If you are looking for a smile, you need look no further than Bill Snap Bill was one of the very first volunteers and he began drilling rivets in January 2006! Bill’s humor, encouraging words, and constant assistance to all, inspires volunteers new and old alike. When Bill is around, which is every day; we work hard but remember to have fun while doing so.
Bill is no stranger to aviation. He is a veteran of Naval Aviation, having spent four years in the Navy as a mechanic. He maintained the F9F Cougar at Kingville, Texas and later the F3H Demon at Alameda, California . Bill was among the first generation of jet maintainers in the Navy. His sea duty was aboard the USS Lexington, seeing Guam and the Philippines in his Pacific tour of duty.
After leaving the Navy, Bill had a long career at International Harvester…his 42 years there speaks to the dedication and ability of our friend. He also was an auctioneer for thirty years, leaving that profession in 1995.
Bill now applies his wide ranging and well honed skills in the building of our B 17 G, Champaign Lady. He is our go-to guy when we need parts, or finding tools and equipment. Bill has been here almost since day one. He saw a notice in Urbana ’s Airport Café in December 2005 and began working on the project in January, 2006, just as the first rivets were being drilled out of the old fuselage. Bill’s technical work on the project includes the vertical stabilizer, wing tips, and bomb racks. A great deal of this airplane exists because of Bill’s hard work.
Bill says, “I like the people. It is a pleasure being part of the project and being part of history and bringing it back. I enjoy meeting the veterans and all the people who come in to check on our progress.”
It is due in large part to Bill’s efforts that so much progress has been, and continues to be, made. He is one of the big reasons why all the volunteers look forward to coming in each day!
Written by: Robert Buchwalter
November 1, 2010