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Annual Meeting • September 24th – 26th • New Orleans

Presenting!  “Uncommon Reunion” Lorna Thackeray  “Memories” Mark Harp  “Pilot Magic” SPC Elizabeth Gorenc  “Flight Medic Still Serving” SGT Candace Westlund  Annual Meeting, New Orleans Jay Brown and much, much more!

July 2010

CHPA President Hello! Hi guys!

Hope this finds you all well and prospering! First things well! As usual, we’vefirst! been Have you made your reservation for the Saint working hard on lots of greatChristopher’s in New Orleans deadline is fast approaching. Be things foryet? our The CHPA members. sure to get this done as soon as possible so you can We had Quad-A last month and lock rate. it wasina the hugespecial success. WeWe are rounding out the final details, and the annual meeting reservation welcomed many new members data is now available the CHPA website. So be sure to sign up online (THANK YOU!) and on visited for the annual meeting as well. The alcohol is on me, but you have to with lots of current members. register first. CHPA I will expect While there, was to see your smiling face in NOLA, so don’t let me down! recognized by the Texas This pastforweekend, I made a quick trip to New Orleans for National Guard our business. There so much to do and see. We stopped in at the Audubon contributions andissupport. Aquarium of the Americas and it was really a great tour. The city was Special thanks to Mrs. Christine really hopping andbeen I cannot wait to go back and spend some time looking Gilbreath who has at everything! Seeing the Mississippi River was probably my favorite wonderful to work with and part. ItoflyCOL overMacGregor it nearly every thanks and day, and have been next to it many times before, but it is really something to see up close. I never get tired of the TX NG for taking the time looking at theOn activity to say thanks! behalfand of seeing all the ships! By the way, I am also working on an iTunes playlist of great New Orleans music for all our CHPA, I can say it was a true annual meeting attendees! Be on the lookout for that too! honor! Additionally, we were thinking it might be a great idea to invite local aviators frombeen the working surrounding areas to the annual meeting, although We’ve also this idea hasn’t been fully to finalize the agenda for ourformulated yet. During my time flying in the Gulf Coast region, I have been on the lookout for USCG helicopter crews Annual Meeting in New or even National Guard, Orleans. One of my friends,Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps crews as well. Theresa If you know of has any way of contacting these folks, please drop me a Mrs. Wright, line. Also,taken if youthe know generously timeof to anyone who would like to sponsor the annual meeting, let us know! assemble an informative article CHPA had a great on must-see locations and time at VHPA in San Diego. I was sad that I couldn’t make it but Rusty and Lynn tell me that we had a very interesting things to do Jay, in New successfulLTC show and welcomed Orleans. and Mrs. Wright several new members, plenty of renewals and even a lifetime membership! THANK YOU to all of those who not have generously offered to meet only for membership, but who continue to renew. Another big thank us forapply a leaders’ recon in you to our CHPA members August, after I get back from (mainly Rusty, Lynn and Jay!) who routinely make so ourwe presence these Haiti, should at have even Concluded on page 2 shows a reality. more good ideas on things to do. Be sure to make your hotel reservation now! The deadline for getting the CHPA special rate is August 23!

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Many of you have taken advantage of the ―Tell A Friend‖ function on the CHPA Tell Your Friends About CHPA! website as well! Keep up the great work! We rely on our members to pass the word to their We sure appreciate those of you who buddies! I’m very glad to hear that you are continue to tell your friends about CHPA! enjoying the new formatting of The Swash Click here to tell some more! Plate. We sure work hard on it! Why not take some time and send us your own news. No news is too big or too small! We love to hear from our members! Oh, and by the way, a couple of you emailed and asked me to find the contact information for Mr. Herb Dargue. We ran a story about him two issues back. I think my new phone ate my email, but please email me again and I will work on the hookup! I apologize for this slip-up on my part! Thank you!!! I am pretty excited about going to Haiti later this month. I won’t be back before it is time to put out the Swash again, but I hear that there is some internet access down there, so hopefully I can take some time to email my monthly submission remotely! As always ... be sure to let me know what you think about CHPA. I am very interested in hearing your feedback! I look forward to seeing you all, September 24th – 26th in New Orleans. Duty • Honor • Courage Lori G.

CHPA’s Patch Collection CHPA is collecting patches for display at our venues at HAI, Quad A, and VHPA. Several of our members have given us patches which we put on display when we set up our booth. If you have any patches you’d like to share send them to us at: CHPA PO BOX 15852 Washington, DC 20003


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Uncommon Reunion Lorna Thackeray Reprinted with permission of The Billings Gazette

A California man makes the trek to Billings, MT to see and fly the helicopter he piloted during the Vietnam War. The Laotian hilltop where hundreds of shattered and bleeding South Vietnamese troops had swarmed in a desperate huddle waiting for U.S. helicopters to rescue them March 19th, 1971, was suddenly deserted and quiet. Roger Riley tells the story of the last time he flew in his Bell UH-1H Pilot Roger D. Riley, a California boy flying his Iroquois during the Vietnam War at the Billings Flying Service hangar third sortie through a virtual shooting gallery in the south of Billings on Saturday. The helicopter is now owned by Billings Flying Service. Riley was in Billings to see the chopper for the first time jungle below, had barely touched down when an enemy since he flew it in Vietnam before it was shot down in 1971. Larry soldier popped out of a foxhole a dozen feet away. Mayer, Gazette staff Before Riley’s door gunner could cut him in half with 100 rounds from his M60, the man from the People’s Army of Vietnam raked Riley’s Bell UH-1H Iroquois utility helicopter from tail rotor to nose, emptying the magazine of his Russian-made AK-47. ―I was amazed that only three bullets out of 30 in the magazine hit us,‖ Riley said nearly 40 years later on the eve of his reunion in Billings with his old warship. On Saturday, Riley saw her for the first time since he bid his crippled helicopter farewell on an airfield in what was then South Vietnam. The helicopter, now with a new civilian number, N458CC, has been a familiar sight in Montana since the late 1990s, when it became part of the fleet at Billings Flying Service. ―I got the helicopter from a company that used it for crop spraying in Alabama,‖ Gary Blain of Billings Flying Service said. ―They had crashed it and rebuilt it.‖ For the last 11 or 12 years, the helicopter has been used for firefighting, construction ―and just about everything but drug and gun running,‖ Blain joked. It’s been on the front page of The Billings Gazette more than once, including a shot a few years ago when it went down in the Yellowstone while fighting fire near Livingston. ―They are amazing machines,‖ the Billings pilot said of the helicopter built for war in 1967. ―And this particular machine has had an amazing history,‖ he said. Blain, a history buff, was almost as excited about the reunion as Riley. ―A lot of former Vietnamera pilots have flown for his company over the years and they’ve told remarkable stories,‖ he said. ―These guys, they get an incredible attachment to their aircraft,‖ he said. ―They were 20 years old and they flew them in life-and-death situations every day.‖ The door was closed when Roger Riley and his brother Robert drove up to the helicopter hangar at Billings Flying Service on Saturday. A group of invited guests waited inside to meet them and share a hot dog and hamburger barbecue. When the door opened, Roger Riley saw the UH-1H helicopter he last flew when he was shot down in Laos in 1971. The Blain family had it decked out with flags and U.S. Congressman Denny Rehberg waited to shake his hand. For Riley, Blain said, the reunion was ―kind of like seeing his old high school girlfriend again.‖ Blain said he was surprised when Riley contacted him out of the blue in January. One of Riley’s crew had traced the machine to Billings on the Continued on page 4 internet, and the pilot wanted to pay a visit. 3

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―It’s going to be great,‖ Riley said in a got a day or two off, but most of the time I was telephone interview from his Squaw Valley flying.‖ home, just before he and his older brother Robert It was a bloodbath from the start. Roger R. Riley hopped in a car for the drive to Billings. and hundreds of other aviators assigned to the Robert R. Riley, who preceded his brother to operation flew in and out, ferrying their savagely Vietnam, also had occasion to fly the aircraft wounded South Vietnamese allies from landing during his time in the Army. Roger’s crew chief, zones in Laos to the South Vietnamese base of Harold Fetty, flew in from Oklahoma City, as operations at Lang Vei right on the border, he did John Snyder of Spencer, OK, who was a said. crew chief on another helicopter in the same unit. North Vietnam, anticipating an incursion All four men were Ghost Riders, the at the Laotian border, had brought an estimated name adopted by Company A, 158th Aviation 36,000 troops into the area. They came with Battalion, which had been established at Fort deadly artillery and anti-aircraft guns. Troops Carson, CO, in the summer of 1968. The Ghost from the south were shredded. Some estimates Riders were headed to South Vietnam with put casualties at 10,000. A decision to withdraw helicopters fresh off the assembly line. the South Vietnamese was made March 9th, and Robert R. Riley got there first and was the dangerous business of extricating the troops done with his tour when Roger began. Riley arrived in Vietnam as a ―We were always replacement pilot in June 1970. supposed to take out the , By September, Roger had been wounded first, but they walked anticipating an incursion assigned his own aircraft — 67all over the wounded, threw 17678. For the next seven their guns away and got on,‖ at the Laotian border, months, until the encounter in Roger said of the ravaged had brought an Laos disabled the helicopter, troops. Riley and his bird were almost Frantic men grabbed the estimated inseparable. skids as the helicopter lifted off The operation that the ground, and some fell to into the area.” ended their relationship was their deaths as the machine one of the bloodiest episodes of headed skyward into heavy fire. that long war. Named Lam Son 719, the On March 19th, the pilots’ situation went operation was designed to disrupt a supply route from bad to impossible. Ten Ghost Riders and in Laos that North Vietnam’s army could use in 10 helicopters from the Robin Hood unit were an offensive against the South. South sent to rescue a South Vietnamese battalion Vietnamese troops were to cross the border into surrounded on a hilltop. Laos, supported from the air by American forces. ―I personally successfully brought in two US ground forces were prohibited from entering loads,‖ Roger said. Laos. ―But by the third sortie, all 10 of Robin Contemporary accounts say 22,000 South Hood’s helicopters were too damaged to go and Vietnamese troops participated in the illfour Ghost Riders were out of commission. The conceived campaign. Many of them were ferried surviving Ghost Riders flew in trail formation, in by American helicopters beginning on one following another toward the landing zone,‖ February 8th, 1971. The choppers brought in Roger said. Cobra gunships circled, providing supplies and took out the wounded for the next cover as the larger Hueys maneuvered into 45 days. position. ―I was under fire every day during that Continued on page 5 period when I was on a mission,‖ Roger said. ―I

“North Vietnam




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One of the helicopters was shot down near the landing zone and Roger’s company commander, who had been leading the sortie, tried to fly to the rescue, but a bullet caught him in the spine. Two other Ghost Riders broke formation to assist the command ship. Roger continued to the landing zone and put his machine down just as the enemy soldier opened fire with his AK-47 from close range. From the left, more enemy soldiers approached. There was no time to do anything but hope the wounded bird could fly. Roger lifted her off the ground, bullets whizzing everywhere. A bullet had torn through the 8 1/2 foot tail rotor, and the damage ―set up a vibration that just about set my teeth to chattering,‖ Roger said. ―I just bit my lower lip, pulled pitch and got out of there.‖ He flew low, touching the treetops, so he could put down if he had to. A command and control officer flying high above warned him that he was headed for an enemy mortar barrage, so he quickly changed course to go around. They flew over an anti-aircraft gun, but Fetty was able to kill that crew, Roger said. The South Vietnamese operations base was only about five minutes away. Although the base was continuously under fire, they were able to set down safely. A Life magazine reporter, John Saar, was there that day as the Ghost Riders came in. ―The Hueys flail into sight, but their cabins are empty,‖ he wrote. ―The pilots are shaken and angry and they climb out of their armored seats for a council of war.‖ ―Yet the word comes down for another attempt and the grumbling Ghost Riders climb into their cockpits to crank and fly.‖ But Roger and 67-17678 would fly no more that day. He spent the night at the operation base in a bunker dug out by a bulldozer and covered with a flimsy layer of logs. Enemy artillery battered the base through the night. ―A direct hit would have killed us all,‖ he said. The next morning, he gathered his crew and they caught a ride back to Khe Sanh, a base in South Vietnam that had been abandoned earlier in the war, but served as the center for American air operations in Laos that spring. Roger watched as a huge Chinook helicopter brought his injured bird in, suspended from a cable. 67-17678 landed hard, damaging the skids. Checking her out, Roger found three bullet holes — one in the rotor, another that just missed him and knocked out one of the radios and another that shattered the lip of the cargo deck. Roger and his crew hitched a ride with another Ghost Rider back to Camp Evans, where the unit was based in the Haunted House. 67-17678 was already there. ―She beat me back home,‖ he said. But her damage was too severe to be repaired at the camp and she was soon hauled away. Roger, who received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission, was assigned a new machine. That was the last time he saw her. Roger Riley’s Bell UH-1H Iroquois sits damaged on the runway at a military base in Khe Sanh, South Vietnam after being shot down during Operation Lam Son 719 in 1971. The helicopter is now owned by Billings Flying Service and is used to fight wild fires. Photo courtesy of Roger Riley

Concluded on page 6 5

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Gary Blain, of Billings Flying Service, right, and Roger Riley lift off for a recurrent flight training mission at the company's hangar south of Billings, MT on Saturday. Larry Mayer, Gazette staff

Before his tour was over in May, Roger had been shot down a total of three times. Fetty and 67-17678 were to meet again. The crew chief flew in the repaired helicopter after the war, when she had become the property of the Oklahoma National Guard. Fetty received the Air Medal for Valor for his exploits in Operation Lam Son 719. On Saturday, after telling the story of the last flight, Blain invited Riley for some recurrent flight training. It was one last sortie in the ship that saw them through their worst nightmare. The helicopter seemed to slip sideways for a couple of seconds, but then Riley climbed and banked toward the South Hills. ―It’s great. Another month and it would all come back to me,‖ he said. ―It was just automatic back then.‖

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Reunions and Gatherings 1st Squadron, 9th Calvary Reunion

C/227th AHB, 1st Cavalry Division

The 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry will hold its 2010 Reunion October 7th – 10th, 2010 in Columbus, GA. For more details and registration see the Bullwhip Squadron Association website at For any questions you may have contact Larry Wright, or 812.871.8642

C Co, 227th AHB will hold its reunion September 16th – 19th, 2010 at the Radisson Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. For more information contact Don Doane at or give him a call at 615.614.1376.

1st Attack Helicopter Battalion, 24th Aviation Brigade Reunion The 1-24th AHB Vipers will be holding a reunion in Savannah, GA, October 15th – 17th, 2010. If anyone is a former 1/24th Viper and wants to attend, send your information to Please include your name, e-mail (civilian preferably), address and phone. Look forward to seeing everyone! Viper 249 Barry Thomason 256.842.5140 Office 270.268.6014 Cell 256.313.3208 Fax

Does your group have a reunion coming up soon? Let us know and we’ll mention it here!

Members Missing In Action Somehow over the course of time, as happens with organizations whose members tend to move frequently due to job changes or reassignments, we’ve lost contact with some of our members. We’d love to re-establish contact and continue to provide support and a venue for staying in touch with friends we’ve shared so much with. If you know any of the following folks, please let them know we’re trying to get in touch. Ask them to give us a call at 800.832.5144. Chris Armbrust James Cahill Gregory Coker Christopher Ezell Craig Francis

Michael Miller James Muckleroy Michael J. Rogers Michael P. Spain Stephen Weaver 7

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you warm, the exact opposite. to stay in a certain area or we We had to get off the plane while would be arrested and all that they refueled and therefore had bull. Years later I figured out I remember sitting on the an hour to kill wandering around that it was to do with customs Tiger Airways jet bound for the terminal. I had walked regulations, so as long as we Vietnam so many years outside the terminal and walked stayed in that holding area, we ago. Wasn’t my first time to fly by a group of troops who were did not have to go through the on a jet or prop haggling customs procedures. “The plane ride was a job since I had with an The next jet we boarded grown up in Eskimo was smaller, a hell of a lot long one for sure, the military woman smaller. We were all packed in nobody knew what to and had flown about the for the flight, with none of the on planes puppy since stewardesses or comforts of the expect, we just all knew following my she had three larger bird we had flown in on. It that father’s change or four to sell was then that I found myself in duty or get rid of sleeping like I had never slept stations, but it before. So the flight from Tokyo was the first appeared. I into Vietnam I do not remember. time I could overheard It was then that I began to realize remember ever the money that just prior to arriving at sitting in a part of it and whatever stressful destination plane and think they might be in store for them. looking over the seats and seeing finally gave like twenty bucks for That’s why the movies will show nothing but the rear of men’s a full blooded husky; malamute guys going into combat sleeping heads all sporting the same hair to be more exact. The puppy before entering battle. Guess it is cut and same colored caused a little amusement on the the way we handle the stress. clothes. O.D. Green. So when plane when he got loose and Also a good way to reserve the plane finally decided to land, went running down the aisle energy and catch a few winks I we, or at least I, was thinking towards the rear where the guess. That I do remember. that we would land in Vietnam stewardesses were. This in turn You’d be surprised how you can itself. Wrong. We landed in caused the stewardesses to, in a fall asleep at the drop of a hat, in Tokyo, Japan in order to change sense, confiscate the puppy for positions that you would not planes for the final hop into the remainder of the flight. The think possible. Like the time I Vietnam. Actually it was our last thing I remember was the fell asleep on a twin engine second stop on our way to puppy being left in the care of the Caribou cargo plane that had Vietnam. stewardesses after done an abrupt One of the troops had we landed in wing over on “You would be smuggled an Alaskan Husky Japan. Always take off because surprised how you puppy on board the plane during wondered what we were our brief stop in Alaska to refuel happened to that receiving enemy can the jet. It was in May, but it was puppy after that. fire from the colder than a well digger’s butt We all ground, more outside the terminal. The reason were given orders than likely Viet for it being so cold is because we after getting off Cong taking pot ” were all wearing jungle fatigues the jet in Tokyo shots at us. Our and jungle combat boots, neither Concluded on page 9 of which were designed to keep

Mark Harp

we were headed for a war zone called Vietnam.”

fall asleep at the drop of a hat.


Volume 5, Issue 7 survey equipment went sliding all over the place and with us being strapped into the jump seats it was hard to grab and hold onto to Uncle Sam’s equipment in a fraction of a second when you realize the plane is doing an extremely steep bank. Once the plane leveled back out, equipment secure, I remember falling sound asleep sitting straight up. When the jet began to get ready to land, the warning light about fastening your seat belt came on and I guess that is what woke me up. It was just a few minutes later and the jet nosed down and then I remember feeling the jet’s wheels hit the tarmac, the engines hitting reverse and slowing down. We were all straining to get a look outside and see what the hell was going on. I was one of the last to leave the jet. We had all stood up and were standing in a straight line down the middle of the plane. A few feet from the door I got a faint smell of what smelled like feces, I watched as each man took his turn and his head disappeared out and slightly downward as he took a step down the stairs of the portable ramp. The smell increased in strength as I finally took my turn making the turn and walking outside into the bright sunlight. That smell, that smell of crap, I will always remember. Over the years many people have asked, ―What do you remember about Vietnam?‖ My answer is normally one word, which is the

CHPA • The Swash Plate

truth, not being a smart ass as up in the next few days. I most would think after my remember following the other response, just one word, ―Crap.‖ troops dressed in their O.D. It is the first smell of Vietnam green jungle fatigues and boots, and the last, as best I can just like me, across the flight line remember. at the Cam Rahn Bay airfield I remember damn near into a building. tripping and falling down the That is where my memory stairway because I was blinded of flying to Vietnam stops. I did by the oppressive sunlight and not go to Vietnam with friends having just come out of a who were all from the same darkened tunnel, for lack of a hometown and same army better description at this point battalion as many of the first about the inside of the jet. But soldiers who went to Vietnam more importantly, I was scared did. They were lucky, they had beyond belief and I remember other people who they could the first Vietnamese I saw was depend on, who had known them working on something on the probably for years and years prior tarmac not to far from the jet and to going to Vietnam. They had he was bent over doing close friends. For those of us something on the ground. All who followed and replaced those the thoughts that went about hitting before us, the ground we did not running, have those “Anyone who says they bombs falling, friendships were not scared to step off bullets flying or everywhere closeness, that plane is had flooded so my head therefore, before getting we had to off the plane have many even though attributes there were no they did sounds of any not. We of that while getting off the had to have an inner strength that plane. those who went first will never I remember that my eyes fully understand. We had to finally got accustomed to the stand alone as many of us do strong sunlight of Vietnam and I today; a part of, but outside of could see what was going on the Vietnam experience as some around me. So here I was, in would say. Vietnam, eighteen years and 4 months in age, scared and totally uncertain of where I would end

either lying or an absolute fool.”


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2010 CHPA Annual Meeting News Jay Brown

The Annual Meeting is on schedule and shaping up to be another great and enjoyable gathering. How could you go wrong with a party setting like New Orleans? As a reminder the date for the Annual Meeting is September 24th – 26th and the host hotel is the Saint Christopher, located on Magazine Street, literally a half block from the French Quarter. The online registration for the Annual Meeting is up and running at the CHPA website. This is the fastest way to register and takes only seconds to complete. The schedule of events is being put together and will be available online in a few days. As always the schedule is going to be intentionally sparse, allowing you plenty of time to set your own pace and visit the sites that interest you most. And New Orleans is chock full of historic and cultural landmarks so plan to be busy The Saint Christopher Hotel the entire time you’re in Louisiana. We hope you’ve marked your calendar and are making your plans to join us in ―The Big Easy.‖ We have selected a great venue for the group dinner, complemented with an incredible menu of Southern and Cajun delicacies. We’ll gather at Mulates, the world famous ―King of Cajun Dine and Dance Halls.‖ The dinner will be buffet style with mini po-boys, fried alligator, bitesized catfish, zydeco gumbo, stuffed pork tenderloin, chicken and sausage jambalaya, and sweet potato crunch. We’re looking forward to the delectable, hometown favorite of homemade bread pudding with rum sauce. To start the evening off right there’ll be a cash bar while we renew friendships and welcome our newcomers. Mulates Remember that hotel reservations have to be made separately from the meeting registration. The deadline for the special rate of $79 per night is August 23rd so now is the time to secure your room reservation and the special rate. The best way to make your hotel reservation is to contact the Saint Christopher hotel directly at 504.648.0444. Be sure to tell them you’re attending the Combat Helicopter Pilots Association Annual Meeting. In the next few days we’ll finalize the brunch menu and finalize the special event and we’ll be ready to laissez les bon temps rouler. I know most of you have visited New Orleans so you know there will be plenty to keep us busy and entertained. For example, on Sunday, September 26th we’re planning a sailing excursion on Lake Pontchartrain, thanks to the hard work of Rusty Bourgoyne. If you need to contact us for anything we’re available to help. Give us a call at 800.832.5144 or email us at We always look forward to hearing from our members and we look forward to seeing you all in New Orleans. 10

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Medevac Pilot Performs Magic SPC Elizabeth Gorenc

Often National Guard Soldiers apply their civilian training to enhance their military deployments. A Soldier in Task Force 38’s medevac unit, Company C, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment did just that during his mobilization to Iraq. When the Canby, OR resident was not using his military skills as a medevac pilot for Company C to help people receive medical attention during Operation Iraqi Freedom, CWO William S. ―Scott‖ Anderson applied his civilian skills as a magician to help people in a different way. Anderson used illusions mixed with comedy to provide an escape from deployment life and entertain fellow service members, civilian contractors and local Iraqis. ―He’s professional when he needs to be, but he can lighten the mood when it’s needed,‖ added SGT John McCully, a medevac crew chief and Camas, OR resident. CWO William “Scott” Anderson, a Canby, OR resident and medevac pilot for 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, In his free time, Anderson performed frequent shows prepares an illusion during his magic show for Task Force Double at the medevac company’s coffee shop, during holidays and Eagle at Joint Base Balad, October 31st. at unit events. He also participated in, and won, Joint Base Balad’s October talent show. ―He has helped the moral of the company,‖ said McCully. ―Whenever we have events, at work, pretty much whenever he’s around, the guy has a gimmick up his sleeve. He loves entertaining people.‖ Anderson’s illusions ranged anywhere from impromptu card tricks for friends, pulling a participant’s previously signed dollar out of an uncut lemon randomly chosen by that participant, to transforming handkerchiefs into candy for Iraqi children. Anderson also used his magic and comedy as a way of breaking the ice with new people around JBB and forming relationships with Iraqis. ―He is good at building relationships with people,‖ said SGT Candice Westlund, Corvallis, OR resident. Anderson worked through translators to perform shows for groups of Iraqi children during basehosted events and completed illusions for the Iraqi special weapons and tactics officers. He also worked with parents to entertain children under care of the hospital here. ―His tricks make kids smile and forget that they are in pain or injured,‖ said Westlund. While entertaining others and helping them through the deployment, Anderson said his magic provided an outlet for him. ―It’s a piece of home I got to bring with me,‖ he said. ―It’s something I can do that’s fun, and it is good for stress.‖Anderson has been a performance magician since 1999. He started entertaining elementary kids at Fort Lewis, WA during drug abuse resistance education he taught by using illusions he learned from a friend. From there, he expanded his audience to birthday parties, state fair goers and stage acts including large scale illusions. The better I got, the more shows I could get,‖ Anderson said. ―I was doing side jobs at Concluded on page 12 nights and on weekends.‖ 11

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When he deployed to Afghanistan, Anderson continued his magic shows to entertain soldiers and Afghanis. He continued to develop his shows by incorporating personal experiences from his deployment, and then used those experiences to once again entertain soldiers and Iraqis during his latest deployment. While magic proved beneficial during times overseas, it was those same deployments and experiences that proved beneficial to Anderson’s magic career. ―After being here and performing for Iraqi kids, I came up with a kids’ show to do back home,‖ said Anderson. ―It CWO William “Scott” Anderson, a Canby, OR resident and medevac pilot for 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, presents COL Alvin Foshee, 244th Aviation teaches kids lessons in patriotism: what it Regiment Commander, with Foshee's signed $5 bill hidden in a lemon as part of an illusion means, freedom, taking pride in your during a Halloween magic show for the 244th at Joint Base Balad. country, celebrating diversity and patriotic symbols.‖ Working under the name of ―SGT Stripes,‖ Anderson is scheduled to perform his show, ―The Magic of Patriotism,‖ when he returns home for Oregon students enrolled in reading programs. He also plans to continue performing as a magician for larger audiences after the OIF deployment. In his free time, Anderson worked on his newest show, ―The Magician Expeditions,‖ a biographical theater magic show based on his deployment interactions and experiences.

The Swash!

[Call For Articles]

We hope you enjoy your newsletter! We work to find articles of interest for our very diverse membership ranging from human interest to humor and wonderful war stories of helicopter pilots and crewmembers’ daring do. Our most entertaining and informative stories come from you, our membership. If you have an idea for an article, or if you have an article you’d like to submit it’s as easy as emailing us. The story can be about anything from flight school to real life, TINS, or there-I-was stories. We’ve published several stories over the years ranging from tales of flight school a long, long time ago to real life “war stories” that we’re sure most of you can identify with. We look forward to hearing from you so, take a moment to lay fingers on keyboard or just put pen to paper and send in those stories. You can email them to or through the US Post Office to: CHPA • PO Box 15852 • Washington, DC 20003


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CHPA • The Swash Plate

Oregon National Guard Flight Medic Continues to Serve SGT Candace Westlund

The medical evacuation mission is one that provides hope. Soldiers on the ground need to know they can trust those who are standing by to come to them in time of need, and deliver them from peril. The Oregon National Guard has one medical evacuation unit. It has a proud heritage and is widely respected in the Army community, both for its stateside mission of Search and Rescue and for its combat mission of medical evacuation. C Company, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), from Salem, OR executed the Corp’s medevac mission in Iraq during their time at Joint Base Balad. They were stationed out of Joint Base Balad from May 2009 until January 2010. A medevac unit is “The work comprised of crews made up of pilots, flight medics, and crew back home chiefs. Pilots are responsible for planning the missions and flying the aircraft wherever needed, sometimes in very austere conditions. Flight medics render aid to the wounded or sick while enroute to the next higher level of medical care. Crew chiefs are responsible for keeping the aircraft mission capable and they are instrumental in sustaining the aircraft, a force multiplier on today’s battlefield. The support personnel in the unit keep the crews and aircraft ready and oftentimes are the unsung heroes in support of the ever changing mission of the medevac community. Given the unique importance of the medevac mission, soldiers in these units are often the best of the best in the aviation community and are selected with special care. Historically, the active Army medevac units, such as C Company, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment (Airborne), who replaced C/7-158 AVN in January 2010, rarely invite anybody to join their unit in combat, as they

have come to theater with personnel they trust and have worked with. However, due to the proven effectiveness and performance of C/7-158 AVN, some of the soldiers were sought after once the active component saw them in action. SGT Michael Barber, a flight medic and civilian paramedic from Eugene, OR was invited by the commander of C/7-101 AVN, MAJ Brady Gallagher, from Cullman, AL to be a part of the unit after his tour with C/7-158 AVN was complete. ―The 101st has a long and proud reputation for mission accomplishment,‖ said Barber. Barber said that the National Guard does have we perform differences from the active component in regards to medevac, because of the has amount of experience within its ranks. The turnover rate tends to be lower in the National . Guard. ―What really separates us from the active duty medevac units,‖ said Barber, ―is the mission we perform back in Oregon.‖ Barber is honored to contribute to the 101st standard of excellence in combat. His example of duty performance and dedication lives on in his daughter, Jordyn Barber, from Lake Oswego, OR. She graduated from high school in June, and has made her intentions known to be a doctor. Barber decided to stay in order to achieve the 80% rate for the Post-9/11 Montgomery GI Bill benefits. ―I realized my daughter was just like me when she showed her drive and determination in setting her goals, and telling me her steps to accomplish them without much input from me. I’m sure she’ll let me know where to send the checks at least,‖ said Barber.

helped make us the unit we are in combat ”

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Volume 5, Issue 7

CHPA • The Swash Plate

Barber said her dreams could become reality due to the transferability of the MGIB benefits. ―It is a nice relief, considering the commitment my daughter and I are about to embark on,‖ said Barber. Barber also looks forward to returning home and continuing to contribute to the Oregon National Guard. ―It has always been a personal goal of mine to become more involved with training for those that wish to become medics or flight medics. When I get home, I would also like to look for an opportunity to work with those returning home to their families and adjusting back to civilian life,‖ Barber said. Barber said it was difficult to stand at Pickard Medevac Compound and watch the last serial of aircraft depart from JBB to go home. ―Spending time with them at the aircraft prior to them taking off reminded me of where this journey began,‖ said Barber, ―as well as where it ends when I return home to Oregon.‖ However, Barber has made a home for himself with his new unit. ‖I have always believed that Oregon Dustoff leads the way in regards to medevac, but I now know that there is at least one other proud and honor bound medevac company in the Army that is deserving of recognition,‖ said Barber.

“there is at least one other proud and honor bound medevac company in the Army that is deserving of recognition”


The July 2010 Issue of "the Swash Plate" -- Volume 5, Issue 7