NACA Reunion XII


reunionWelcome to a report on the successfully completed NACA Reunion XII. Once again we gathered to renew acquaintances and to celebrate our careers in the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which transitioned to NASA almost 50 years ago on October 1, 1958. We celebrated the 12th and Final NACA Reunion here at the NASA Langley Research Center, which was established as the first NACA facility in 1917 as the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

NACA Reunion XII was co-sponsored by the NASA Langley Research Center and the Langley Alumni Association and took place in Hampton, Virginia, May 2-4, 2008. There were 360 attendees from over 30 States and all seemed to have a great time.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin gave a powerful speech recognizing the important contributions of the NACA at the opening ceremony in the H.J.E. Reid Center at the NASA Langley Research Center. Over 300 attended the event also heard impressive presentations from NASA Langley Center Director Lesa Roe, and Air Force Vice Commander Jeffrey Prichard of the First Fighter Wing. Reunion Chairman Duncan McIver presented the NASA Administrator with a plaque from NACA congratulating NASA on their 50th Anniversary on October 1, 2008. The Administrator said he would hang the plaque in a prominent place in NASA Headquarters.

Jo Dibella, who participated in this event, organized the first Reunion, attended by 611 people, and held in 1976. Jo ended her career as the secretary to Dr. Hugh Dryden, the last NACA Director and the first Deputy Administrator of NASA. We all owe Jo a word of thanks for her inspired creation. Subsequent Reunions, on a more or less regular basis, commenced in 1982. Peak attendance of 810 people occurred for the 1988 Reunion IV held in San Jose. The previous Reunion XI was held at Ames Research Center in 2005 and attracted over 300 attendees.

On the following pages you will find descriptions of the events and tours that the attendees enjoyed. We have also provided a list of people who attended Reunion XII as of April 11, and will be updated with the final count. Our Planning Committee members were proud to serve as hosts and were delighted visiting with the attendees.

We would appreciate receiving any comments (positive or negative) that you might have on this Reunion. I will pass them along to the organizers of any future NASA-NACA reunions.

Finally, we are excited for those who attended and hope you had a wonderful time over those few days in May remembering and celebrating those wonderful “days gone by” or Auld Lang Syne.

Duncan McIver

Chairman, NACA Reunion XII

  • NACA History is described in a number of sources including the NASA History Office –, and the wonderful book “Engineer in Charge” by James Hansen. As the NASA Langley representative to the NASA Headquarters History Office, Gail Langevin provided valuable liaison during the NACA Reunion XII. She coordinated interviews with attendees as part of the NASA Oral History project. The Headquarters History Office also provided copies of NASA and NACA documents to the Reunion attendees.
  • NACA Reunions – The first NACA Reunion was held in 1976 in Asheville, North Carolina, and this will be the 12th and final reunion devoted strictly to alumni who worked at the NACA. The history of these reunions is shown in the following chart:
    I October 8, 1976 Headquarters Ashville, NC 611
    II November 12, 1982 Langley Williamsburg, VA 702
    III September 16, 1985 Glenn/Lewis Cleveland, OH 806
    IV September 30, 1988 Ames San Jose, CA 810
    V October 18, 1991 Johnson Galveston, TX 572
    VI April 29, 1994 Kennedy Cape Canaveral, FL 410
    VII October 3, 1996 Langley Hampton, VA 595
    VIII October 1, 1998 Headquarters Washington, DC 308
    IX September 15, 2000 Dryden Lancaster, CA 251
    X October 10, 2003 Glenn/Lewis Cleveland, OH 228
    XI Fall 2005 Ames San Jose, CA 320
    XII Spring 2008 Langley Hampton, VA 300 plus
  • Planning Team – The Reunion XII team was composed of the following individuals: Duncan McIver, Roy Harris, Milt Holt, Betty Joyner, Jim Gardner, Bill Reed, Gary Price, Fred Morrell, Earl Andrews, Mike Yazkowski, Dave Miller, Jack Suddreth, Bland Stein, Gerry Kayten, Nat Cohen, and Gail Langevin. All are NASA/NACA retirees except for Mike Yazkowski, who works for the City of Hampton, and Gail Langevin, who is an active NASA Langley employee. Gail does an exceptional job coordinating activities with NASA Langley and the NASA Headquarters History Office.