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The Tailhook Educational Foundation

2018 Scholarships

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook


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Awarded To

Daniel Cook

Painted Post, New York

Houghton College

Scholarship Description

This scholarship commemorates LCDR D.E. “Butch” Bucciarelli for his longtime devotion and contributions to Naval Aviation and the Tailhook Association.  Hailing from near Berkley California, he attended college there and was commissioned a Naval Officer in 1955.  While in the Aviation Officer Candidate Program, he flew the T-34, T-28B, T-28C, SNJ-5 and AD-4.  Joining 'the fleet’, Butch flew four models of the AD (A-1) Skyraider during two WESTPAC cruises aboard the USS Lexington (CVA-16) and USS Oriskany (CVA-34), both home-ported in Naval Air Station North Island.  Butch’s aviation calling continued in his corporate and private aircraft where he flew over 5,000 accident-free hours. He often stated or proclaimed he was proud (and glad) his number of takeoffs equaled his number of landings.  A long-time San Diego resident, Butch co-founded the San Diego Restaurant Management Company and has owned it for 39 years.  The Company owns and operates the Harbor House, Edgewater Grill, and Pier Café located in San Diego’s Sea Port Village and the Harbor House in Marina Del Rey.  Over the years, Butch’s restaurants supported numerous military events and organizational gatherings.  One noteworthy occasion Butch hosted was the 1990 luncheon during the first West Coast visit by the Soviet Navy.   The Commanders and Chief of both the US and the Soviet Fleets, their staffs, and state and local officials enjoyed Butch’s hospitably at this ground-breaking event, many opining Butch’s party helped bring down the “Iron Curtain.”   Dedicated to Naval Aviation, Butch was a Life Member of the Tailhook Association and long-time contributor to the Tailhook Educational Foundation.  He was also a ‘plank member’ and ‘centurion' contributor to the USS Midway Museum as well as a San Diego Air & Space Museum Board Member,  serving  with Captain “Zeke” Cormier and Astronaut Wally Schirra.   When not actually flying, Butch assuaged his need for periodic adrenaline infusions by driving his 1935 Wolseley and his 1954 Moratti Super Sport Berlinetta in vintage automobile races at Sear Point, Laguna Seca, and Coronado, California. He also flew gliders at Minden, Nevada. An accomplished writer, Butch authored and published four books; The Adventures of Captain Baja, High and Fast, Low and Slow, and Flight Song.  Butch Bucciarelli was a gifted aviator, a consummate Navy and community leader, a lifelong supporter of Naval Aviation and Tailhook, and steadfast friend to all who knew him.  This scholarship remembers him.

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