The Newsletter of The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association
F o u r de c a de s o f U S m i l i t a r y m e di um t ac t i ca l l i ft a i r c r af t f ly i n f o r m a t i o n . Th e a i r cr a f t r ep r es e n t U S M i l i t ar y o pe ra t i o n s f ro m th e f i e ld s o f V i e t na m t o t h e d e se r ts o f Ir a q a n d A fg h a n i s t an . F u ll S t o ry ru n s o n pa g es 6 & 7 .
We l co m e t o t h e M ay & J u n e 2 0 1 4 Is su e of t h e V H PA A via to r ~ dedicated to all the“Echoes of Lives Unlived” we remember on Memorial Day. IN THI S IS S UE. . .
Two VHPA Member Memorial Day 2013 speeches..........8-9
2014 Reunion Update .....................................................16-21
Welcome to the VHPA (109 New Members!).................43-45
The Rescue of ‘Grumpy’ Grimald’......................................13
VHPA Chapter Activities ................................................38-42 John Penny’s Book Reviews............................................46-47
© 2014 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. All rights reserved. Issue 32-03 ~ May/June 2014
The Education Center at The Vietnam Memorial Wall Veterans of the Vietnam War returned to a very different United States of America than the one which welcomed home their fathers following World War II. As Americans negotiated changing ideas about patriotism and heroism, these Vietnam veterans struggled to find honor and peace. After returning from Vietnam and pursuing a master’s degree in counseling, Jan C. Scruggs conceivedofanationalmemorialdedicatedtothesepatriots. Incorporated on April 27, 1979 by a group of veterans led by Scruggs, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) sought a tangible symbol of recognition from the American people for those who served in Vietnam. In 1980, the U.S. Congress authorized VVMF, a nonprofit organization, to build a memorial on the National Mall. The result was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, commonly referred to as The Wall, which has become one of the mostvisitedsitesinWashington,D.C. The Wall stands as a symbol of America's honor and recognition of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. Inscribed in the order they were taken from us on the black granite walls are the names of more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remain missing. Yet the Memorial itself is dedicated to honor the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of all who answered the call to serve during what was at that time the longestwarinAmericanhistory. Since the dedication of The Wall on Veterans Day 1982, VVMF has pursued a mission of preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing, and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Through the care and maintenance of The Wall and a dedication to auxiliary programs, VVMF has succeeded in helping to heal the nation’s wounds wrought from the Vietnam War. Every day, we strive to ensure our society is one in which all who have served and scarified in our nation’s Armed Forces are properly honored and that they receive the recognition they justly deserve. And as the years go on, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has changed from The Wall that heals to The Wallthateducates. Many visitors to The Wall were not alive during the war. Today, children pass by this quiet corner of the National Mall, a recessed walkway in the ground flanked by a polished granite wall of names, without understanding the history of this monument. To whom do the names belong? Why are per-
sonal items left at the base of The Wall? These young Americans may ask. As that era slips deeper into the pages of history books, we must create a physical space in which to address these questions as we remember the lessons, and honor the heroes, of the Vietnam War. We must create a space to teach the questions these students may not think to ask; Why do we treat our military service members with such respect? How did The Wall change the nation’s understandingofwarandsacrifice? The Education Center at The Wall will answer these questions and inspire many more. Across the street from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, another recessed walkway will lead you into a dynamic, interactive, technologically innovative space. Here you will come face to face with those who gave their lives in service to this country as you explore a selection of the personal effects left for them so lovingly at The Wall. You will have the opportunity to explore the politics and tactics of the Vietnam War while understanding its place in America’s history. Your visit will not be confined by the walls of the Education Center, or even by the boundaries of the National Mall. Multimedia programs exist online to help students, educators and all visitors to deepen their understanding. Perhaps those children, after touching the names on The Wall and visiting the Education Center, will begin to ask questions of their grandparents. And perhaps together we can shape the future generations of American citizens to be more knowledgeable,patrioticandinspiredtoservetheUnitedStatesofAmerica. People from all over the world and of all ages will find something of value in the Education Center at The Wall. A space for healing, a space for reflecting, a space for learning. VVMF hopes to begin construction by Veterans Day, 2016, but the date is contingent upon raising the funds. You can help the Education Center become a reality by visiting www.VVMF.org to learn more. There, you can help us collect photos of the 58,286 men and women on The Wall or make a donation in support of the Education Center. Also,aVVMF representativewillbeattheupcomingreunioninLouisville,Ky.thisJulytocollectphotos and provide additional information about the project. Please stop by and spendaminutewithus!
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VHPA OFFICERS Committee Chairmen and Staff ~ 2013-2014
President Vice President Past President Members At Large Senior Member Midterm Member Junior Member Secretary/Treasurer Founder
Bill "Moon" Mullen Bob Hesselbein John Sorensen
VHPA N ATIONAL C OMMITTEES Chapter Liaison Historical Investment Membership National Reunion Public Relations/Publications Records/Database Sponsorship/Fundraising VHPA Calendar Project VHPA Membership Directory VHPA Memory Map Project VHPA Scholarship Program VHPA Aviator Newsletter Legal Advisor Investment Advisor
Clyde Romero John Shafer Mike Sheuerman Mike Powell Larry Clark
T HEIR C HAIRMEN
Mike Sloniker Bob Smith Mike Sheuerman Mike Law Bob Hesselbein Gary Roush
Bill "Moon" Mullen
Mike Law, Editor Gary Roush, Editor Ron Bower Tom Payne David Adams, Editor
VHPA S UPPORT
Now ac c e pti ng s ub mi s si on for Rou nd Tw o of Bus ine s s Card s f rom V i et nam.
Mike Poindexter Bob Potvin
VHPA H EADQUARTERS 1-800-505-VHPA (8472)
VHPA E LECTRONIC M AIL A DDRESSES
VHPA Headquarters HQ@VHPA.org President of The VHPA President@VHPA.org VHPA Secretary/Treasurer Bandit32@cox.net Johnsalmjr@aol.com VHPA Chapter Liaison Historical Chairman MikeSloniker@yahoo.com Membership Chairman Membership@VHPA.org National Reunion Chairman Reunion@VHPA.org Public Relations/Publications BEANER1138@aol.com Records/Database Roush@VHPA.org VHPA Calendar Project Calendar@ VHPA.org VHPA Membership Directory Editor Roush@VHPA.org VHPA Memory Map Project Ron@BowerHelicopter.com VHPA Scholarships Program Bandit32@cox.net VHPA Aviator Newsletter Aviator@VHPA.org
Official Web Site of the VHPA www.VHPA.org
I f y o u h a v e o ne t o s h a re w i t h t h e m em b e rs h i p , c o n t ac t : A v i a t or @ VHP A . c om . N o t c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h e - m a i l s? Ca l l : 2 54- 28 9- 19 47 David Adams Editor of the VHPA Aviator
AV I AT O R P R I VA C Y S TAT E M E N T
The VHPA Aviator contains member privacy information the VHPA considers proprietary and confidential. This information, including but not limited to the VHPA Chapter list, shall not be used for commercial solicitation purposes or for any correspondence related thereto without prior written authorization from the VHPA president. Correspondence relating to commercial purposes or solicitations shall only be sent to the VHPA Officers, Committee Chairmen and/or Staff listed in
E-mail items to The Aviator at: Aviator@vhpa.org
THE VHPA AVIATOR, THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE VIETNAM HELICOPTER PILOTS ASSOCIATION (ISSN 1930-5737) (USPS 001-497) is published six times yearly ~ January, March, May, July, September & November. The VHPA is organized as a 501 (c ) (19) fraternal military organization and one copy of each newsletter is included in each of our Member始s Dues, yearly subscriptions to the Aviator are available to non-members for $36.00. Published by See David Adams, Enterprises, LLC, 2900 Arbor Court, Round Rock, Texas, 78681 for the VHPA, headquartered at 2100 N. Highway 360, Suite 907, Grand Prairie, TX 75050. Periodicals Publications postage paid at Round Rock, Texas and additional mailing points. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to VHPA HQ, 2100 N. Highway 360, Suite 907, Grand Prairie, TX 75050
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Bill "Moon" Mullen, President of the VHPA THE BEGINNING AND THE FINISH The beginning needs rewinding to the Philadelphia VHPA Reunion in 2009. I had just sold my marketing company and decided to run for Executive Council. Moon Mullen was a generic person that had no history with VHPA and certainly no name recognition. At the reunion, everyone, including me, knew I had two chances of victory..."slim and none"! Each Candidate gets a few minutes at the annual business meeting to tell members why they should vote for you. I tried to think of one good reason and build around it. But even trying hard still did not did not produce a real reason. I now had a choice..... drop out and withdraw....., or continue and be defeated in a landslide. A member, who I did not know at the time, not only encouraged me to stay in the race, but became my campaign manager. Out of respect, his name will not be revealed. My speech became a few minutes of humor and funny stories. They counted the votes and Moon became the “Harry Truman” of the VHPA. I had the most votes! I have always felt the life blood of an organization is represented by new people, new ideas and new energy. The election opened the door for many new names: Sorensen, Hesselbein, Romero and Shafer. It has worked out terrifically. IF YOU ARE A NEW NAME.....THE VHPA WANTS YOU! SEND SOMETHING FOR DAVID ADAMS TO RUN IN THE AVIATOR! SIGN UP TO HELP AT A REUNION! SIGN UP TO RUN FOR A SEAT ON THE EC! The finish: I have always said that "I am PROUD to be one of us". We always believed in the concept of "No man left behind". If you were wounded and life was oozing from you, you would hear a huey coming to get you. If it got shot down, then another would be right behind it…and we kept coming ‘till we got you. Helicopters and (we?) you who flew them, would not leave wounded or KIA on the battlefield. We brought them home! In my opinion, the "Best President's Column Ever" was written years ago by Gary Roush. Gary has given me permission to use some excerpts from his column. He just says it so much better than I. I quote him "Finally, we did not lose the war in Vietnam. All of us can honestly say: "we were winning when I left!" - because that is true. Our war was over in early 1973 following the peace settlement, signed in Paris on 27 January 1973, and the final withdrawal of troops on 29 March 1973. The fall of Saigon happened two years later on 30 April 1975 because the U. S Congress ^had cut off funding to the South Vietnamese causing them to run out of fuel and ammunition. We are rightly proud of our service and deserve the honor and respect that was bestowed on generations of warriors before us. Not only did we serve our country honorably but we also have taught our children to honor and respect national service. In my view, and I think history will show that I am right, you (we?) have achieved as much as the greatest generation"! Thanks Gary, for those words. Now I want to thank you for allowing me to be your flight leader this past year. I hope to see many of you in Louisville. I am PROUD to be one of us. Welcome Home, God Bless You and God Bless the United States of America. Moon Hpilot1963@aol.com
Steel Horses A cold day in hell, rotors cutting the air Dropping fast from 15,000 feet, into Charlie's lair Hell's hot rising to greet us in its warm embrace Over where we lost Johnny I-Forget-His-Name, and face Don't mean nothin' in the A Shau, no valley of peace Our steel steed descending, her own brand of hellfire unleashed Door guns ablaze, LZ smoke marking our spot Air-snake tracers flying, we are coming in hot Fate is on our side today, nothing can stop Our dark, mighty horse bringing us in for our drop A Banshee screaming steel mare, holding our line In a demon's chariot-race of fate, busting out, starting to climb Out of death's grip, warhorse on her ride Spitting hot breath, her flight aquiline One more time death was forced to overlook Our brave, steel warhorse, our mighty Chinook Heading back to base camp, nothing to say The cost of war is steep, a high price to pay Losing close friends, looking death in the face Pale riders on steel horses in this time and place 'There it is”. And that is the way We live to go back and fight another day Connie Bomstead To the Members of the VHPA. My name is Connie Bomstead, I am 48 years old and I live in Washington State. I wrote this poem for my friend Ron Bange who was a crew chief on a Chinook in 1968-69 while flying with the 228th Assault Helicopter Battalion. After reading it, Ron suggested that I send it on to you to post in your Veteran's Day issue in honor of anyone serving in the A Shau Valley with the First Cav in April of 1968. As an aside, I want to let you know that I also entered it in the he National Amateur Poetry Contest and last week I received a letter saying that I had advanced to the semi-final round. That means that Steel Horses will now be included in this year’s book of poetry finalist.
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Mine was earned in Vietnam. By my dad. Marc M., USAA member
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98% based on member data from 2008–2012. Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any eligibility rights for auto and property insurance products, or legal or ownership rights in USAA. Ownership rights are limited to eligible policyholders of United Services Automobile Association. “Honorably served” means a discharge type of “honorable.” Membership and product eligibility and underwriting restrictions apply and are subject to change. Eligible former dependents of USAA members may purchase auto or property insurance if the member obtained USAA auto or property insurance. Automobile insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, USAA County Mutual Insurance Company, San Antonio, TX, and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products. © 2014 USAA. 201811-0214
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HISTORY IN FLIGHT On Oct. 26, 2013, Vertical As luck would have it, contributing editor Skip when Brandt’s daughter, Robinson captured a truly Colonel Laura Yeager — a historic military aviation qualified Black Hawk pilot moment on film: a formation with the California Nationflight of a 1950s Piasecal Guard — learned of the ki/Vertol H-21B, a 1960s flight, she realized this Bell UH-1B Huey and a would be a unique opportu1980s Sikorsky UH-60A+ nity to capture history, and Black Hawk, brought togethbring another generation of er for what’s believed to be aircraft into the picture. As the first time. In a special a former commander of the report Skip describes the 40th Combat Aviation behind-the-scenes process in Brigade, she also knew that putting together a once-in-a 1-140th Air Assault Battallifetime Vertical photo shoot. ion, located at Los Alamitos Simply getting three genera(the destination for the Htions of military tactical utili21’s flight), was the right ty helicopters together in one unit to participate. Combat Major General (Ret.) Robert J. Bra ndt poses for a post-flight photo wi th his da ughter, place is a feat; capturing them tested, the 1-140th’s mission Colonel Laura Yea ger, the pilot of the UH-60 Bla ckhawk in the story. flying together is close to requires precise multi-ship impossible. Simply put, it flight profiles and, in addition took a lot of work from a lot of people — and a little luck. to offering a unique military photo opportunity, the flight could be incorThe idea for the shoot came from Major General Robert J. Brandt’s co- porated into unit training. piloting of a classic Piasecki H-21B, owned by Classic Rotors of Ramona, With the four aircraft arranged, the crews met several hours prior to the Calif., to Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base for Wings, Wheels and event at the Ramona airport to finalize their thorough pre-fight crew briefRotors. Brandt, a Member of the Southern California Chapter of the ing. Due to coastal weather concerns, the team decided to take an inland VHPA, is a master Army Aviator and Vietnam veteran who has accumu- route to Los Alamitos. Once in the air, the aircraft joined up as planned, lated over 7,900 flying hours in over 14 rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft dur- providing Vertical with the opportunity to take the historic photos on ing his 38 years of flying service. One of MG Brandt earliest military “jobs” these pages. was to be the CO (as a 1st LT) of the 573rd Maintenance Detachment of the 33rd Transportation Company (H-21s) that deployed to Vietnam The Pilot’s perspective from Ft Ord, CA and arrived at Saigon in Sept 1962. “There were many hurdles to overcome to make it happen, ranging from I thought it would be quite a coup to photo this extraordinary pilot back the cessation of all Army flights due to the government shutdown, to the behind the controls of the H-21, and began making arrangements to do so weather preventing the flight following the preferred route,” said Yeager. (with civilian pilot Mike Slattery offering to use his AS350 B2 as the photo “In the end, significant coordination between the private owners of the ship) — but we all felt it would be really cool if we could add another ele- UH-1 and the H-21, as well as Vertical Magazine and the California ment to the shoot. How about a UH-1B Huey? I contacted Wings and National Guard, resulted in a singular opportunity for this photograph. [It] Rotors Air Museum, and somehow persuaded Museum Director and highlights the evolution of Army rotary wing aircraft as well as the privately Chief Pilot Pat Rodgers to delay a trip to Hawaii to take part. Still, some- and lovingly maintained aircraft which keep this rich history alive. Seeing thing was missing. the UH-1 in flight accompanied by the H-21 piloted by my father, my personal hero, was a very special experience.” Brandt said the opportunity to fly in formation with his daughter was a dream come true. “It had been 47 years since I last took the controls of my favorite helicopter and I was eager to see if it felt the same as I remembered,” he said. “The sounds and smells of a large radial engine and the vibrations of the H-21 as rotors were engaged brought back many memories of those long ago days in Vietnam. The thrill of flying at 100 knots, on the deck across rice paddies was once again remembered. As we flew along I looked over my right shoulder and saw the Black Hawk with my daughter aboard — what a thrill and great memory. Not many people get to have this kind of experience.”
Classic Rotors H-21B helicopter graces the November 2013 page of thei r calendar
Aircraft Background Classic Rotors’ H-21B (serial number 54-4001) was one of a special production run of eight U.S. Air Force aircraft that were built to service the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) early warning radar stations. The Air Force put this airframe into service during 1957, and it was decommissioned out of Langley Air Force Base in 1972. It was sold as miliPage 6 The VHPA Aviator
military surplus, and after being bought by a civilian operator, was used to set telephone poles and other utility lift jobs. It was then bought by the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, Calif., before joining Classic Rotors in 1989, where it became the museum’s flagship. It began flying on the local airshow circuit in 1992, and a few years later, was painted in its current Army livery. The Wings and Rotors UH-1B (serial number 62-2084) was delivered to the U.S. Army in June 1963, and deployed to Vietnam the following year with the 101st Airborne Division. The aircraft was surplused from the Army in 1984, and converted into a mosquito sprayer in Lee County, Fla., where it flew until 2000. Wings and Rotors purchased it in 2002, and restored it back to gunship configuration. Since then, it has flown to Washington, D.C., to take part in a special Memorial Day flight, as well as being featured in two History Channel documentaries, and a U.S. Army documentary. These days, the Huey is regularly flown at local airshows and events. Enjoy the story and the photos!
~ Skip Robinson
The above story appeared the January 2014 E dition of Vertical Magazine, text and photos by their Contributing E ditor Skip Robin son, and u sed by permission.
The UH-1B gunner position provides a special view of the entire mission
MR Brandt shares the day with his fellow members of the Southern California Chapter of the VHPA at the Wheels, Wings and Rotors Expo on October 27th, 2013 in Los Alamitos Army Airfield.
MG Brant sits in his favori te seat of hi s favorite helicopter
1st Reunion – Aviation Platoon, HHC 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) I flew with the Aviation Platoon, HHC 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division from August 1968 to December 1969, as a Warrant Officer Helicopter Pilot. The Aviation Platoon was formed in June/July of 1968, equipped initially with OH-23 Raven Helicopters. Major Stuart Miller was the 1st Brigade Aviation Officer and the HHC, Aviation Platoon Leader (we Warrant Officers were amused that we had a Captain as our company commander and a Major as our platoon leader). The four original pilots assigned to the Aviation Platoon were: WO Arthur Negrette, WO Neil, WO Thibadeau, and WO Pete ‘Ski’ Rzeminski. It all started with two OH-23’s. Imagine flying the A Shau in an OH-23! The Aviation Platoon was a relatively small section, with never more than a dozen pilots serving at any one time. We eventually expanded to our fully allocated aircraft complement of eight OH-6A Cayuse, Light Observation Helicopters (LOH or Loach), and five UH-1D or 1H Iroquois Helicopters (Huey). It provided the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, with Command & Control helicopter coverage and Brigade Aero-scout White Teams. It also supported “ash & trash” (lift and resupply), and courier missions. Apache Snow got all the headlines back in the United States during the month of May 1969. The grunts called it something else - Hamburger Hill, and the name stuck. It wasn’t, however, the only major battle fought by the troopers of the 101st Airborne Division during that summer. Operation Lamar Plain, though smaller in scale than the action in the A Shau Valley, was just as fierce. For those who fell there, it was just as deadly. It also earned a description from the enemy as "The big fight with the little helicopters.” [For a look at the story/history of the operation] see www.vhpa.com, on the left side: Unit Histories; HHC, 1st BDE, 101st ABN, Aviation Section]. I have just returned from Fort Myers, Florida, where I attended the 1st minireunion of my Vietnam unit – the Aviation Platoon(held on Friday and Satur-
Two generations of Army Aircraft and two generations of Army Aviators share the sky.
day, January 24-25, 2014). The reunionwas sort of unique in that it was not only for the pilots who flew in the unit, but also for the crew-chiefs, door-gunners, and mechanics that flew with us and kept us in the air. We were a relatively small unit compared to the aviation lift and gun-companies, but we were pretty successful. As our platoon leader (who joined us at the reunion), then Major Stu Miller stated that through our actions we: “Became the US Army’s finest small aviation unit fighting platoon.” While the rest of the 101st was fighting Operation Apache Snow (Hamburger Hill); we were pulled south to fight Operation Lamar Plain (The big fight with the little helicopters), in support of the Americal Division that had lost a whole company by walking into an NVA Regiment. I hadn’t seen these guys in over forty - four years, and it was heartwarming to see them again. We, of course, told many stories - the original versionsof which only some of our spouses actually know. These are good men, and I hope to meet with them again, sometime in the future. As you can see, some of us have aged slightly over the years. One fact came out clearly at the reunion. A fact that many of us pilots hadn't acknowledged at the time was that we were eighteen, nineteen, twenty, and twenty- one years old – what did we really know? We might fly all day long, totaling as much as nine to twelve hours. We'd return to base, conduct a post flight, fill out the logs, and head for the mess hall. Our crew had flown with us all day, yet… they had to get the bird ready for the next day! They stayed up until it was done; and did this for 12 long months. The crew and the mechanics are the real unsung heroes of the Vietnam War. The Infantry relied on us pilots for support, both combat and resupply. We pilots relied on our crew and mechanics to be able to fulfill our mission to the grunts on the ground. No chopper… no mission support. The Infantry was supported because our crews always came through. I can't express my gratitude and admirationenoughfor the NCOs and enlisted who maintained our choppers - they were absolutely amazing! Pete Rzeminski E-Mail: email@example.com Page 7 The VHPA Aviator
a Memorial Day speech giv en by Te rry Garlock I am honored to be here today among people who know we must remember the ones who have paid the ultimate price to serve our country. I never knew anyone who gave his life. I do know some who lost their life doing their duty; doing America’s dirty work in unpleasant places. Not a single one of them died willingly, they just wanted to get their job done honorably and go home to live out their lives like you and me. For the families who lost a loved one in war, it may be small comfort but I want you to know something. Those of us who lived through it will remember them vividly for the rest of our lives. We think of them nearly every day, as if we’re keeping an unspoken pledge to each other – “I will remember you”. Bear with me and I will try to tell you how veterans think of each other and how we think of our dead brothers and why we are proud of them. I am no expert, but over a five -year period while I was working on a book about veterans I spoke to a great many of them. Listening carefully helped me see more clearly how we were changed by war. It helped clarify some things that are very hard to put into words. Whether they are soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines - how do you prepare 18 year olds for combat? Intense training and drilling helps a lot because every one of them is worried about measuring up…wondering if they are made of the right stuff. When the time comes and the shooting starts, new guys are too busy doing their job to notice they are learning lessons that are not taught in any other place. They: • Thought they would be fighting for the flag, but it turned out they were fighting for each other. • Thought courage was not being afraid, but they found out; courage is doing your job well while you are scared to death. Combat is a cruel teacher. Yet it somehow turns a group of men into a sort of family. You may not like or even know a guy, but you’ll take breathtaking risks in the struggle to keep each other alive. Amidst the chaos and danger of combat and beyond the mission, there is powerful motivation that can be summed up in two words – honor and trust. What does a nineteen year old soldier in combat know about honor? Quite a bit, I think. He may not ever put it into words but he knows honor is doing his job well and defending his brothers, even at the risk of his own life. He knows while looking in the mirror to shave in the morning whether he met the test of manhood. What he likes most about himself is passing that challenge. As he gets good at his job, at some point, he suddenly realizes his brothers trust him to deliver, even under fire. He may never say it, but he is enormously proud of earning that trust, and he would do anything not to lose it. It’s almost like we proudly wore an invisible jacket of honor and trust that we had to earn, a high achievement that our family at home would never understand. The complete trust we had in each other made a closeness that only Shakespeare has successfully described. And so, even though everyone in combat fears dying, we feared even more that under fire, our courage might falter, we might screw up, we might fail to do our job, we might lose our brothers trust, or even... lose their lives. We feared that more than anything. If you asked us back then if we loved each other, we would have thought you were out of your mind. But when one of us was killed the cut ran very deep, and we crammed our anguish way down inside us into our own secret box. Then we closed the lid tight so we could carry on doing our job . . . but the ghosts of our dead brothers were never far away. Whether it was WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan, the calendar days passed, some boring, some exciting and others dark with anguish. We all fantasized about going home, getting away from the nastiness of war and
returning to those we loved. We may have left home as boys but we would return home serious men who had learned to quickly separate the fluff from important things; things that might get our brothers killed or keep them alive. When we finally arrived home the reunion might not have been as smooth as we expected, since we had changed more than we realized. We may have seemed remote to some people. Our dead brothers, tucked safely away in our secret box, meant far more to us than the dumbasses we met and who would never sacrifice a thing for their country. It didn’t seem right that life went on as if there was no war, as if Americans were not still fighting and dying. We found ourselves missing our brothers, both dead and alive. Those were the people we now respected, the people who now understood us; and the people we now trusted completely to watch our back. How crazy is it that many of us secretly wished to be back with those guys where honor and trust are the coin of the realm? Maybe we hated the war, but felt the urge to be there again with the ones who were part of us now. We were cautious about opening our secret box to visit with our dead brothers because the memories are wrapped in the same feelings we had when they died, just as fresh as yesterday - and we didn’t like the fact that we could not control the tears and overwhelming sadness. That is part of the power of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. The names on the polished black marble wall make it personal. As family members and brothers in arms approach The Wall, the air becomes electric as secret boxes are opened and memories with their wrappings of anguish are set loose to run free. We can almost see our dead brothers in the reflection of that polished wall, proudly wearing the jacket of honor and trust they earned. The Wall in Washington is our place: to ease the pressure, to let loose those feelings we suppressed for so long, where we can talk to our dead brothers to tell them they are not forgotten and that we are teaching our children and grandchildren about them. It’s a place where we can confess a tinge of guilt that we lived through it and they did not, that we got to live out our life and grow old and that we’re sorry their faces are frozen forever young. The Wall is our place, where we can go together with our brothers and sisters who lived, a bit like church, a place of healing. I hope you see why we should build memorials for Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to glorify the war, but to provide the men and women of those wars a place of their own to gather and grieve and cleanse their soul. We should build those memorials. I think all these things I am telling you are part of why veterans are drawn to each other. It’s more than remembering the past and swapping old tales. It’s the comfort of being with men and women who proved themselves worthy of honor and trust. It was these people, who did hard things well when they were young. They understand when we say we can almost see the ghosts of our dead brothers among us. They are the ones we miss, the ones we respect and admire. We see them laughing and joking, sipping with us when we drink a toast to them and say our prayers in silence for them. I am grateful that America pauses to remember them every year, but we think of our dead brothers all the time with the affection of this old Irish blessing: May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind always be at your back, May the sun shine warm on your face, May the rains fall soft on your fields And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. Terry L. Garlock 334th AHC, 1969 E-Mail: Terry@Garlock1.com Page 8 The VHPA Aviator
MEMORIES AND THOUGHTS OF MEMORIAL DAY
b y Jo h n B ar r o n
I would like to thank VFW post 447 for inviting me to be the guest speaker today. It is a great honor to be here to speak about Memorial Day. I would also like to thank all the participants involved in making this ceremony special. Memorial Day is unofficially the start of the one-hundred days of summer, a three-day weekend typically celebrated with picnics, bar-b-que’s and fishing trips. But for many families, it is the day that we recognize our fallen members of military. We are here today to honor our fallen military members with flags, speeches and patriotic music. The soldiers amongst us relate to something that happened because we cared for our comrades for we are indeed a band of brothers and sisters. I had always wanted to be in the Military just like my Father. He joined the Army in 1938 at Fort Bliss, Texas. He was with the 1st Cavalry and rode a horse but he soon became part of the Army Air Corps and was assigned to Denver, Colorado. While there, he met my mother and they decided to get married on Memorial Day, May 30, 1941. They made a day trip to my Mom’s home town, McCook and were married by the justice of the peace. When Memorial Day was changed to the last Monday in May, my Mom was furious. She would always say “I was married on May 30th, Memorial Day and it is not the last Monday in May”. I remember marching in the Memorial Day parades, first with the Highlander Boys and later with the Civil Air Patrol Cadets. I took great pride in being able to participate in the honoring of our fallen military. I appreciated standing tall listening to the bands and keeping in step; I was proud of my marching skills, which I had been working on since I was eight years old. After returning from Vietnam it became harder to participate in Memorial Day parades and ceremonies because of the memories of those fellow comrades I had lost. I would flinch with each volley from the firing squad, then the haunting notes of Tapswould cause an emotion to well up. a grown man was not supposed to cry in public. Taps is that twenty-four note tune that is played at funerals, memorial services like today’s and on military installations at 22:00 hours (lights out). I always get choked up when I hear those notes because it means that another comrade- inarms has passed away. Taps is played at military funerals after the twenty-one shot volley and the command "present arms" is given. I am a Vietnam Veteran; accordingly, the Vietnam Memorial is special to me. The Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. lists the 58,267 names on its polished black wall. Including those added in 2010. The names are arranged in the order of the date in which they were taken from us. Within each date they are alphabetized. Did you know that 39,996 of those soldiers ranged in age from 22 to 15 years old, in fact 33,103 of them were just 18 years old? Did you know that there are five women’s names on the wall and all were killed while nursing the wounded? Did you know that on January 31, 1968, during the Tet Offensive, we lost 245 soldiers in one day? Thank God in our Nation’s Capital we have such a fine Memorial to honor them all. Visiting the Vietnam Memorial Wall was quite a personal experience. Half of my graduating Flight School class of 300 men was killed in action within one year after graduation. In flight school we had a ‘Devil may care attitude’, our class song was “We will all be dead by Christmas of 69”. I arrived in Vietnam on December 21, 1969, two rocket attacks later, Christmas of 69 came and went and I was still alive. The good Lord and my comrades watched over me during my eighteen month tour and I am here to talk about it today. My Flight
School classmates are listed on The Vietnam Memorial Wall sections West 3 to West 13. For me The Wall was healing in the sense that it brought a kind of closure to my Vietnam experience. Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: sleep because FRANK MAYS, CONDOR 27 (LEFT) AND JOHN BARRON, of the opium extractCondor 16 share a minute on the flight line ed from them, and at Charlie Troop’s Revetment in Phu Bai. death because of the blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep, a symbolism that was used in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the Dorothy, the Lion and the Tin man sleep forever. The poppy associated with wartime remembrance is the red-flowered corn poppy. A common weed in Europe, the poppy is found in many locations, including Flanders. Belgium. Flanders was the setting of the famous World War I poem In Flanders Fields, by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae. In Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, artificial poppies are worn to commemorate those who died in war, that custom started here in 1924. I would like share with you the poem In Flanders Fields By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army. In Flanders Fields the poppies blow ~ Between the crosses row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky ~ The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago ~ We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie ~ In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe ~ To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. ~ If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow ~ In Flanders fields.
All too often I have heard:“We knew uncle Joe was in a war but he never talked about it, I wonder what he did” or “ I never knew he was a Bomber Pilot or a truck driver” and “What are these medals for”? We need to tell our stories to our children and families so they know what we did. They will really never know what it is like to be in combat unless they experience it themselves. My own “war stories” convey the fact that without the good Lord and my comrades I would not be talking to you today. As soldiers, we tried to save each other no matter the cost. Many soldiers have died, trying to keep his fellow soldier alive. We are all brothers and sisters in arms. Let us not forget the sacrifice made by these brave men and women. Let us also not forget their families and friends that suffered their loss. Again, I would like to thank VFW 447 for inviting me and all the participants for their contribution. May God give our leaders the strength and knowledge to make decisions that do not needlessly place our military in Harm’s Way. May the good Lord Bless and keep you all and our military and may God bless and keep America safe. Than k you for you r at tenti on. John Barron, Major, (US Army, Retired) Recipient of five Distinguished Flying Cross(s) and a Soldiers Medal for his actions while serving in Vietnam
Page 9 The VHPA Aviator
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Two Mike Model Huey’s Restoration Projects by K e vin Vis l o cky This April, two non-profit groups successfully completed a trip to Monroe, Oregon to retrieve a UH1M Huey airframe and the parts necessary to complete two Huey helicopter restoration projects. Kevin Vislocky of Military Machines of American Freedom in Tallahassee, Florida and Tom Egleston (VHPA member) and Tommy Hickey of Sequatchie County Veterans Memorial Park in Dunlop, Tennessee, met with Jim Crawford (VHPA Life Member) of Timberline Air Service to retrieve a UH1M Huey airframe 64-14179 and numerous parts to include rotor blades, window glass, etc. donated by Jim. 6414179 will be restored for static display at the Sequatchie County Veterans Memorial Park. Other parts donated by Jim Crawford will be used in the restoration of Military Machines of American Freedom’s UH1M 66-00608 which will be used in static displays at air shows, parades and veteran events in Florida. Tim McCartney of Aero-Jet Helicopters donated a T53-13 engine for use in 66-00608. Jeff Cartwright Trucking provided transportation of both airframes and parts back to Tennessee. Joe McGuire of Murphy Business and Financial of Wyoming provided his appraisal services to facilitate the donation of the Huey parts. Both organizations have a goal to have the helicopters ready for display in time for Veterans Day. Tom Egleston of Dunlap, Tennessee has taken over the job of researching the history of 64-14179 and he is looking forward to hearing from anyone who may have information that can help in their restoration. The aircraft’s Goldbook information came from Gary Roush and shows that from OCT '66 through APR '67, it was assigned to 11 General Support Company, 1st CAV Division. A hard landing on 21 May '67 sent the aircraft to Corpus Christi. Upon returning to RVN, it was assigned to HHD, 11 AVN Bn (09/70-12/70) then to 11 CAB HHC (01/71-09/71). As part of the restoration Tom would like to paint it in the "markings" of one of its RVN assignments so if anyone out there served in one of these units during the time that 179 (most likely a "B" model at that time) was there, we would appreciate any help (information, photos, etc.) you could supply us concerning the aircraft and/or the unit ID markings. Personally, Tom flew this aircraft as a member of the New Jersey ARNG until 1992 when they turned it over to a sheriff's department in New York State. The Sequatchie County Veterans Memorial Park is located in SE Tennessee in the town of Dunlap, about an hour north of Chattanooga and two hours SE of Nashville. You are welcome to follow our restoration on our Facebook page and we are extending an open invitation to all who flew or crewed 179 to attend the dedication. You can reach me by either E-Mail or postal mail at these addresses: Tom Egleston, c/o SCVMP, P.O. Box 1565, Dunlap, TN 37327 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Last, we want everyone to know that our initial contact with Jim Crawford was possible thanks entirely to VHPA Aviator magazine. Both organizations feel very fortunate to receive these generous donations from Jim Crawford and will do everything possible to restore and preserve these historic helicopters for future generations. Ke vin Vislocky E- Ma il : v is lo cky @a t t .n et
Jim Crawford, Kevin Vislocky, Tommy Hickey, and Jeff Cartwright celebrating the loading of M-Model 64-14179
Tom Egleston, Jim Crawford and Tommy Hickey celebrate again after M-Model 64-14179 is loaded
Huey 66-00608 prior to restoration
B- Model Huey 66-00608 while serving in Vietnam
Sequatchie County Veterans Memorial Park in Dunlap, Tennessee
Page 12 The VHPA Aviator
An Albion New York native has joined the ranks of history’s most decorated flying heroes for his mission ~
The Res cue o f “Grumpy” Grim aldi By Virginia Kropf of the Batavia News and used with permission (EMail: email@example.com) On August 24th, 2013 at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia, New York, Charles Nesbitt was one of two members of the 57th Assault Helicopter Company during the Vietnam War to be presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Charles “Charlie” Nesbitt, a former NY state assemblyman, is a decorated UH1H (Huey) helicopter pilot, having previously received an air medal with 26 oak leaf clusters for service in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Also receiving the award that evening was 1st Lt. Ben Hek of Lexington, KY., a Cobra helicopter pilot. Jim McKenzie, who flew right seat with Nesbitt on several Vietnam missions while they were both assigned to the 57th Assault Helicopter Company, 52nd Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade said Saturday night that after he returned from Vietnam that he had submitted Nesbitt’s name for a Silver Star for his actions on this mission. He thought the award had been approved but after meeting Nesbitt in 1999, McKenzie was shocked to learn the award had never been acted upon or approved. “It then took one and one-half years to resubmit the paperwork for Charlie’s award, and 10 years to reapprove it, and even then they changed it to a Distinguished Flying Cross,” McKenzie said. On August 9th, 2013 Nesbitt received notice his award had finally been approved. Nesbitt’s medal was awarded for heroism while participating in aerial flight. The incident occurred November 14, 1968, while on a mission which his company was ordered never to talk about. The mission was to extract a United States Army Special Forces team out of Laos and was supposed to be routine, until one helicopter unexpectedly crashed into the jungle. Amid enemy fire, Nesbitt and a second helicopter moved in to pick up the downed crew. Believing they had everyone on board, the aircraft lifted off, but soon realized one man was missing. It was then determined that Specialist John ‘Crumby’ Grimaldi, the door gunned on the crashed aircraft, had been left behind. After depositing their rescued soldiers at the super-secret Special Forces outpost in Laos known as Leghorn, Nesbitt and the other helicopter flew back to the crash site. Leghorn was located on a nearly unapproachable mountain pinnacle where it served as both an emergency landing place for the helicopters and a radio relay facility for the teams in the field. Back at the crash site, Nesbitt hovered his Huey in the treetops, trying to see the jungle floor. Now running low on fuel, Nesbitt made the decision to make one final pass directly over the downed aircraft, where they spotted Grimaldi lying on the ground. Trees more than 100 feet tall and broken bamboo stumps prevented the helicopter from landing. Nesbitt and the other helicopter returned to base for fuel and to pick up a specially trained Special Forces Bright Light Team to extract the wounded Grimaldi with a McGuire rig (four ropes equipped with a device which can be attached to a harness). Once the wounded soldier is attached, the hovering helicopter lifts them straight up until they are clear of the trees. A rope tangled in a tree could lead to a tragic result, and crewmen carried knives to cut the rope to save the ship in that circumstance. Additionally, the person in the harness is vulnerable to enemy fire as they hang motionless and exposed more than 150 feet above the jungle floor. At their base, the inexperienced co-pilot and gunner with Nesbitt were replaced with Lt. Jim McKenzie and Crew Chief Richard
Kleint, who with their commanding officer Lt. Col. Robert Williams, were at Saturday’s event. Arriving back at the crash site, one helicopter unloaded the Special Forces team while Nesbitt hovered over Grimaldi. They immediately received enemy gunfire and called for cover from the escorting gunships whose miniguns scattered the enemy and slowed the North Vietnamese Army’s rate of fire. The rescue team had not yet arrived, however the enemy was near the crash site and in a position to kill or capture Grimaldi when Nesbitt made the decision to lower his helicopter into the landing zone; chopping limbs with his rotors if necessary. He could hear the bullets popping around them as they began the descent. But it became too risky trying to cut through the canopy, and Nesbitt was forced to hover back up, while Kleint and crew chief John Lindsay fired their M60 machine guns at anyone who moved near the downed aircraft. When the rescue team finally arrived, they fastened Grimaldi into the McGuire rig and Nesbitt began his ascent, with the gunships firing constantly to disengage the enemy. Getting to an area of elephant grass where they could lower and recover Grimaldi into the aircraft took slow and precise flying, Nesbitt said. The men on the ground signaled when the patient touched down and directed Nesbitt to a place safely clear of them. He still couldn’t touch down because of the jagged bamboo stumps which could pierce his fuel tanks. With Grimaldi finally loaded aboard his aircraft, Nesbitt took off for Dak To as fast as he could go, landing beside a small medical dispensary. “It was the softest landing I ever made in my life,” he said. “Some time later I had conversation with a member of the Bright Light Team who told me they believed the North Vietnamese Army had dragged Grimaldi to the downed ship with the intention of using him as bait for a trap,” Nesbitt said. “He believed only the devastating firepower from our gunships and A-1E’s had foiled their plan. He also told me after we departed his team rigged the downed Huey with explosives and blew it up in their faces as the enemy moved in.” When he finally parked the Huey and shut it down, Nesbitt had been flying more than nine hours, three and one-half of them under enemy fire, and his ship was all shot up and nearly out of fuel. Nesbitt said Grimaldi is still alive, but has never attended a reunion of his company. “John Grimaldi had 45 years of life he wouldn’t have otherwise had, and there is no greater reward for us,” Nesbitt said. “Everyone of you could be up here he told the members of his team in attendance, it’s not just about me. It’s about all of you.” Nesbitt was only 20 years old at the time. Continued on page 28
Page 13 The VHPA Aviator
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR To The Editor of the VHPA Aviator Please let our membership know that I am actively soliciting flying stories for an anthology I am planning to publish. The new book will be titled SkyWriting, essays on the Art and Craft on Aviation and I hope to have it available on Amazon.com later this year. So, if you would like to see your flying stories in print check out my submission guidelines on my website (www.ByronEdington.com) and send me an email. The proceeds from the book will go to support Operation Angel Flight, the service that flies kids throughout the country for medical treatments. Byron Edington ~ E-Mail: Edington.firstname.lastname@example.org To The Editor of the VHPA Aviator I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed Mr. Ira McComic’s story about landing on a Navy LST in this last issue. It brought to mind the day I learned my Navy right from my Navy left. One day in 1968 I was assigned “Ash and Trash” for an LST off the coast. This sounded different and exciting. As we flew toward the ship the first time, I requested permission to land. Flight Operations responded with the normal instructions; then added, “Landing approach to the port side approved.” Uh-oh, a snag I asked my crew if they knew which side of the ship was port? “No, sir!” they answered. I briefly considered ignoring the instruction. After all, I had a 50 – 50 chance to be correct. However, professional compliance got the better of me so I swallowed my pride and asked the sailor “Which side of the ship is port?” I heard hysterical laughter in the background as the controller replied, “Army helo, it’s the LEFT side of the boat.” Bob Eustice ~ Class 67-23
Your history, your leg acy… by Mike Sloniker Two VHPA members have published books about their Vietnam experience. In the late 1990’s I read VHPA member Mike Brokovich’s writings to his children about his two aviation tours in Vietnam; it was personal for his family and had become part of his legacy. VHPA members Mike Brown and Bob Sander have gone the next step by publishing books available to the general public; Missile, Missile, Missile, by Mike Brown and just recently, Invasion of Laos by Bob Sander. Both book jackets are shown to the right: Both books are the result of the VHPA membership sharing their history with me since 1994 and the excellent VHPA data base work of Gary Roush. I compile the history and send to Gary, who provides it back to the general membership. I will leave book reviewing to others since I participated in providing information for them. However, the bottom line is that each book has made a solid legacy mark for Army Aviation. Both books speak to the profound professionalism that existed with us in our youth, and will always give us a silent since of pride knowing we flew helicopters in Vietnam Mike Sloniker, VHPA Historian
To the Editor of the VHPA Aviator On 30 December 1969, Captain (Capt) Fielding W. FEATHERSTON (Aircraft Commander) and Capt Douglas D. FERGUSON (Pilot), who were flying an F-4D aircraft (call sign: Laredo 03), on an armed reconnaissance mission over Laos were last. Captain FEATHERSTON was to check a suspected storage area in Laos that contained 1200 fuel drums. He reported to the airborne controller that he found the fuel drums and further commented that they looked like revetments and were probably full of sand. Captain FEATHERSTON was cleared to strafe the target while another aircraft, (call sign: BULLWHIP 14), was sent to observe the strike. BULLWHIP 14 observed as Capt FEATHERSTON made two successful passes. Ground fire was not observed at the target area. On the final pass, as the aircraft passed beyond the target, the wings rocked once and the aircraft crashed a quarter mile beyond the target. Capt. Douglas D. Ferguson was accounted for on March 5th of this year, he will be buried with full military honors May 2, 2014 in Lakewood, Wash. There are now 1,642 Americans listed by Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War (1,004 Americans have been accounted for. Capt. Ferguson’s wife Sue is a member of the National League of Families and has been a board member of our organization for many years. We all rejoice in her good news. I've personally known Sue for almost 44 years with the League and this just goes to show you that prayers do get answered........in God's good time. Ron Miller, Member of VHPA To The Editor of the VHPA Aviator, Thank you for publishing my article concerning ‘Give Back to Veterans’ in the last edition of the Aviator. I’m proud to announce that this program is now called, "Samson's Brigade" and is fully affiliated with Operation American Patriot. You can learn more about how OAP is helping the military, veterans and their families at www.operationamericanpatriot.org, Samson's Brigade is discussed on the services tab of their website. I can be contacted at: email@example.com. John Strickland, VHPA Member Samson's BrigadeE-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Page 14 The VHPA Aviator
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Page 15 The VHPA Aviator
V HP A ’ s 3 1s t A n n u a l Re u n io n ~ Lo ui sv i l l e , K Y J ul y 1 st -5 t h 20 14 M ee t K e n S l y e , o n e o f o ur h o s t s f r o m t h e O hi o R i ve r L Z C h a pt e r f or t h i s y e a r s R e u n i o i n
Two C om bat To urs in Vi et nam then Head-to-Head wi th J oh n McEnroe Subsequent to my retiring from the US Army and its aviation program and after two combat tours flying helicopters in Vietnam; I came face-to-face with a new challenge – that of climbing up into the “Tall Chair” on a tennis court and officiating a professional tennis match. I had umpired some college and amateur matches over the years, but this “new challenge” was the real deal in the world of tennis. I was first asked to train both chair and line officials for what was an upcoming tennis tournament at the opening of the new Hampton Roads, VA Coliseum as well as for the “1976 CBS Tennis Classic” to be held at the Virginia Beach Racquet Club in Virginia. After many classes and much encouragement, my new umpires did a fantastic job with the varied assignments and their new exposure to the professional tennis world. Author Ashe and Stan Smith were two of the players entered into the Hampton Roads Coliseum Tournament and both were a gentleman and a pleasure to work with. While Ilie Nastage, another player with an established reputation, also playing in the tournament, was anything but a gentleman. The Virginia Beach Tournament was also John McEnroe’s first professional tournament, the tennis world had never heard of him at that point. I have enjoyed tennis officiating very much and my affiliations with both national and international sanctioning associations have given me the opportunity to travel the world. When someone learns of my tennis umpiring, the first two questions they ask are still “Have you umpired at Wimbledon?” and “Have you umpired any of John McEnroe’s match-
es?” The answer to both questions is YES! Three years at Wimbledon and 16 matches working with McEnroe. In fact I was the chair umpire for the 1980 US Open’s Men’s Single Final between McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, carried by CBS TV with an audience of about 20 million and some 22,000 in the stands at Flushing Meadow. On several occasions during the final, CBS flashed my name and hometown on the TV screen. When I returned home after the tournament, I received about 30 phone calls from service members with whom I had served in Vietnam. It was like old home week, but it also brought back some distant memories. After Linda (a graduate of my first “teaching class” of new tennis officials back in 1976) and I moved to Bamberg, Germany with the US Government in the summer of 1990, I chaired matches in six major tournaments in Europe. Then one day I decided that we hadn’t gone to Germany to sit on a tennis court; we wanted to travel the continent, and so I stepped down from officiating professional tennis. On 1998 I retired from the Secretary of Defense’s staff, a second 20-year career, at the Pentagon, and we moved to Louisville (Linda’s hometown) and we love it here. I miss the challenge of professional tennis officiating but that responsibility is now for younger folks and I’m enjoying my retirement, both from tennis and the government.
M a j o r K e n Sl ye , C o m m a n d e r o f A C o . , 1 5 th T r a n s B a t t a l i o n , 1 s t Cav D i v (D i re c t S up po rt ) , 1 9 6 9
Pix – Jimmy Conners and Ken Slye Jimmy Conners shares a little “down time” in 1983 with Ken Slye before t he s t a r t of t h e St o w e Op e n i n Stowe, Vermont.
K en p oses in fr ont of th e net a t c e n te r c o urt in W im b le do n in 1987.
Welcome to Louisville! You’ll also love it here! Ken Slye
K e n and L i nda S ly e lo o k f o r w a r d to w e l c om in g eve ryone to L ouisvil le this July.
John McEnr oe has a “discu ssion ” w ith Ken du ring the 1983 US Open Tournament at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York.
Page 16 The VHPA Aviator
V HP A ’ s 3 1s t A n n u a l Re u n io n ~ Lo ui sv i l l e , K Y J ul y 1 st -5 t h 20 14
AN UPD ATE ON TH E 31ST REUNI ON OF THE VHPA By Mike Law, Chairman of the VHPA Reunion Committee Speaking for the VHPA Executive Council, the Headquarters Staff, and the entire Reunion Committee – I cordially invite you to attend the VHPA’s 31st Annual Reunion in Louisville from Tuesday, July 1st through Saturday, July 5th 2014 at The Galt House. We have a wonderful party planned for you, your family, and your friends! “Just Add Boubon!” is a favorite expression of Louisvillians and Kentuckians usually said with a big smile! The Jan/Feb issue of The Aviator devoted ten pages to the Reunion. The next two Aviators have had less - all by design. The leadership team determined years ago that there is little value in reprinting the same information in issues after “the big one” in Jan/Feb. Therefore, the Reunion information in this issue is more along the lines of a sitrep with an updated event schedule and registration form. So, here are EIGHT points for your consideration. First, Attendance is look’n great! Historically, at the end of March a Reunion has 60% of the registrations it will eventually have when all is said and done. As of 1 April 1,080 adults had registered. So that maps to an estimated final attendance of 1,725. THANK YOU for all who registered early as we bugged you to do. Just to put the Louisville Reunion in perspective, there were 1,477 adult attendees in San Fran and 1,787 in New Orleans. So Louisville expects to be a strong 15% better than San Fran and almost as good as New Orleans ~ and both of those Reunions are considered to be VERY SUCCESSFUL. Second, the July 4th Breakfast Cruise – Who’d a thunk it? Our initial thinking last fall ~ this cool old river boat is docked near the Galt House and looks to be wildly popular for firework display watchers on maybe the 3rd and/or the 4th if indeed the city is going to find the funds to have their festival this year. (Our scouts told us that the fireworks and concerts were officially “dead in the water” even as late as last November) So we said, “What the heck – maybe our people would like a two-hour breakfast cruise? No bus transportation costs involved. Don’t even have to sell out the entire boat to keep from losing money and the Boat seats 350 for breakfast. Put it up and see if it sells?” Well, the Belle of Louisville sold out in early February! We were able to get a second charter for the 150-seat Spirit of Jefferson and quickly worked the Belle’s wait list. By the time you read this we expect the Spirit will be sold out as well! So THANK YOU again for all those who registered early as we bugged you to do. Who’d a thunk that almost 50% of those registering for the Reunion would want to take a breakfast cruise!?! T h i r d , g r o u p d i n n e r s o u t s i d e th e h o t e l a r e p r o v i n g t o b e v e r y p o p u l ar – w e h e a r d yo u ! ! ! The idea of offering group dinners on the evenings prior to the Early Bird Gathering and the Welcome Reception is a relatively recent addition to the our Reunion’s “personality.” It was PERFECT for San Fran – a million great places to eat but difficult to accommodate a group reservation at the last minute. And transporting 40 or so of your new best friends to some “cutesy place” isn’t for the faint of heart! Downtown Louisville has several restaurants that can handle groups, so we picked two for July 1st and two more for July 2nd. We were looking for places that could seat about 50 VHPAers (no public) with a set menu and price ~ let everyone arrive about 5:30 and be “out of there” quickly to get back to the evening activities in the hotel. All four sold out in early March! HQ received lots of “simple input” on the phone ~ Go get more!!! So we did and all are within easy walking distance of the Galt House. As it turns out, Patrick O’Shea’s has three private rooms that collective can accommodate 350 ~ so we expanded our contract with them for the 1st and added them again on the 2nd. Then we added the neat and fun Troll Pub Under the Bridge both nights for 50 folks. Bring your camera for a photo with the giant troll near the front entrance! What a hoot! Finally, we added a nice Old Spaghetti Factory buffet for 50 on both nights. Very economical, fun, and fast! Fourth, due to budgetary considerations, the City of Louisville has cancelled their 4th of July fireworks celebration at Waterfront Park. Now your best chance to see fireworks at this year’s Reunion is at our baseball game outing on the evening of July 3rd. There are still plenty of seats available and the
Louisville Slugger’s are looking forward to having us there! The good news about all this is that some of the demand for downtown hotel rooms has eased up, plus we no longer have to “dance to the city’s directions” as to the timing and the placement for our exhibits (equipment, the Moving Wall and our CA reenactment etc.). Fifth, Hotel rooms are filling up – heads up!!! Now the most important date for everyone to keep in mind is 1 June 2014 ~ the cutoff date for the VHPA housing contracts (please note that word is plural). After that date, all bets are off as to both availability and rate. In mid-March for two days, they were sold out on the 3rd and the 4th and that was after the hotel gave us at least a dozen more rooms. After they “took some away” from two small groups for us, there were rooms to sell so the block “opened up” again. However, they won’t last long. So here is what we want you to know: First, try to book into the Galt House. If no joy, see if you can be added to their wait list. Now people will cancel from time to time as we get closer to July, so there will be times when you can book into the Galt House and there will be times when you can’t. If no joy, check back in a day or so ~ you may get lucky. Second, book something ~ especially over the 3rd and 4th. It will only get worse as time marches on! Notice we now have contracts with two overflow hotels – the Hyatt and the Marriott Courtyard. Both are within easy walking distance of the Galt House (and fun places to eat, I might add). See details on page 19 of this issue. Remember ~ we love you and want to see you in Louisville, but if you suddenly decide on 5 June that you want to come ~ well, our love may not be enough to do you any good!!! Sixth, going to CA reenactment on July 4? Be prepared – flexibility is the order of the day!!! First of all, this is going to be an absolutely wonderful event! It is possible we might be able to pull something like this off again at a VHPA Reunion, but don’t bet the farm on it!!! Currently about 50% of everyone registering for the Reunion told us they plan to attend this event. Do the math! We could be looking at moving almost a thousand of our FOR CERTAIN best friends from the Galt House to the North Lawn on a toasty warm July afternoon when most everyone wants to stay in the air conditioning until the last minute. Private parking there and getting back into the hotel’s lot – BIG PROBLEM!!! Our friends and brothers at American Huey 369 are in the full “CAN’T WAIT” mode for this event! While they’ve done dozens of CA reenactments in the last few years ~ this is the one the VHPA’ers in their ranks have been waiting for!! Phil Marshall, Art Jacobs, David Harris ~ they get all teary-eyed on the phone talking to me about this one. [Well maybe not Art – tough DUSTOFF and GUNRUNNER salt that his is!] Phil will be the “voice” of the CA ~ normal 5’10 ~ he’ll be 10 feet tall that day ~ trust me!!! Stay flexible my friends! Plan ahead (darn I hate that!) We’ll get you there and back quickly, safely, and hopefully with a smile on your face and memories in your camera!! Ain’t nothing like the sound of a Huey ~ unless it’s a LOH!!! Seventh, please look to www.vhpa.org for all your Reunion needs. This VHPA Reunion literally has a hundred moving parts. There is simply no way we can communicate details and status to you with printed media. Please, please use www.vhpa.org ~ see the “Tour and Event Details” on the Reunion Information page. Eight, Safe Journey! Ten years ago while Dianna and I were on a mission for our church to Ghana West Africa, we heard these words often from these easy to love people ~ SAFE JOURNEY. It was so heart-felt, so genuine, and so loving!! Sadly, each year there are accidents etc involving our people coming to or returning from the Reunion. This is the last published opportunity the Reunion Committee has to communicate with you prior to shaking your hand in Louisville...so SAFE JOURNEY Questions? Comments? As always get in touch with HQ at 800-505-8472 or Mike Law at 720-987-3009 or email@example.com. Page 17 The VHPA Aviator
OFFICIAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
V HP A ’ s 3 1s t A n n u a l Re u n io n ~ Lo ui sv i l l e , K Y J ul y 1 st -5 t h 20 14 See our Website at: www.VHPA.org for the latest details and to register for the Reunion
Monday – June 30 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Registration & Tour Desk open Pre-registration open (no T-shirt pickup)
8:00 am - 8:00 pm 8:00 am - 8:00 pm 8:30 am - 2:30 pm 9:00 am - 2:30 pm 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:30 am - 1:30 pm 11:00 am - 11:00 pm 11:00 am - 2:30 pm 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Registration & Tour Desk open Welcome Desk & Pre-registration open Fort Knox Tour w/lunch Jim Beam Extended Tour #1 Museum Tour Pass Shuttle Jim Beam Basic Tour #1 O' Club open UPS Tour #1 Vendor Room open T-shirt pick up available Crows, O’Shea’s, Group dinners Bourbon Row - Doc Old Spaghetti Factory, Troll Pub Early Bird Gathering - Elvis Presley
7:30 am - 5:00 pm 7:30 am - 5:00 pm 7:30 am - 4:30 pm 8:00 am - 9:00 am 8:00 am - 11:00 pm 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:00 am - 12:00 pm 10:30 am - 12:30 pm 10:30 am - 3:30 pm 11:00 am - 2:30 pm 11:00 am - 11:00 pm 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm 4:50 pm - 7:30 pm 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Registration open Welcome desk & Pre-registration open T-shirt pick up available Breakfast w/Speaker - Clovis Jones Mini Reunions/TOCs Vendor Room open Churchill Downs #1 HPF #1-AH - 64 Apache Development - Bob Stewart City Tour #1 UPS Tour #2 O' Club open Horseshoe Casino #1 Churchill Downs #2 DAR Victorian Tea Tour HPF #2 - The Early Years - CH-21s - John Givham Banquet seating Garage Bar or English Grill, O’Shea’s, Group dinners - Old Spaghetti Factory, Troll Pub 1st Time Attendee Reception Welcome Reception - Eric Clapton
7:00 am - 2:00 pm 7:30 am - 5:00 pm 7:30 am - 9:00 am 7:30 am - 9:00 am 8:00 am - 11:00 pm 8:30 am - 4:30 pm 8:30 am - 4:30 pm 9:00 am - 2:30 pm 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:00 am - 10:30 am 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:30 am - 1:30 pm 10:00 am - 3:00 pm 10:30 am - 3:30 pm 11:00 am - 12:30 pm 11:00 am - 11:00 pm 12:00 pm - 4:30pm 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Golf Outing Registration Desk KIA/MIA Gold Star Breakfast Breakfast w/Speaker - Joe Ponds Mini-reunions/TOCs Welcome Desk & Pre-registration T-shirt pick up Jim Beam Extended Tour #2 Vendor Room open Wall Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Waterfront Park Static Display Shuttle Museum Tour Pass Shuttle Jim Beam Basic Tour #2 Horseshoe Casino #2 City Tour #2 HPF #3 - History of HA(L) - 3 - Tom Phillips O' Club open Baseball Ticket Exchange (VHPA : Ball Park) Quilters Show & Tell Slugger Ball Park Special Event
Tuesday – July 1
Wednesday – July 2
Thursday – July 3
Friday – July 4
7:00 am - 4:00 pm 7:30 am - 10:15 am 8:00 am - 11:00 pm 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:00 am - 11:00 pm 11:00 am - 11:00 pm 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm 3:15 pm - 6:00 pm 8:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Registration/Pre-Registration/T-Shirts pick-up Breakfast on the Belle & the Spirit Mini-reunions/TOCs Vendor Room open Museum Tour Pass Shuttle Waterfront Park Static Display Shuttle O' Club open Horseshoe Casino #3 Writers Presentation Mini-reunions/TOCs Banquet seating Combat Assault Reenactment Fireworks @ Waterfront Park
7:00 am - 8:30 am 8:00 am - 9:30 am 8:00 am - 11:00 am 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 9:30 am - 1:00 pm 10:00 am - 12:30 pm 10:30 am - 1:30 pm 12:30 pm - 11:00 pm 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm 5:45 pm - 10:30 pm
Breakfast w/Speaker - Bob Hasslebein Memorial Service Mini-reunions/TOCs Vendor Room open Waterfront Park Shuttle Museum Tour Pass Shuttle Registration/Pre-Registration/T-Shirts pick-up Annual Business Meeting Spousal Event - Fun & Lunch O' Club open Presidents Recognition Chapter President Meeting Mini-reunions/TOCs Banquet Seating desk open Closing Banquet & Dance
Saturday – July 5
Reunion Continuing Events:
Unit Mini-Reunions and Unit TOC's are scheduled daily at various times – see schedule posted in the Registration Area The Vendor Room - first opens on July 1st at 1:00pm and remains open daily from 9:00am - 5:00pm through the last day of the Reunion, July 5th
The O' Club - Open from 11:00am till 11:00pm on July 1 through 4, on 5 July open 12:30pm till 5:00pm
A daily schedule for the Museum Tour Pass shuttle and the Waterfront Park shuttle plus all other bus schedules will be posted in the Registration Area.
V isit …
www.vhpa.org f or c ur r e nt R e un i o n de t a il s Cl i ck on R e u ni o n In f or ma t i o n (second down on the list to the left on the Home Page) Page 18 The VHPA Aviator
V HP A ’ s 3 1s t A n n u a l Re u n io n ~ Lo ui sv i l l e , K Y J ul y 1 st -5 t h 20 14 GOLD STAR FAMILY BREAKFAST
Overflow Hotels for the Louisville Reunion
The Gold Star Family Breakfast, which will be held on July 3, is for VHPA members and families of the fallen to share memories of those whose lives were lost - the young aviators who didn’t come home from Vietnam. If you’re coming to the reunion - reach out and invite a brother or sister, nephew, niece, son, daughter, or other family member of a guy you knew. Bring them to the Gold Star Family Breakfast with you - it will be the experience of a lifetime for them. Even if you didn’t know him well - you still know a heckuva lot more about life as a Vietnam helicopter pilot than they do. As family members, we wish we knew more about our loved ones’ lives - not only how they died, but how they lived. Not just the bad stuff. We want to hear about the pranks, the laughs, the “gallows humor” that was all part of life in Vietnam. Most of all, we want to know that they haven’t been forgotten. This year, the Gold Star Family Breakfast will be followed by a ceremony at the AVTT Traveling Wall. I encourage you to invite KIA/MIA families you know to attend the reunion in Louisville. If you want help locating family members of a KIA, ask the Family Contacts Committee: http://www.VirtualWall.org/contacts. Hope to see you there! Little sister, Julie Kink sister of WO David Kink, C Troop 1/9th CAV KIA 8-3-1969 member of Family Contacts Committee http://www.VirtualWall.org/contacts . firstname.lastname@example.org
By Mike Law last updated 27 Mar 2014 Should you be unable to reserve a sleeping room in The Galt House during the 2 – 6 July 2014 date range, or are interested in staying at another hotel, please consider the following options: H ya tt R eg ency L o ui s vi ll e R e s e r v a t io n s c a l l : 1 - 8 8 8 - 4 2 1 - 1 4 4 2 Mention the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association room block, or use the online link: https://resweb.passkey.com/go/vietnamhelicopterpilotsassn The Hyatt is located at 311 South Fourth Street (adjacent to Fourth Street Live!) while the Galt House is at 140 North Fourth Street. The two hotels are four blocks apart on Fourth Street and are connected via an all weather, air conditioned skywalk, called the Louie Link, which is generally one story above street level. See http://www.gotolouisville.com/emailer/gif/standard/LouieLink_Map.pdf. Until the 2 June cutoff, $119 standard King or Double Bed rooms with single – quadruple occupancy. The VHPA contract includes free internet and free selfparking (one vehicle per paid room night). The VHPA contract is for King Size bed (rooms), so you’ll have to request a Double Bed room and see what they say. Interestingly enough the Louie Link actually enters the Galt House on the ballroom level in the Suite Tower ~ so you run directly into the VHPA Reunion area! Marriott Courtyard Louisville Downtown Reservations call: 1-502-562-0200, ask for reservations, Mention the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association room block The Courtyard is located at 100 South Second Street ~ directly across Market Street from the KFC Yum! Center which is directly behind the Galt House. The hotels are two short blocks apart at street level. Until the 2 June cutoff, $129 standard King or Double room or $179 for a King Suite. The VHPA contract includes free internet, free self-parking, free airport shuttle plus the standard Marriott perks (Rewards Points, access to The Bistro restaurant, etc.).
NEW EV ENTS! SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON BREAKFAST SIGHTSEEING CRUISE Friday, July 4th (7:45am-10:00am) Enjoy a special sightseeing breakfast cruise on board the Spirit of Jefferson. Spirit is owned by the Louisville Metro Government and operated by the Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation ~ same as the Belle of Louisville also chartered by the VHPA for a breakfast cruise. Built in 1963 by the Dubuque Boat and Boiler Company of Iowa for Streckfus Steamers of St. Louis, she cruised out of New Orleans as the Mark Twain from 1963 to 1970. She was renamed the Huck Finn and cruised out of St. Louis for 25 years offering dinner and sightseeing cruises from just below the St. Louis Arch. In 1995, Jefferson County Judge/Executive David L. Armstrong purchased the Huck Finn, brought it to Louisville, and named her Spirit of Jefferson. This is a private cruise for the VHPA only. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat hot breakfast buffet which includes breakfast breads, biscuits, sausage gravy, home-fried potatoes, eggs, sausage, bacon, baked ham, fruit, coffee & juice. After breakfast enjoy the sights and listen as the captain narrates historic facts throughout the cruise. The Spirit and the Belle both dock directly behind the Galt House hotel. Follow the signs and guides to the boarding area for the cruise. Maximum Capacity 150 G RO UP DIN N ERS PATRICK O’SHEA’S Tuesday, July 1st & Wednesday, July 2nd (5:30pm-7:30pm) Just a few blocks from the hotel, Patrick O’Shea’s Irish Restaurant and Pub is located on historic Main Street in the Iron Quarter District. The integrity of this historic building has been beautifully maintained with the renovations of the 150year-old hardwood floors and preserved brick walls. Tables made from reclaimed beams can be found throughout. Portraits of famous Irish authors, painted by Irish artist Barry McGuire, adorn the walls. You will dine in the one of three areas ~ the loft located on the 2nd floor, the penthouse on the 3rd floor, or the cellar below the 1st floor. Dinner is an all-you-can-eat buffet. The menu features salad, prime rib, chicken, sides, and dessert. Cash bar is available. This is a fun casual place to kick off the reunion with your friends and family. Their website is www.osheaslouisville.net. Since this restaurant is only two blocks from The Galt House, no transportation is included for this tour. Important: Price includes all taxes and gratuities associated with the meal. Maximum Capacity 350 per night
TH E T R O L L P UB UN D ER TH E B R ID G E Tu e s d ay , J u l y 1 s t & W e dn e s d ay , J u l y 2 n d ( 5 : 3 0 p m -7 :3 0 p m ) Located in the historic Whiskey Row of downtown Louisville, the Troll Pub is on Washington Street immediately across from the KFC Yum! Center that is immediately next to the Galt House. The Troll Pub offers the “best pub-grub in the ‘Ville plus local beers and delicious libations.” The VHPA menu includes salted Caramel Pretzel bites, a non- alcoholic drink, a House or Caesar salad, plus a choice of one of their six burgers or one of three entrees: Angry Alfredo, Fish & Chips, or Hot Brown. This is a fun casual place to gather with your friends and family. A cash bar is available. Their website is trollpub.com. Since this restaurant is only two blocks from The Galt House, no transportation is included for this tour. Important: Bring your camera for a group picture with Louie the Troll! Important: Price includes all taxes and gratuities associated with the meal. Maximum Capacity 50 each night TH E O L D S P A GH E TT E F A C TO R Y Tu e s d ay , J u l y 1 s t & W e dn e s d ay , J u l y 2 n d ( 5 : 3 0 p m -7 :3 0 p m ) This former department store was wonderfully converted into a neat restaurant. Dinner is an all-you-can-eat buffet. The menu features salad, meatballs, breast of chicken fettuccine, lasagna, ice tea & coffee, ice cream. Soft drinks are available at the cash bar. This is a fun casual place to kick off the reunion with your friends and family. Their website is www.osf.com/osf-locations/. Since this restaurant is only two blocks from The Galt House on 3rd and Market, no transportation is included for this tour. Important: Price includes all taxes and gratuities associated with the meal. Maximum Capacity 50 each night Page 19 The VHPA Aviator
V HP A ’ s 3 1s t A n n u a l Re u n io n ~ Lo ui sv i l l e , K Y J ul y 1 st -5 t h 20 14 VHPA’s 31st Annual Reunion ~ Louisville, KY July 1-5th 2014 N AT I O N A L R E U N I O N R E G I S T R AT I O N F O R M
Toll Free (800) 505-VHPA (8472) Email HQ@vhpa.org Fax (817) 200-7309
Information and register online at www.vhpa.org or mail completed form to: VHPA Headquarters, 2100 N Highway 360, Suite 907, Grand Prairie, TX 75050
Member name: Address: City: Email address: Wife/guest name: Guest name: Guest name: Guest name:
EVENT Registration through 4/30/2014* Registration for under age 21* Registration 5/1/2014 and after Museum Pass & Shuttle (MPS) Waterfront Park Shuttle (WPS) *** Fort Knox Tour Jim Beam Extended Tour #1 Jim Beam Basic Tour #1 UPS Tour #1
Member No.: State: Telephone: ( Hometown: Hometown: Hometown: Hometown:
21 or older? K Yes/Wheelchair? K Yes 21 or older? K Yes/Wheelchair? K Yes 21 or older? K Yes/Wheelchair? K Yes 21 or older? K Yes/Wheelchair? K Yes
#Attending Price Total @$35 @$15 @$45 (July 1-5) @$38 (July 3-5) @$20 SOLD OUT (July 1) SOLD OUT @$30 SOLD OUT (July 1) SOLD OUT @$60 SOLD OUT (July 1) SOLD OUT @$42 SOLD OUT (July 1) SOLD OUT @$25 Group Dinners @ Pat OʼSheas ($39) Troll Pub ($31) and OSF ($21) (July 1) @$21-$39 Early Bird Gathering with Elvis Presley Tribute (July 1) @$5 Breakfast w/Speaker #1 (July 2) @$16 Churchill Downs #1 (July 2) @$28 Louisville and Frankfort Kentucky tour #1 (July 2) @$33 SOLD OUT UPS Tour #2 (July 2) SOLD OUT @$25 Churchill Downs #2 (July 2) @$28 DAR Victorian Tea (July 2) @$52 Group Dinners @ Pat OʼSheas ($39) Troll Pub ($31) and OSF ($21) (July 2) @$21-$39 1st Reunion Attendee Reception (July 2) No Charge Welcome Reception with Eric Clapton Tribute (July 2) @$5 Golf Outing with Lunch (July 3) @$82 KIA/MIA Gold Star Breakfast (July 3) @$20 Gold Star Breakfast Sponsorship** (July 3) @$20 Breakfast w/Speaker #2 (July 3) @$16 Jim Beam Basic & Extended Tour #2 (July 3) SOLD OUT @$42/$60 SOLD OUT Wall Opening Ceremony*** (July 3) WPS Wall & Huey Static Display Sponsorship** @$25 Louisville and Frankfort Kentucky tour #2 (July 3) @$33 Take me out to the Ballgame Special Event (July 3) @$39 Breakfast Cruise on the Spirit (July 4) CALL HQ @$45 Writers Presentation (July 4) SOLD OUT No Charge SOLD OUT Combat Assault Reenactment*** (July 4) WPS Pre-Memorial Service Breakfast (July 5) @$16 Memorial Service (July 5) No Charge Annual Business Meeting (July 5) No Charge Spousal Event w/Lunch (July 5) @$37 Closing Banquet – Adult (July 5) @$58 Closing Banquet – Child (July 5) @$18 Non-Registered Guest at Banquet (July 5) @$68 Total From Sidebars XXXXX XXXXX VHPA Dues (if not dues current)** 1 year @$36 VHPA Dues (if not dues current)** 3 years @$99 Life Membership (Call HQ for exact amount)** 2014 CD Directory Fee** (# of Years x $10) 2014 Paper Directory Fee** (# of Years x $15) GRAND $
TOTAL * Each person 21 and older must pay the full registration fee, except banquet-only guests. ** Denotes a contribution, donation, or fee that is not refundable as part of any cancellation process. *** Denotes an event where the Waterfront Park Shuttle Pass can be used.
Wheelchair? K Yes Address change? K Yes
HPF Event Fee
One $25 PER FAMILY fee buys access to any or all HPF events for 2014. You will also receive a DVD of all last year’s HPF events.
Total $ ___M@$18 ___L@$18
Banquet Meal ____Beef ____Fish
Horseshoe Casino $10 per adult per day ___ July 2 12 to 5 pm
___ July 3 10 am to 3 pm
___ July 4 12 to 5 pm
Voluntary Contributions: VHPA Membership Fund $ VHPA Scholarship Fund $ Vietnam War Museum $ VHPA Reunion Sponsorship $ REFUND POLICY
IMPORTANT: Please review the details of the Refund Policy, including the limited opportunity to purchase a Refund Guaranty available only on a one-time basis at the time of registration, which is posted online at the official VHPA website: w w w. v h p a . o r g
Refund Gurantee Fee
(10% of Total Events) $
OFFICIAL REGISTRATION CANCELLATION DATE IS Noon, CST, Wednesday, 18 June 2014 CREDIT CARD PAYMENT
MC/Visa #: Exp. Date: Signature:
CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYMENT In lieu of a credit card, you can mail a check or money order payable to “VHPA” with completed form.
* Each person 21 and older must pay the full registration fee, except for banquet-only guests.
Page 20 The VHPA Aviator
V HP A ’ s 3 1s t A n n u a l Re u n io n ~ Lo ui sv i l l e , K Y J ul y 1 st -5 t h 20 14
OH-6A Zero Two Six Owned and operated by VHPA Member Peter Q. Bales OH-6A #67-16026, known as a LOH or Loach or a “6”, was purchased by the Army in May, 1968 and entered service with the BANDITS of the 3rd Squadron, 11th ACR in June, 1968. 026 served with the 3/11th ACR until Aug, 1969 and accumulated 1,398 flight hours. It sustained major belly damage from an explosion during a bomb assessment mission. In April, 1970, after about 8 months in the OH-6A California repair facility, 026 was assigned to B/3/17th Cav back in Vietnam. In June, 1970 it was damaged by hostile fire. For the next 7 months it was in the 611th Transportation Company repair shop. VHPA member Tom Gaillard recalls taking 026 for a test flight with his company commander on 22 Dec 1970. The tail rotor had a brief meeting with the revetment wall. Tom adds, “I certainly remember that day! Luckily the repairs were relatively easy.” In March, 1971 026 was assigned to C/2/17th Cav. On 13 Apr 1971 the crew of 026, consisting of CW2 Ralph Penniman (now deceased), WO1 Barry Dragon (VHPA member living in Florida), and crew chief SP4 E Wilson (status unknown), experienced a tail rotor failure. The abbreviated accident summary reads: “The aircraft was returning from an aborted mission due to a faulty UHF radio. Upon landing on the north parallel, the aircraft began hovering to the revetments. A loud rasping noise
was heard from the rear of the aircraft. The aircraft yawed violently to the right. A hovering autorotation was made, with the aircraft spinning approximately 180 degrees. A hard landing followed, with the right landing gear collapsing and major structural damage to the aircraft. There was no fire, and the three occupants escaped with no injuries.” Barry adds, “Ralph was flying. Even after the autorotation, we were still spinning some. A skid got caught on the edge of some PSP. That ripped off the skid and then the tail hit the ground. We all got out without a problem.” After Vietnam, Barry joined the US Coast Guard and still works for them today. After logging 1,759 hours, 026’s Vietnam War days were over. In Aug 1972 it exited the California repair facility for the second time and was assigned to the New York National Guard where it served until 1994. In 1994, 026 was deactivated from the Guard and transferred to a Sherriff’s Department. Peter purchased it in 1997 and restored it to a Vietnam era configuration complete with 3/11th ACR markings. Peter flew 6s with the 3/11th ACR from June, 1970 to June, 1971. Since 026 also served with the 3/11th ACR, the paint scheme was an easy choice! So all you LOH drivers – come look at Peter’s toy and congratulate him on making his dream come true. This BANDIT is a beauty! Oh, BTW if you flew or crewed 026 especially during its time in Vietnam, please contact Peter at email@example.com or 608756-3632. Would love to have copies of any photos you V HP A M em be r P et e r Q . B a le s have of her as well! at t h e c o n tr o l s o f B a nd i t 2 6 Page 21 The VHPA Aviator
All four of Bill’s Books,
The Afgan Deception, Tank Witch, Causel Connection and Toltancina are available at:
www.MyNovelTales.com THE AFGHAN DECEPTION
Colonel Martin Daniels and the 4th United States Cavalry are inadvertently thrust into the world of international politics and intrigue in this historical fiction novel set in 1879. The relationship between two colonels of cavalry, one American and one British, could forever alter the fate of the British Empire.
Archeology assistant professor Austin Tripp, an expert in Mesoamerican civilizations, accepts an assignment to a recently discovered, ancient Toltec city. The lack of any artifacts shrouds the city in a mystery as to why the entire population vanished, and took everything with them.
VHPA Member Bill Hatounian is a 24-year military veteran and a retired Army Aviator, He served with the 1st Squadron, 4th United States Cavalry in Vietnam and after active duty, he flew with the 997th AHC of the Arizona Army National Guard. He has recently retired from being both a pilot and a Lieutenant with the Phoenix Police Department and is enjoying retired life by writing books, being active and traveling with his wife.
See You i Louisvi n lle
W r it t en b y C hr is t op h e r Oe l e ric h , w ho ser ved w it h B/ 7/ 17 CA V i n 19 69-70, Merr y Chr istm as and a H a p p y P T S D i s a bo u t hi s 40 - y ea r s t r u g g l e w i t h a l c o h oli sm an d P TS D , an d t he w a ys he ha s l ea r ne d t o le a d w h at h e no w cal ls “ a pre tt y da rn go o d l if e. ” Hi s i ni ti al c h a l le n ge w a s f u ll y a cc ep t i n g th e fa c t t h a t h e h a d a d ri n k ing problem and PTSD. Onl y then was Chris able t o m a k e a n y re a l p r o g re s s i n d ea l i n g w i t h th e m . This book is written for all vete rans of combat, in a bl unt, straight forward “how to” guidebook style, that is both practical in its language and in its message. Chris believes the veterans of today’s conflicts and those of the past, including Vietnam, are not unique when it comes to PTSD. His message is clear; the only person who can begin to deal effectively with your PTSD is you and if you don’t care about your problem; nobody else will either. Merry Christmas & a Happy PTSD, (ISBN: 978- 1492385523), is priced at $11.69 for the 150-page printed version or $9.95 for the Kindle version; $2.00 from each sale will be donated to veteran’s charities/causes. The book is available from Amazon.com, your local book store or other on-line book suppliers.
Page 22 The VHPA Aviator
UPCOMING REUNIONS Old Aviator Reunion, Fort Rucker, Alabama 6 & 7 June, 2014. Officerâ€™s Club, Fort Rucker, Alabama. POC/Registration info at: SKelly8095@hotmail.con B Troop 7/17th AIR CAV & ALL Ruthless Riders 2014 Reunion, 3-7 June 2013, Las Vegas, NV POC(s) - Buddy Harp: firstname.lastname@example.org or (573) 324-3924 Rich Hefferman: email@example.com or (412) 771-8214 Johnnie Griffits: firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 535-8523 http://www.b717.homestead.com/ 121st Aviation Company Reunion Veterans who served with the 121st Aviation Co. (AML), 121st Assault Helicopter Co., 93rd Transportation Co. (Lt. Hel.) (known as the Tigers and Vikings), 80th Trans. Det. (Avn. Maint.) and all other attached and supporting units, in Da Nang and Soc Trang RVN 1961 through 1970. Families are also invited. Branson, Missouri, June 12 â€“ 15, 2014. June 12-15, 2014 Hosted by the 121 Avn Association, Inc. Details available at web site: 121avn.org or by contacting secretary John Schmied: email@example.com or call 352-633-0541 (10:00 AM and 9:00 PM EST) GATHERINGS AT THIS YEARâ€™S VHPA REUNION, July 1st â€“ July 5th, Louisville, Kentucky A Flock of Pelicans gathering at this yearâ€™s VHPA reunion in Louisville â€œPelicansâ€? of A Company, and the â€œWarlordsâ€? of B Company, 123rd Aviation Battalion, Americal Division POC is Richard Elgin ~ E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Outlaws, Mavericks & Bushwhackers of the 185th AHC POC is Richard Waldo, Outlaw20 (70-71) E-Mail: email@example.com ~ Phone 218-230-8408 FLIGHT CLASSES 64-4W, 64-5W, and 64-6W Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of the graduations of our flight classes. POC is Harry Hall (64-5), E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 765-664-5737 Members of helicopter flight school class 66-12 (green hats), December 1965 through August 1966. Hugh Smith and I are planning a class reunion in San Antonio for the last half of 2014. POC Al Flory: email@example.com or by phone at 210-599-9673. 2014 USABAA (United States Army Black Aviation Association) 2014 Reunion August 6-8, 2014, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, 165 Courtland Ave, NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 POC is CW5 (Ret) J Nance, Secretary, 256-759-0639 t rea a g Day s ke r's ! Ma the sent Fa pre
Reunion of the Outlaws, Mavericks, Bushwackers and Roadrunners who flew from Vinh Long, Vietnam 1964-1972 (the62d â€“ A502d â€“ 175th Assault Helicopter Companies) 50th Anniversary Reunion, Washington, D.C., September 18-22, 2014 Contact: Tom Anderson (Teander@cox.net) Info: VinhLongOurlaws.com (Click: Reunions) Reunion of the 132nd â€œHerculesâ€? and the 178th â€œBoxcarsâ€? September 24-28, at the Holiday Inn Battlefield in Manassas, VA POC is Bill McRae, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 770.843.3973 www.132ASHC.org Flying Circus Aviation Units â€“ H&HQ Co., 1st Brigade - 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) Our 2014 reunion, St. Charles, MO, 26 to 28 September, 2014. Details at: www.flying-circus.org , then go to the page labeled: â€˜Next Reunionâ€™ POC is Tom Kuypers, phone (636) 947-1617 or E-mail: email@example.com USAF Air Rescue Association Reunion 26-30 October 2014, Charleston, SC POC: Al Gailey, Phone 208-382-6395 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Full details at: http://airrescueassn.org Pre -Reunion Cruise, Oct 21-26, POC is Mary Severns, 1-843-363-0600/3669 or email@example.com Want to see your Reunion publicized here? Send details to: Aviator@VHPA.org
The Razorbacks of the 120th Assault Helicopter Company (AHC) are celebrating their 50th year of continuous Active Duty Flight Operation with two special Reunions this fall and all Razorback crewmembers and support staff are invited to attend. Full details of the Reunions, commemorative T-Shirts and a possible â€˜Gathering in Fort Carsonâ€™ are available from Steve Bookout, 641-792-2941 or firstname.lastname@example.org Over Da Swamp reunion: 5, 6, & 7 SEP 14 at the Prince Conti Hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter. Special room rates available. For further information, please contact: B oo k o u t : 64 1 - 7 9 2 - 2 9 4 1 o r t oa d h a l l @ p c p a r t n e r . n e t D a f f r on s : 71 9 - 4 2 9 - 5 2 1 2 o r d a f f r 2 @ h o t ma i l . c o m Ft. Rucker reunion: 11, 12, 13, & 14 SEP 14 at the Holiday Inn Express in Enterprise, Alabama. Special room rates available. MAJ Chad Payneâ€™s original oil painting of a Razorbacks Light Fire Team will be presented to the Aviation Museum. For further information, please contact: Striblings: 229 924-1763 . Spains: 706 207-8352 or 706 255-0213 Email: Info@HiTechHelicopters.net
Â‡:DQW6RPH6WLFN7LPH" Â‡&DQ\RXVWLOOKRYHUWKLVWUDLQHU" Â‡& &DOO8VIRUVSHFLDO9+3$0HPEHU Â‡ DOO8VIRUVSHFLDO9+3$0HPEHU UHGXFHGUDWH
,I\RXOLYHQHDU0W3RFRQR3$RU(ONLQ1&RUPD\EHSDVVLQJWKURXJK &DOOXVDW LQ3$RU LQ1& &DOOXVDW LQ3$RU LQ1& Come Fly With Us! /RJJHG7LPHZLWKUDWHG,3LQIXOO\LQVXUHGDLUFUDIW Page 23 The VHPA Aviator
Echoes of lives unlived Family scrapbook opens a window on personal histories abruptly altered when war claimed young Americans
B y D a v i d L a t i m e r - S p e c i al t o t h e A m e r i c a n - S t a t e s m a n , M a y 2 5 , 2 0 1 3
My mother simply called him “a boy I used to know.” Then she added, “He was killed in the war.” That’s how she referred to him when as a child I asked about the wings in her jewelry box, the large pink box with the little ballerina that would spin with the music. I picked up the wings and held them, coveted them perhaps for my own, but they went back into the box, under other things. “They were from a boy I used to know who was killed in the war,” she said simply. It did not occur to me then that these wings, a gift perhaps before he went overseas, represented a personal loss, or even a deep grief. But it’s hard to think otherwise now. My mother may have been somewhat inured to loss, if such is possible. Her mother died when she was 6, shortly after giving birth to her third child and second son, and then her father, determined to support in any way possible his three young children, was fatally injured in a train accident, falling off a box car as he was making his way to harvest wheat in the summer of 1931 in the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and Kansas. It is an old folks tale likely, though it’s been attributable to others who have used the phrase, that one is not truly dead until the last person who remembers you dies. If so, then William Y. (Bill) Ligon is not yet dead, for my mother’s oldest brother, my Uncle Frank, a veteran from the same war, still lives and certainly remembers him as he is listed as a pallbearer in the newspaper clipping my mother preserved from the reburial service held in Dallas. And he may yet be remembered by others this Memorial Day, perhaps by one or more of a still-living brother or sister; there were two of each noted in the other clipping in my mother’s scrapbook that I have open in front of me, the one with the news that he had been killed in Germany. I have no doubt that my mother thought of him many times before her own passing in 2003, maybe more frequently after my father died, contemplating from time to time a different future but for the war. Perhaps having an occasional recollection of him even as her Alzheimer’s stole her sense of the present, but seemed to leave more distant memories for a while. But it brings to mind that in time, these men and women from that war, these called “The Greatest Generation” who died fighting “The Good War” will become, as individuals, more distant, increasingly fragile, memories. Remembered by an ever-diminishing number of those that served with them, remembered still, for a time, by younger brothers and sisters, by cousins, or simply those who had been young children living in the neighborhoods where they grew up. I began to think about Bill Ligon more a few years back when at a family reunion, my mother’s close cousin, much more like a sister, and her youngest
brother, both passed on now, brought his name up in their reminiscences. She said, “I think Pete (my mother’s family nickname) might have married Bill Ligon if he hadn’t been killed.” My Uncle Bill, a veteran of Korea, nodded an agreement. I think it was that that made me go back and look through her scrapbook, to find what I could beyond those Army Air Corps wings, not only wondering what might have been, but what might not have been as well. I find from that clipping that he and my mother went to different high schools in Dallas, he to Sunset, while she graduated Forest Avenue. But it says he worked at Walgreen’s and I know that my mother worked there as well. Perhaps this is
the link that brought them together. Staff Sgt. Bill Ligon, a gunner on a B-17, died when his bomber was shot down on Oct. 6, 1944, while on a mission over Berlin. He was 22 years old. And two pages over in the scrapbook, there is another clipping held on with now brittle cellophane tape. On December 7, 1944, less than 30 days later, the Dallas Morning News carried a brief item announcing the engagement of Mary Viola Sloan to Lt. Billy Latimer, and that the wedding would take place on Dec. 23. My father had a few months earlier, while in the Army Reserves, completed dental school in Dallas, and was now on active duty and stationed at what was then Camp Hood, but it seems with frequent opportunities to return home. He at one time had briefly dated that very sisterly cousin before meeting my mother and it was very much a sudden thing between them. My father was 24 and would soon be off for Europe himself, sailing on the Queen Mary just a few months before V-E Day, but of course as a dental officer he had few perils to contemplate beyond the rumors of U-boats. He was more likely occupied with thoughts of his young wife and, soon after arriving in Europe, Page 24 The VHPA Aviator
himself, sailing on the Queen Mary just a few months before V-E Day, but of course as a dental officer he had few perils to contemplate beyond the rumors of U-boats. He was more likely occupied with thoughts of his young wife and, soon after arriving in Europe, of the child she would have in November. But would he have had a chance had that B-17 not been shot down in October? Was my mother really only a close and caring friend to the “boy she used to know who was killed in the war?” Or did her loss and even grief give my father a better chance? I trust what my mother’s cousin and brother said. My mother may have waited and if history had been at least a bit different in that one mission, how else would history have turned? And for the over 415,000 United States military deaths from that war, what of those unrealized futures, those unrealized lives and progeny? Could my mother have been Mrs. Bill Ligon, leaving me and my brother as unrealized alternate history? As Horatio says to Hamlet, “’Twere to consider too curiously to considerso.” But one other item I have, tucked into that scrap book: a souvenir photograph, a 5x7. It is still in its red, thin pasteboard folder labeled Plantation: Dallas, Texas. A restaurant, a night spot. Inside my mother has written, “November 26, 1943: Friday night.” On that day in the Pacific, the number of U.S Marines killed in the just-concluded invasion of the tiny island of Tarawa numbered over 1,000 in just 72 hours — a shock to the country and an omen of what was yet to come. In Italy the 36th Infantry Division, the Texas Division, over two months after the landing at Salerno was stalled between Naples and Casino and in the next four weeks would face terrible lossesatSanPietroandatthedisastrousattempttocrosstheRapidoRiver. But at home, in Dallas, it’s the day after Thanksgiving. Sgt. Bill Ligon is on leave from Concho Field in San Angelo. He has signed the folder with his name and that address. Altogether there are three couples. All three boys are in uniform. The table is covered with beer and spirit bottles. One beer I can identify is Falstaff, an artifact in itself. My mother is at the center of the picture, a lovely young woman of 21, small in the picture, she was just 5-foot-2. At her right is Bill Ligon. He is extraordinarily handsome. Dark hair and eyes, a square jaw, firm chin, gazing directly into the camera as they all are, gazing at the photographer who would sell the photo, sell it to Bill Ligon who would buy a print as a gift to my mother who would keep it for the rest of her life. A man any young woman would wait for if waiting had ever been d i s c u s s e d , or even implied in the giving of those wings. In less than a year he would be dead along with many t abou more we must ok, a notice -17 r e m e m b e r , o b p a r c s s ’ r Latime whose B From Mary Staff Sgt. Bill Ligon, 1944. not just in f 6, the death o n over Berlin on Oct. that war, but w t do was sho
A souvenir photog raph, from the scra pbook of the late M labeled ‘N ovembe ary Latimer. It’s r 26, 1943: Frida y night,’ when she Sloan, 21, still unm was Mary Viol a arried. In the pictu re she is fourth fro her right is Sgt. Bi m the left. To ll Ligon, who woul d die when his B-1 over Berlin on Oct 7 was shot down . 6, 1944.
in the others. They served, they died, and in their dying it would not just be an individual loss. In time they all will become unknown soldiers in that there will be no personal memories, though their names will endure. But what stays is the might have beens, the history of the country and the world that was not written for the absence of so many players. The history of the world would change with their sacrifice. My mother’s history, my father’s. My own, whichmighthavebeenahistorythatmaynothavebeen.Sowememorialize not only the dead, the ones who gave everything, but the loss to the future. Totheworld that wasnottobe.Thechildrenthatwerenottobeborn.Loss begetsloss. ThenthereisLaurenceBinyon’spoemfromthefirstWorldWar“Forthe Fallen” and the one stanza in particular which is so often quoted and which to me gathers power as I look at that young man in that picture, brave, confidentandfullofdestiny,mymotherpressedagainsthisstrongarm.
“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.” So though I never knew him, I do remember Sgt. Bill Ligon, killed in action on Oct. 6, 1944 — a boy my mother used to know. Our Author, David Latimer lives in Austin with his wife and daughter and works as a policy analyst for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. He also teache s E n g l i s h a t A u s t i n C o m m u n it y C o l l e g e . D a vi d w a s b o r n i n D a l l a s b ut g r e w u p i n Marlin before coming to Austin to attend the University of Texas. He has a masters degree in English. David has also published historic a l a r t i c l e s i n T e xa s H i gh w a y s m a g a z i n e . My sincere thanks for allowing me to publish his story in the VHPA Aviator – David Adams, Editor
David Lat imer o f A u s t i n , Te x a s
Page 25 The VHPA Aviator
Looking For…..Aviation Warrant Officers caught in 1971 RIF I am looking for any information, old articles, etc documenting the Warrant Officer Aviator RIF (Reduction in Forces) that affected hundreds if not thousands of US Army Helicopter Pilots in early 1971. Many aviators, like me and others I knew at the time, with a DEROS during Spring 1971 were discharged from active duty upon landing in the US. No reserves, nothing; Vietnam combat missions one day, on the street civilian the next. For many of us it meant a reduction of 3-years of more from our contractual agreements with the US Army that was standard upon completion of flight school, even for those who had received advanced training in Chinooks, Cobras, etc. If you have knowledge of or were personally affected by this early discharge, please contact me. VHPA Life Member Tom Morrissey Warlord 23 E-Mail: email@example.com Looking For…..’Hooch Mates’ of WO-1 John D. Bryant I am looking for the hooch mates of WO-1 John D Bryant. He was killed in a helicopter crash on 8 December 1970 while flying as a Loach Pilot with A Troop, 7/17 Air Cav (from July, 1970 until Dec 1970). I am his wife who is desperately looking for pictures or stories of him while in Vietnam. I know John had at least 3 roommates during his tour, they were initially assigned to Pleiku but later moved to Phan Rang. We never received any pictures from him while he was in Vietnam; we’re also hoping to hear from any classmates from his flight school days (Class 70-15) that might have a story of photo of him to share with us. Several months ago we were brought in contact with a pilot who was with John when he died and we were so grateful for all the closure he was able to provide us; many thanks to this kind man. Hopefully someone he roomed with will also remember him. Your magazine is a wonderful way for us to try and get information about our loved ones. Thanks to everyone in the VHPA for their service and much gratitude. Margaret Bryant Stanley E-Mail: Stanley5308@gmail.com L o o ki n g Fo r …. .M e m b e r s f a m il ia r w it h h e l i c op t e r s in c o m b a t i n Korea from 1950-53 I am a Lifetime member who is also an author; my last of three books (The Caves) was just reviewed by John Penny. Book one and three were Vietnam era novels, book two (A Few Brave Men) was a historical novel about the development of the US strategic bombardment capability 1937 to 1945. I now want to take on a book about the development of helicopters in combat i.e. Korea 1950-1953. If my failing memory is correct we have a few VHPA members who flew in those days. I would like to locate and interview two or three of them so the book can be accurate. I am prepared to travel to their home here in the US if they are willing to sit down with me and share their experiences. If one of these men could be you, please contact me using the below contact information. John R. "Rick" Taylor (817) 401 8284 www.afbm-blackbart.com Looking For..…Pilots from the 326th Med Bn involved in a Dust-Off Mission on 4 April 1968 On April 4, 1968, just before dark, an Eagle Dust-off aircraft, from the 326th Med Bn, was landing to make a pick-up just north of Hue, when it received heavy ground fire and was forced to abort the mission. The pilot reported they had taken hits and a crew member was wounded. A second med-evac from the same unit scrambled, but as he was trying to land in the
dark, he also came under fire and aborted the mission. As he departed the area he did not communicate with us, (perhaps his radios were knocked out), so we never learned what his situation was. I was flying a 101st Abn Div (Black Angel) gunship that was trying to cover the med-evacs. The area was extremely hot; the units had been in contact with NVA forces all day and had suffered badly. The first aircraft was already landing when we arrived on station, so we couldn't do anything for him, but we put down suppressive fire and tried to cover the second aircraft. I have always wondered what the story was on those two med-evac aircraft, how badly they were hit and about the wounded crew member(s). Is there anyone out there who can provide any feedback on those missions? Jerry R. Fry, Black Angel 6 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Looking For….. Blue Max Four Eight India One I was in Vietnam in '69 and '70. I was assigned to the 2/19th Arty, but spent almost all my time with either the 2/8th or 5/7th Cavalry units as an RTO/forward observer. I'm looking for a Cobra pilot who I knew only as "Blue Max Four Eight India One". He knew me only as "Trail Spike One Six November". He saved my ass a few times and I would like to buy him a cold beverage or two and tell him "Thanks!" Jimmy Johnson email@example.com Looking For….Fort Stewart Class photo of WOC class 69-41 I'm looking for a class picture and names for WOC 69-41 at Hunter/Stewart Complex. Seems like the photo was taken inside a building as we were not wearing dress blues or class A's. Charlie Stauft Leave a message at 530-351-2299 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Looking For….Dust Off Pilots who saved my life on 24 Oct 1969 I was wounded late in the day on Oct 24 1969. The location was in I Corps, on hill 370, about 2 clicks, due East LZ Center. I was serving with Co. D, 3/21, 196th LIB, the chopper first flew me to an aid station at Hawk Hill; the next stop was the 95th Evac Hospital in Da Nang. I had lost a lot of blood, my right leg below the knee and I was pretty well busted up from a grenade. I was also high on morphine so a lot of the details are unclear such as I can’t recall how long it was before I was evac’ed, how long I was at the aid station, if I was the only patient on the chopper or even if the same chopper that took me to Hawk Hill ended up taking me on to Da Nang. Any written records of that day would have me listed as Sgt. Gerald T. Donnellan, US52774723. I know it has been awhile but if I could find the pilot or pilots, could you contact me so I can properly tell you “thanks”? Jerry Donellan email@example.com Looking For…..Army pilots flying in support of Operation Dewey Canyon We’re looking for any pilots from A Co, 159th AHC, 101st AB Div that flew support missions for the 3rd Marines out of MB Vandergrift in support of Operation Dewey Canyon which took place from January thru March 1969. If you were involved in an award ceremony conducted with both Marine & Army Generals passing out the awards, and if you have information and or orders that can confirm what took place that day, could you please contact me? I and two other FE’s are trying to rectify this information not getting placed into our 201 files. Peter Paden E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Page 26 The VHPA Aviator
Looking For….Pilots who served with CW3 Marion “Bud” Everhart I was hoping the VHPA could help me contact some other pilots or crew that served with my Grandfather during his two tours in Vietnam. His name is CW3 Marion "Bud" Everhart; His first tour he was a UH-1B pilot during 2 Sept 1964 - 11 June 1965 for the 120th Aviation Company (Air Mbl Lt.); His second tour he was a CW3 and flew CH47A-B's and UH-1D's for Co. A 15th TC En, 1st Air Cav Div from 10 Jan 1968- Dec 15 1968. I have most of his records and cherish the stories he shared with me before he passed. I would like to talk to or get in contact with some people he served with so I can document some stories for our family history. FYI - I served as an 18B with 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne for 4 tours in Afghanistan. I'm an avid Vietnam War historian because my father and Grandfather both served there. I really appreciate any help you can give me and I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your service. Nick McGarry email@example.com Looking For…..Bill Toothe I would like to locate Bill Toothe, (could be spelled differently), a Southern Airways flight instructor at Ft. Wolters, during the summer of 1969. I was in WORWAC class 69-49. David C. King DcKing@charter.net Looking For…Pilot of 335th AHC aircraft that crashed on Thanksgiving Day of 1967 I was with the 335th AHC during the battle of Hill 875 near Dak To. I was a very new-in-country copilot and our Huey crashed and burned (Welcome to Vietnam!) on Thanksgiving Day of 1967 during an attempted mission. An infantryman with the 4th Infantry Division saved the A/C by pulling him out of our aircraft just as it burst into flames. Unfortunately I can’t find a copy of the accident report so I’m now asking the membership if they remember who was the A/C that day so I can put the infantryman in touch with him. Gregg Woodward firstname.lastname@example.org Looking For….family contact information on CWO Zagkos I am George Pedroza; I was with the 173rd AHC (Robin hoods) from 2/67 to 2/68. I often flew with Mr. Zagkos, he was the AC and I seem to recall that the tail number of his ship was 019. I have recently had my Vietnam super 8 movies transferred to DVD and he appears in a few spots. Unfortunately I kept putting things off and when I finally tried to contact him to see f he wanted a copy of the DVD, I learned that he had passed away in June 2006. I have tried to find relatives to send them a copy of the DVD but have had no luck, all I've know is that he died in Kings County, New York. If any of you can help with more information on contacting his family, I would really appreciate it. George Pedroza (Doc Pedro) E-Mail: email@example.com - 619-445-6455 Looking For…the wife or family of Ernie Brown For several years I have searched for information concerning Ernie Brown, long-time friend from Blue Rapids, Kansas, and one of best quarterbacks in the history of Kansas State University football. Ernie and I met at a very young age, but did not get well acquainted until college days at KSU. We held the intramural sports system together at Kansas State in the last 50s. While there Ernie helped me accomplish amazing things with my golf game. In the 60s we both served in Vietnam at the same time, but Ernie served in the air flying helicopters and I led several Explosive Ordnance Teams on the ground. We did see each other at Quantico Marine Corps Base in the early 60s. We (Ernie and I and both of our wives) played in a scramble at the Quantico Golf Course and Ernie made SEVEN birdies. We should have won the scramble, of course, but the team did not support Ernie well. At that time he was basically a scratch golfer and could easily have made it into the pros. But that lifestyle was not desirable to Ernie, so I think upon leaving the Marine Corps he chose a career in the insur-
ance business. As I recall it was with New York Life and he worked initially in a suburb south of Los Angeles, probably Santa Ana. According to your VHPA information Ernie died 1 June 2009. I would really like to contact Ernie's widow, Jan, if at all possible. If not possible contacting any of their kids would be great. Don W. Ritter LCDR, U.S. Navy (retired) Telephone-760 918 9351 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Looking For….. Anyone with knowledge of the death of Dickey Chapelle I am currently engaged in a research project on Dickey Chapelle, female war correspondent killed in Vietnam on November 4, 1965. That day she was covering a Marine platoon during Operation Black Ferret, a search and destroy operation 16 km south of Chu Lai, Quang Ngai Province, I Corps. The lieutenant in front of her tripped a booby-trap consisting of a mortar shell with a hand grenade attached to the top of it. Chapelle was hit in the neck by a piece of shrapnel which severed her carotid artery and died soon after. Her body was repatriated with an honor guard consisting of six Marines and she was given a full Marine burial. She was the first war correspondent to be killed in Vietnam, as well as the first American female reporter to be killed in action. We are especially looking for helicopter pilots working with the 7th in Quang Ngai Province, I Corps, Landing Zone Lone Albatross. Any information your members might have would be tremendously helpful in our effort to preserve the memory of Dickey Chapelle and the men who surrounded her. Casey Long UW-Madison, Dept of Communication Arts email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org - 718-744-7903 Looking For….Friends of Francis John Hnatiuk The family of Francis John Hnatiuk, Vietnam Nov-1968 to Nov 1969, is seeking anyone who might have known, or served with John. He completed rotary wing training on 7 October 1968; his hometown was Naperville, near Chicago, Illinois. Please respond to the widow: Mrs. T.E. Allen 1013 Gardenia Dr., Gardenia Gardens, Tallahassee, Fl 32312 Thank you so much. Looking For…. Information concerning the death of Sp4 John Terrence (Terry) Kyle I am Kenny Kile, the youngest brother of Spc.4, John Terrence (TERRY) Kile who initially flew for D Co, 227 ASLT HEL BN, 11TH AVN GROUP, 1ST CAV DIV. but possible could have been flying with E Troop, 1/9th Air Cav at the time of his death. Terry was a door gunner on Huey 67-15168, that was shot down Dec. 13th, 1970. Terry and another Enlisted Man, Earl Edwin Shannon died of injuries received in the crash, their pilot that day was also injured but survived the crash. I am trying to find any information on this incident and would love to learn the names and contact information of anyone who served with my brother. It's been a very long time and I remember him as if he were sitting here beside me right now. Terry is part of a very large family with a long history of military and service in law enforcement, we also have another brother who served several tours in Vietnam. If you could assist me in my search it would be unbelievable. I thank you in advance. Kenny Kile ~ Phone 912-660-0123 E-Mail: KennethKile_Team_Vaden_Imports@webcrmmail.adpcrm.net Looking for memories of my Dad, Orville Bolhofner My father was the Aviation Officer with 2nd Brigade 1st Cavalry (Airmobile) beginning in June 1966. His name was Major/Lt. Col. Orville Bolhofner. He died in October 2009, and though the family has some things from his service in Vietnam his, Citations etc., we have no picture of him while he was in-country. Can any of your members help us in our search? Thank you, Mark Bolhofner E-mail: email@example.com Page 27 The VHPA Aviator
L oo kin g F or – s om e o ne i nt e r e st e d in p r e s e r vi ng t h e h is t or y o f t h e 12 8 th A HC “ To m ah a wk s” Gentlemen, we have been contacted by a former Instructor Pilot of the 128th Tomahawks from back in the mid-80’s time frame. He has lots of photos available that were all taken in Korea while the unit was converting from UH-1 Huey’s over to UH-60 Blackhawks. He asks if any of our members know what he can do with his pictures? “I've not found any internet sites that are ether appropriate to the post Vietnam era 128th AHC, and even if they are listed somewhere, the connecting links are dead. Any insight or advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. I’m sincerely hoping that I’m not the only one interesting in preserving this part of the history of the 128th AHC Tomahawks”. Can you help? Dave McDaniel E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking For…help ID’ing the man in these photos… An ex-Marine in the Quang Tri (I Corps) area in the 1969-1970 time frame finally got around to unpacking his Vietnam hold baggage foot locker late last year and inside he found two photo albums he had never seen before. Now he wants to return them to the proper owner and he hopes the VHPA can help. So, if any of these photos look familiar (15980 is the tail number of the Loach), could you contact the current owner at email@example.com? Hopefully, between the VHPA, the VVMF, the CHPA and the CHCMA we can get this man reunited with his photo albums. Tom Frankenfield, Executive Director of the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association Phone 800-842-6201 or 352-242-5261 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org] Continued from page 13, the Rescue of 'Grumpy' Grimaldi
Nesbitt’s family, including wife Kim, his mother Jane of Phoenix and their six children were all in attendance to witness his honor. Daughter Jessica received a standing ovation for her rendition of “God Bless America.” Nesbitt’s friend Jim Wells, praised Nesbitt, saying he wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for Charlie. Wells was also serving in Vietnam when his company was trapped on a mountainside by the enemy. When other pilots refused to fly, Nesbitt braved bad weather to fly down between a layer of clouds and rescue the unit off a mountainside. “Imagine my surprise when I looked into that helicopter and saw Charlie,” Wells said. Former Congressman Tom Reynolds was also among the guests at the awards presentation, and called Nesbitt a “war hero.” “All the years I’ve known Charlie, I’ve known what a hero he was,” Reynolds said. “What a great reunion this is, to talk to fellow vets who flew with him and see how much they respect his valor and heroism. It’s something when his commanding officer spent all that time getting this award for him.” Reynolds also said he thanked all the veterans who came from all over America for their service to their country. “This has been a very special night,” he said.
Editor’s Note: We received the above story from member John Allen who has known Charlie Nesbitt ever since they flew together in the New York National Guard in the early 1970’s. John actually sent us two stories, one was this newspaper story about the ceremony surrounding the celebration of Charlie Nesbitt finally receiving his DFC in August of last year. The other story John sent us is written by Charles Nesbitt himself and is a greatly expanded (eight page) story of all the details concerning that one mission. Unfortunately it is too long for us to print it here in the Aviator so that version has been posted to the War Story section of VHPA.org. Charles Nesbitt was only one of two members of the 57th Assault Helicopter Company in the Vietnam War to be presented with delayed Distinguished Flying Cross medals that night. Also receiving the award was VHPA Life Member 1st Lt. Ben Hek of Lexington, Ky., a Cobra helicopter pilot with the 361st Aerial Weapons Company ‘Pink Panthers’. Hek’s award was earned while serving as copilot/gunner of a Cobra gunship covering a medevac extraction south of Pleiku, Vietnam when it became necessary to place his aircraft in full view of the enemy in order to draw their fire away from the medevac aircraft. We hope to carry Ben’s story in an upcoming issue of the Aviator.
David Adams, Editor of the VHPA Aviator
Page 28 The VHPA Aviator
A N DE R SO N , Sh er ma n H a m il t o n G r a d u a t e d f l i g h t t r a in i n g wi th F l ig h t C l a s s 70-27 & 70-29, flew in Vietn a m w it h t he 135t h A HC (1970-71) and A/101 AVN, 101 ABN (1971) Sherman Hamilton Anderson, age 64 of Phoenix, AZ; died suddenly Sunday February 16th, 2014 in Colorado along with his wife Sherry Anderson from injuries sustained in an airplane crash. He was a native of Jacksonville, Fl but had lived many years in Bacon County before moving to Phoenix many years ago. A 1967 graduate of Bacon County High School, he attended Georgia Southern College in Statesboro and graduated from Phoenix University. He was responsible for teaching many to become pilots in this area and a veteran of the Vietnam War. Sherman was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty and for exceptionally valorous actions while serving as pilot in command and control of his aircraft during a combat operation in the Seven Sisters Mountain Area. Displaying dynamic airmanship and undaunted courage, braving intense fire on countless occasions throughout the battle and for his heroic actions in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and the U S Army. Sherman was a Pilot/Captain with U S Airways the past thirty-five years and was a member of Douglas Chapel Baptist Church. Captain Anderson had over 30,000 flight hours. He earned his BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE from the University of the State of New York in Albany, NY. He was Honorably Discharged as a US Army Warrant Officer, Helicopter Pilot (1969-1971), flew for ATCO in Alma, Georgia (1971-1981), Atlantic Southeast Airlines (19811987), Eastern Airlines (1987-1989), and Captain Anderson was hired by America West Airlines/US Airways in September 1990 and was a Captain on the Airbus 319/320/321. Survivors include his daughter, Samantha Keene Anderson of Phoenix, his parents, Maynard Colvin Anderson and Vera (Bea) Rentz Anderson of Alma, a brother, Mark Anderson (Jackie) of Brunswick. Donations may be made to the Pilots for Kids…P O Box 620052….Orlando, FL 32862-0052 or the Alzheimer’s Association….alz.org ANTHO NY, Keith Leroy Grad uated flight training with Flight Class 69-1 & 68-43. Flew in Vietnam with the 1st CAV DIV (1965-67) & Div Arty, 4th INF (1969-70) under the Red Leg 5 callsign Keith Leroy Anthony, 72, of Sterling Virginia died Friday, March 28, 2014. He will be forever remembered for his service to his country, and as a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. Mr. Anthony was born November 20, 1941. He retired from the US Army in December 1979 after twenty years of active service as a Captain and Sr.
Army Aviator. He served thirty four months in Vietnam, initially with the 1st Calvary Division as a helicopter door gunner, then with the 4th Infantry Division as a combat helicopter pilot. He flew 611 combat missions. Captain Anthony received thirtythree military awards and decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (12 awards), Presidential Unit Citation. After the military he worked in the Washington DC / Virginia area as a Logistics Engineering Consultant contractor for the US Navy finally retiring in 2005. He was married to Mi Tae Kim whom he met while serving in the military for three years in the Republic of South Korea. Also surviving is one daughter and her family, four sisters, three brothers and their families. Burial with full military honors will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be announced.
BOWDEN, James Franklin Graduated flight training with Flight Class 65-17W, flew in Vietnam with A/228th ASHB, 1st Cav Div (1966-67) Jim was born May 17, 1942 in Bott, Maryland. At the time of his death he was the proud owner of the Roadrunner convenience store in Idabel, Alabama. He was also a Vietnam veteran and was a helicopter pilot in the First Calvary Division of the United States Army. He was also a helicopter pilot for Weyerhaeuser Lumber Company, DeQueen, Arkansas. Jim was preceded in death by his loving wife, Linda Faye Salter Bowden, one brother and one niece. He leaves to cherish his memory, two daughters, four grandchildren, a granddog, one sister, two nieces, one nephew, many loving Salter family members of Alabama, and his loving Roadrunner family. Memorial donations may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, either online or to PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
B L AI S DE L L , Je ffr ey E . G r a d u a t e d f l i g ht t r a i n i n g with Flight Class 68-507 & 68-9, flew in Vietnam with t h e 4 5 8 t h Me d C o ( 1 9 6 8 6 9) u n d e r t h e D u s t of f 1 2 callsign Jeffrey E. Blaisdell, 68, died Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at The Landings on Skidaway Island in Georgia. Jeff grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts, he and his spouse, Carol Downing Blaisdell, a Savannah native, were happily married for 43 years. They returned to Savannah after being away for 41 years and retired to Skidaway Island in May 2011. Jeffery was a graduate of Framingham High School and received a Civil Engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and was a member of the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society. He served as a Senior Project Manager for two large international construction companies for a total of 38 years. He was the Senior Project Manager in charge of projects such as the Chancery of the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC, the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC, Large Animal Hospital at Tufts University as well as the Divinity School addition at Duke University. Jeff also served as an instructor Pilot at Hunter Airfield and after returning as a decorated Medivac Pilot in Vietnam, served in the Army National Guard and retired as a Major in 1995 after a total of 28 years of service. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal for his service as a Dustoff pilot. Jeff was an avid golfer, bowler, boater, and loving husband and father and was known as Pop-Pop to his seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is survived by, his spouse, Carol and his two children, he was also in-law to Carol's family and her three children. He was known by his nieces and nephews as Uncle Duck. The family requests any donations be made to the WoundedWarriorProject.org, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675, as Jeff and his wife were avid military supporters.
BOWEN, Thomas Edward Graduated flight training with Flight Class 64-7W, flew in Vietnam with the 121st AHC (1965-66) under the Viking 22 callsign Thomas Edward Bowen passed away March 4, 2014 of a heart attack in his sleep due to complications from COPD. After graduating from Harding High school, Marion Ohio he enlisted in the Navy for four years, performing aircraft maintenance aboard the USS Ranger. When his enlistment was served he moved to Columbus, Ohio where he attended Ohio State Univ. while also learning to fly. It was there that he met and married Sue Cole of Columbus in 1963. They had two children, David Andrew and Diane Elaine. In 1964 Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army to become a helicopter pilot. Following his completion of training he was sent to Vietnam and was a pilot in a "HUEY" helicopter, stationed in Soc Trang province. Returning from Vietnam he spent many years in the Army reserve. He and the family relocated to San Diego, CA in 1975 where he entered Western State School of Law, receiving a Jurist Doctorate. In 1977 he moved to Fallbrook, CA. He started working for General Dynamics and retired from General Dynamics as an aerospace engineer. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Sue, one sister and one nephew. He is survived by his second wife, Ardis, since 1977; his two children, as well as three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He is missed very much by all who knew and loved him. BROOKE, Randolph Gradua te d fl ig h t tr ai ni ng w it h F l i g h t C l a s s 6 8- 4 & v 6 8 - 6 , f l ew i n V i e t n a m w it h t he 1 7 0 t h A HC ( 1 9 6 8 -6 9 ) under the Buc 5 callsign Randolph "Randy" Brooke, (‘Buccaneer 5’) passed from this life on February 1st in Vero Beach, Florida, after a long illness. He grew up in Beaver, Pennsylvania, and graduated from high school in 1964. He then Page 29 The VHPA Aviator
TAPS attended Grove City College. Randy joined the Army in 1966, completed the Armor Officer Candidates School in 1967.and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He was then selected for the Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Fort Wolters, Texas and Fort Rucker, Alabama, from which he graduated in 1968 and was awarded the silver wings of an Army Aviator. Lieutenant Brooke was then assigned to the I70th Assault Helicopter Company, 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade at Camp Holloway, Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam. His tour of duty began in July of 1968 and was completed in July of 1969. Randy was an excellent helicopter gunship pilot and served commendably as an aircraft commander and Assistant Gun Platoon Leader. He w as regularly called to support the Studies and Observation Group (SOG), 5th Special Forces Group, on top secret missions, by providing aerial gun cover on numerous insertions and extractions of Special Forces teams in Laos and Cambodia. Randy led by example, and the mission always came first. During his time in Vietnam, Randy's aircraft were forced down by mechanical failure and/or enemy fire a total of four times. For his meritorious and heroic actions he was promoted to the rank of Captain, and was awarded The Presidential Unit Citation, The Bronze Star, numerous Air Medals and The Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. After serving in Germany and then leaving the Army, Randy became tennis professional and taught for many years at the Saddlebrook Resort in Florida. Finally, because of injuries suffered in Vietnam, Randy could no longer perform to his desired level. He then devoted h is life to caring for his aging parents, and helping his fellow veterans receive the VA benefits to which they were entitled . He provided wise counsel and expert knowledge of the difficult VA system, and made himself available 24-7 to all, especially to former enlisted men. Randy's family is planning a memorial service and burial at Bushnell National Cemetery, Florida, at a date to be announced. Contributions in honor and memory of Captain Randy Brooke may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (http:// www.woundedwarriorproject.org). C O N G E R , J a me s L ar r y G r ad u at e d f li g h t training with Flight Class 69-8, flew in Vietnam with the 336th AHC (1969) under the T-Bird 5 callsign James Larry Conger, age 66, of Seneca, SC, passed away on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at Mission Health Hospital in Asheville, NC. He proudly served his country in the United States Army. After graduation from Officer Candidate School, he became Captain of the Air Defense Artillery in the 336th Aviation Company flying assault helicopters, where he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart and was honorably discharged when he medically retired in 1970. He was an engineer with Fluor Corporation and currently worked for Southern Design Company. He is survived by his loving wife, of the home, Jeanie
Conger; one son, one daughter, four brothers, and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son and a granddaughter. Memorials may be made to The Wounded Warriors Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256. A message of condolence may be sent by visiting www.mcdougaldfuneralhome.com C R O W, J o h n C . G r a d u a te d f l i g h t t r a i n i n g wi th Fli g h t C lass 6 6 - 2 3 & 6 7- 1, fle w i n Vi et nam wi th D/ 2 2 9 th Avn, 1 st C a v Di v (1 9 6 7 - 6 8 ) John C. Crow, 67, passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at his residence. John served his country proudly in the U.S. Army as a Chief Warrant Officer during the Vietnam conflict as a helicopter pilot. He was awarded several medals including the Bronze Star while serving during his duty call. John worked for Austintown, Ohio, Schools as a bus driver. He enjoyed golf and loved riding in his 50th anniversary Corvette. Anyone that knew John will always remember him for his laid back attitude and appreciation for life. John lost his wife in 2010, he is survived by his sister, Sara (James) Williamson of McDonald; nephews John (Jessica) Williamson of Farmdale and James (Michelle) Williamson of Vienna; and a greatnephew, Cody J. Williamson. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Foundation in Johnâ€™s name. DAV IS , Willie L. Grad uated flight t raining with Flight Class 55-J & 56-8. Flew in Vietnam with 1st AVN CO (1957-59) & 526 Sig Grp (1959-1962) Willie L. Davis COL (USA Retired) of Midland, Georgia passed Monday March 10, 2014, internment followed at Ft. Mitchell National Cemetery, Ft. Mitchell, AL. Davis possessed an indomitable spirit and infectious energy which inspired all who had the privilege of meeting him. A dedicated family man, he enjoyed sharing stories about his life as a NC farm boy and especially about the exploits of his children and grandchildren. He began his military career in the Infantry, after earning a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical Institute followed by a Master's in Human Resources Management in 1979 from Pepperdine University. Over a distinguished military career of 25 years, in the Infantry and Signal Corps, as a Master Army pilot flying various makes of planes and helicopters, he received numerous awards and medals, including: The Legion of Merit; Bronze Star; two (2) Meritorious Service Medals with Cluster; eleven Air Medals with Clusters; Navy Commendation Medal for Heroism awarded by the US Marines; two Army Commendation Medals with Cluster; National Defense Medal; Expeditionary Service Medal; Vietnam Service and Vietnam Medal of Honor. His tours of duty included Asia, Europe and various posts in the US including serving as Staff Officer at the Pentagon. After an illustrious career, he retired from military
service June 30, 1979. He then worked twelve years as a Program Manager for both ITT and Harris Corporations developing electronic systems for NASA and the Kennedy Space Center including the Hubble Space Telescope. An active member of Holsey Monumental CME Church, he was honored as their Man of The Year in 2008. Always interested in supporting his community his community service included Chair of the Board of Directors of the BRIDGE Program and Treasurer of the Boards of Directors of both Muscogee Manor and the Columbus Community Center. A life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, he also enjoyed membership the Red Tail Squadron, The Army Historical Foundation and the Military Officers Association of America and a Charter Member of the National Management Association and enjoyed woodworking and genealogy research in his retirement. He is survived by and leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Idella Bellamy Davis of Midland; one daughter, one son, three grandchildren, one great grandson, four sisters, one sister-in-law and numerous nieces, nephews, godsons, cousins and friends. The family wishes contributions be made to Columbus Hospice in honor of our beloved. DAWKINS, Alex Bing Graduated flight training with Flight Class 70-37F Alex Bing Dawkins, CW3 (USA Retired), 72, of Savannah, GA died Friday afternoon, February 7, 2014, at UPAC - Savannah surrounded by loving family and a long time family friend. Bing was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and he retired from the United States Army at the rank of CW3, having served as a fighter pilot. Remembrances may be made to Disabled American Veterans National Headquarters - 3725 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, Kentucky 41076 Please share your thoughts about Bing and his life at www.gamblefuneralservice.com. D IESING , R ichard Char les Gra dua ted f li g h t t rai n in g w i th Fl ig h t C las s 6 6 -1 4 , f le w i n Vi et na m w i th 173rd A BN BD E (1 9 66 -6 7), th e 17 5 th AH C (1 96 6-6 7 ) a nd IF FV Art y (1970-71) unde r t he R o b i nh o od , C ro ss b o w 3 3 a nd C as per 6 c a l l s ig n s Richard Charles Diesing, (USA Retired), age 72, passed away on March 2, 2014 after a valiant fight with Multiple Sclerosis. He was born in Poughkeepsie, New York. Major Diesing honorably served our country in the U.S. Army where he retired after 13 years of service. Richard was a veteran of the Viet Nam War, serving as an Army Aviation helicopter pilot. While in Viet Nam, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, the Air Medal with 5-11 Oakleaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, The Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, The Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal, and numerous other medals and awards. Richard is survived by his devoted wife of 46 years,
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TAPS Anita Gay (McDonald) Diesing; one niece, two great-nephews, his sister-in-law, one uncle along with other of their family members and friends. For those wishing, memorials may be made in Richard's name to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Lone Star Chapter, P.O. Box 4585, Houston, Texas 77210. DO UGLA SS, Geral d G r a d u a t e d f l ig h t tr a i n i n g w i th F l i g h t C l as s 6 6 - 2 3 & 67-1, flew in Vietnam with the 4 AVN, 4th INF (196768) & 73rd SAC (1970-71) Gerald “Jerry” Douglass, age 75, passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 18 while at home with his wife Linda of 47 years. He was born in Lewiston, Maine, was in the class of 1957 at Edward Little High School. Jerry also went to school for Aviation Electronics, Fixed Wing and Rotary Flight, Flight Instructor, Test Pilot and Test Pilot Instructor, as well as earning his Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Bachelor Degree in History from St. Leo College in Norfolk, Virginia. In 1956 he joined the U.S. Armed Forces and served in the Marines Reserves, the Marines as an Aviation Electronics Technician, the Navy as a pilot and the U.S. Army as a pilot, test pilot, test pilot instructor (both fixed wing and rotary wing), gun pilot and gunnery pilot instructor for rotary wing, a combat tour in Vietnam, helicopter & aircraft commander, a second combat tour in Vietnam, and an OV-1 Mohawk Reconnaissance Pilot. He finished his military career in November of 1975 as a CW2. Jerry earned the National Defense Service Medal, Army Aviator Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Bronze Star w/1 OLC, Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ Palm, Air Medal w/14 OLC and Senior Army Aviator Badge. On December 26, 1966 he married the love of his life, Linda Murphy. Upon his return from the military, Jerry worked as an industrial engineer and assistant plant manager in the shoe factory industry. He also worked as an insurance agent, owned and operated a small restaurant in Lewiston, owned and operated Swan Lake Estates Mobile Home Park, and was owner and president of JD Modular Homes and The Modular Advantage. For the past 37 years, he owned and operated Jerry Douglass Realty as well as owner and manager of Commercial and Residential Investment Properties. Jerry became well known throughout the State for his honesty, integrity and humor. He treated each client as a friend. Even though his years of service were behind him, he still remained active in the community. He was involved with the local Board of Realtors, Auburn Exchange Club events, the CMMC Associates, Charity Helicopter drops, The Good Shepherd Food Bank. Close to his heart was volunteering at Trail Monster Races held at Bradbury Mountain dedicated in memory of his late son Christopher Douglass. Jerry enjoyed spending time with both fellow pilots and OV-1 Mohawk pilots. He recently celebrated his 50th Reunion from graduating Flight School. He was always up for a cribbage game and
enjoyed taking his many friends out to lunch or even a flight to see Mt. Washington. Jerry has truly been a smiling face to many. Always giving of his time and inspiring people he knew. Above all Jerry encouraged and cherished time spent with his family. He is survived by his wife Linda Douglass of Lisbon, one daughter Bethany, two sons, his sister, 6 grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. He was predeceased by his son, Christopher Douglass and his brother, Oscar Douglass. if desired contributions may be made to: Good Shepherd Food Bank, 3121 Hotel Road, Auburn, Maine 04210 or VA Maine Healthcare Center, Lewiston/Auburn CBOC, 15 Challenger Drive, Lewiston, Maine 04240 “Dad had been very active with the local Veteran Center as well as other organizations. I'm going to miss his stories especially the ones from his years in service. He did some great things for the men serving. One story I loved was when he took over the mess hall (spelling?) and (his words are so much better) instead of getting lots of eggs for the men like what had been served (which was the reason he took it over) he went into the food area and with some distractions on his part he managed to get LOTS of steaks (so many that the men complained about having steaks for 3 meals). From what I understood a lot of "higher ups" had been eating steaks and they had been leaving lots of eggs for the men Dad was with. Dad didn't like that.” I didn't share the story like Dad does, however wanted to give you a glimpse of who he is and how he cared for the men he served with. Thank you, Bethany Douglass GUENTZ, Douglas V. Graduated flight training with Flight Class 58-16. Flew in Vietnam w it h D/ 2 2 9 th A H B ( 1 9 6 5- 6 6 ) & X X I V Corps (1968-69) under the Tiger 26 callsign Douglas V Guentz, MAJ (USA Retired), age 82, died Saturday, March 8, 2014. He was born July 26, 1931, in Winona, Minnesota. Douglas was enrolled in the local public schools there until early 1947 when the family relocated. The gentle discipline, curriculum and teachers the Winona school system provided were the foundation on which he developed his civilian and military career paths. Boy Scout, Troop Six, organized and supported by the Central Methodist Church, were the cornerstone of his early maturation. He achieved the grade of Eagle, Bronze Palm, and was elected to the Order of the Arrow by his peers. Survivors include his loyal spouse, best friend and companion in life for 55 years, B. June Usher Guentz. Douglas enlisted in the U.S. Army during 1948. He served as a jumpmaster instructor with the 11th Airborne Division at Camp Campbell, Kentucky. He was later assigned to the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team tactically engaged on the ChorwonKumwha main line of resistance in North Korea during 1952 and with whom he served through to the ceasefire arrangements at Panmunjom. He was commissioned as an Artillery Officer during 1956. Douglas was a member of the original U.S. Army Rifle Team competing for the National Trophy, winning that award for the U.S. Army at Camp Perry, Ohio, in 1957. Stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia with the
U.S. Army's Advanced Marksmanship Unit, Douglas found a Georgia peach, his life's mate, June. They were married May 9, 1958 and life's adventures commenced in a wonderful way for Douglas with June at his side. A military life-style pleased them both. He completed primary fixed-wing flight training at Camp Gary, Texas, during 1958 and rotary-wing primary at Camp Wolters, Texas, during 1960. After serving three years as a surveillance pilot with the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment at the border between (then) West and East Germany, Douglas and June returned to Ft. Benning where he participated in the tactical evaluation and testing of the U.S. Army's OV1 Grumman Mohawk, a twin turbo-prop fixed-wing aircraft. He was the unit's intermediate-altitude Instructor pilot and flew the first in-flight refueling evaluations for the Mohawk. He was also an air-toground gunnery instructor pilot as well as his unit's Instrument instructor pilot. Douglas later served two combat tours of duty in Viet Nam flying in excess of seven hundred combat assault-flying hours as a helicopter gunship platoon commander with the First Air Cavalry Division. Significant actions participated in were the assaults on the Ia Drang River Valley supporting the First and Second Squadrons, Seventh Cavalry Regiment and later was involved in precipitous actions during the Bong Son campaigns escorting the troop-bearing helicopters of the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion. During his second VN tour, Maj. Guentz served as Plans and Operations Officer for Aviation, G-3, XXIV U.S. Army Corps. Completing twenty-one years of service, he retired from the army and returned home to Florida during 1969. His decorations are the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with twenty-two (22) OLC and the Army Commendation Medal. He is authorized six campaign stars for his combat service. Certifications include the Senior Army Aviator Wings, Master Parachutist Wings, Glider Wings and the first and second leg awards to the Distinguished Marksman (Rifle) Badge. Unit citation awards earned during combat operations are the Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Republic of Viet Nam PUC and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Douglas and June resided in Destin, Florida, for twenty-seven years prior to relocation to Milton. In Destin, they were active in community and civic affairs. Doug was a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, with a B.S. in Aeronautical Sciences, Cum Laude, and attained a B.A. in Accounting at the University of West Florida, at Pensacola. He was a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Sailing Master for passenger-carrying vessels, any ocean, and was a self-employed charter sailing vessel operator and practicing celestial navigation instructor sailing in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Indian Ocean. He was a member of the National Rifle Association, the Escambia River Muzzle-loaders Association, and Robertson/Dent's Florida Battery (Civil War re-enactment). His amateur radio-sending key, now silent, N4RIV.
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TAPS HARRIS, Daniel R. Graduated flight training with Flight Class 68-521 & 68-37. Flew i n V i e t n a m w i th C / 2 2 9 t h A V N , 1 s t C A V DIV (1969) and 1st BDE, 1st Cav Div (196970) under the White 23 and Duck callsigns. Daniel R Harris (Danny) 65, formerly of Liberty, MO, and Prairie Village, KS, passed away March 28, 2014 at his home in El Paso, TX, surrounded by family after a battle with lung cancer. He was a 1966 graduate of Liberty (MO) High School. After graduation he entered the Army where he received the Distinguished Flying Cross while flying helicopters in Vietnam. He had owned and operated Rainbow Car Wash in Kansas City, KS, All Seasons Brushless Car Wash in Kansas City, MO, and Octopus Car Wash in Independence, MO. He was also active in the Saddle and Sirloin Club and Abdullah Shrine. In 1998 he had an opportunity to sell All Seasons and moved to El Paso where he built his dream wash, Desert Hills Car Wash and Convenience Store. He recently sold another car wash and lube shop in Lubbock, TX, which he had purchased in 2006. He is survived by his wife Pat of El Paso, several children, five grandchildren, two brothers, one sister and numerous nieces and nephews. As he wished, his body will be cremated, the family requests that donations in his honor to Trail Life USA http://www.traillifeusa.com/donate H E N D RI C KS , Ro n a l d R . Ro n a l d R . H e n d r i c k s g r a du at e d f l i g h t t r ai n i n g w i th Fl i g h t Class 69-46, he flew in Vietnam in (1970-71) w i th t h e 1 1 6 t h A V N C O a n d t h e 1 7 6 t h A VN C O. Ot he r avi ati on ass ig n m e n ts included a five year tour at VII Corps, 25th AVN CO in Stuttgart, Germany with the last A vi at i on as si gnm en t b ei ng wi th th e F OR SCOM F lig ht D etachment in Atla nta, GA prior to retiring from active duty in 1989. Ronald Robert Hendricks passed away 2 March 2014 at Piedmont Newnan, Georgia Hospital. Ron was born in Delta, Colorado, he was raised and attended schools in Delta prior to joining the US Army. He spent a total of 45 years serving his country as an infantry soldier, Army Aviator and a civilian employee working for the Army prior to retiring in Georgia in 2006. Ron spent two tours in Vietnam and two tours in Germany and a few tours state-side during his career. He was awarded several medals that included a Silver Star, Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, CIB and a few Air Medals. He is survived by his of 49 years, Jean Hendricks of Newnan, GA and two sons and two grandsons. HOWELL, Melvin C. Flew in Vietnam with HS -2 (1965-66), HS-2 (1967-68) a nd H A( L ) - 3 ( 1 9 7 0 - 7 1 ) un d e r t h e B i g M o th e r and Seawolf 35 callsigns Melvin C. Howell, 75, of Evansville, Indiana, passed away on Monday, March 17, 2014 at his home. He was born in Evansville, Indiana and attended Culver Grade School and Bosse High School. Melvin married Thelma Tremper on Christmas Eve 1957. They immediately left for Rhode Island where Melvin was
stationed in the United States Navy. Their son was born while they were stationed in Rhode Island. Melvin was then based in Argentina, Newfoundland, followed by Pensacola, Florida and then San Diego, California. While stationed in Pensacola, he received the rank of First Class Chief Petty Officer and was featured on the front page of (All Hands) Naval magazine stating he was the youngest First Class Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy. While serving as a helicopter pilot on the USS Hornet during the Vietnam War, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for a rescue mission in North Vietnam. While in San Diego, he and Thelma had the privilege to attend dinner with Elmo Zumwault, the Chief of Naval Operations. Melvin retired after 20 years in the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander. He returned home to Evansville, Indiana and was employed at United States Postal Service as a letter carrier. After retirement, Melvin became a dedicated member of Germania Maennerchor. He was a past officer and on numerous committees. He spent most of his time there with his friends. He was a member of the Germania Maennerchor choir and enjoyed singing at different activities and churches and nursing homes. He also played in the Rhein Valley Brass. Melvin was a very talented person and excelled in all his endeavors. He played the trumpet, sang and painted. He always wanted to help those in need. He was an avid reader, his favorite book was Invitation to Valhalla and favorite movie was Anne of Green Gables. Melvin was also a member of the VFW Denby Post #2953, HA (L) 3 U.S. Navy Sea Wolves, U.S. Navy BINH THUY RVN, German American Gesangverein. Melvin is survived by one sister and her family, his sisters-in-law and her family and numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces, great nephews and many cousins. Melvin is preceded in death by his wife, Thelma (Tremper) Howell in June 2004; his son, Randall in July 2003; and his brother. Memorial contributions may be made to the Vanderburgh Humane Society, P.O. Box 6711, Evansville, IN 47719, Germania Maennerchor, 916 North Fulton Ave., Evansville, IN 47710 or Holly's House, P.O. Box 4125, Evansville, IN 47724. JONES, Frank H. Graduated flight t raining w ith Fl ight Cl as s 71- 5 (Ta n Hats ) in A pril 1971. Flew in Vietnam out of Chu Lai while a ss i g n e d to A C om p a n y ( P e l i c a n s ) of th e 123rd Aviation Battalion. Prior to flight school, Frank served one tour in Vietnam with the A/1/10th Armored Cav, 4th Infantry Division. During his 2nd tour in Vietnam Frank suffered serious injuries when his UH-1 Huey crashed in the AO. We was immediately evacâ€™ed back to Japan and eventually stateside where he spent many months in a hospital. Upon his recovery he was discharged and returned to his home in Georgia where he worked as a machinist. Frank died on 22 August 2013 at his home in Williamson, Georgia surrounded by his family. He is survived by Claudine, his wife of 44 years, a son Michael; stepson Robert Moreno and two grand-
daughters. Frank was a long-time member of the VHPA and attended many of our Reunions. KEELEY , F rancis Art hur G radu ate d flight training with Flight Class 58-5, flew in Vietnam with B/228 ASHB, 1st Cav Div (196566), the 147th AS HC (1966) and t he 15th TC, 1st Cav Div (1969-70) u nder the Hillclimber call sign. Francis Arthur ("Frank") Keeley, Jr. CW4 (USA Retired) died on February 8, 2014 at the age of 78, from complications brought on by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Frank served in the United States Army for over 21 years, enlisting immediately after high school. He started his career as General H.W.O. Kinnard's radio operator in the Airborne but quickly rose through the ranks and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4, aeronautical engineer and helicopter pilot. In 1963, while stationed in Germany, he met his wife, Geraldine Judith Hunt, and began a romance that lasted 50 years. Frank's Army career included two tours of duty in Vietnam, a Bronze Star, the Air Medal and a host of other citations and commendations. After retiring from the Army, Frank eventually settled his family down in Petaluma in 1973. Frank loved to sing. His clear and deep tone became the mainstay of every hymn at St. James Catholic Church. Frank was also a well-known fixture at Petaluma Swim Club competitions; cheering his sons on with his signature booming voice. Frank was quick to smile and laugh; and always took the time to share a new joke with others. He will be remembered as a devoted husband, loving father and faithful friend. Frank is survived by his wife, Geraldine (Jerry) Keeley; his three sons, and his two grandchildren, all living in Northern California. KLEESE, Gene D. Graduated flight training with Flight Class 60-8, flew in Vietnam with C/ 2 / 2 0 AR A 1 CA V (6 5 - 6 6 ) , 1 2 0 AH C ( 6 6 ) , A/ 2 /2 0 AR A 1 C AV ( 6 8 ) , C / 2 / 2 0 AR A 1 C A V ( 6 8 ) a nd H H B / 2 / 2 0 A R A 1 CAV (69) under the Armed Falcon and Dean callsigns Gene D. Kleese, LTC (USA Retired) of Newnan, Georgia passed away quietly in his home on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. He is survived by his wife and college sweetheart of 55 years, Barbara Murphy Kleese; and 4 children. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren. Lt. Colonel Kleese was born in Washington DC , he attended the University of Arkansas where he received his degree in geology and was a member of the Army ROTC program. Upon graduating from college, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in Field Artillery in the U.S. Army. He then was trained in Primary Helicopter School at Ft. Walters, TX and was assigned to the 504th Aviation Company in Furth, Germany. In Furth, Germany he flew as a helicopter pilot for the 4th Armored Division and Page 32 The VHPA Aviator
served on ground duty for the 20th Artillery. Gene Kleese's army career continued through honorable assignments in Advanced Artillery and Air Assault Divisions in Ft. Bliss, TX and Ft. Benning, GA. He was then transferred to Ft. Rucker, AL. His most important assignments during his time as a top notch helicopter pilot were during his two tours of Vietnam in 1965-1966 and again during 19681969. He served in the 11th Air Assault Division / 1st Cavalry and was a distinguished member of the Blue Max team. Most notably he fought in the battle of Ia Drang which was the first major battle between U.S. troops and Viet Cong. Promoted to Major, Gene Kleese returned from his second tour of duty of Vietnam. He soon moved with his family to Ft. Leavenworth, KS and was a student in the Command and General Staff College. In Ft. Leavenworth he was assigned as an instructor for the Department of Tactics and developed the training manuals for Army combat helicopter pilots. He was recognized and awarded the Legion of Merit for his work in Ft. Leavenworth. He moved again with his family to Ft. McPherson, GA and was promoted to Lt. Colonel. During this stage of his career he led an effort in assimilating refugees from Vietnam, into Ft. Chaffee, AR as they fled from the country to the U.S. For his next assignment he moved with his family once again to Land Southeast NATO in Izmir, Turkey. In Izmir, Turkey he was assigned as the Secretary to the General Staff and led the effort to transfer leadership of the Turkish NATO headquarters from American to Turkish administration. He attended Troy State University courses in Izmir and earned his MBA in Business Management. His final assignment in his military career was as Inspector General in Ft. MacPherson, GA and his main role was to repatriate American citizens from Canada after the Vietnam War. He retired with honors in 1979 where, during the course of his military service he earned 2 Bronze Stars (2 each, 1 with Valor) Meritorious Service Medal (3 each), NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Air Medal (26 each), Army Commendation Medal (4 each), Vietnam Campaign Ribbon (2 each) the Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon (4 each). Gene Kleese was not about to sit back on his laurels after his retirement from the military. He was especially proud to serve as a Little League Baseball Commissioner during the 1975-1976 seasons, he then opened up ProAm Sports, a sporting goods store with his wife Barbara where they worked with several athletic associations providing uniforms and trophies. Gene sold his businesses to a partner and then worked successfully with Bankers Life & Casualty Insurance and Merrill Lynch as a stock broker. Ever the entrepreneur, Gene published a guide for public golf courses in Atlanta, GA called "Gene's Guide to Golf" where he reviewed and rated golf courses, and their services. He had three hole-in-ones during his golf career. He finished his working life as an instructor at Clayton State College teaching Business Management and counseling college students. In 2010, he authored and published a short memoir titled "Vietnam, My War" where he recounts his time in service as a combat helicopter pilot. He was happy to lecture
and share his experiences with students from Newnan High School, Newnan, GA as part of their studies of the Vietnam War. Gene donated his body to the Emory School of Medicine for research upon his death. The family requests donations to The Pat Tillman Scholarship fund for military athletic scholarships at http://pattillmanfoundation.org/donate/ in his memory. L E G G E TT , R o y H il t o n G r a d u a t e d f l i g h t training with Flight Class 57-12. He flew in V ietna m with the 34th CS GR P (a 966-67), the 478 HHC (1969-70) and the 382nd TC DET (1969) under the Hurricane 6 callsign. Roy Hilton (Buddy) Leggett, MAJ (USA Retired) passed away April 6, 2014, after a valiant battle with T-cell lymphoma and other cancers. Roy enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1952. He rose through the ranks to SFC. In 1958 he completed the Warrant Officer Flight program. In 1962 he was awarded a direct appointment to 2nd Lt. He served two tours in Vietnam. His first was with 34th Group as the Adjutant. His second tour, he Commanded the 478th AVN (HH) CH-54 Company and the 382 Maintenance Unit. His awards include The Purple Heart, BSM w/ olc, Air Medal w/ V dev and 7 olc , Senior Aviator Badge, Parachutist badge, VSM w/ 5 stars, NDSM w/ 1 olc, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/ palm, Armed forces reserve medal, Meritorious Unit Citation w/ 1 olc, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/ 60s device. Roy continued to serve after his retirement from the Army. He became the Chief of Contracting at Ft. Benning, Ga. He departed to fulfill a vital contracting role in Abu Dhabi, UAE during Desert Storm. He returned to Columbus College and Georgia Tech to assist small businesses and individuals in contracting with the U.S. Government. He was employed in this arena at the time of his death. He was serving as President of the 101st Airborne Division Association- Columbus, GA Chapter, Life member of MOAA and a member of the VHPA. Roy was preceded in death by son, Frank Leggett. Roy is survived by his wife of 62 years, June, their son Roy H. Leggett Jr., two granddaughters, a grandson, one brother, many relatives in Mississippi and many special friends. Just a note: If you have one friend like Roy (Buddy) Leggett in life, you are a very fortunate person. Jess Brock, Member of the VHPA LEINS, David V. Graduated f l ig h t t r a in in g wi th Fl ig h t Class 58-17, flew in Vietnam w i t h t h e 1 14 A V N ( 1 96 465), A/101 AVN (1964-65), 13th CAB (1964-65), C/7/I C A V ( 1 9 6 8 - 6 9 ) a n d 1 6 4 th C AG (1 9 6 8 - 6 9 ) u nd e r t h e Comanche 6 and Warrior Lead callsigns. David V. Leins, LTC (USA Retired), 78 of Daytona Beach, passed away on Friday, March 15, 2013. David was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on 15 May 2014. He was born in Fairborn,
Ohio, he graduated from Fairborn High School, and later attended the University of Cincinnati where he played football and received his bachelors' degree. Following his graduation he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He graduated from both Ranger and Jump School and flight school (Class 58-17) at Camp Gary, Texas and helicopter flight training at Fort Wolters, Texas. He served 27 years, including two tours in Vietnam. He was a successful helicopter pilot and flew over 2800 hours of safe combat missions. David's military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Distinguished Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Air Medal (with 42 Oak Leaf Clusters), Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with Silver Star and Palm), and Humanitarian Service Ribbon. In addition to his military education, David attended the University of Kansas where he obtained a Masters' degree in Guidance and Counseling. He dedicated his life to military service, and his family. David was a member of the Black Hawk Society, the Army Aviation Association, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and The Odder of Daedalians. He is survived by beloved wife of 58 years Carole A. (Pond) Leins, four sons, five grandchildren and many extended family members and close friends. Memorial contributions can be made in Mr. Leins honor to the National Museum of the United States Army. LINEBERRY, Gary Gra dua ted flight training with Flight Class 65-3. He was in Saigon in 1963 with the 571th Maintenance Co. as a h e l i c o p t e r e l e c t r i c ia n a n d a f t e r f l ig h t s c h o o l went back to fly Chinooks in Vietnam w ith The First Cav (1965-66). Gary Lineberry, 71, died at his home in Valencia, CA on November 21, 2012 after a year and a half battle with cancer. He entered the army as an aircraft electrician and did a tour in Vietnam. Upon return to the States he entered flight school. Because of his excellent performance in flight school, upon graduation Gary immediately became a flight instructor teaching at Fort Wolters. When he completed one year as an IP, Gary went to Chinook school and was sent off to Vietnam where he received numerous medals and was a check airman as a WO1 . With heavy lift copters available, Gary's company was the original group of pilots that bartered and slung construction equipment to build the "Holiday Inn" Barracks, complete with signs and furniture from the hotel chain. After six years of duty, Gary left the Army and flew in Alaska, South America, and Southern California for Hughes Helicopters and Briles Helicopter. In 1974, Gary began flying for the Los Angeles County Fire Department where he flew for 27 years with a pilot staff of many Vietnam Vets. He stayed until his mandatory retirement at 60. He then signed on with Angel City Air in Los Angeles and was a pilot/reporter for T V news for 10 years and created another family of flying buddies. Page 33 The VHPA Aviator
Over the years Gary kept in touch with flight school classmates and touched many in the aviation community both civilian and active duty. During his year and half long battle with cancer, Gary was upbeat and positive every day and had very little discomfort. He was cared for by fellow VHPA member, LA County Fire pilot and lifelong friend, Gary Bertz along with Bertz' s wife and kids. Gary proudly carried VHPA Member Number L00550. McCLINTOCK, Alfred B. Graduated flight training with Flight Class 56-9, flew in Vietnam with the 187th AHC (1967-68) Alfred B. McClintock, LTC (USA Retired), 84, died March 27 in an Assisted Living facility in Annapolis. Born in Baltimore November 22, 1929, Mr. McClintock grew up in Northwest Baltimore. He graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1948 and later went on to receive a Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and a Master's degree from University of Southern California. He entered the Army in 1951 and served in Korea and Vietnam. During his 20 years of service as an army aviator, he received several commendations including the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters and the Bronze Star before retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1971. Following his military service he worked as a logistics program manager in the defense contractor industry until 1998. Mr. McClintock was a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. He enjoyed fishing, boating and spending time with his family. Mr. McCintock is survived by his wife of 61 years, Phyllis; three sons, one daughter, one sister, 13 grandchildren; and seven great- grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association , P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011 or Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, PO Box 695, La Plata, MD 20646. NOEL, Allyn Graduated flight training with Flight Class 66-16, flew in Vietnam with 334th AH C ( 1 9 6 7 -6 8 ) & 1 5 t h T C C O , 1 s t C A V DIV (1970-71) under the Raider 26 callsign Allyn Noel, MAJ (USA Retired), 70, of Dana, NC, died on Tuesday, March 25. He was married to Michele Hipp of Beaufort, SC for 36 years. Allyn graduated from Gettysburg College in 1965 with a BS in Biology. While there he served as the Drum Major and received his Commission through ROTC into the US Army. He also received a Masters in Education Administration from the College of William and Mary in 1975. Allyn served the country for 21 years as an Army Aviator, flying both helicopters and airplanes. He was among the first pilots to fly Huey helicopters with weapons on them. He served with distinction for two tours in Vietnam where he was awarded 2 Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and 37 Air Medals. Allyn retired from Ft Eustis, VA in 1986 with the rank of Major. Allyn retired to his favorite place in the world, Michele's family's summer home, Dana in 1986 where he began a second career as an educator. He spent the last twenty-five plus years working with chil-
dren at Edneyville Elementary Schools as an administrative assistant, bus driver and much more. With a master's in Education Administration, he could have had most any role in the school system, but wanted to be close to the children and make a difference in their lives. Allyn was a member of St. James Episcopal church. He was active in working with the Carpenters Club, the African Medical Mission and served on the vestry. As his favorite musician, Jimmy Buffett, would say, Allyn kept growing older but not up! He is survived by his wife, Michele, his mother, one son one daughter one sister and their families along with four grandchildren. Donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or to the St. James Episcopal Church, 766 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 in the memo line, Carpenters Club. An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. O ’ H A R A , D a n i e l G r a d u a t e d f l i g h t t r a i n in g with Flight Class 49, flew in Vietnam with the Capital Avn BN (1966 – 1967 & 1968). Daniel “Dan” O'Hara, LTC (USA Retired), 86 of St. Petersburg, Florida passed away peacefully on December 5, 2013. He was born January 29, 1927 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and is survived by his devoted wife, Bernice O'Hara, two children and three grandchildren. Dan is also survived by 6 brothers and sisters and a multitude of nieces and nephews. Lt. Col. O'Hara dedicated his life to the armed services, enlisting in the Marine Corps as a young teenager where he was trained to be an artillery forward observer. He had boots on the sand in Guadalcanal and was awarded the Purple Heart for sustaining multiple gunshot and bayonet wounds during his time in Asia. Dan; as his friends and family lovingly referred to him returned from the Pacific theatre and reenlisted in the newly formed Army Air corps and was retrained as an aviator. Dan was instrumental in helping to form the army's air wing helping to ferry some if the first twin engine aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean for the war effort. After thousands of hours of fixed wing flying he again used his skilled hands to pilot rotorcraft first helping to develop the infamous bell HU-1A Iroquois or "Huey" helicopter. Following Dan's rotorcraft rating he was drafted into the executive flight detachment and began flying the presidential helicopter, then known as Army One. Dan piloted the presidential whirly birds during the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson Administrations from 1958 to 1964. Dan served in World War II, Korea and two tours in Vietnam. Lt. Col. O'Hara retired from the Army in 1968. After retiring, Dan worked in a myriad of aviation jobs, some of which included running an air ambulance service, an aircraft leasing company and a freight forwarding company. As well as representing the Federal Aviation Administration as an Inspector and manager of Albert Whited Airport. He was a parachutist and a wing walker in the flying circus and overall an accomplished aviator. Of these many accomplishments he considered his greatest joys to be his family. He was a true friend, officer and gentleman.
R E I B L E I N , R AY M O N D G r a du at e d fl i g h t training with Flight Class 67-7, flew in Viet nam with D/3/5 CAV, 9th INF (1968-69) & 120th AHC (1968-69) under the Crusader 33 and Razorback 49 callsigns Raymond Joseph Reiblein, 69, of Mentor passed away on March 2, 2014. He was born September 18th, 1944 in Cleveland. Ray is a US Army Veteran as a Combat Helicopter Pilot in the Vietnam War. Ray was a graduate of Eastlake North and Lakeland College. He then went to work for Euclid INC until it closed. Recently he worked as a Lake County Veterans service officer until he retired from there in 2013. He was a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots and Razorbacks Crew Member associations. Member of American Legion Post of Mentor, Vietnam Veterans Post 4796 in Wickliffe and North Coast Veterans at St. Justin Martyr. Ray is survived by his wife of 39 years, Loretta; one sister and a host of nieces and nephews; and his favorite baby, Shadrach. Donations can be made in Ray's honor to the Wounded Warrior Project (support.woundedwarriorproject.org) ROUSSE, William C. Graduated flight traini n g w i t h F l i g h t C l a ss 6 0 -2 F W & 6 2 -2 O C , flew in Vietnam with MAAG-MACV Flt Det (1962-63), 1/ 9 Cav, 1/ 8 Cav (1968-69) and the 1st AVN Bde (1969) under the Blackhawk 6 callsign William C. Rousse, BG (USA Retired), 84, was called to his new home in Heaven on March 21, 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer. His beloved wife Marian (Mimi) lovingly cared for him as only she could throughout the battle. In addition to his wife, other surviving family members are his son Curt, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. "The General" as he was known by the many, who loved him deeply, grew up in Miami, Florida. He was determined to be the first one in his family to earn a college degree and in 1947 with $70 in his pocket he enrolled at the University of Florida; later during his Army career he earned a Masters Degree in business. Bill joined the U. S. Army in 1951 as a Private First Class. When he retired in 1977, he held the rank of Brigadier General and was directly responsible to manage and direct all manpower and financial matters for the army's largest overseas operation, comprising of 183,000 troops. He considered his greatest military honor and achievement in being selected to lead the very first air cavalry squadron (AirCav) in the U.S. Army, the 1st Squadron, Ninth Cavalry. This unit's combat mission was aerial reconnaissance to locate the enemy units to be engaged with the combat power of two Army divisions and two Marine Divisions assigned to "I" Corps in the Northern sector of South Vietnam. Bill helped study and lead a new approach for the use of helicopters in combat. William Rousse was highly decorated during his military service, including Legion of Merit (3 awards) Distinguished Flying Cross (2 awards), Air Medal (26 awards), and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry-Gold Palm. Page 34 The VHPA Aviator
Upon completion of his military career in 1977, he joined The Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the State of Florida as a State Cabinet member. After several years he was involved in the citrus industry as COO of American Agronomics and retired in 1987. "The General" was an active member of Arden Presbyterian Church. Those who met Bill were struck by his kindness and humility. Everybody wanted just a little time with "The General". He always had a positive outlook and word to bring to each situation. He was a source of inspiration and encouragement. His loss will be deeply felt. He met his beloved and precious wife, Marian (Mimi) at their Miami Senior High 50th reunion in 1997. They traveled for many years in their motor homes, visiting every state in the nation and Canada. The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the "Bill Rousse Landscape Beautification Fund" at Givens Estates, located at the Oxford Commons Meadow area. Bill loved his country and our nation’s flag. This tribute will create a beautiful area for reflection under the flag he loved so dearly. Send your tax-deductible gift to "Givens Estates Rousse Memorial. 2360 Sweeten Creek Rd. Asheville NC 28803. SH E E T Z , D o n a l d M c C l e l la n I I , g r a d ua t e d flight training with Flight Class 70-05 & 7007, flew in Vietnam with the 15th TC, 1st CD (1970-71) and the 6/16th CAV (1972) Donald McClellan Sheetz II passed away from a long illness on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Don spent his childhood and early teens in Idaho Falls. After attending Bonneville High School, he bravely enlisted for military duty as a U.S. Marine. He served his first tour of duty in Vietnam in 1966. Don returned to Idaho after surviving a bullet wound to the chest and was awarded the Purple Heart. Don attended college at Idaho State University; he then reenlisted in the U.S. Army, where he learned to fly helicopters. He continued to serve his country for two more tours in Vietnam as a Cobra helicopter pilot in the 1st Calvary. There, he was awarded several medals, including the Bronze Star of Valor. He left the military in December 1976 with an honorable discharge. Don loved flying, so he continued his career as a commercial helicopter pilot. While working as a Life Flight pilot, he met a flight nurse, Nora Kiker, the love of his life. Don and Nora married Nov. 30, 1978. Their marriage was filled with travel and adventure, working all over the States and abroad, which they enjoyed for 33 years. As a talented pilot, he flew various jobs such as fertilizing trees, fighting forest fires, long line seismic work and flying survey crews mapping the Brooks Mountain Range in Alaska. He finished his career airlifting supplies to our troops in the Persian Gulf. Don is survived by his wife, Nora Sheetz, his two children and his beloved grandchildren. He is also survived by his mother, his nine siblings and their families. Don will be missed by all who knew him.
SHEMLEY, Lawrence Peter. Graduated flight training with Flight Class 69-11, flew in Vietnam with Charlie Co., 229 Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Calvary Division under t he Yellow 2 callsign. Lawrence Peter “Larry” Shemley left this world after many strong battles against cancer on April 3, 2014. Larry grew up in Morrisville, PA, and graduated Pennsbury High School 1966. He attended college in Florida and Delaware, studying computer science and aviation. As a young, brave soldier, Larry served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He was part of Charlie Company, 229 Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Calvary Division as a Yellow 2. His helicopter, the “Cav Jester” served to save many. In July 1970, Larry received the presidential award for an act of heroism while under intense fire on a mission on April 21, 1970. He was a member of both the Distinguished Flying Cross Society and the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. , Larry learned to fly planes early at Hortman Aviation in the northeast, which lead to his love of flying. He worked for Ronson Aviation at Mercer Airport, Heliflight Systems in Texas (working on training manuals for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi), served as chief pilot for The Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel, was the private pilot for John DuPont at Fox Mountain in Newtown Square, PA, and was chief pilot and training captain for Horsham Valley Airways in Horsham, PA. Living in Ewing, NJ for many years, he was employed as a computer programmer in management information systems for Cenlar Central Loan Administration, Trenton, NJ, from 1996 until present. He had an incredible love of sailboats, and went on many fabulous, fun-filled sailing adventures around New York and beyond Liberty State Park in his close friend Bob Leach's 40' sailboat. He was a member of East End Yacht Club and Delaware River Yachtsmen's League. Many summers were spent sailing the Delaware out of Curtin's Marina on his Beneteau First 235 - "Pleiades" with Nancy, and racing and crewing with many friends in the EEYC, which was a great love of his. Lawrence is survived by his two sons, his wife, Jael, and their two daughters and one sister. He is also missed and loved greatly by his partner of 21 years, Nancy Cadwallader of Ewing, NJ. Left behind are so many loyal friends, extended family, fellow supportive veterans, co-workers, and pilots. A testament to who a man is belongs to those who never forget or lose respect for you, regardless of how many years and miles life puts between you. All donations in the name of Lawrence P. Shemley may be made to VFW Post 6393, 1444 Yardley Newtown Rd., Yardley, PA 19067. Larry’s Commander in Vietnam writes… On behalf of the officers and men of ‘North Flag”, Company C, 229th Assault Helicopter Bn, First Cavalry Div, I would like to express our condolences on the loss of one of our pilots, CW2 Larry Shemley. As Larry’s former commander and flight leader, I can assure you that those of us who served with him, through some difficult times, truly appreciate his comradeship and contributions. Ours was, in every sense, a team effort and Larry was an integral part of our team. He exemplified the
two attributes that we valued most, dependability and valor. The name of his aircraft was the “Cav Jester”……..to us he was, and always will be the Cav Jester. Yours truly, Roger C. Baker. MAJ (USA Retired) E-Mail: email@example.com SMITH, James H. Graduated flight training with Flight Class 69-9, flew in Vietnam with C Battery, 2/20 ARA 1 CAV in 69-70 under the BLUE MAX 68T1 callsign. James H. Smith passed away on Sunday, March 30, 2014, in Odessa, Texas. He was born at the Oxford Store in Oxford, Colorado; he graduated from Ignacio High School in 1964. After spending a couple of years exercising race horses in Durango, Colo., he enlisted in the U.S. Army and flew Cobra helicopters in Vietnam. He received several honors, including a Distinguish Flying Cross, for his service in Vietnam. Jim went on to be the Exalted Ruler at the Farmington Elks Lodge from 1996 to 1997. He received AllState Inter Guard in 1994. Jim is survived by his wife of 26 years, Donna; one daughter, one step-son and his wife, one grandson, two sisters and numerous nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by two brothers. Jim had become an animal activist and supported Doberman rescue groups as well as other animal rescue groups. It had been his plan to make part of his place in Odessa, Texas, a refuge for horses. Jim was a generous, family-loving and patriotic man. One of his favorite things to do was take his family to the PBR finals in Las Vegas, Nev., every October. S U L L IV A N , J o se p h L . G ra du at ed fl i ght t ra i ni ng with Flight Class 65-11, flew in V iet n a m w it h A / 50 1 AVN (1965-66), 281st AHC ( 1` 96 6) & B /22 9t h A V N , 1st Cav Div (1966) under the Fang and Preacher callsigns Joseph L. Sullivan, JR., CW4 (USA Retired), 70 of Little Rock, AR passed away on March 28, 2014. Chief Sullivan was a 1961 graduate of Catholic High School and held a Bachelors Degree from UALR and a Masters Degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Chief Sullivan joined the Army in October 1964 and upon graduation from Warrant Officer Candidate Helicopter Flight Training in September 1965 arrived in Vietnam in November of that year. Chief Sullivan was initially assigned to the 6th Aviation Platoon (Airlift) in direct support of the 5th Special Forces Group. The 6th Airlift Platoon and other aviation unites were joined together and formed the 281st Assault Helicopter Company. The 281st AHC was the first U.S. Army Helicopter Company organized and trained as a Special Operations Aviation unit in the Republic of Viet Nam. The 281st was placed under the Operational Control of the 5th Special Forces Group, Nha Trang, RVN. Chief Sullivan's second assignment in Viet Nam was with the
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Bravo Company 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cav Division (airmobile). Chief Sullivan was a life member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA), American Legion. Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Disabled American Veterans (DAV). His military awards include the Air Medal, three awards of National Defense Service Medal (Vietnam, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom), three awards of the Army Commendation Medal and others. Chief Sullivan retired from the Army in June 2003. Chief Sullivan also had a parallel civilian career with the State of Arkansas as a Senior Financial Examiner with the Arkansas Insurance Department. His loving wife, Wilma preceded him in death. Survivors include his three children, his Stepson and stepdaughter along with all of their family members to include one grandson, two nieces and numerous other great nieces and great nephews. Memorials may be made to VHPA.org<http://VHPA.org/ or American Cancer Society. STREPPER, Paul M Graduated flight training with Flight Class 71-13, flew in Vietnam with A T r o o p , 2 / 1 7 th Ai r C av , 1 0 1 A B N ( 1 9 7 1 - 7 2 ) under the Assault 12 callsign. Notice of the death of Paul M. “Mike” Strepper has been passed to the VHPA through the Alpha Troop Association, 2/17th Air Cav. In that notice, they reported that: Mike Strepper passed on Dec 23, 2013. His brother said he had been suffering from many ailments over the last few years and that he was found on December 23, 2013 by his son. Paul was found unresponsive and resuscitation efforts proved unsuccessful. “I was lucky enough to have participated in many Pink Team missions with Mike, as a Scout Pilot and me as a Gunner on a chase slick. My crew chief won the Silver Star rappelling down to rescue him and Glen Veno when they were shot down on a mission.” “We have nothing but good memories of our brother Mike and will never let him stray too far from our thoughts. One day we will all see him again as we take our place at Fiddler's Green.” Doug Doerr , Chairman- Alpha Troop Association, Quang Tri / Phu Bai 71-72 T IN S E T H , W a r r en D S R G ra d u a t e d f l i g h t training with Flight Class 59-3, flew in Vietnam with 179th ASHC (1967-68) & HHC, 228th ASHB, 1st Cav Div (1969-70) Warren D. Tinseth, CW4 (USA Retired), decorated U.S. Army aviator, 80, took his final flight on Saturday, March 22, 2014. He died at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston due to complications resulting from a five-month battle with congestive heart failure. He was born Jan. 8, 1934, in Duluth, MN, and attended Duluth Central High School. Warren joined the Minnesota National Guard in 1949 at the age of 15. He married Joyce Carol Walker of Brainerd, MN, on Feb. 23, 1952, a union which lasted nearly 59 years until her death in 2010. Warren entered active duty as a Sergeant First Class in 1953 and enlisted in the regular Army in 1954. He retired in 1980 as a Chief Warrant Officer W-4, having been deployed two times each to Korea and Vietnam and serving three
tours in Germany. He flew both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and became an instructor pilot, an instrument flight examiner, and an aviation safety officer. Warren was assigned twice to Fort Sam Houston, first from 1972 to 1977 with the 507th Medical Company in support of the Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST) Project providing helicopter ambulance service to South Texas. In 1978, he returned to Fort Sam, serving as the Aviation Safety Officer to the Flight Detachment at Randolph Air Force Base prior to his retirement. He received high honors for his military service, including the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Star Medals and the Purple Heart, along with a number of other commendations. He earned a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. After retiring from the military, he worked as a safety officer at the San Antonio State Hospital and State School and at Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University. He retired as the university's director of risk management and safety in 2003. In his spare time, Warren taught courses in industrial safety, nursing home administration, and safety engineering technology at Southwest Texas, St. Philip's College and San Antonio College. He also was a food critic extraordinaire and enjoyed golfing and making annual trips back to Minnesota. He belonged to the Kerrville Hangar of the Quiet Birdmen, the Alamo Chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the Dustoff Association, the Army Aviation Association of America and the Military Officers Association of America. As a Mason, he was a member of Army Lodge No. 1105, the Alzafar Temple of San Antonio, and the Scottish Rite-Valley of San Antonio. Warren is survived by his three children, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, one brother and by many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. His family requests that donations be made in his honor to the American Heart Association at honor.americanheart.org/goto/wtinseth. The Dustoff Association added these words, We sadly announce the closing of another flight plan Warren D. Tinseth, 1934-2014, died Saturday morning, 22 March 2014. He just wore out! Warren was fondly referred to as "the Great White Father" by many of us "RLO's" who worked with him at the "Fightin' Five Oh" the 507th Med Co (AA) when there were 13 aircraft, two platoons, and the maintenance platoon at the Old Charles L. Kelly heliport on Fort Sam Houston. Warren was a gentleman! Pure and simple. He was confident in all he did. He was a mentor and respected by everyone who worked around him. And he was a friend. Rest in Peace, brother. A great aviator, DUSTOFF Association Member, and one of the true gentlemen who ever wore a uniform. The family would like to collect some of your memories about Warren (or both Warren and Joyce), whether they are old Army stories, tales from the university, or other personal remembrances. I have hopes of compiling them in a way that we can share with others.) Since he was such a world traveler, please be as specific as you can about dates and places. Send your stories to me, Jen Sansbury, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance!
WILLIAMS, Da vid Ashton Grad uated flight training with Flight Class 19-63. Flew in Vietnam with HMM-263 (1965-66) & HMM-462 ( 1 9 6 9 - 7 0 ) u n d e r t h e P o w e r G l i de a n d S pa c e callsigns. David Ashton Williams, Jr., passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. He was 72 years of age. David graduated with both Undergrad and MBA Degrees from Auburn University, Auburn, AL. Mr. Williams worked as a corporate helicopter pilot with Citigroup, retiring in 2008. David was a 28-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the US Army Air National Guard. David served in the Marine Corps during Vietnam as a Medivac Pilot and upon returning from overseas, served as a Presidential Helicopter Commander in Marine Helicopter Squadron One, The Presidential Helicopter Squadron in Quantico, VA. Captain Williams received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Service Commendation Award, the Presidential Unit Citation and 19 Air Medals. While living in Byram, David was involved in the community, coaching in the Andover Arrows Midget Football League and Hobb Engler Little League. David was a 20-year member of the Byram Township Fire Department. He is a member and past Commandant of the Sussex County Marine Corps League, Jeffrey S. Patterson Detachment 747 and also a past District 9 Vice Commandant for the State of NJ. Survivors include Helen, his wife of 48 years, two children and four grandchildren. The family requests donations to The Marine Corps League, Jeffrey S. Patterson Detachment 747, PO Box 332, Stockholm, NJ 07460 or The Byram Township Fire Department, 225 Rt. 206, Andover, NJ 07821 in his honor. MURPHY, Robert L. Graduated Flight Training with Flight Class 68-14 & 68-22. Flew in Vietnam with A /4 AVN, 4t h Inf Div (1968), the 129t h A HC (1969- 70) an d La ne Airfield Flt Det (1969-70) under the Blackjack and Bull dog callsigns. Robert L. Murphy, Jr. passed away on April 6th, 2014, his childhood was spent in Virginia and Florida and he graduated High School at the Oak Hill Academy in VA. Upon graduation he joined the Army and attained the rank of Captain. He served as a Helicopter Pilot for 2 tours during the Vietnam War. After discharge from the Army at Ft Stewart, Robert settled in Savannah, GG, receiving a BA from Armstrong State College in Music Education, he then went on to teach for 17 years in Savannah area schools. Upon retirement he enjoyed playing Golf and Music, especially his trumpet and guitars. He is survived by his sister’s nephew Michael Townsend and his family of Merritt Island, FL as well as many close friends who were his Savannah family. Internment was held at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fl with full Military Honors. Please sign the Obituary Guest Book at savannahnow.com/obituaries.
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TAPS Notice of the passing of the following seven Vietnam Military Aviators was also received by the VHPA duri ng the pro duc tio n p eri od for thi s i ss ue. N one o f t he se m e n we re eve r m e mb e rs of the as so ci at io n, no r we re the n ot ice s o f t heir deat h repo rt ed t o t he As so ciat io n by a memb er of t he man’s family, or by a m em b er of the VHPA; t hey wer e a ll o bt a ine d t hr oug h a n in te rne t s ea rc h. Be ca us e o f t ha t , we ha ve p ost ed the ir T APS i nfo rm at io n t o t he ir ind ivid ual list ing s of t he o n-li ne m e m be rshi p dir ec tor y b ei ng mai ntain ed at VHPA. org . I f yo u are not able to re tri eve the inf ormati on o n-li ne, call HQ for as sis tanc e ( 1-8 0 0-5 0 5-V HPA). G A R N E R , J a m e s A n d r e w Graduated flight training with Flight Class 55-P, flew in Vietnam with C/229th AVN, 1st CAV DIV (1965-66).
M c G I N T Y , M i c h a e l Graduated flight training with Flight Class 68-517 and 68-27. Flew in Vietnam with the 92nd AHC (1968-69)
H A N N A H , S h e r r i l A n s o n Graduated flight training with Flight Class 67-13
R U I Z , M e l J . Graduated flight training with Flight Class 66-6 R O B I N S O N , Ja m e s D a v id , US Army Aviator
M c C A F F R E Y , B r u c e Graduated flight training with Flight Class 70-40
Editor’s Note: I suspect very few of us still keep up with changes to the Army Regulations (AR’s), but the last issue of Army Echoes for 2013 included an announcement of a “major change” to retired military customs and courtesies. The article outlined several changes to AR 25-50, Preparing and Managing Correspondence (yawn), all designed to put retired reservist on equal footing with Soldiers who retired from active duty. The article included four “bullet” points designed to cover the “correct” way to note the rank of Retired soldiers. I won’t bother to summarize all four points, but here is what they say about both retired from active duty, and
W O O D S , R o b e r t A l l e n , US Naval Aviator
retired from the US Army Reserve. “All Army personnel, active or reserve component, retired for service, age or physical disability will use ‘USA Retired”; for example: C.D. Adams, CW4 (USA Retired). So, that’s the standard that I have adopted for our US Army members, plus I will adopt the same policy for our members from the other services unless I hear differently. If you have any questions about your specific situation, e-mail me (Aviator@VHPA.org) and I’ll send you what I have. Last, please let me know if you have conflicting information, to me this area of proper respect is very important. David Adams, Editor of the
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ALASKA CHAPTER Lynn Kile, President 12243 W Skyline Dr Eagle River, AK 99577 Phone: 907-696-5453 Email: email@example.com
C URRENT VHPA C HAPTERS
ARIZONA CHAPTER Bill Sorenson, President 7903 E. Plata Ave. Mesa, Ariz. 85212 (480) 354-1135 firstname.lastname@example.org
CALIFORNIA CHAPTER NORTH Ken Fritz, President 9357 Honeywood Court Orangevale, Calif. 95662 (916) 988-7027 email@example.com
CENTRAL NEW YORK CHAPTER Tom Mc Millen, President 17 Broad St. Morris, NY 13808 (607) 263-2551 firstname.lastname@example.org FORT WOLTERS CHAPTER Adam Steczko, President 6828 Pentridge Drive Plano, Texas 75024 972-618-5364 email@example.com GEORGIA CHAPTER Bill Mc Rae, President 351 Willow Glen Ct. Marietta, GA 30068-3940 (770) 843-3973 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
LOUISIANA GULF COAST CHAPTER Victor Lent, President P.O. Box 111 Arabi, LA 70032 (504) 201-9070 VHPA-NewOrleans@earthlink.net MICHIGAN CHAPTER Richard Deer, President 308 W 4th St Charlotte, MI 48813-2186 Home Phone: 517-543-2962 Email: email@example.com
UPPER MIDWEST CHAPTER Bert Leach, President 6710 Vernon Avenue S #318 Edina, MN 55436 E-Mail: Puma79@comcast.net (Russ Joyers) Home Phone: 952-593-0821 MONTANA CHAPTER Todd Brandoff, President Box 790, Lolo MT 59847 (406) 273-2511 firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTH ALABAMA CHAPTER Les Haas, President 1844 Signal Point Road Guntersville, AL 35976 (256) 520-4897 LHaas@charter.net NEW JERSEY CHAPTER Pete Purnell, President 4 Peacock Lane Mendham, NJ 07945 (972) 740-5582 email@example.com
NORTH CAROLINA CHAPTER Brock Nicholson, President 1 Roosevelt Drive Clayton, NC 27520-6522 (919) 550-5688 BlueStar26@embarqmail.com OHIO RIVER LZ CHAPTER Bob Hamilton, President 170 Jackson Rd. New Castle, KY 40050-6731 Home: (502) 845-2914 E-Mail: CAPTBOB757@aol.com www.ohrivlz.org OLD DOMINION CHAPTER President: Don Agren 13712 Sandy Oak Rd. Chester, VA 23831 (804) 796-5880 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH DAKOTA CHAPTER Jim Miles 610 N. Summit Ave. Sioux Falls, SD 57104 (605) 338-8288 E-Mail: DustOff1525@Yahoo.com
SOUTH MISSOURI CHAPTER Bill Thompson, President 440 South Farm Rd 205 Springfield, MO 65802-6280 Phone: (417) 861-0965 E-mail: email@example.com
ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHAPTER John P. Hargleroad 7500 E. Quincy Ave, Apt H-204 Denver, CO 80237 Phone: 314-753-2482 C E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ALAMO CHAPTER Chip Brown, President 121 Creek Landing, Spring Branch, TX 78070 Home phone: 830-438-3311 Cell phone: 210-273-8015 E-Mail: email@example.com SOUTH CAROLINA CHAPTER (Celebrate Freedom) Chapter Larry Russell, President 254 Bear Creek Rd. Little Mountain, SC 29075 (803) 553-0113 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER Sven Akesson, President 26601 Brandon Mission Viejo, CA 92692 (948) 348-9509 (home) (949) 689-7061 (cell) email@example.com VHPA OF FLORIDA Tom Rountree, President 4692 N. Lake Vista Trl. Hernando, FL 34442. (352) 560-7361 e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON STATE CHAPTER J.C. Combs, President 3530 Inverness Dr NE Tacoma, WA 98422-2252 253-952-0330 Oklahoma Chapter - Provisional John Gaines – POC 1009 May Lane Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74006 Cell # 719-660-9244 Email email@example.com
Hawaii Chapter – Provisional Ken DeHoff - POC E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 808.754.6871
Notice to all Members of the VHPA For a limited time, liaison between the National HQ of the VHPA and the Independent Chapters has reverted to John Sorensen of the of the Chapter Liaison National Committee. John can be reached at 417-759-7487 or via E-Mail at: email@example.com. Feel free to contact John concerning any details on opening your own local Chapter of the VHPA and/or for seeing what assistance is available from HQ to support your efforts.
The VHPA and Chapters share information and guidance with one another for the mutual benefit of each other. All of our Chapters are separate and independently managed organizations not under control of the VHPA. The VHPA is not authorized to act as an agent or a representative for any of the Chapters nor are any of the Chapters authorized to act as agent or representative for any of the other Chapters or the VHPA as a whole.
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OKLAHOMA CHAPTER - PROVISIONAL This is your personal invitation to attend the initial meeting of the Oklahoma Chapter of the VHPA! It’s great to be part of a national organization that promotes the camaraderie between those who flew during that time in the past. However, a national convention of the VHPA occurs only once a year. Now you have the opportunity to participate with your brothers on a monthly basis right here in your local area. We will meet for two hours on the third Saturday of each month. The initial meeting was held on Saturday, April 19 at American Legion Post 13 in Oklahoma City. There we planned to decide on the name of our chapter, the monthly meeting time and location, legal requirements, election of officers, suggestions for projects, and other topics that may arise during open discussion. Please contact me for details on our May 17th meeting; it will be another great opportunity to meet others who shared our love of flying helicopters. If you have any questions, please contact me. John Gaines HAWAII CHAPTER - PROVISIONAL Aloha! We here in Hawaii have never applied for, or acted as having a full "VHPA Chapter status", yet there are many helicopter enthusiast located here in Hawaii. A lot of these folks are still engaged in aviation & participating in national events along with current active duty military leaders assigned to the Pacific region. While that just might not be what national prefers, we still enjoy getting together for a drink & stories, and we will continue to do so. Feel free to list me as one of the Hawaii contacts for those that might like to join in. In late March we all went to the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor; call me (808.754.6871) for details on our next get together. Ken DeHoff FORT WOLTERS CHAPTER The June chapter meeting will be held at the National Vietnam War Museum site just outside Mineral Wells, Texas, on Saturday, June 7th, 2014. The main event, which begins at 10:00 AM, is the ceremony to update the names on the Memorial Wall. The chapter meeting will be held immediately after the ceremony. Meals for members will be catered and the cost is $20 per person. Everyone is invited to attend the ceremony. Since it is Texas in June, dress accordingly, and bringing the adult beverages of your choice will be your responsibility (BYOB). Details also available on the museum site at: http://www.nationalvnwarmuseum.org/news.htm Adam Steczko, President UPPER MIDWEST CHAPTER The Upper Midwest Chapter met for our bi-monthly meeting and lunch at the Historic Fort Snelling Officers Club on 21 March. We had lunch first followed by Bert Leach, President, kicking off our meeting with our guest speaker - Kent Smith, Squadron Leader of the Eagle Valley Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). Kent gave a very nice presentation of his organization’s recent history, goals and their efforts to procure a flyable Huey that can be used at gatherings to tell the story of the helicopter’s Vietnam War contributions. The Upper Midwest Chapter will address the needs and requests for support of the CAF Huey project at our next business meeting. Russ Jowers gave a short update on our Speaker's Bureau Project and the Gold Star Breakfast to be held at the national reunion in July. Our Associate Member, Julie Kink, (excused absence) is the host of the breakfast. Jim Bankston gave the Treasurer's Report. Our next meeting is set for Wednesday, May 21st where we will have a dinner meeting with spouses or significant others. The site for this dinner is not yet selected. Potential members should contact Bert Leach at 952-593-0821 and anyone interested in attending the next meeting should contact Russ Jowers at 612-7702891 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Bert Leach, President - submitted by Russ Jowers
MICHIGAN CHAPTER The Michigan Chapter's most recent meeting was held May 3rd at the Log Jam Restaurant in Grand Ledge. Grand Ledge is home to the Michigan Army National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility which features a memorial display of both a UH-1 Huey and an AH-1 Cobra. This chapter meeting's purpose was to continue the bonding of VHPA members. Members were encouraged to bring Vietnam memorabilia, photos, souvenirs, and war stories (fiction, non-fiction, or outright lies - who's going to know?) The limited agenda included planning to participate at a Moving Wall display in Hamburg, MI on August 28-30. Attractions there will include a Huey and Bob Hope USO Show recreation. A chapter meeting will be incorporated as well. Rich Deer, President OLD DOMINION CHAPTER The Old Dominion Chapter of VHPA met on March 1, 2014, at the Legend Brewing Company. Seventeen members were present, including new member Tom Spence. The meeting was opened with a prayer by Don Agren.
Old Business: President Don Agren reminded us of the VHPA reunion to be held in Louisville. He also solicited suggestions for guest speakers who might address future meetings. We discussed possible uses of our funds for a scholarship or veterans’ support activity. Jim Holden reported a current balance of $1,882.67. He will get further information on the AAAA Heritage matching fund program for consideration at a future meeting. New Business: We will visit the Vietnam War Foundation and Museum in Ruckersville on April 5 in lieu of the regular meeting. Those attending will meet at the Blue Ridge Café in Ruckersville at 11:30 for lunch and a brief meeting before the museum visit. We were advised of a helicopter fly-in at the Williamsburg Airport on June 7 and of a “Bluegrass Fly-in” on June 28 at the Middle Peninsula Airport. Don Agren described a Memorial Day event to be held at Cosby High School in Chesterfield County on May 19 at 0800. He encouraged us to attend and asked that we RSVP to him by May 1 so that arrangements could be made for us as a group. Ken Paulson shared pictures of two restored Huey’s (a Mike model and a Hotel model) he saw recently in Cuzco, Peru. Bill Ryan reported that he will continue to attract new members. Other: Anyone having a recommendation for a speaker or presentation at the May meeting is requested to advise Don Agren as soon as possible. Our next meeting will be at 1130 on April 5, at the Blue Ridge Café in Ruckersville. We also have plans for a couple of outings before taking some time off for the summer. A trip to the Charlottesville area and a visit to a museum of Vietnam era military equipment is in store for the April event. Also planned is a trip to the Flying Circus (great for families and grandchildren) for the show and picnic. Don Agren, President Submitted by Hugh Adams, Secretary GEORGIA CHAPTER The Georgia Chapter continues to hold a Saturday morning breakfast meeting every other month. We furnish speakers to high schools and colleges, Boy Scout Troops, other youth organizations, and civic groups who want to learn more about the Vietnam War, from those who participated in it. Newnan High School teaches a course on the Vietnam War, and the Georgia Chapter provides our assistance to them whenever possible, like their Student-Vet Connect activities each semester. The current slate of Chapter Officers agreed back in November to extend their tour of duty for one more year. With no objection from the floor, the offer was accepted. I will remain as President, with Dick Butler as Vice-President, and Gary Earls as Secretary-Treasurer. Our January guest speaker was LTC (ret.) Rick Lester, who spoke on his experiences as a pilot with the 48th AHC in 70-71. He talked about their movement way up north to a plot of mud in a place called Dong Ha. Rick was the most experienced gun platoon pilot and SIP at the time, and he was part of the advance party, to make preparations and coordinate support for the rest of the unit to
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follow. The 48th was attached to a 101st fixed wing unit that was standing down. So, there was very little needed support that caused some real concerns and some confrontations. The 48th was one of many units that were sent north and OpCon to the 101st Airborne Division, in support of Lam Son 719. Rick went on a recon flight with what he thought was an experienced local pilot and familiar with the area. That flight out to Khe Sanh and beyond turned out to be the first trip for both of them into that area. The Lam Son mission was the largest aviation operation of the Vietnam War. The 48th AHC played their part, flew the missions assigned, and incurred some serious losses, just like the other Huey units sent to support the Vietnamese. The NVA were prepared and ready to take on our very best, with a fierce and effective group of anti-aircraft weapons and lots of them. Rick also related an amazing and entertaining tale of a baby baboon, given to the 48th as a pet that quickly grew into a bigger and bigger creature. As the animal grew it became less and less of a pet and more difficult to control. The time came when the baboon had to go. His departure was spectacular, but you will have to talk to Rick for the full story. Our March guest speakers were our own Dick Butler and Jim Torbert. Dick just returned from a visit back to Vietnam. He took his son on the trip and really enjoyed the experience. He said the facilities were great, the food was really good and best of all – the trip was really cheap! Jim recently spoke to a high school group about his Vietnam experience. The students were impressed with his slide show and his explanation of the 281st AHC missions, in support of the 5th Special Forces. Jim received letters from the students that he read to the group. He encouraged everyone to speak to young people every chance they get, because it’s a great experience for all involved. Our breakfast meetings every other month continue to be our principal activity. The membership who participate really enjoy the opportunity to get together with other combat helicopter pilots, swap war stories, discuss VA-related information, and maintain those bonds that were forged so long ago. To those former Vietnam Helicopter Pilots in the Atlanta area, who would like
to check us out and/or join our group, please see our web site at www.ga-vhpa.org, for the next meeting date or contact me at email@example.com or via telephone at (770) 843-3973. Bill McRae, President
A L ASK A CH AP TE R We celebrated our 2nd annual State of Alaska Vietnam Veterans Day in Anchorage the 29th of March. It was an all-day affair and really shows how wonderfully supportive the Alaska community is at recognizing and supporting all our veterans. We are in the planning stages for our Memorial Day celebration which will be another State wide activity which brings together many of the veteran organizations. It will be held at Byers Lake Memorial about 150 miles from Anchorage. With many motorcycle clubs participating, and some of our own guys, we have our very own “Thunder in the Mountains” and a fabulous ceremony of reverence and remembering. Our chapter will go up to the Princess Wilderness Lodge for Saturday evening dinner which has been offered at a very special rate and then enjoy the ceremony the following day before heading back to Anchorage. Nothing like seeing Mount McKinley out your window and a great ceremony to put you in a reflective mood. We also have the Great Alaskan Aviation Gathering the first weekend in May, and a Halibut charter going this summer with the trip date to be determined, getting us back into the summer swing of things. And we keep growing! We have picked up a couple of new members and are always looking for more! Anyway, the fun continues .. Hope to have a group at the Reunion beer truck this year … working on it! http://VHPA-Alaska.org There is pride in knowing We Flew Lynn Kile, Nomad23, President
V H P A O F FL OR I DA again this year. This is the longest running and largest veteran’s reunion in Florida. This is also one of our major Our busy season has started! On March 1st we participated events and is a great time. in the Washington Day Parade, “GeorgeFest”. This is the July 4th we will be participating in the Brandon 4th of longest running Washington Day Parade in the United States July Parade. This is another event that we have supported and is held in Eustis, FL, this year was their 112th parade! for many years and the turnout is great! Then on March 14th there was a “Bell Ringing Ceremony” September 18th – 21st we will hold our 22nd VHPAF for Chris Garbow our past Secretary and Listserv AdministraAnnual Reunion at the Plantation on Crystal River, Crystor to celebrate with Chris and his family and friends the fact tal River, FL. As usual we will have a fun filled time of seethat he is currently in Total Remission after his six months ing friends we haven’t seen for a while and listening to war battle with Leukemia. This ceremony was held at the Lewis Joe Duvall and Fred Breuche at “GeorgeFest” Parade stories. We’re going to a different Pavilion of the University of Florida restaurant on Thursday and Friday Cancer Center in Orlando, FL. nights and then our VHPAF Annual On March 22nd we all gathered at Meeting will be Saturday and our Banthe Lakeland Linder Regional Airport quet, Saturday night both at the Plantain preparation for this year’s “Sun-Ntion of Crystal River. Fun” event. At our March 22nd event We have been asked to attend several we erected our GP Medium tent events during Veterans Week in which will house our memorabilia and November, however, have not decided the Sales canopy. That was followed yet which ones we will be able to supby Board of Directors Meeting with port. We have voted to support the M e e t i n g a t t he “S u n - N -F u n ” d u r i n g t he T e n t everyone there participating. The D o n n a & Ch r is Ga r b ow at th e “ B ell R i n g i n g C e r e mo n y ” U p p re p a r a t i on Desoto County Veterans Appreciation meeting was followed by a cookout hosted by our chapter. Sun-N-Fun itself will be held April 1st – 6th at the Lake- Week, December 4th – 8th which will be held in Arcadia, FL. The “Moving land Linder Regional Airport where we will have our OH-6, “Little LOACH”, Wall” will also be at this event. As with all of our events all VHPA members are welcome to attend. If you will memorabilia tent, and sales area. This event is one of our major events of the year be visiting Florida during the time of any of these events, please stop by and say and this will be our 21st year supporting “Sun-N-Fun”. The “Vietnam and All Veterans Reunion” will be held at Wickham Park in Hello! Tom Rountree, President Melbourne,FL, from April 28th– May 4th.The “Moving Wall” will be there
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CALIFORNIA CHAPTER NORTH (CCN) Our Huey and our Chapter Members were the real stars of this tribute to America on President's Day. Thanks go to Mike Nord’s Western Truck School with special thanks to Frank Kulhavy for being there so early to open the gate and the hangar doors for us. Both Member’s Al Doucette and Ken Fritz flew with the 176th AHC Minutemen and Muskets. Luckily both enjoyed far better fire power during their tours in ‘1967, 1968 & 1968. The original COL John Haslet's Delaware Regiment dates back to 1776. Regimental members dress as Delaware Continental soldiers and with their group of civilian camp followers, trappers, traders, Minuteman 44 Al Doucette, and Minuteman sEtvoepnpeGd eoovregr efoWr saosmh iensgtticokn taimn ed oAnbPerLesiindcenotln’s 17 Ken Fritz with the Muskets and “grunts” of French military, and Eastern Indians, they set up a pretty interesting camp on COL John Haslet's Delaware Regiment at Her- Day. Each sat in the pilot’s seats for an intro to the u e y . V H P A - C C N m e m be r s C u rt K na p p , A l the lawn. This presentation also featured George Washington, Abe Lincoln, itage Day celebrations on President’s Day 17 H Doucette, Greg Hutson, Ken Lake and Ken Fritz FEB 2104. a nswered questi ons a nd rec eived t hanks for from some British red coast soldiers, and a 1776 era marching band that played as a more tha n 350 children and parents on this bright red, white and blue 13 star flag was raised in the morning. Having this event at sunny da y. Mt Vernon Memorial Park was very appropriate. rior when temperatures permit. By some shrewd trading, our Chapter has just acquired all new C Model Please go to our website and plan to join us at future events. www.vhpaccn.org instrument panel decals and we’ll begin the clean up and restoration of the inteKen Fritz, President S O UT H MI S S O UR I C H A P T ER The South Missouri Chapter of VHPA held its first quarterly meeting of 2014 on March 15th, at the Holiday Inn Airport West, Earth City, Missouri (St. Louis area). The meeting was well attended by members, wives, new members and a guest who is a potential new member. Everyone, new and old alike, enjoyed the camaraderie and fellowship of being together with others who share similar experiences. During a brief business meeting, chapter member Dick Elgin was elected to fill the Vice President vacancy on the Chapter Council. We welcome Dick into his new position and know the leadership he will provide will serve the chapter well as we move into the future. Chapter President Bill Thompson made a short photo presentation on the world’s largest cave, the Son Doong cave located in Vietnam. It is over 5.5 miles long and could hold a 40-story building inside! An
amazing program with mind-blowing photographs! Following our luncheon, many members stayed as we moved into a hospitality room, where members could enjoy snacks and have their photographs scanned for inclusion in their biography on our website. Several took advantage of this opportunity and the chapter will be providing this opportunity again in the future. While photos were being scanned, others just enjoyed being together, telling old “war?” stories, some of which involved Bengal tigers and parachuting monkeys! It was truly one of those occasions that “you just had to be there”! Details of our second quarterly meeting have not been determined as of yet, so please visit our website, vhpasmo.org for this information. By the time you read this, it may already be posted, so check it out and come join us! Bill Thompson, President
T h e S o u t h M is s o u r i C h a pt e r o f th e V HP A g a t h e r e d a t Ho l i da y I n n A ir po r t, i n St . Lo ui s o n 1 5 M a r c h , 2 0 1 4 – Sh o w n h e r e a r e : Fr o nt R o w ( l e ft t o ri gh t ): Ru s s E m or y, J a ne Em or y , Qu i ne t t a Ru t le d ge , L i n d a F i n d e r, Ro ge r S h i el ds , D i an e S h i el d s, Ed S l o a n. Se c o n d R o w ( le f t t o r i g h t) : B i ll T h o m p s o n , J i m M i ll er , R o g er C a f f r e y , R o g e r S u lz e r , J o h n Ha w k i ns , Le o na r d R ut l ed ge , J o e F in de r , K i m P h i ll i ps , P a t Cl i f to n, K ar en Tw i e h a us . Ba ck Row ( le f t to ri gh t ): D i ck El gi n, Wa yn e W a ts on , M a rk E ve re t t, To ny D e Be ll o, S yd Mo r r o w , Te r r y Wi l un d, L ew P h il l ip s , R o n Cl i f to n, Wa yne T w i eh a u s , J o h n S o r en se n.
AL A M O CH APTER On 4 March, a group of us drove to Fulton, Texas, on the Gulf Coast. The next morning we boarded an excursion boat to travel north up the Intracoastal Canal into the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. From the boat, we were able to view birds from one of the world’s two small flocks of the endangered Whooping Crane. These rare birds stand five feet tall, and we saw a number of them from less than 100 feet away. It was too bad that winter had not quite left the coast, but we dressed for it, and it certainly did not ruin the trip. Next we traveled to Austin on 29 March, for the dedication of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument on the Capitol grounds. The Monument, depicting a group of soldiers in battle dress, is a fitting tribute to the memories of the 3,417 Texans who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. Of these KIAs, 287 were from San Antonio. Governor Rick Perry led the crowd of thousands of veterans and their families in the dedication ceremony. Our Chapter met at the famous Barn Door Restaurant on 2 April for another enjoyable evening dinner and fellowship. Members were informed that the Vietnam Helicopter Crewmembers Association (VHCMA) will meet in San Antonio 24-28 June of this year, in case anyone wants to attend and find any crewmembers with which he flew. Also in June, our Chapter plans to meet and socialize in a local country/western dancehall near New Braunfels, Texas. The exact date and details have not been determined. Alamo Chapter members should watch their e-mails or consult the Chapter website for details: www.vhpa-alamo.org Long-term plans include a Chapter meeting on a cruise ship to the Caribbean, and a Christmas party in December. Kirk “Chip” Brown, President
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NORTH ALABAMA CHAPTER While many chapters take some time to be with families during the winter and the North Alabama Chapter is no exception, we have been extraordinarily busy this year serving our communities, our families and our members. In December we had a Christmas dinner at the Space Center Marriott in Huntsville. More than 35 members and spouses attended. We were treated to a presentation by LTC (Ret.) Zig Jastrebski detailing his experiences flying F-4 Phantoms in Viet Nam. It was interesting to hear about his war which was different from the one we lived. All who attended had a great time. Our winter service project saw chapter members and spouses working to place more than 2600 wreaths on the graves of veterans buried in Huntsville cemeteries. These are a wonderful tribute to those that have served our country in her past conflicts, but is a surprising amount of work! Since they are reused each year and new wreaths added, each must be “fluffed” and shaped to restore it to its glory, then taken to the designated gravesite and carefully placed. In January they must be picked up, reboxed and returned to storage. Thanks to Sharon and Marshall Eubanks for leading the wreath effort. Restoration work continued during the winter on Buc 3, our UH-1C/M restoration project. We have concentrated on the WOW factor. We are wiring the nav lights and beacon to the proper switches and converting the nav lights to
NORTH CAROLINA CHAPTER "This spring, summer, and fall is developing into a very busy year for our Chapter. We are looking forward to many travels over much of the Southeast US. Check out our full schedule at ncvhpa.org. If you attend one of our events, we certainly hope you can stop by and spend some time with us. In February, we displayed the UH-1H and UH-1M at the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy baseball games in Kinston, NC with pilots Brock Nicholson, Bob Inglis, Sam McLamb, and Alan Hoffman manning the static display. In March, the UH-1M was displayed by Sam McLamb for the Vietnam Veterans of America, VVA also in Kinston, NC at their Eastern NC gathering.. As shown in two photos below, we were in Birmingham, AL, honoring Vietnam Vets at the downtown civic center at the annual March gun show. We had the UH-1C and OH-6 there. Terry Lanier, J.D Lawson, Jerry Seago and Kenny Bunn manned the A/C. The helicopters were a big hit! Our third photo shows Dylan Bias, the 9-year old grandson of a friend who I showed the Huey to a couple of weeks ago, it was his first time being up close to, or sitting in a helicopter. I’m told by his granddad that Dylan can’t stop talking about the visit; and, it appears that we have a future helicopter pilot in the "family”. This is the reason we show these aircraft.
The restored nose art for Buccaneer 3.
LED to conserve battery power. We received the nose door back from the Assisted by an aircraft electrician provided by Yulista, Inc., North Alabama painter; the nose art is very close to the C ha p te r m e m b e r s J o h n M c D a n i e l , original. We spent time on lots of cleanup Les Haas and Marshall Eubanks work in preparation for the new exhibition sea- on the navigation lights for Buc 3. son which starts on March 29th with the 3rd annual Viet Nam Veterans Welcome Home celebration at the Veterans Memorial in Huntsville. Buc 3 will again be a big attraction to all. North Alabama chapter registrations for the 2014 annual reunion are breaking all records. We expect to have one of the biggest representations in Louisville. Look for us to turn out in force. Les Haas, President
Brock Nicholson, President Submitted by B. Seago and Brock Nicholson"
INTERESTING LINKS ON THE INTERNET: A l i nk t o a 3 6 0 d eg re e v i ew i ns i de a H u ey C o ck p i t: h t tp :/ / w o rl d vr . w eb s ci e nc e. c o m / ? p= 1 1 9 So m e th in g s n e v e r c h an g e – U - T u b e v i de o o f a m aj o r s t r e e t i n t e r s e c t i o n i n d o w n to w n S a i g o n : h tt p s: / / w ww . y o u t ub e - n o c o o ki e . c o m / e m b e d / 4 p h F Y i M G C I Y ? r e l =0 L i n k t o a r e c e n t s to r y i n t h e U K D a il y M a i l a b o u t b r i n g i n g M i n e r al W e l l ’ s B a k e r H o te l b a c k t o l i f e : h t tp : // w w w . da i l y m a i l . c o . uk / n e w s /a r t i c l e - 2 5 6 6 0 1 8 / T e x as - s p e c t a c u l a r - B a k e r - h o t e l - r ui n s . h tm l
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WELCOME TO THE VHPA!
Look the list over and if you recognize anyone, give them a call, drop them a line or send them an e-mail welcoming them into our Association. Full contact information is available either on-line in the Member Services section of our website, or through our staff at HQ by calling 1-800-505-VHPA. Line 1, Last, first, MI and/or nickname of new member; double asterisks (**) ID new life members Line 2, his current city and state, branch of service Line 3 -5 , his (Flight) Class and Vietnam Unit(s) served with, if that info is available
We welcome these 109 new Members to the VHPA! All have joined our Association during the period from 6 February, through 1 April 2014
Allen, Alex L 'Butch' ** Palm Harbor, Florida, US Army Flight School Class(s): 62-7 Vietnam Unit(s): 117 AHC in 63-64; DIV ART 1 INF in 67-68 Arruti, Michael J. ** Albuquerque, New Mexico, US Army Flight School Class(s): 68-514 68-24 Vietnam Unit(s): 191 AHC in 68-69
Ball, Larry E Koshkonong, Missouri, US Army Flight School Class(s): 71-16 Vietnam Unit info not provided
Barber, John M ** Charlotte, North Carolina, US Army Flight School Class(s): 64-4W Vietnam Unit(s): UTT in 64; 68 AHC in 64; 197 AHC in 65 Baugh, Russell E 'Russ' Hendersonville, Tennessee, US Army Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit info not provided Berdeaux, Donald R. 'Don' ** Carlyle, Illinois, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 61F Vietnam Unit(s): 38 ARRS in 65-66 Bible, Jerry D. Kerrville, Texas, US Marine Corps Flight School Class(s): 58 Vietnam Unit(s): VMF-314 in 62; HMM-363 in 67; 1 MAW in 67
Callaway, Paul L Syracuse, Utah, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-23 66-17 Vietnam Unit(s): 282 AHC in 67-68; INFANT NETT in 69-70 Duc Huynh Phuoc Kelso, Washington, Vietnamese Air Force Flight School Class(s): 69-32 69-30
Vietnam Unit(s): 215 SQDN VNAF in 69-70; 225 SQDN VNAF in 71-75
Ehmann, Richard 'Dick' ** Ingleside, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 58-1 Vietnam Unit(s): C/229 AHB 1 CAV in 66-67
Eversman, James F 'Jim' ** The Villages, Florida, US Army Flight School Class(s): 64-5W Vietnam Unit(s): HHC 52 CAB in 64-65; A/7/17 CAV in 67-68 Ferguson, Joel D. Clarksville, Tennessee, US Army Flight School Class(s): 68-501 68-1 Vietnam Unit(s): 281 AHC in 68-69; 192 AHC in 71; 52 CAB in 71-72
Freeman, Ronald P. 'Phil' San Antonio, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-2 Vietnam Unit (s): 281 AHC in 70; HHC/10 CAB in 70-71 Gamble, Gary L. ** Maumelle, Arkansas, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 60-E Vietnam Unit(s): SAC in 69; 40 ARRS in 71-72 Gambrill, Stewart W. 'Billy' Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-13 70-9 Vietnam Unit(s): 129 AHC in 70-71
Gibson, Clarence ** Charlotte, North Carolina, US Army Flight School Class(s): 68-524 68-44 Vietnam Unit(s): 128 AHC in 69 Goodwin, Parker R Mansfield, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-25 69-27 Vietnam Unit(s): 35 ENG GRP in 70-71
Goulette, Randall C. Mount Vision, New York, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-39 69-37 Vietnam Unit(s): C/158 AVN /101 ABN in 69-70
Green, Michael D. 'Mike' ** North Richland Hills, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-1 66-23 Vietnam Unit(s): C/227 AHB 1 CAV in 67-68
Grimes, Billy M. ** Madison, Alabama, US Marine Corps Flight School Class(s): 57 Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-363 in 65-66; HMM-165 in 70-71; HMM-164 in 70-71
Gulliford, Jimmie C. 'Jim' Mill City, Oregon, US Marine Corps Flight School Class(s): 68-1 Vietnam Unit(s): VMO-6 in 69; HMH-463 in 73
Hagan, Charles A Hartford, Kentucky, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-11 Vietnam Unit(s): D/3/4 CAV in 67-68; A/101 AVN 101 ABN in 68 Hall, Robert W. 'Bob' Orange, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 71-13 Vietnam Unit(s): 335 AHC in 71; C/3/17 in 71-72 Harrington, Phillip L. 'Phil' Arlington, Virginia, US Marine Corps Flight School Class(s): 1966 Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-165 in 67
Harris, John D. ** Euless, Texas, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 68F Vietnam Unit(s): 40 ARRS in 71 Harvey, Lavern R. 'Vern' Bettendorf, Iowa, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-24 Vietnam Unit(s): 1 BDE 4 INF in 68; HHC 4 INF DIV in 69
Haskins, Philip H Boydton, Virginia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 71-12 Vietnam Unit(s): HHC 173 ABN BDE in 68-69; C/101 AVN 101 ABN in 71-72 Hayes, Harold J. 'Jack' ** Duluth, Georgia, US Army Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): 162 AHC in 68-69
Hendricks, William C. Dothan, Alabama, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-23 Vietnam Unit(s): 120 AHC
Hill, Michael L 'Mike' California City, California, US Navy Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): HC-1 DET 7 in 71-72; HC-1 DET 3 in 73-74 Howell, Paul C. 'Howie43' ** Mesa, Arizona, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-20 Vietnam Unit(s): 335 AHC in 67-68 Johnson, Thomas R. ** Riverside, California, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 62-B Vietnam Unit(s): 40 ARRS in 66-67 Kelso, Russell K. Sherwood, Arkansas, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 72-14AF Vietnam Unit(s): 56 ARRS in 72-73
Klingler, Donald P. 'Don' ** Harrod, Ohio, US Marine Corps Flight School Class(s): 62-5 Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-165 in 66-67; USS OKINAWA in 71-73
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Knight, Robert W. Selma, Alabama, US Army Flight School Class (s): 68-15 68-511 Vietnam Unit (s): 336 AHC in 68; 2/20 ARA 1 CAV in 71-72
McLaughlin, Clayton E. ** Columbia Falls, Montana, US Army Flight School Class(s): 56-10 Vietnam Unit(s): 334 AHC in 66-67; 273 AVN in 69-70
Munson, Wayne T. Fernandina Beach, Florida, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-20 Vietnam Unit(s): B/2/20 ARA 1 CAV in 68-69
Lanclos, Raymond J. 'Ray' ** The Woodlands, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 68-1 67-25 Vietnam Unit(s): ACT/11 ACR in 68-69
Meeks, William M. 'Bill' ** Tulsa, Oklahoma, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-46 Vietnam Unit(s): 68 AVN in 71-72; 180 ASHC in 71-72
Noe, James A. Eagle River, Alaska, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-501 67-21 Vietnam Unit(s): 11 ACR in 68-69
Lambrecht, Jack E. Kirksville, Missouri, US Army Vietnam Unit(s): Flight School Class(s): 62-2W
Lockhart, Floyd R. 'Lucky' ** Canton, Ohio, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 56-D Vietnam Unit(s): 38 ARRS in 64-65; 39 ARRS in 71-72 Lunsford, William T. 'Sob' ** Virginia Beach, Virginia, US Marine Corps Flight School Class(s): 54-F Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-163 in 67; HML-367 in 68
MacDowell, Gerald D. ** Lady Lake, Florida, US Army Flight School Class(s): 60-10Q Vietnam Unit(s): C/228 ASHB 1 CAV in 65-66; 147 ASHC in 66 Maloney, William R. 'Bill' ** Fairfax, Virginia, US Marine Corps Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): VMO-6 in 66-67; MAG-36 in 72-73
Martin, George C. ** Daleville, Alabama, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 45-B Vietnam Unit(s): 38 ARRS in 65 Mcbrien, Thomas P. 'Tom' ** Meridian, Mississippi, US Marine Corps Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): VMA-223 in 67-68; HMM-165 in 71-72
McDaniel, Patrick J. 'Pat' Albuquerque, New Mexico, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 60-7H Vietnam Unit(s): 38 ARRS in 69-70
Mears, Franklin L. Pleasant Valley, New York, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-40 Vietnam Unit(s): 173 AHC in 70; 11 ACR in 70-71
Meeler, William H. Saint Augustine, Florida, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-8 Vietnam Unit(s): 176 AHC in 66-67; 117 AHC in 67-68
Mele, Kevin A. ** Goodview, Virginia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 71-22 Vietnam Unit(s): B/2/17 CAV 101 ABN in 71; B/7/17 CAV in 72 Miller, James E. 'Jim' Tampa, Florida, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 67-G Vietnam Unit(s): 33 ARRS DET in 69
Miller, Stuart A. 'Stu' ** Severna Park, Maryland, US Army Flight School Class(s): 60-9FW Vietnam Unit(s): 220 AVN in 65; HHC/12 CAG in 65-66; HHC 1 BDE 1 INF in 65-69 Monahan, Edward M. 'Mike' Santee, California, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-48 Vietnam Unit(s): A/377 ARTY 101 ABN in 70-71 Moore, William E. ** Knoxville, Tennessee, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 52-F Vietnam Unit (s): 37 ARRS in 70; 40 ARRS in 70 Moss, Francis T. 'Tom' Decatur, Alabama, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-14 Vietnam Unit(s): 129 AHC in 67-68
Naumann, David C. ** Enterprise, Alabama, US Army Flight School Class(s): 61-9FW Vietnam Unit(s): 161 AHC in 6667; IFFV in 67; 165 AVN GRP in 69; 219 RAC in 69-70
Noonan, Matthew A. 'Matt' Springfield, Illinois, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-8 Vietnam Unit(s): 68 MED DET in 70-71 Nunez, Terry L. Slidell, Louisiana, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-6 Vietnam Unit(s): 238 AVN in 69-70
Onofry, Gary N. Land O Lakes, Florida, US Army Flight School Class(s): 71-35 71-29 Vietnam Unit(s): 57 AHC in 72 Partridge, James H. 'Jim' Kennewick, Washington, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 69-1 Vietnam Unit(s): 116 AHC in 70-71
Peterson, Charles A. 'Bert' Lawton, Oklahoma, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-22 Vietnam Unit(s): A/123 AVN 23 INF in 70-71 Petersons, Ivars A. 'Pete' ** Columbia, Connecticut, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-2 Vietnam Unit(s): B/2/20 ARA 1 CAV in 66-67
Pflanczer, Steve ** Huntsville, Alabama , US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-7 66-5 Vietnam Unit(s): 68 AVN in 66-67; HHT 3/17 CAV in 69-70 Pittman, William E. 'Bill' Dunlap, Tennessee, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-8 Vietnam Unit(s): 196 AHC in 67-68; 205 AHC in 68
Price, Frank H. ** Parkersburg, West Virginia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 56-12 Vietnam Unit(s): B/227 AHB 1 CAV in 65-66; 120 AHC in 68-69
Reddell, Eugene B. 'Gene' ** Pearland, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 57-12 Vietnam Unit(s): 1 BDE 1 INF in 64-65; MACV FLT DET in 69-70 Richmond, Raymond E. 'Ray' ** Commerce, Georgia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-15 Vietnam Unit(s): 118 AHC in 67-68; 243 ASHC in 71
Rockwell, Robert L. Pasco, Washington, US Army Flight School Class(s): 68-11 68-17 Vietnam Unit(s): 18 AVN in 65-66; 179 ASHC in 68-69; 243 ASHC in 70; 213 ASHC in 71-72
Rodgers, Jerry D. 'Jerry' Burke, Virginia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-4 Vietnam Unit(s): HHC 326 MED in 70-71 Roets, James C. 'Jamie' Stuart, Florida, US Marine Corps Flight School Class(s): 69-26 Vietnam Unit(s): HML-167 in 70 Ross, Jack F. 'Jack' Mobile, Alabama, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-4 Vietnam Unit(s): B/229 AHB 1 CAV in 67-68 Rottrup, Lowell C. 'Murphy' Redmond, Washington, US Marine Corps Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-164 in 68-69
Rude, Dennis D. Stephens City, Virginia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-17 Vietnam Unit(s): C/158 AVN 101 ABN in 69-70; 7 RR in 73-74
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Sather, Thomas A. 'Tom' Trabuco Canyon, California, US Marine Corps Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): HMH-462 in 75 Schibler, Mark C. Creswell, Oregon, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 64-D
Seagren, Leonard A. 'Leonard' ** New Castle, New Hampshire, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 64-C Vietnam Unit(s): B/52 in 67-69; 40 ARRS in 70
Seymour, William L. 'Bill' Bella Vista, Arkansas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-18 66-16 Vietnam Unit(s): 498 MED CO in 66-67 Shibao, Lincoln H. Mililani, Hawaii, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-6 Vietnam Unit info not provided
Simpson, Clifford E. 'Cliff' Phoenix, Arizona, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-12 Vietnam Unit(s): 7/1 CAV in 68; 7/17 CAV in 68 Skitsko, Charles B. 'Skits' Hatboro, Pennsylvania, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-48 Vietnam Unit(s): A/3/17 CAV in 70-71; 334 AHC in 71; 39 SIG BN in 71
Smith, George A. ** Buchanan, Virginia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-19 Vietnam Unit(s): 119 AHC in 63-64; 71 AHC in 68-69
Smith, James M. 'Jim' ** Lawrenceville, Georgia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-38 Vietnam Unit(s): 187 AHC in 70; HHC 269 CAB in 70; 3/17 CAV in 70-71
Smith, William E. 'Bill' ** San Angelo, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-23 66-21 Vietnam Unit(s): 191 AHC in 67-68; 5 AVN in 70-71
Stabile, Michael A. Alexandria, Virginia, US Marine Corps Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-163 in 68-69 Steward, Robert E. 'Bob' Monroeville, Alabama, US Marine Corps Flight School Class(s): 62-6 Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-364 in 64; MABS-36 in 65; HMM-362 in 66 Strazdas, Algimantas J. 'Al' Placentia, California, US Army Flight School Class(s): 68-524 68-44 Vietnam Unit(s): 240 AHC in 69; HHC/222 AVN in 69-70 Sutton, Harry B. 'Bruce' Brownsburg, Indiana, US Army Flight School Class(s): 68-13 68-21 Vietnam Unit(s): HHC 1 BDE 101 ABN in 68-70
Swanson, Thomas R. 'Tom' Cedar Rapids, Iowa, US Army Flight School Class(s): 72-10 Vietnam Unit(s): 57 AHC in 72-73 Testa, Thomas H. 'Tom' Alpharetta, Georgia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-22 Vietnam Unit(s): C/227 AHB 1 CAV in 70-71 Thomas, Robert W. 'Bob' Enid, Oklahoma, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-12 Vietnam Unit(s): C/2/17 CAV 101 ABN in 70; D/2/17 CAV in 70-71
Todd, Wayne ** Gulf Breeze, Florida, US Army Flight School Class(s): 68-13 68-21 Vietnam Unit(s): 173 AHC in 68-69; 132 ASHC in 71 Toepel, Adalbert E. 'Beat' **
Eugene, Oregon, US Army Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): C/2/20 ARA 1 CAV in 67-68; 1 AVN CO in 70; C/2/20 ARA 1 CAV in 70-71
Weatherspoon, Samuel R. 'Sam' ** Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-14 Vietnam Unit(s): 117 AHC in 67-68; 205 ASHC in 70-71
Urbach, Walter ** Sun City, West Arizona, US Army Flight School Class(s): 58-10 Vietnam Unit(s): 17 AHC in 65-66; 57 AHC in 66; 155 AHC in 67-68
Weyerman, David J. 'Dave' Middleton, Idaho, US Army Flight School Class(s): 70-10 Vietnam Unit (s): A/7/17 CAV in 71-72
Toler, William K. ** Augusta, Arkansas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 57 Vietnam Unit(s): 20 TC CO in 68; 520 TC BN in 69
Van Vladricken, George ** Olympia, Washington, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-19 Vietnam Unit(s): 173 AHC in 69-70 Vossler, Herbert L. 'Herb' Glendale, Arizona, US Army Flight School Class(s): 65-20 Vietnam Unit(s): 1 AVN 1 INF in 65-66; 2/17 CAV 101 ABN in 69-70 Wade, Robert B. 'Buck' ** Smyrna, Georgia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 63-9 Vietnam Unit(s): 121 AHC in 65-66 Walker, William H. Cape Girardeau, Missouri, US Marine Corps Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-165 in 66
Warren, Ronald V. 'Ron' Owasso, Oklahoma, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-18 Vietnam Unit(s): D/3/5 CAV in 68 Watkins, B. E. Moody, Texas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 66-13 Vietnam Unit(s): 120 AHC in 67-68; 120 AHC in 70-71
Wells, David B. 'Dave' Jacksonville, Florida, US Air Force Flight School Class(s): 67-B Vietnam Unit(s): 20 SOS 14 ACW in 69-70
Willer, Larry E. Newport News, Virginia, US Army Flight School Class(s): 65-1 Vietnam Unit(s): 114 AHC in 65-66; A/101 AVN 101 ABN in 67-68 Witkins, Kenneth R. ** Scotia, New York, US Army Flight School Class(s): 67-5 Vietnam Unit(s): 135 AHC in 67-68; 118 AHC in 68 Wright, William F. Costa Mesa, California, US Marine Corps Flight School Class info not provided Vietnam Unit(s): HMM-164 in 68-69
Yenser, Dennis Todd Lehighton, Pennsylvania, US Army Flight School Class(s): 69-34 Vietnam Unit(s): 25 INF DIV in 70-71; F/4 CAV in 71
Zenner, Edward H. 'Ed' Wichita, Kansas, US Army Flight School Class(s): 71-16 Vietnam Unit(s): D/229 AHB 1 CAV in 71-72
VNAF Aviator Wings photo courtesy of Member David A. Measels
Page 45 The VHPA Aviator
M E MB ER S - HA VE A B O OK FO R JO H N TO R EV IE W ? CO NT AC T H I M A T: BO O K RE VI EW S @ V HP A. O RG
By VHPA Life Member: JOHN PENNY
First in Vietnam – An Exercise in Excess of 30 Days by VHPA member Col. Emmett Knight is both a very personal memoir of his service with the 57th Transportation Helicopter Company and a history of the first helicopter unit deployed in the Vietnam War. Beginning with the arrival of the 57th at the foot of Tudo Street on the Saigon River via the USNS Core on December 22, 1961, the reader is taken through its first year of operations literally on the “fly”. The 57th was deployed in an “advisory” role, but soon found itself conducting helicopter combat assaults inserting ARVN troops in an effort to contain Viet Cong expansion. Rules of Engagement were not yet well defined and there were a lot of “innovations” when it came to tactics and armament. At the same time, the unit was busy setting up all the facilities they needed at Tan Son Nhut including its maintenance area, quarters, operations, and refueling site. Knight points out, “The word primitive might come to mind for anyone
thinking about those days.” They also faced many other challenges. Inter-service rivalries and turf battles soon surfaced. U.S. Army ground commanders believed they should have control of all Army assets. The Air Force wanted control of the skies and the Marines just wanted control. Knight notes he quite likely “spent more time fighting with the U.S. Air Force than I had fighting against the Viet Cong.” Added to those issues were of all sorts of unexpected people, such as war correspondents to senior officers, who wanted to ride along. Knight refers to them as “maggots and strap-hangers” who seriously complicated his job as the Operations Officer of the 57th. Knight has done an excellent job. He tells the serious side of the story, warts and all, including stories of what he called a time of “ABCDs: Accidents, Buffoonery, Comedy, and Damn-foolishness” that he and his unit encountered. Both his candor and sense of humor make this a great reading experience and I highly recommend this book.
I Flew With Heroes by VHPA Member Lt. Col. Thomas Waldron is an engaging memoir of his service with the USAF. His flying career began in KC-135 jet tankers in a SAC squadron in Ohio. He was periodically tasked to pull alert at Goose Bay, Labrador and a TDY assignment found him in Utapao AB, Thailand flying combat refueling missions for B-52s and Air Force fighters. He was looking forward to what he called a “good and predictable career.” It was not to last. The Air Force needed helicopter pilots and Waldron was sent to Wichita Falls for a Huey checkout followed by a trip to Eglin AFB for a transition to the HH-53 “Super Jolly.” This was followed by a stop in the Philippines for “snake school” en route to joining the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Udorn, Thailand in 1969. Waldron was soon flying combat search and rescue (CSAR) missions out of Udorn and Nakon Phanom (NKP) in HH-53s and H-3s in Laos and Vietnam. Challenges included SAM sites, mobile AAA sites, MIGs, really bad weather, and relocating indigenous civilians during the deteriorating situation in Laos. Back at Eglin AFB in August of 1970, he was selected for an assignment
that would send him back to SEA – an assignment that became known as the Son Tay Raid. Waldron’s book is both a personal memoir of his Air Force career and a history of CSAR during his SEA service. He flew with heroes exemplifying the 40th AARS motto: “That Others May Live.” His narrative of the Son Tay Raid co-pilot of an HH-53 gun ship, call sign Apple 3, tasked with taking out the gun towers is riveting. I highly recommend this book.
VHPA Member Colonel Robert D. Sander has w ri t t e n In v a s i o n o f La o s – L a m S o n 71 9, detailing an operation which Henry Kissinger viewed as “conceived in ambivalence and assailed by skepticism, and proceeded in confusion.” When Sander mentioned Lam Son 719 to a fellow Vietnam veteran, and discovered his friend had never heard of the operation, he was moved to research the planning and goals behind the operation and why it failed. The immediate objective of Lam Son 719 was for South Vietnamese forces to cut the NVA’s Ho Chi Minh Trail supply route, at its northern hub, Tchepone, Laos. Sander’s extensive research into the political decisions involving Lam Son 719, revealed serious flaws, including the CIAs failure to accurately assess the enemy’s areas of reinforcement, antiaircraft and armor, and its determination to defend the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Sander notes difficulty pinning down the numbers, but US losses fell heavily on the helicopter aircrews who encountered intense antiaircraft fire from the time they left their PZs in Vietnam to their LZs in Laos and on return to Vietnam. Many of the LZs were ringed with heavy caliber fire. Uncommon valor was common during Lam Son 719 for the pilots and crew members who flew through the fire storm. For Sander and all US helicopter crewmen who flew in support of Lam Son 719 there will always be one question: “Was it worth it?” Sander has done an excellent job with his careful research and insightful answer to that question. He interviewed a number of VHPA members who flew in Lam Son 719 and availed himself of the VHPA historical documents with the assistance of VHPA Historian, Mike Sloniker. This is a well-written and well-researched book and I highly recommend it.
First in Vietnam - An Exercise in Excess of 30 Days – The U.S. Army 57th Transportation Helicopter Company (Light Helicopter) (CH-21) 1961-1962 (364 pages $31.99 hardcover, $23.95 paperback, Kindle $3.99) by Colonel Emmett F. Knight, ISBN: 978-1491845042 is available by order from bookstore.authorhouse.com, your local book store, or other book suppliers.
I Flew With Heroes (172 pages, $11.93, $9.50 Kindle, free on Kindle with Amazon Prime) by Thomas R. Waldron, ISBN 978-1469925479 is available by order from your local book store, Amazon, or other book suppliers.
Invasion of Laos 1971 – Lam Son 719 (304 pages $29.95 hard back, Kindle $14.55) by Robert D. Sander, ISBN: 978-0806144375 is available online from the University of Oklahoma Press at www.oupress.com, and by order from your local book store, Amazon, or other book suppliers.
T ac o m a B l ue is a n e w b oo k b y V H PA Member Michael Lazares covering his postVietnam law enforcement career. Armed with a degree in criminal justice, he wished to settle in his old back yard near Tacoma, WA and hoped to find a slot flying helicopters with the Seattle PD. Out of luck with that, he applied for an open position with a police department in a nearby small town. They were surprised that Lazares aced the written and physical test. They weren’t used to getting smart and fit applicants! It was like Mayberry but not so benign; both the Chief of Police and Mayor were crooked! He lasted six months. Out of work he applied and landed a job with the Tacoma PD. Starting out in a patrol car, Lazares worked his way up to detective and all the “beats”: burglary, juvenile,
undercover narcotics, street crimes, and homicide. He occasionally pushed the rules and found himself at odds with the brass. Reprimands and commendations were meted out – sometimes simultaneously. Besides investigating murders for the Tacoma PD, Lazares served 28 years in the Army Reserves, was a Special Agent for the Department of Defense, became an expert in Protective Services, and was an Anti-Terrorist Driving Instructor. He was also sent to South Korea on assignments to assist Army Criminal Investigators. It was during one of these trips that his heart sent him a message – too much stress! It was time for a change of pace. Lazares writes with a particularly irreverent wit that makes this a very engaging reading experience. I have no doubt this book will be followed by others. I highly recommend it. Lazares, who is also the author of Goodbye, My Darling; Hello, Vietnam, is working on and seeking stories for Volume 2 of We Gotta Get Out of This Place. Interested people may contact him at mdlazaresauthor.com.
The Blades Carry Me by VHPA Member James Weatherill with his wife Anne Weatherill is the story of James’ intense tour of duty with the 180th ASHC, call sign “Big Windy.” It is also Anne’s story of coping with separation, pregnancy, university studies, and living at his parent’s home in Riverside, California, while James was in Vietnam. Arriving the day before Thanksgiving 1967 Weatherill stepped off the plane to the pungent odors Vietnam veterans remember all too well, to join the 180th AHSC, based on the coast at Phu Hiep, flying 16 CH-47 Chinooks. He soon finds himself getting the FNG treatment which was intense for WO1s in Chinook companies. On his first mission he gets the “don’t touch anything” routine from a short time AC. When the AC gets cold cocked by a round hitting his ballistic helmet, Weatherill saves their bacon, but learns good deeds are not good necessarily appreciated. Anne sent Christmas presents, a decorated calendar, prepares for the baby’s arrival and did her best to cope with the growing anti-war sentiment, the fear of something happening to James, and the isolation of military families. News broadcasts of the war in Vietnam were watched with the hope and dread of seeing James. Meanwhile for James and the 180th the war heated up quickly with the Tet Offensive. Chinooks are moved north to the rainy and fog shrouded Central Highlands. It was a dark and dangerous place to be flying the biggest target the
NVA could hope for while hovering over firebases west of Dak To, Kontum, and Pleiku. James and Anne Weatherill have written a book that is unique when it comes to memoirs of the Vietnam War. James’ narrative details finding his way from an FNG to an experienced AC other pilots and crewmen volunteered to fly with during their many intense and dangerous missions. Anne’s narrative presents a military wife’s view point, including a multitude of daily challenges as well as their hopes and fears for the men who went to war. This is a well written and engaging reading experience and I highly recommend it.
Without Parachutes by VHPA Member Col. J. Childers, is a memoir of his three Vietnam tours and 29 years of service. Initially training as an Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Officer, he became enamored with flying after riding in the co-pilot seat of a CH-19 and noting pilots were not slogging around in the mud. In due course he was accepted to flight school and sent to Ft. Wolters to train in the OH-23 and on to Ft. Rucker for advanced training in the CH-34 and the UH-1. He was assigned to the 11th Air Assault at Ft. Benning and then the 3rd Aviation Company for transfer to Vietnam. On arrival at Bien Hoa, the unit was broken up, and he volunteered for the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Company (UTT) at Tan Son Nut flying Huey gunships. Childers refers to the UTT and its subsequent designations as the “Lafayette Escadrille of the Vietnam War.” It was a time of developing tactics, and hanging all sorts of weapons on the aircraft. Some things were learned the hard way. While with the UTT he became a believer in “the 12 Cardinal Rules of Attack Helicopter Combat” and developed a 13th rule of his own. Back stateside, after training courses at Ft. Sill and Ft. Bliss, Childers earned his instrument ticket at Ft. Rucker. He was then assigned to the Cobra New Equipment Training Team (NETT) at the Bell Helicopter Plant at Fort
Worth, TX. In August 1967 he was back in Vietnam with Cobra NETT for testing, development, and in-country training. He also flew Cobra combat missions over Saigon during Tet for which he received the DFC. After the end of this tour he was sure “I had seen the last of Vietnam.” Courtesy of the Spring Offensive he was back in Vietnam in June, 1972. Taking over as CO of the 18th Corps Aviation Company, a combat support unit, he found himself facing serious issues of morale and disciple. There were “secret” flights into Cambodia, accidents, the threat of SA-7s, cease fire violations, and flying Vietcong and North Vietnamese members of the JMC, by cease fire mandate. It was a bitter end. Childers notes that “At the end of the war the Army was in a shambles.” Addressing that issue and the advent of the “Modern Volunteer Army” would keep him busy for the next 17 years but ultimately he would discover that few stars fell upon Army Aviators. This is not just a memoir; it is also a history of the early days of hands-on trial and error of combat helicopter gunship tactics with the UTT, the development and deployment of the Cobra, and the last days of the US withdrawal from the Vietnam War. I highly recommend this book.
Tacoma Blue (376 pages, $11.86, Kindle $3.99) by Michael D. Lazares, ISBN 978-1492861966 is available from Createspace.com, Amazon or other book suppliers. All profits from this book go to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Blades Carry Me – Inside the Helicopter War in Vietnam (284 pages $15.99 paperback, Kindle $9.99) by James V. Weatherill with Anne Weatherill, ISBN: 978- 0991543007 is available by order from your local book store, Amazon, or other book suppliers.
W i t h o ut P a r a c h u t e s : H o w I S ur v i v e d 1 , 0 0 0 A t t a c k H e l ic o p t e r C o m b a t M is s i o n s I n V i e t n a m ( 1 9 2 pa g e s , $ 1 4 . 3 9 p a p e r b a c k ) b y C o l . Je r r y W . C h il d e r s , I S B N : 9 7 8 - 1 4 2 0 8 8 2 5 8 2 i s a v a i l a b l e b y o r d er fr o m y o u r lo c a l b o o k st o r e , A m a z o n, o r o th e r b o o k su p pl i e r s.
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