This collection contains information on Bill Hodges, who was the founder of the International Ryan Club and was the newsletter
editor until his death.
Bill J. Hodges, often known as “Billie Joe Hodges,” son of Benjamin U. Hodges and Vera V. Holms, was born in Paris, TX on
October 6th, 1929. He attended San Jose State College, served in the Air Force during the Korean War, and retired at the rank
of Master Sergeant. Bill married Martha Poynor in Alameda, California on June 14th, 1957. He was the founder of the International
Ryan Club and was the newsletter editor until his death. He began this task in 1963 when he sent out fliers to AAA members
inviting them to a fly-in. The weather that day was a freezing mix of ice, rain, and slush. Despite the bleak weather conditions
nine members showed up and began forming the Northeast Texas chapter of the AAA and organizing their first fly-in at the grand
Prairie Airport on May 25-26th 1963.
After the formation of the chapter, Bill became the vice president. He spent time writing and publishing a news letter expressing
interest in antique aircraft throughout the area. The first fly-in was a massive success with 26 home-built and antique aircraft
in attendance. Bill took detailed records of the fly-in and activities of the chapter. He also continued to publish a newsletter
and was soon elected president of the North East chapter.
After this Bill proceeded to buy a Stinson 10A and a Fairchild 24. He moved with his family to Ottumwa and worked at the
Air Power museum. Next he moved to Oshkosh and worked at the EAA museum before returning to Texas. When he returned to Texas
he organized the Ryan Type Club and was elected President and newsletter editor. Bill maintained his chapter’s membership
and worked with Norm Justice in hosting a number of fly-ins at Birdnest Airport. At the Denton fly-ins Bill was seen with
his scrapbooks containing the histories of all the well-known Ryan Aircraft.
Bill Hodges started with nine members and no flying aircraft to having over two hundred members with over one hundred flying
antique and classic aircraft. Bill Hodges passed away on Friday, January 23rd, 2004 at the age of 75. He is buried at Oak
Grove Cemetery in Searcy, Arkansas.
1 Cubic Feet
These boxes contain a large number of Ryan company files including photographs, news articles, blueprints, company reports,
promotional material, and spec logs of various Ryan company aircraft both commercial and military. These documents belonged
to Bill J Hodges, founder of the International Ryan Club, and the Texas chapter of the Antique Airplane Association.
The collection contains three boxes 12.5” x 5” x 10”.
Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.
The collection is open to researchers by appointment.