Jerome "Birdie" Bertrand
Bart J. Connolly IV
Colonel, United States Marine Corps (Retired)
Bart joined the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation (FLHF) as a board member in 2001.
He has held positions with the Foundation involving Facilities and Docents.
He retired from the United States Marine Corps July 1, 2001. His last duty assignment was as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4 Installations and Logistics COMCABWEST. During this tour he directed the Base Realignment and Closure migration of MCAS El Toro /Tustin units, equipment, materiel, and families /civilian employees to MCAS Miramar and other airbases in the southwest region. Moreover, he oversaw and directed the more than $500M capital improvement program at MCAS Miramar.
During his 30-year Marine Corps career, he held a variety of flying and command assignments,accumulating nearly 5000 hours, in rotary and fixed wing aircraft.
Following retirement from the Marine Corps, he has held senior executive – management level positions involving Navy / Marine Corps Intranet facilities; multi-million-dollar CA Community College Bond capital programs; MNFI (Operation Iraqi Freedom) theater and regional civilian
interpreters and linguists; and international corporate business development – USA.
Since retirement in 2019, Bart consults as the CEO / President of Connolly Enterprises, Inc. – a
registered S-Corp and certified small business / disabled veteran owned business. He enjoys
golfing, reading and traveling.
Bart brings an in-depth base of knowledge, experience, and leadership spanning organizational
dynamics, logistics, facilities, and passion to forward the Marine Aviation legacy into local, national, and international communities.
Rear Admiral Lou Smith (USN-Retired)
Lou Smith is a career naval officer in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps. He completed three tours in Vietnam, supervising construction of combat facilities for the Marines. Later in his naval career, he was sent to Washington, DC where he worked with the Department of Defense and Congress on military base construction projects. He retired from the Navy in 2000 as a two-star Admiral, directly responsible for more than 360 major naval bases throughout the world.
Major Francis “Mike” Wifler (USMC-Retired)
Mike enlisted in the Marine Corps and served as a Field Radio Operator with a rifle company. He served a tour in the Republic of Vietnam where he was wounded. He later became a commissioned officer. Awarded: Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with combat ‘V‘ for Valor.
“Ex Officio” Members
Jon H. Epsten
Jon is a valued member of the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation’s team and founding shareholder in the law firm of Epsten Grinnell & Howell, APC. Jon works on behalf of community associations encompasses providing advice on all types of corporate matters.