AeroKnow Memorial Pages
Dr. Mark R. Foutch

This page was most recently updated Saturday, November 17, 2007

Born in Springfield, Illinois, Mark Robertson Foutch was the son of Mark Foutch, owner of Springfield Cafeteria, a prominent restaurant in downtown Springfield in the 1920s. The younger Mark became an accomplished brass musician and during World War II, played with a service band in the South Pacific. After the war, he returned to Springfield; later moved to the Champaign-Urbana area where he became a successful optometrist. As he began raising a young family with Joan Foutch, Mark established and directed a professional brass band which was a headliner at the Illinois State Fair and around the Midwest for many years. He also purchased a war surplus P-51 for himself and a Vultee BT-13 for Joan. The story of this fascinating Springfield native son and his fine family is told in The Show is on the Podium by Paul R. Foutch.

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1. Dr. Mark and Joan Foutch in the cockpit of his P-51D. She's barely visible in the back seat.  --photo courtesy the Foutch family collection.

North American P-51D Mustang
If you can share pictures and information nf this airplane's previous and subsequent history, please contact so we can share it here.

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2. The P-51 photographed at Willard Airport, Champaign, Illinois. - photo courtesy the Foutch family collection
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3. Parked on the ramp at Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois, February 1981. -- photo by Job Conger
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4. Visiting the Offutt Air Force Base Open House, July 80  -- photo by John Vadas via AeroKnow
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5. At Capital Airport,  Springfield, February 1981
-- Conger photo
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6. This picture has been slightly retouched -- Conger photo
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7. Capital Airport, Springfield, February 1981 -- Conger photo
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8. Capital Airport, February 1981 -- Conger photo
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9. Dr. Mark Foutch poses on the wing soon after arriving at Springfield Air Rendezvous,   September 1983 -- Conger photo
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10. At Springfield Air Rendezvous, September 1983-- Conger photo
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11. After Mark buttoned up the airplane I stayed to take a few more pictures. Note the KC-135 on the ramp at the Illinois Air National Guard base in the background,
  -- Conger photo
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12. Viewed looking to the southwest in late afternoon, resting  on summer seared grass,  the airplane seems almost lonesome. -- Conger photo
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13. Later in the year, the 51 was photographed on the ramp at the primary fixed base operator at Capital. -- Conger
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14. A reluctant goodbye. In the distance are the Illinois State Capitol Building dome and what was then the unique 30 story Forum 30 hotel. -- Conger

The P-51 Mark flew was given constructor's ;number 122-31076 at the North American plant in Inglewood, California. It was allocated military serial number 44-63350 by the US Army Air Forces. It served with the 15th Air Force in Italy in World War II, but details are unknown, Please share with if you have more info. Also known is that it served with the Kentucky Air National Guard after the war. More info re this is welcome.  Warbird Resource Group -- -- is a terrific source for learning the histories of all US and foreign warbirds. From that site, we know the history of "633560" starts with Charence A. Head, Elgin, Illinois, who registered the airplane as N2870D and owned it during 1963 and 1964. Mark Foutch owned it from 1966 to 1984 when he wold it to Tom Kelly and John Dilly, Ft. Wayne Air Services, Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was registered at N151RR and then N51TK after rebuilding as a TF-51D. It was sold to International Aircract Ltd., Hockessin, Delarare who owned it from 1989 to 1992.  Charles Greenhill, Mettawa, Illinois became owner September 10, 1993 through 2002. In 1995 it was rebuilt in Wahpeton, North Dakota in   1995 following a forced, crash landing in 1994.  It flew again bearing the fictional (for this airplane) serial number 41-3410 and the fuselage code E2 (insignia) C as "Lou IV" in the make-believe colors of blue and yellow over aluminum colored paint In these colors and markings, 63350 was acquired by Defiance Aviation, LLC of Ketchum, Idaho on March 22, 2007. Bill Rheincild was the owner of the airplane. Another source indicates that John McKittrick was OWNER of this airplane on Sunday,July 15, 2007, when he crashed at Camarillo Airport, north of Los Angeles, California.  and was destroyed. McKittrick, landing during his first solo flight in the airplane, appeared to enter an unrecoverable torque roll after bouncing on touchdown and the application of maxium power, according to an article published Wednesday, July 18 in the Idaho Moountain Express.

Vultee BT-13 Valiant

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15. Mark and Joan fly over the Frasca Field Open House, Urbana, Illinois, October 1981.  -- Conger photo
If you can share pictures and information nf this airplane's previous and subsequent history, please contact so we can share it here.

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16. The family by the BT at Springfield. The original airport terminal building is in the background. -- AeroKnow collection
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17. Visiting the ramp at Springfield, Illinois, February 1981-- Conger photo
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18. February 1981-- Conger photo
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19.. February 1981 -- Conger photo
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20. Closeup of the right main landing gear strut., February 1981 -- Conger photo
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21. Tailwheel detail. Note how thte area around the strut is not metal, February 1981. -- Conger photo
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22. February 1981-- Conger photo
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23. February 1981 -- Conger photo
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24. February 1981 -- Conger photo

the rest
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25. Band Leader Dr. Mark R. Foutch at the head of   Mark Foutch's Brass Band
-- photo courtesy the Foutch family collection

Needed are pictures of Dr. Mark and Joan with their family around airplanes, the band and the optimetric practice.

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26. Dr. Mark poses with two sprouts in the back seat. The bright-looking young man on the left is Mark's grandson Paul R. Foutch who, years later, would write The Show is on the Podium.  -- photo courtesy the Foutch family collection.

AeroKnow is proud to share the first of what we hope will be many memorial pages dedicated to Illinois aviators. This page is dedicated to a gentleman I encountered twice, whose airplanes I admired for decades. The creation of the series of pages was inspired by Paul R. Foutch whose book about his grandfather was sent to AeroKnow for review. To read my review of that book, click here

If you have photographs and stories of other Illinois aviators and people who contributed to Illinois aviation, a story to share in these pages, write 

The AeroKnow Jim LeRoy Memorial Page may be visited by clicking here

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