World War II veteran. Thir-

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World War II veteran. Thir- Powered By Docstoc
					                                               2007 Vintage
                                           Aircraft Association
                                               Hall of Fame
                                                                Chet Peek, Ph.D.

              orld War II veteran. Thir-   ing lessons in a Taylorcraft A. A year    cer for the 8th Air Force, 95th Bomb
              ty-one airplanes owned,      later, he was selected to be one of the   Group, and would serve in that ca-
              many of them restored        10 students in the second CPT pro-        pacity until the war in Europe ended
              with the help of his wife.   gram sponsored by Iowa State Uni-         in the spring of 1945.
Author of six aviation history books.      versity, and by May of 1941, Chet            Reunited for the first time in two
Engineering professor. Father of two       was thrilled to be the holder of a lim-   and a half years, Chet and Marian
boys and husband of Marian.                ited commercial pilot certificate, with   started life in the Midwest, where
  Five short sentence fragments,           more than 100 hours in his logbook.       Chet began his career as an engineer
but it’s the gaps between the words           Close to graduation from mechan-       with a Frigidaire distributor, design-
                                                                                     ing commercial refrigeration plants
                                                                                     and air conditioning systems. Like
                                                                                     so many of their peers, they started
                                                                                     their family, with sons Stan and Tom
                                                                                     arriving in 1947 and 1951. Later,
                                                                                     Chet’s career would take him into ev-
                                                                                     er-higher positions within the com-
                                                                                     mercial trailer production business.
                                                                                     At age 50, Chet went back to college
                                                                                     to earn a doctorate in industrial engi-

The Peek Family homestead near Paullina, Iowa.

that fill out the remarkable story of      ical engineering school at Iowa State
our 2007 VAA Hall of Fame inductee,        at the outbreak of World War II, Chet
Chet Peek, Ph.D.                           was accepted into the Engineering Ca-
   Chet was born on Armistice Day,         det School in the Army Air Corps and
November 11, 1920, on the family           entered the school on June 2, 1942.
farm homesteaded by his grandfather        A month later, while on his first 24-
in 1883. Chet still owns that farm,        hour pass and against all regulations,
near Paullina, Iowa. His first airplane    he married Marian Swain, whom he’d
ride came in 1932, a two-dollar ride       met while they were both freshman
in a Waco RNF paid for by his grand-       at the Ames, Iowa, campus.
father. In ’39 he managed to start fly-       Chet served as engineering offi-       1937—Chet and his big 1927 Harley.
6 JANUARY 2008
neering. After graduation, he worked        When Chet sent in the photos           ately marked “Antique Airplane Ad-
in academia, serving as the head of      and biographical information we           diction.” Not surprisingly, it was the
the Oklahoma City University’s MBA       requested for the Hall of Fame pro-       thickest of them all, liberally sprin-
Program, retiring in 1989 as an in-      gram, he neatly organized a series of     kled with shots of his family and air-
structor in Oklahoma University’s        envelopes for the various periods in      planes and of the many projects he’s
College of Business.                     his life. One envelope was appropri-      enjoyed working on throughout the
                                                                                   years, which have served as the sub-
                                                                                   ject of his aviation books, including
                                                                                   The Pietenpol Story, The Spartan Story,
                                                                                   The Taylorcraft Story, Flying with 40
                                                                                   Horses, Resurrection of a Jenny, and
                                                                                   The Heath Story. He’s currently work-

1940—Some of his training in the CPT program was done in this Luscombe 8A.

                                                                                   Reunited with his bride after two and
                                                                                   a half years. Chet and Marian on July
                                                                                   29, 1945.

                                         After graduation from the Army Air
Chet and Marian graduated from Iowa      Corps Engineering Cadet School, Chet
State in the spring of 1942.             was ready to go overseas in April 1943.

                                                                                   1955—Chet and Marian with their
Lt. Chester L. Peek, engineering officer of the 95th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.    boys, Stan, age 8, and 4-year-old Tom.
                                                                                              VINTAGE AIRPLANE 7
One of his earliest restorations, Chet’s E-2 Cub, N14330, was part of the family
for 45 years, until completely destroyed by an F5 tornado.

Chet seemed to be addicted to the CallAir. Here’s one of his restorations, a       One of a series of Taylorcrafts owned by
CallAir A-3 Cabin.                                                                 Chet and Marian, this is their BL-65.

Chet and his family with their Waco UPF-7 in the early 1960s.
8 JANUARY 2008
                                          A couple of the 10 CallAirs owned by Chet at one time or another. Here are his res-
                                          torations of a pair of Cabin CallAirs, an A-3, N2909V, and an A-2, NC33356.

Below: Chet’s first brand new airplane,
a Taylorcraft F-19.                         Chet loves rare airplanes. This is his restoration of Driggs Skylark N11301.

                                                                                                  1956—Chet used a Chevy
                                                                                                  to haul home a Standard
                                                                                                  J-1 basket case from
                                                                                                  Lynch, Nebraska, with a
                                                                                                  small U-Haul trailer.

                                                                                                  VINTAGE AIRPLANE 9
                                          PHIL HIGH
                                                                                                                                JEFF ISOM

Chet and his restored Jenny were one of the five Curtiss JN-4s featured in 1989’s “Jennys to Jets” feature at EAA Oshkosh
that year.
ing on a history of the Standard J-1.                 grandchildren and friends, join them        the EAA. Who would have thought
For more information on his books,                    in Oshkosh to celebrate Chet’s induc-       back there in those days, as you look
you can visit his book website, www.                  tion into the VAA Hall of Fame. In his      around today, the organization would                                    acceptance speech, Chet said, “I feel so    be what it is and what it is doing.
   Throughout the years of engineer-                  honored to be here with all these other        “We’re free to fly in this country,
ing work, restorations, and writing,                  aviation greats and very humbled, be-       and it’s something we should appre-
Chet’s wife, Marian, has been busy as                 cause, as you will see, there are really    ciate, and the EAA is very much re-
well, earning a master’s degree, sewing               some outstanding people here,” Peek         sponsible for a very large portion of
fabric, hauling wings, and enduring in-               said. “It seems like only yesterday that    that freedom. It’s been a great jour-
numerable retrieval trips to haul home                I sent a dollar or two off to some fellow   ney, these last 50 years at the EAA,
a dilapidated airplane project. Chet                  in Milwaukee who was starting a new         and I’m happy to say it’s not over.
was thrilled to have Marian and their                 club for private aviators. He called it     I’ve got a Pietenpol almost done in
sons, Stan and Tom, along with their                  the Experimental Aircraft Association,      my garage.”

    In May of 1999 the J-1 restoration was nearing com-
    pletion when an F5 tornado obliterated Chet’s hangar,
    destroying the J-1 along with four other airplanes, a
    50-year collection of antique aircraft parts, several
    antique cars, and a completely equipped shop. Chet
    holds what appears to be a small section of a spar.

10 JANUARY 2008

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Description: World War II (abbreviated WWII). September 1, 1939 -1 945 years on August 15, to Germany, Italy, Japan and France Axis (and Finland, Hungary, Romania and other countries) as a party to the anti-fascist alliance and the world anti-fascist forces, on the other for the second time on a global scale war. From Europe to Asia, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, there have been 61 countries and regions, more than 2.0 billion population is involved in the war, combat regional area of 2200 square km. According to incomplete statistics, war, soldiers and civilians were killed or injured more than 9,000 million people, 4 more than one trillion U.S. dollars down the drain. End of World War II the United States, Soviet Union, China, Britain and other countries and peoples of the world anti-fascist victory over the fascist invaders win the world peace and progress to an end.