It is appropriate for me to recognize two individuals that were my
personal friends and who were aviation confidants to the late Mr.
Hughes. It was their friendship, technical skills, advice and personal
devotion to duty that earned Howard Hughes the title; "The Father of
Glenn "Ode” Odekirk (1905-1985) –They met in 1933 during the filming of
the epic movie “Hells Angels” that Hughes was producing and directing.
Ode was a skilled pilot, craftsman/mechanic and an airplane builder; a
perfect compliment to Howard for that era. He and Howard flew thousands
of hours together testing and pioneering aviation technology. Ode built
the H-1 Racer, oversaw the details of the Hughes daring ‘around the
world flight’ in 1938, the XF-11 aircraft and Ode is credited with the
design and construction of the famous “Spruce Goose”.
Jack Real (1915-2005) - An aeronautical flight engineer at Lockheed
Aircraft Company. Jack was Howard's aviation eyes and ears that guided
the design and acquisition of many of Hughes airplanes for TWA and
Hughes Air West. Jack served as president of the Hughes helicopter
company and was responsible for the design and production of the AAH
‘Apache’ Helicopter. He was considered Hughes ‘last best friend’. He
was at Howard's side when he died on an airplane in route to Houston,
Texas from Mexico in 1976.
Bob McCaffery - I am honored to have known these two gentlemen. Ode
served as my Honorary Chairman, when I was Chairman of "The Committee to
Save the Hughes Flying Boat" in 1980. Jack was Director Emeritus of the
Board of Directors of the Aero Club of Southern California, Host of the
annual Howard Hughes Memorial Award banquet. I served as President of
the Aero Club in 1985.