The Grumpy Gang


The Grumman Aircraft Pilots Association European Branch

The AYA > Meetings

by André Everaert-Ruiselede Belgium.



The eighties, in those days we had no internet or digital cameras to exchange photos/text, so the material remains scarce, what I have mainly originates from
The American Star completed with some stuff dug out of my archives. If you have any photos left in a forgotten drawer, they are always welcome.

I came in contact with the AYA (American Yankee Association) early '88 when a small advertisement at the Kortrijk airport tower caught my eye. My first AYA attendance followed two months later at Wyck-of-Föhr in Germany.

All the while I thought this was the very beginning of the European AYA branch but I discovered afterwards that the first (contradict me if I am wrong) meeting was held one year before (1987) at Namur Belgium. However the birthplace of the AYA European branch was Germany, first known as "Region 15-Overseas" and afterwards renamed as "Region 15-Europe". After a rearrangement in 2013 the European branch has been renamed as Region 7.

Manfred Stöcker in 1987 mentioned in The American Star as "Special Representative", became the first Regional Director. Evert Schraverus took over the job in 1991 followed by Ian Matterface in 1997, Nigel Thomas in 2002, Jörg Trauboth in 2006, Holger Sötje in 2011 and Ted van Dam Merrett in 2012.

The first ever meeting of the British branch of the AYA was held on September 17,1989 at Bournemouth.


I have compiled the European meetings from 1987 until now. Please select one from the left menu and enjoy those old stories..

The American Yankee Association  in Europe, how it began.

Annual meetings attended by AYA members and the Grumpy Gang.