Board of Directors

Doug Jacobs


(Retired LTC, Army), native Kansan from Liberal

“I served 34 years in the military, and after my initial three years on active duty, I spent the remainder of my career in the Kansas National Guard, and retired in 2005. I received my bachelors degree and ROTC commission from Kansas State University and a masters in public administration from the University of Kansas.”

“I’m a graduate of the Army War College, and was the curator for both the Museum of the Kansas National Guard and the 35th Infantry Museum in Topeka. My last period of active duty was in Bosnia-Herzogovinia. My grandson, Douglas, will be a freshman at WSU next year. I am married and live in Branson, Missouri.”

“My connection with Erwin Bleckley started when I became fascinated in his life after reading an article titled ‘Flying Aces’ by Dr. Charles J. Gross, which was published in ‘On Guard’ in 1994. The initial inquiry into Bleckley’s life revealed that few in the national guard knew who Bleckley was or what he accomplished. When I realized that few people knew of Bleckley, not only in the guard, but also in his home town of Wichita, my goal became to insure he would never be forgotten.”

Greg Zuercher


Native Wichitan, retired Air Force/Army Soldier and Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran

“I’m a fifth generation Kansan, directly descended from seven generations (out of ten) that have served in our nation’s military. I served eight years in the Air Force, first as an F-16 avionics instrument and flight control technician, then as an satellite wideband tech. I branched Army to attend OCS, and served another 14 years as an infantry platoon and light wheeled vehicle maintenance supervisor, then lastly as a public affairs officer/military journalist.”

“I see in Bleckley a local hero who has not been given enough credit in his hometown. Which is why we held Bleckley Day on the centennial of his heroic death. The airport memorial is a natural outgrowth from that, and the most fitting honor for our only aviation Medal of Honor recipient. I like to leave people with this final question to sum up why we are doing this: ‘how can the Air Capital not honor it’s greatest aviation hero at its own airport?’”


In 1957 Rob and his family moved to Wichita from Kansas City. He received his BBA from WSU and went to work at Cessna for ten years, working in the Military/Twin Div, fabrication/production/shipping and then contract administration. Later he went to work for the VA and retired from the VA Wichita Regional Office (claims processing) in January of 2005. While in the USAF he worked as weapons load specialist for F-100 Super Saber.

He claims to have done just about everything (for example, auto mechanics, classic car restoration, woodworking, house construction, painting, jig building, accounting, shipping/packaging, writing, concrete work, landscaping. His hobbies include sailing (member & past Board member of Ninnescah Sailing Association, Cheney Reservoir), woodworking, and motorhome travel.

His wife Nancy is a talented seamstress & upholsterer. Together they raised their two sons here in Wichita and enjoy spending time with them and their families who live in Wichita as well. Before retirement Nancy operated a beauty salon in their home for many years.

His goal as a volunteer for this restoration project is to help pull Wichita’s early military aviation history out of the shadows and to bring to light Lt. Bleckley’s heroic past. He says it is truly an honor and connects him in ways he is just beginning to appreciate.

As a kid in the early ’50’s, he built models of various biplanes. Never did he dream he would have the opportunity to work on the real thing, much less have it be for such an historic project! Currently he is the President of the Bleckley Foundation and the Shop Manager for the Bleckley Restoration Workshop at 359 N. Mosley in Wichita.

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