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A Club Without Rules

By Mark Albertson: NO-NO List: No Dues, No Organization, No Officers, No Certificates, No Meetings, No Mergers, No Handshakes, No Decisions, No I.D. Cards, No Flag-Waving, No Emblem, No Executives, No Programs, No Honors, No Rituals, No Trespassing, No Morals, No Benefits, No Staff, No Pins, No Money, No Axes, No Committees, No Publicity, No Do-Gooding, No By-Laws, No Collaboration, No Conventions, No Charters, No Propaganda, No Records, No Soft Drinks, No Leadership, No Buageting, No Policies, No Women, No Chapters, No Shouting, No Insurance, No Assurance, No Initiation Fees, No Clock-Watchers, No Resolutions, No Boys, No Paperwork, No Volunteers, No Motto, No Awards, No Constitution, No Heroes

Vintage is Everything!
A club without rules or regulations is an accident looking for a place to happen, right? Perhaps not. Take a look at the Cub Club. In 1962, Colonel Alexander J. Rankin, an AAAA board member, gathered with six other Army Aviators from the 1942-1951 period. They began what would become known as the Cub Club.

AAPI PHOTO BY RENÉ BIDEZ

Membership requirements? Provide a copy of your orders confirming you as an L-Pilot, plus an example of memorabilia, such as a photo, combat report, clipping, etc. And the Club mantra? Assist AAAA in maintaining the history of Army Aviation; and, adhere to the Club’s No-No List (see the box). The original “No-No” list took a beating over time - The Cub Club has an emblem, one- that’s sold by the Aviation Museum; and they’ve kept records. “No Motto” was quickly ignored when the phrase, “Vintage Is Everything!” appeared at the bottom of the first “No-No list,” and “No Do Gooding” bit the dust when their annual pass-the-hat exercise underwrote those scholarships.

One would certainly be hard pressed to find another club that exists without rules. Cub Clubber, Colonel (Retired) Doug Ciley, once described this august group as a collection of “old individuals” who bring to the table the following characteristics: “A shortness of breath; some graying and balding; and, the making of nostalgic references to ‘the good old days.’” Yet, despite Colonel Ciley’s observations, seven of the original 30 Cub Club members would go on to serve as AAAA National Presidents.

The Cub CLub assemles in the AAAA President’s suite for some re-hydration during the 1975 AAAA Annual Convention.

At the outset, yearly gatherings were generally in some far off corner of the National Convention, eventually convening
in a suite in a hotel. Stories were bandied about, some having been told and then retold, with each and every version and its retelling, priceless… there is no monetary value on a camaraderie forged by that crucible known as war.

In 2010, MG James O. Barkley, III, then branch chief and commanding general of U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, Alabama, honored this unique collection of servicemen by officially designating them “The Originals.” They were recognized at the AAAA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, April 17th, and each was presented with a unique medallion. A ceremony later followed at Fort Rucker during which a Bronze Plaque was placed at the entrance of the Army Aviation Museum.

“Today’s aviators carry that torch lit by the likes of the Cub Clubbers who, in World War II and Korea, forged the future of Army Aviation while flying aircraft slower than today’s family sedans,” a description impressed upon this writer by one of The Originals, LTC Norman Goodwin.
The last word belongs to retired Master Army Aviator and one of The Originals, Colonel Harry Townsend, “I am grateful to those who helped me by their good advice, friendship and by an occasional kick in the pants to encourage me to use my wings to help the military team accomplish its mission and serve this great Country of ours.”

30 Aviators at the Initial Cub Club Gathering

  1. LTC John L. Briggs
  2. LTC Richard E. Bywaters
  3. MAJ (Ret.) William R. Chaires
  4. MAJ Jessie Childress
  5. LTC Jack W. Duffy
  6. LTC William C. Dysinger
  7. Mr. M. Jake Fortner
  8. LTC (Ret.) E. Morgan Fox
  9. LTC (Ret.) Darwin P. Gerard*
  10. BG O. Glenn Goodhand*
  11. LTC Joseph L. Gude
  12. MAJ Claude E. Hargett
  13. MAJ William H. Harper
  14. CPT (Ret.) Arthur H. Kesten
  15. COL (Ret.) Robert M. Leich*
  16. COL Richard L. Long*
  17. LTC Nelson A. Mahone, Jr.
  18. COL (Ret.) Jack L. Marinelli
  19. MAJ James W. Maschmann
  20. LTC Joseph E. McDonald, Jr.*
  21. MAJ William R. Miller
  22. LTC Robert K. Moore
  23. Dario Politella
  24. COL Alexander J. Rankin
  25. LTC (Ret.) Thomas J. Sabiston
  26. COL Cloyd V. Taylor
  27. LTC Henry S. Wann
  28. COL (Ret.) Edwin F. Whitney
  29. BG Robert R. Williams*
  30. Mr. Bryce Wilson*

* Past AAAA National Presidents.

Mark Albertson is the award winning historian for Army Aviation Publications, Inc.