Chapter History

Chapter 101 was chartered on April 1, 1961 with 11 members. By our second meeting membership had risen to over 40. Just 4 months after our inception we held our first fly-in breakfast at Mitchell Field, Lombard. The two-day breakfast-air shows became an annual event. After our first fly-in other area chapters expressed an interest in co-sponsoring the fly-ins, so, in 1962, the fly-in became the joint effort of chapters 101, 95, 86, 104, 89, and 15 and was called the Chicago Area Fly-in. These fly-ins continued until 1967 when, because of inequities in the work load, 101 members unanimously voted to pull out of the fly-in. The Chicago Area Fly-in then moved to Joliet Airport where 101 continued to participate on a voluntary basis, but not financially.

Our meetings were first held at the home of Al & Dolores Neunteufel. In September 1962 we moved the meetings to the basement of the King Arthur Apartments in Addison. Then, in September 1963, Gordon Glendening donated a barn on his property to 101. We voted to accept this and immediately began renovating the barn into a meetinghouse. It took about 6 months of volunteer effort to fix up the barn and in April 1964 we held our first meeting in our new home. Our membership was growing and within a year we were adding and extension to our meeting room. For the next twelve years we were privileged to have the use of this building for meetings, parties, picnics, airplane storage, etc. It was our home! In November 1961 we started our first chapter project, the Contestor. The airplane was completed and entered in EAA's folding wing design contest at Rockford in 1962. We had been attending the Rockford EAA Conventions, volunteering wherever we were needed, but in 1964 Al Neunteufel was asked to co-chair the aircraft parking crew. From then until 1972 at Oshkosh, 101 parked airplanes at the conventions. Our second chapter project, A T-18, was started in 1966. It was completed and flown in July 1970. Joe Weber approached our chapter officers in 1970 with an idea to institute an aircraft building class at Willowbrook High School. 101 members agreed to sponsor (pay for) their first project, a primary glider with the understanding that the glider would belong to 101 when it was completed. It was completed and flown in July 1972. Because of the success of this project, the aviation classes became a part of the school's curriculum. We were always an active chapter. Each year we put on a shopping mall display in conjunction with the DuPage Air shows. We participated in the premiers of two movies, 'Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines' and 'The Blue Max'. And, in between, we held picnics, flea market sales, work parties and entered into any event that would publicize EAA or aviation. In 1973 the Champion Flyers Flying Club was formed, not a direct part of the chapter, but incorporated separately and limited to 101 members. The club is still in existence today. From 1974 to 1988, 101 volunteered to run Camper Registration at Oshkosh. In the beginning it was a chapter effort and later, on an individual basis. In 1985, 101 helped a student, Ann Zrinsky, attend the EAA Air Academy by donating half the tuition. We began holding our Halloween Costume Breakfasts at Harry Cameron's at DuPage Airport in the early 80's. These continued through 1987. Then, in 1988, we discontinued the Halloween Breakfast and moved our breakfast date to May. In 1989, we began co-sponsoring the North Central Fly-in at Whiteside County Airport, Rock Falls, Illinois. This, along with our picnic, annual banquet, fly-aways, Oshkosh volunteering, Young Eagle Rallies, Builder's Nights and our other chapter activities keeps us busy. As we move through the 90's and into the new century, our future looks bright. Our membership is showing steady growth, more new projects are starting, more airplanes are flying and participation in chapter activities increases with each event. We look forward to making the same strides and advances as was evident in our early years.