IAW SSS Bylaws approved by the membership, the elected Board of the Super Sabre Society is responsible to appoint a member as CEO to conduct the organization’s business.
This responsibility has been performed by “Hoppy” Hopkins since late 2013. We ALL owe Hoppy (and Gladie) thanks for what he has done to further achieve the realization of our mission. Hoppy monitored the Smithsonian’s refurbishment of aircraft #440, conceiving and overseeing the ceremony and dinner celebrating the roll-out of #440 into the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Museum. Including the dedication of the SSS Airfoil, it was a great event. Over a million visitors each year see our names and view the actual aircraft in which we flew. Ever busy, Hoppy: * Conceived and had constructed our unique “Toasting Cabinet” that at SSS events enables the clink of glasses and tilt of brandy to departed comrades. * Planned and executed the Dayton and Vegas reunions along with the myriad of aggravating details and things that can go wrong. * Found Dean Cutshall, owner of one of two flyable F-100s and arranged memorable events two years in a row bringing smiles and memories to many members as they slapped the afterburner outboard for “one last flight in the Hun.” * Visited and solidified our relationship with the MAPS Museum in East Canton, OH, to act as the recipient of Super Sabre Society-donated memorabilia. * Commissioned the painting “Super Sabres Respond – Tet ‘68” by world famous aviation artist Keith Ferris that adorns many of our home or office walls (or pilot “I love me” rooms), and arranged for the lightbox display at Udvar-Hazy. In short, Hoppy’s done much for all of us (a lot of it unseen and under-appreciated), and he’s ready for a rest. He wants to pass the baton. In typical fashion, he searched for and has found a terrific replacement, Leo Mansuetti. Hoppy loves the SSS and will stand by to help. Thanks, Hop, from all of us!
Leo Mansuetti is truly one of us, a fighter pilot in heart and soul. He started out as an Aviation Cadet in 1959 as an RO in F-89s and then F-101s. When his squadron deactivated, his first choice of assignments was pilot training. He left Hamilton AFB, CA, (where nearby he had just met a beautiful dental assistant named Carolyn) for Del Rio, TX. Carolyn would have to wait, but not for long. Leo bought a ring, caught up with her and offered better, more exciting life opportunities: Luke AFB and the jet noise of F-100s followed by Hahn Air Base in the Eifel of Germany, 10thTFS, Deutschmarks at 4:1, Mosel wines, skiing in Austria and Switzerland, etc. How good could life be? An ALO tour in Munich and a son followed, by F-100 requalification, Snake School, and Phu Cat—238 missions. After the war, he went to Cannon, then AFIT. He then learned to speak “Guard” as an advisor with the 138th TFG in Tulsa and began to make friends in the warbird community with P-51s, T-6s, P-38s, and T-28s, also getting to fly the F-86. Carolyn remained in Tulsa while Leo went remote to Korea and became, of all things, a “hand model.” Next came staff at Shaw, OV-10 IP duty and also back to school for a Master’s degree in Math. After retirement, Leo became a school principal for 10 years while Carolyn started a successful real estate career. Leo joined her in real estate and they became a very successful real estate broker couple in Sumter, SC. However, Leo could never shake his love of aviation, built his own Pitts Special and maintained close contact with, and participated in airshows and activities with the homebuilt and general aviation community that he maintains today. Leo says his airshow and acrobatic career days are over, and he recently donated his Pitts to the MAPS Museum where it hangs proudly from the ceiling. Leo is the right guy with the right background and energy to take over from Hoppy. Welcome, Leo and Carolyn to CEOdom! If you need help, Hoppy and Gladie aren’t far away. Did I mention that Carolyn is also a pilot and beautiful? And furthermore, she’s even nicer than she is beautiful! — Shep