Major General John Giraudo remembers him as a "....young F-86 jock Lt. I had in the 25th squadron (51st FIW)... (he) turned out pretty good, didn't he?"
The distinguished looking gentleman in our portrait did, indeed, turn out pretty good. Harold 0. Chitwood, 64, was featured in the May 1994 issue of Delta Airlines' SKY MAGAZINE. The article (featuring a full page color version of our portrait) begins with the following paragraph:
Harold 0. Chitwood, the soft-spoken CEO if Atlanta-based Gold-Kist, Inc., has flown F-86 combat aircraft in the Korean War, scuba-dived in exotic tropical locales, and caught 150 salmon in six days off the coast of Alaska. "Its a matter of how hard you want to work, and how many you want to catch," he says.
Harold is, of course, a member of the F-86 Sabre Pilots Association, and according to a note he dropped to General Giraudo, he plans to retire in October of this year. He intends to slow down his business activities and play a little more golf. He modestly insisted to General Giraudo that our RADAR LOCK-ON not leave out someone far more deserving.
Your editors were justifiably proud to find that one of our association members had achieved success in an industry which, at first glance, might seem like an unlikely career choice for a fighter pilot. On the other hand, successful fighter pilots have always been aggressive, willing to take prudent risks,
Innovating, and team players. These are qualities which contribute to success in any endeavor. Our association numbers amoung its members congressmen, business executives in many industries, astronauts, doctors, lawyers, CPAs, military members, etc., etc. The list goes on and on. We'll bet most of them would credit their fighter experiences as a prime reason for their successes.
In the case of Harold 0. Chitwood, Gold-Kist is a farm cooperative controlled by its farmer members. With more than $1.4 billion in sales in 1993, it has some 14,000 employees, 24,000 active members, and about 50,000 equity holders. Company policy is guided by a nine-member board, and this board appoints a Management Executive Committee, headed by a CEO (Chitwood), who exercises day-to-day management responsibility over the company and its enterprises. The Gold-Kist poultry group, which accounts for two-thirds of corporate sales, is the second largest poultry producer in the USA. Its average weekly output of 13.5 million broilers goes mainly to fast-food outlets, although the Young 'N Tender brand can be found in many supermarkets. Reflecting his fighter pilot beginnings, Harold is quoted in Delta's magazine as saying, "I like to be where the activity is going on, and where the action is. That's what I did early in my working career for the company, and what I like to do now."
Harold 0. Chitwood, Sabrejet Classics is proud to spotlight you in our radar beam, and we wish you continuing success and happiness in retirement. We hope you'll join us at future Sabre Pilots reunions.
No portion of this article may be used or reprinted without permission from the President of the F-86 Sabre Pilots Association or the editor of Sabre Jet Classics magazine.
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