Melvin C Eisaman
Mel Eisaman passed away April 4th, 2016 (29 July 1931-4 April 2016) after a long bout with COPD.
Mel served in the mid to late 1950's as a pilot of the B-57-B with the 13th Bomb Squadron based at Johnson Air Base, Japan. He was among the first of the aircrews to be deployed with the squadron to Kunsan Air Base, Korea to stand "Quick Strike" nuclear alerts for potential enemy targets during the Cold War. Among other career assignments, he also served a B-57 tour of duty at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He has published several articles about his experiences with the B-57 and it aircrews and continued his involvement in aviation after retirement from the Air Force, especially with small "sporty" aircraft.
Mel was instrumental in starting the B-57 Canberra Association and provided leadership as President of the Association for several terms. He continued to provide counsel to the Association as an on-going member of the Board and advisor. He was the "go-to" person for interpretation of Association by-laws, purpose and history.
The B-57 Community offers its sincerely condolences to Mel's wife, Beverly, and their family. We owe Mel our recognition and thanks for his contributions to maintain the legacy of the B-57 and its aircrews! He will be sorely missed...
If anyone was "Mr. Canberra Association", it was Mel Eisaman. Mel passed away in April from COPD and that is a huge loss for us and the Canberra Association! Mel helped found the Association and led it for many years. He got me enthused about it and got me involved. As Norm says, Mel was the expert and "corporate memory" for all things B-57. He would take whatever time necessary to explain or solve Association problems. I spent hours on the phone with him while planning the Portland Reunion and couldn't have succeeded without Mel's help. I talked to him prior to the Seattle reunion and he was really upset that his health wouldn't allow him to travel because he had never missed one of our reunions! We were lucky to have had Mel on our side. His wisdom, humor and Scatback war stories are all memorable! Rest in Peace, Mr Canberra Association.
Dave Baird, President
From his obituary on ObitsforLife.com, posted from Fairmount Mortuary, Cemetery & Cremation Services, Denver, CO:
Melvin C Eisaman, Lt. Col., USAF, Retired
Melvin Charley Eisaman died April 4, 2016, of complications from COPD. He was 84. Mel was born July 29, 1931, in Pickaway County, Ohio, on a farm next to what later became Lockbourne Army Airfield. He was the son of Melvin O. and Dora Williams Eisaman.
As a boy during World War II, Mel was fascinated by the airplanes flying from Lockbourne and aspired to become an Air Force fighter pilot. He obtained his pilot's license at age 19 and earned a B.S. in Aeronautics from Miami University of Ohio in 1953. Mel was commissioned in the United States Air Force in 1953, and attended pilot training and combat flight school in 1953-55.
On December 21, 1954, Mel married Beverly Ann Slade in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were married 61 years, and had three children, Susan, Kent and Kirk.
In his 22 1/2 year career in the Air Force, Mel flew over 6000 hours, more than 4000 of those in jet aircraft, including the F-86, B-57, T-33, and T-39. During the Cold War, Mel flew missions out of Korea and Japan with the 13th Bomb Squadron. Later he flew courier missions with Scatback from Tan Son Nhut Base in Saigon during the Vietnam War.
Mel and his family were stationed in Nevada, Georgia, Ohio, Japan (twice), Illinois, Utah, Virgina, Texas, and Colorado. While stationed in Utah and Colorado, Mel fell in love with the West and chose to stay in Colorado after retiring from the Air Force in 1976.
After retiring, Mel completed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic School and worked as an aircraft mechanic and inspector for the Lowry Aero Club, Branson Aircraft Corp., AMR Combs Avionics, and Rocky Mountain Straight Flight.
Mel owned a 1946 Globe Swift airplane, which he flew until he was 79. He loved giving rides to youngsters who were interested in flying. He also spoke at schools about aviation careers, and volunteered at the Wings Over the Rockies museum. He belonged to many Air Force and aviation organizations, including the Order of Daedalians and the Canberra Association.
Mel is survived by his wife, Beverly, of Aurora; daughter Susan (Mike) Gowan, and son Kent (Mari) Eisaman, all of Aurora, son Kirk (Louise) Eisaman, of Reno, Nevada; seven grandchildren, Aimee, Luke, Alex, Sawyer, Eric, Quincy, and Averi, and two great-granddaughters, Harlequin and Tempest.