Serving Northern Illinois Squadron 4 is 501(c)3 Registered Non-Profit

Social Media Officer: Steve Pagels

Steve was born in Northern Illinois. His early interest in flight, mechanics and electronics formed his future. Having friends that were pilots and being around Experimental Aircraft Association throughout the years. ‘There’s a point when you step out to help.’ Joining Warbirds Squadron 4 in 2008, he became a board member and has had the opportunity to work on many events. He crews on a Grumman TBM Avenger as they display it at airport open houses around Illinois.

Quartermaster: Stacy Kolls

For the past 10 years, Stacy has lived in Belvidere, Illinois. She decided to join the Squadron in 2000 because of her location and the many members that she had met through her Airventure experiences. After becoming a board member in 2003, Stacy has played an important role in the Squadron with her Quartermaster duties as well as her organization of the B-17 tour stops. In addition, Stacy has been working on her private pilot license and has 2 solo flights. Aside from Squadron activities, Stacy has been volunteering at Airventure since 1999. She is also involved in the Rockford airshow and is a member of EAA Chapter 22. Stacy’s favorite Warbirds are the Stinson L-5 Sentinel, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, and the North American P-51 Mustang. She also runs a care package drive for Squadron 4.

Young Eagles Officer: Robert (Butch) Bejna

A resident of Addison, Illinois, Robert ‘Butch’ Benja recently joined Squadron 4 because of his life long interest in Warbird type aircraft. He has also known several Squadron 4 members for many years. Butch began flying in 1984 and holds his private pilots license. For many years, he has operated a Cessna 150 out of Schaumburg airport. In addition to Squadron 4, Butch is heavily involved in the Young Eagles program and has flown nearly 2000 missions for the program. His favorite Warbird is the P-40 Warhawk as it was the first model that he ever built. He also enjoys photographing many different aircraft.

Recruiting Officer: Bruce Hawkins

Bruce was born and raised in Midlothian Illinois. His interest in airplanes goes back to his childhood where he remembers his dad taking him and his brother to the “little airport” (Howell Airport in Crestwood IL) to watch planes take off and land on the weekends. Moving to Joliet IL in 1997 still looking skyward when a plane went by, it was in 2007 that his wife got him a ride on The Aluminum Overcast that really set off his love of Warbirds. It was on that same day that he noticed an Avenger sitting off to the side and mentioned to a friend with him that he has seen that plane fly over his house. For the next several years he would always go see the B-17 when it was in town and it was on one such stop at Lewis airport in 2012 he talked with one of the Squadron 4 members and received a card with the website address on it. It took some 5 months or so but eventually he reached out to Brian Churchill and he began his membership with the squadron. Since joining the squadron Bruce has helped out at several events with setup and teardown and has contributed several articles for the newsletter he has also had the great opportunity to help out at the TBM\SNJ hangars of CO Tom Buck. Bruce’s favorite plane(s) SNJ, F4U Corsair and of course the TBM.