The F-8 Crusader Association


The F-8 Crusader Association was formed to ensure we continue the long tradition of annual get-togethers and to renew the bonds which tie those who flew that magnificent fighter aircraft. The association is a non-profit 501(c)(19) veterans organization (IRS EIN 54-1910918) whose purpose is to provide a real-time organization to keep track of and facilitate communications between those in our Crusader family.

In addition, the association collects and archives stories and photos from those who flew the bird. Our goal is to make this treasure accessible.

Board of Directors


Dave Cowles, President

John Allen, Vice-President

Chuck Schroeder, Secretary

Jim Ozbirn, Treasurer

Dave Benson, Director

Bob Pearl, Director

Joe Phaneuf, Director


GatorGrams & Email Communications
Web Site Maintenance
USS Midway Museum F-8 Ready Room
Last Annual Crusader Ball (LACB)


Special Board of Directors Vote 28-29 Jan 2018:

The Board of Directors voted on two matters in an email vote 28-29 Jan 2018. The first was to recognize that Joe Phaneuf had not resigned from the Board when he resigned as President. Joe remains as a Director on the Board.

The second was to elect Jim Ozbirn as Treasurer, replacing Bob Pearl who is resigning for health reasons. Congratulations Jim. Jim served as Treasurer of LACB29 and LACB30.

Many thanks to Bob who, as Treasurer, Member of the Board and an LACB Chairman, has served the F-8 Crusader Association faithfully over the years. Bob remains active as a Director on the Board and on the USS Midway Museum F-8 Ready Room Committee.

LACB29 (May 3 - 7, 2017)

The General Membership Meeting:

The membership meeting was held Friday afternoon, May 5, 1500-1600. We learned that if you want people to attend the membership meeting, hold it at the bar! Should have known. It was a great turnout - thanks to all who were there.

Our president, Joe Phaneuf presided. The membership elected two new directors to the board, one to replace Joe who is retiring after nearly ten years of service, and another to replace Denis Duffy who unfortunately passed away earlier in the year. The new directors are Jim Ozbirn and Chuck Schroeder. The membership also ratified Dave Cowles who was appointed to the board last year.

Joe pointed out the great work that has been continuing for many years by Bull Durham, Dave Johnson and Bill Wright for their vital work in maintaining communications, the web site and our Gatorbase. Thank you very much!

The hot item on the agenda was the date and location of LACB30. Members agreed that it should continue on the 18 month cycle and be held in the fall of 2018. Dave Cowles presented the results of the recent survey. You can download a pdf file summarizing the survey by clicking here.

Pertinent to the location, of the 206 who responded, 81 (40%) indicated that if LACB30 were held in a location other than San Diego, it would increase the likelihood of their attending. Of the 81 who suggested another location, 48 suggested Pensacola.

At the meeting members nominated several locations for LACB30. The clear top two choices were San Diego and Seattle. In a run off vote, the totals were deemed too close to constitute a consensus and that it would be appropriate to put the vote to the full membership in another survey. Scott Ruby volunteered to form and lead the team if LACB30 were held in Seattle and Mike Waldron the same for San Diego. Thanks to them for their willingness to make it happen.

Joe also thanked the LACB29 Committee for all of its work in planning and executing LACB29. The meeting was adjourned and the bar continued serving.

The Board of Directors Meeting:

The Board of Directors of the F8 Crusader Association (F8CA) held their Annual Meeting on 5 May 2017, during the 29th Last Annual Crusader Ball held at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Hotel in San Diego, CA.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by the President of the Association, Joe Phaneuf, at 1405.

Directors in Attendance:

Directors Absent:

We were saddened by the recent announcement of the loss of board member Dennis Duffy, one of our great Crusader Pilots and dedicated Directors, who served many years as Secretary of the Association. His many contributions and dedicated leadership at numerous LACB reunions will be remembered. As recognized by all the attendees at this LACB, the whole hearted support given over the years by Dennis and his lovely wife, Diane, to the success of our Association set the standard for all of us. He will be missed and we are all are saddened by his passing.

A quorum was present.

Board Minutes and Actions

Board of Directors Joe Phaneuf, following years of dedicated service to the Association, announced his desire and intention to retire as President of the Crusader Association and from the board.

The President of the board called for nominations of Officers for the positions of President and Secretary.

Joe Phaneuf nominated Dave Cowles to serve as President of the Crusader Association. The nomination was seconded by Chuck Schroeder. The board unanimously voted to approve Dave Cowles as President.

Dave Cowles nominated Chuck Schroeder to serve as Secretary of the Crusader Association. The nomination was seconded by John Holm and the board voted to approve Chuck Schroeder as Secretary of the Crusader Association.

The resulting election of Directors by the Membership and the election of Officers by the Board of Directors completed the 2017 roster of the seven Directors and Officers of the Crusader Association as follows:


Discussion concerning the formal identification of committees serving the Association was held. The board recognized that we have a data base registering the Official Roster of the F8 Crusader Association maintained by Bill Wright and an email GatorGram published by Bull Durham. The need to formalize these identities as official committees pursuant to the Association By Laws was discussed and implemented by the board.

A motion was made and seconded to approve the membership list as posted on the F-8 Crusader Association web site , as the official membership list of the Association. The motion carried.

The intention to delete a Media Member from the committee list was discussed and, hearing no objections, was implemented.

The suggestion to include as a formal Board Committee, the Last Annual Crusader Ball (LACB) Committee, was discussed. It was moved and seconded that we officially recognize the LACB planning committee as an official committee of the Association. The motion carried.

Discussion concerning the status and maintenance of the F8 Crusader Ready Room on the USS Midway was held with the option of establishing a formal association committee for the sponsorship of the F8 Ready Room. The founding members of the group initiating the ready room were Bruce Boland, Cal Swanson, Bill Rennie, and Jack Batzler. Later members included Dick Cavicke, Bob Pearl, Karen Black, and Dale Deweese. No formal decision or action to create a committee was taken at this time. It was recognized that the F8 Crusader Association owns and is the sponsor of the Ready Room. Karen Black currently maintains a separate account for the USS Midway F8 Ready Room with Karen Black and Bob Pearl as signature authority on the account.

Signature authority for the F8 Crusader Association is held by Bob Pearl and John Holm.

LACB30 Survey

Results of the attendees formal survey to identify the location of the LACB 30 were reviewed; San Diego first and Seattle second. The board elected to conduct a follow-on email survey of the membership to determine the consensus of the next LACB. Dave Cowles took this for action with the results of the survey to be presented to the membership.

General Discussion:

The Registration Fee for the LACB function has been $75. As the only discretionary funding supporting the activities at the reunion, an increase was discussed and considered appropriate. The final amount to be proposed by the LACB Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.

Bob Pearl discussed the letters to gift givers, regarding donations to the F8CA. A message to board members inquiring about gifts to LACB expenses was sent with no responses received. He requested that the board be more attentive to all inquires for all business actions.

New Business

John Allen discussed the proposal from Dave Morris regarding the Virginia Beach, VA Memorial Monument erected by the Hampton Roads, VA Association of Naval Aviation (ANA). The association had raised $3M over an eight-year period to place the monument on 25th Street in Virginia Beach, VA. John noted that this has been a major visitor attraction and offered that a $2,500 donation from the F8CA would provide a uniform design for a plaque honoring F8 Crusader pilots and a fund to support the annual upkeep of the monument. Bob Pearl noted that the F8CA had donated $1,200 for a similar plaque placed on Mt. Soledad in San Diego. Following discussion, this proposal was tabled until it could be presented to the membership at LACB 30 for consideration.

Hearing no further business, it was moved to adjourn. The motion carried and the Board of Directors adjourned at 1505.

Minutes submitted by Chuck Schroeder, Secretary.