The chapter is named in honor of two long-time members of the chapter, Bob and Helen Seidel. Bob began serving his country during World War II. At the age of 17, Bob joined the Army Air Forces and trained to become a B-24 Flight Engineer/Turret Gunner. After training, Bob was deployed to the European Theater, and became a member of the 763rd Bomb Squadron. He flew his first combat mission in July 1944, and continued to fly combat missions over Germany in hopes he would reach the magical 35th mission; unfortunately, on 16 November 1944, on his 32nd mission, Bob and his crew were shot down. After parachuting into the Austrian Alps, he spent the next 13 days trying to evade the enemy with a goal of reaching a safe haven in Switzerland. Again, unfortunately, Bob was captured and was incarcerated in a prison camp until liberated by the Russians on 19 April 1945.
After the war, Bob was automatically made a member of the newly formed Air Force Association, but it wasn’t until 1956, after moving to Dallas with his wife, Helen, and three children, that he learned about a local chapter. Chapter meetings back then consisted of getting together with “the guys” at the club at Navy Dallas, having a few too many drinks, and reminiscing about their wartime experiences. In the late sixties, the chapter finally decided to start including the spouses in their activities and moved the quarterly meetings to a hotel more centrally located.
Bob participated continuously in the Dallas Chapter 232 until his death on 23 May 2007. He served in many leadership roles for the Chapter and AFA Texas. He was the Chapter President, Historian, and Membership Vice President; at the State level, Bob served as the Texas State Historian, Texas State Membership Vice President, and Texas Regional Vice President. Bob’s wife, Helen, has also been the bedrock of the chapter and continues to serve today on the Chapter’s Executive Council; in addition to her service at the Chapter level, Helen continues to be a stalwart member of the AFA Texas leadership team. She served as State Treasurer for several years.
The chapter officially became known as the Seidel Chapter on 20 September 2007.