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Paul H. Poberezny


Setting the Stage for History

"To us it was just another flying club."

Paul returned to the Milwaukee area, found work as a flight instructor and aircraft mechanic, and bought a surplus Stearman PT-17 biplane. Money was tight. Paul and Audrey had to move in with Lillian. Before long Paul, needing a steady paycheck, was back in uniform accepting a full-time position with the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

On October 3, 1946, Audrey gave birth to their first child, Thomas Paul Poberezny. In just a few more years they were blessed with their second child, a daughter, Bonnie Lou Poberezny.

Paul & a very young Tom
Paul Poberezny (right) and son Tom at an airport in the early 1950s.

In 1952 Paul once again proved his dedication to his country by accepting an assignment to fly C-47s during the Korean War. His aircraft was hit by enemy fire on his first flight. Paul served a year and then returned to Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

Paul was once again adjusting to the life of being a peacetime pilot when Audrey suggested that he get involved with a fledging group of local Milwaukee amateur airplane builders. "People always ask how I felt starting this organization. I didn't feel anything because none of us knew at the time what it would become. To us it was just another flying club," Paul liked to say.

In the innocence of the 1950s, no one could have guessed that this small group of garage-based aircraft homebuilders were lighting a fire that would change the future of aviation all over the world. What Paul brought to the group was a can-do attitude, organizational skills, years of government experience, and his most powerful weapon of kindness, Audrey. Paul made an old coal bin in his home EAA's first office with a table, chair, and typewriter. Thus began EAA.

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