Stuart G. Smith
1942 ~ 2020
Captain Stuart ‘Stu’ Smith, age 78, ‘Flew West’ on April 14, 2020 at their seasonal residence near Honolulu, Hawaii. His wife Kitty, a retired NWA/Delta pilot was at his side.
Stu was born in San Francisco on Jan 6, 1942 and adopted by Charles Gordon and Eunice Rowen Smith. Charles and Eunice were older parents who had tried for twenty years to have a child of their own. Stu became their only child
He grew up in the San Francisco Bay area where his father worked in real estate. His love of flying started at an early age. Like a lot of future airline pilots Stu had friends who were also learning to fly and some even owned airplanes. He never passed up a chance to go flying. When he discovered his parents were considering enrolling him in a Jesuit school, Stu lied about his age and enlisted in the Marine Corps. When Stu was a nineteen-year-old Marine his father died, since Stu was the only son, the USMC issued him a hardship discharge to return home and care for his mother.
Read more: Capt. Stu Smith
Allen ‘Al’ Teasley
1933 ~ 2019
Captain Allen ‘Al’ Teasley, age 86 died peacefully in St. Petersburg, Florida on Sunday, December 22, 2019. Al was the youngest of eleven Teasley children living on a farm near Apison, TN, 23 miles East of Chattanooga.
In high school he was a good student who enjoyed basketball and whose family responsibilities included farm chores. Al enrolled at Murray State College in western Kentucky. Family lore has it that when Al was nineteen, he visited the local airport and observed a gleaming silver Douglas DC-3 airplane piloted by a white-scarfed aviator. He knew instantly what he wanted to do with his life.
Read more: Capt. Al Teasly
Glen ‘Andy’ Anderson
Anderson, Glenn M. age 99, of Bloomington, Minnesota died January 17, 2020. While little is known of Andy’s background, we do know he served in the Air Force in WWII, stationed in England with the 8th Air Force. He began his 37 year career at Northwest Airlines as an agent. Most of us knew ‘Andy’ through his role as the Manager of Flight Training Scheduling back in MSP. He was often one of our first contacts with the Training Department.
The renown scheduling team at NWA Flight Training were Andy, Ralph, and Pat. They were well known for their almost sleuth skills at finding trainees and instructors who did their best to not found, inserting them into schedule slots for early morning simulator and aircraft training flights. In time we came to appreciate Andy’s skill at doing his job very well.
Andy Anderson was interned at Ft. Snelling Cemetery.
- Bill Day
J. Dale Nadon
1936 ~ 2020
Captain Dale Nadon, age 83, died April 19, 2020 in Sarasota, Florida after struggling with dementia.
Born in the small prairie city of Portage LaPrarie, Manitoba, Canada, Dale was the third of four siblings. Dale’s father was a painter who, in classic innovative Canadian prairie style, prevailed upon the city to flood his backyard in the winter to form an ice rink and then installed lighting for night skating. Dale honed his hockey skills right at home on that hockey rink.
In 1955 Dale joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and spent more than a year at RCAF Station Moose Jaw training in the Harvard (T-6) and CT-133 (T-33). After earning his wings and commission as a Flying Officer, Dale was assigned to the CF-100 Operational Training Unit (OUT) at Cold Lake, Alberta. At the time there were five CF-100 fighter squadrons across Canada. The CF-100 was similar to the USAF F-89 in that both were intended to engage enemy bomber formations, however in contrast the CF-100 engaged the enemy with a 90-degree attack, or a Lead Collision Course (LCC), rather than a head on attacks. After learning their techniques at OTU, Dale was assigned to RCAF 440 Squadron at Bagotville, Quebec. In May 1957, the 440 Squadron was transferred to Zweibrucken Air Base in West Germany to fulfill a NATO mission. The aircraft were flown Trans-Atlantic to Zweibrucken AB with fueling stops in Goose Bay and Keflavik, Iceland. Dale served with 440 Squadron at Zweibrucken AB until early 1960. The remainder of his active duty time was served in Canada.
Read more: Dale Nadon
Albert ‘Bert’ Sisler
1923 ~ 2019
Captain Bert Sisler, age 96, passed away November 12, 2019 at home with his wife by his side. Born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota the son of Clifford and Ella (Mills) Sisler. From his earliest years he had an inquiring mind with a strong bent toward science.
Being born in 1923 made Bert a prime candidate for military service during WWII. He served proudly as a pilot in the Army Air Corps.
After WWII Bert was one of thousands of veterans who returned to the University of Minnesota where in 1948, he completed a BS degree in mechanical engineering and business in 1948. He was employed in Minneapolis/St. Paul until hired Northwest Airlines as a pilot on July 13, 1953. Bert flew almost the entire linage of NWA aircraft assigned to the line during his 33-year career. Partly because part of his career he worked for Paul Soderlind in flight test and engineering. Many of us who flew with Bert at NWA marveled at his inquiring, scientific mind. He was highly skilled at explaining the rational behind the procedures we used to fly NWA airplanes. There was almost no technical aspect of our airplanes that Bert could not make interesting. Bert put aside his NWA uniform in September 1983.
Read more: Albert Sisler
Henry ‘Terry’ Bunker
1938 ~ 2020
Captain Terry Bunker, age 81, passed away peacefully on January 22, 2020 after a brief illness, his wife Terri was by his side. At the time of his death Terry and his wife resided in Apple Valley, MN.
Born on July 03, 1938, the third child of Thomas and Mary Jane Bunker. Terry grew up in Cincinnati, OH where his father worked as a stockbroker. Many accredit Terry’s strong personality to the tutelage of his older brother Richard. In their pre-teen and early teen years the two brothers would spend most free days at the local movie theater. At the suggestion of his older brother, the two packed their pockets with snakes. Entering the theater, they climbed to the balcony where they released the snakes. Mischief with a capital M.
After high school Terry attended Xavier University until he acquired the academic credits required to test for the USAF Aviation Cadet Pilot Training. Terry prevailed and was admitted to the challenging Aviation Cadet Pilot Training course. After graduation from pilot training he was assigned to Vance AFB, OK as an ATC instructor pilot. Terry’s primary duty at Vance AFB was as an academic instructor, but he also often flew as an IP in the T-38. A number of future NWA pilots, like Skip Foster, would receive their early training from Terry. After his tenure as an instructor Terry was given an assignment to Air Defense Command (ADC) to fly the F-101 interceptor.
Read more: Henry T. Bunker