child. Chuck’s father worked on the Alaskan Highway Project but fell though the ice and died during a visit back to Siren, WI.

   Chuck attended Siren High School in where he was a good student, musician and played football in high school. Two divergent interests in Chuck’s life were playing the piano and flying. As a student he hitch-hiked to piano lessons because every cent of spare cash went for flying lessons at the grass strip airport in Siren. Chuck played the piano his entire life and always kept a photo of his piano teacher on the piano. When he refused to practice the teacher would shake her head and look at him asking, “What’s going to become of you?” He kept the picture on the piano to remind himself of that moment and it kept him humble.

   Chuck studied music at Superior State University, but after a few nights watching musicians in a nearby jazz club, he decided that aviation was the better career path. Northwest Airlines hired Chuck on June 28, 1950 as an aircraft groomer, and once again, whatever income he had to spare went for flying lessons. Once Chuck had acquired 220 hours of flight time, he started making the right connections by saying “Yes Sir” a lot and was rehired by NWA as a pilot. His official pilot date of hire was April 03, 1952.

   By the early 1950s NWA had a unique role in the post-war restoration of Japan Air Lines (JAL). Select NWA pilots and aircraft were reassigned to JAL to restart the post-war airline. Chuck’s first post-training assignment was to JAL.

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Robert B. Bartholomay

Robert ‘Bart’Bartholomay

1930 ~ 2022

Obit Photo Bart Bartholomay

   Captain Robert ‘Bart’ Bartholomay, age 92, born in Fargo, North Dakota. Bart developed a love of sports at an early age.

   Bart attended Wahpeton High School, lettering in Football, Basketball and Track. Bart attended the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship and was also on the 1953 All Vance Football Team. Bart was associated with the Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffin, where he made lifelong friendships with MLB players, coaches, and umpires. Later he would become a scout for the Minnesota Twins. For a while he was the team pilot for the Minnesota Vikings under his friend Norm Van Brocklin. A lifelong Seattle Mariner fan, he was STILL hoping to see the Mariners make it to the World Series, but alas. Also, an avid golfer, Bart learned the game from future LPGA pros, Marlene Hagge and Louise Suggs. He was a member of various golf clubs in Minneapolis and Florida and was still an active member at Rainier C.C in Seattle and Bermuda Dunes C.C. in California upon his death.

   Bart’s other great passion was aviation. He entered the Air Force in 1953 and served as a B-25 pilot. On August 07, 1957, Bart became a Northwest Airlines pilot where he worked for 28 years. Bart loved the adventuresome lifestyle of piloting and enjoyed exciting trips to Hong Kong and Hamburg in the early 70’s. He also flew in Vietnam during the war. He retired in 1985 as a 747 Captain and settled in the Washington area.

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