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Air CommAndo AssoCiAtion by fdh56iuoui

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									                                                   Air CommAndo
                                                    AssoCiAtion
                                                                       QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
 AUGUST 2008

ACA Members                                     Get Ready for ACA 37th Reunion Oct 9-12
Score A Trifecta                                By Ken Lengfield,
                                                ACA Vice President
                                                                                       able for those who want to play on
                                                                                       Friday with check-in at 0900 hrs.
                                                                                                                              the meeting we will have our an-
                                                                                                                              nual burger bash behind the build-
                                                     The 2008 reunion is rapidly ap-   at Hurlburt’s (Gator Lakes) Golf       ing.
                                                proaching so get your plans started.   Course. Friday will be the fish fry        There will be a ladies luncheon
                                                The reunion this year is Thursday      starting at 1600 hrs, with war sto-    on Saturday at the AF Enlisted
                                                October 9th through Sunday Octo-       ries in the hospitality room. Some     Home. For more on this wonderful
                                                ber 12th. As always, we will meet      may even be true. On Saturday          facility see our story on page 6.
                                                at the Quality Inn on Thursday Oc-     we will have our annual business           Our annual ACA banquet will
                                                tober 9th for check in and hospital-   meeting at 0900 hrs at the Special     begin with a social hour at 1800
                                                ity room gathering of old friends.     Tactics and Operations Building        hrs. at the Sound Side Club. The
                                                We will have an informal social        on Hurlburt Field. We will have an     evenings events will be well worth
                                                Thursday night at the Hurlburt         election of Air Commando Asso-         your time, so be there. We will have
                                                Field Sound Side Club at 1700 hrs.     ciation board members at this time     some inspiring music from some
                                                The room rate for the Quality Inn      to fill positions of those retiring.   of the local high school students in
                                                is the same as last year, $73. Can’t   This will be followed by a briefing    our area. We also plan a long over
Three of our life members are                   say the same for the gas prices.       by personnel of the Special Tactics    due salute to some who have made
now in top leadership positions                      Golf tee times will be avail-     and Operations organization. After                       See REUNION, pg. 3
in the Air Force. General Norty
Schwartz has been confirmed
as the Chief of Staff of the Air                Brigadier ”Heinie” Aderholt and Master Sergeant Ed
Force. Lt General Donny Wurst-
er is the AFSOC Commander and                   Horton Honored by Air Command and Staff College
Brig General (sel) Tom Trask is
                                                               Gathering of Eagles
                                                                                                                              remarkable careers in aviation. As
the new 23 AF Commander. We                                                                                                   a lead in to the briefing, a narrated
in the ACA know of no greater                                                                                                 film clip with pictures showed our
leaders who are more capable                                                                                                  general at various stages in his ca-
and can lead our fighting force                                                                                               reer. General Aderholt’s presenta-
in this time of war.                                                                                                          tion was outstanding as Major Ja-
                                                                                                                              son Kirby (his appointed student at
                                                                                                                              the ACSC) led him through many
                                                                                                                              parts of his interesting career. The
                                                                                                                              entire audience was entertained by
                                                                                                                              many of General Aderholt’s sto-
                                                                                                                              ries and comments that related to
                                                                                                                              events in his long career in special
Aussie Medals.................. pg 23                                                                                         operations. Our general provided
Editorial ............................ pg 2                                                                                   information, humor, and emotion
                                                BGen Aderholt and Major Jason Kirby                                           that were so well received by the
Letters ................................ pg 7
                                                                                                                              audience. The audience roared
McCoskrie T.F. ................ pg 14           By Felix “Sam” Sambogna                of several hundred students at Air     when General Aderholt expressed
Membership ....................... pg 4              Fred Nowak, Warren Trest, and     Command and Staff College Gen-         his thoughts when in combat situ-
Pave Low ......................... pg 12        I joined General and Mrs. Aderholt     eral Aderholt was one of several       ations: “kill the S-O-Bs.”
President Corner ....... back page              at the “Gathering of Eagles” events    speakers who were honored and in-          After General Aderholt’s pre-
Rossel Report................... pg 26          at Maxwell AFB the week of 3 June      ducted into the Gathering of Eagles
                                                08. In front of the graduating class   to join many others who had truly                         See EAGLES, pg. 3
Page 2                                                                  air Commando assoCiation                                                          aug 2008

      AIR COMMANDO
     ASSOCIATION, INC.
                                                Editorial: Why Were We In Vietnam?
   EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
OFFICERS
                                                We used to fight communism; now we prop it up
                                                By Harold Meyerson                         ing or building factories in Hanoi,     ward democracy. But everything
President, Felix Sambogna 2008
                                                     Doing business in China is be-        where they churn out products for       we know about China suggests
Vice President, Ken Lengfield 2008
                                                ginning to cost real money. Not that       Wal-Mart and other American re-         that, in reality, such investments
Treasurer, Felix Sambogna
                                                Chinese workers are buying sec-            tailers. Foreign direct investment      merely make authoritarian regimes
DIRECTORS                                                                ond homes         in Vietnam increased 136 percent        stronger. We could argue that what
Tom Bradley 2010                                                         or anything       between 2006 and 2007, while it         we’re really doing is bringing
James Binnicker 2008                                                     like that:        increased just 14 percent in China.     communist nations into the world
Joe Harris 2008                                                          Their aver-            The reason for the move south      capitalist system. Then again, the
Bob Powell 2010                                                          age wage          is straightforward: Vietnamese fac-     effect of bringing into the global
Ted Saunders 2010                                                        is still a lit-   tory workers make about a quarter       labor pool hundreds of millions
Gordon H. Scott 2009                                                     tle short of      of what their Chinese counterparts      of low-wage workers -- people
Bob White 2009                                                           a dollar an       earn.                                   whose wages are held in check by
Fred Platt (Field Rep)                                                   hour. But              But why Vietnam and not, say,      both capital mobility and commu-
1st SOW Rep, Christine Lukasik                                           so many           Thailand, where labor is similarly      nist repression -- is to hold down
                                                Chinese have now left their villages       cheap?                                  wages in democratic nations with
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY                             for the factories that the once bot-            Vietnam’s edge, it seems, is po-   advanced economies and with no
Pete Bowman                                     tomless pool of new young work-            litical. “Communism means more          national strategy to preserve and
CHAPLAIN Howie Pierson                          ers is beginning to run dry, and the       stability,” Laurence Shu, the chief     expand good jobs at home (i.e., in
The Board of Directors normally meet at         wages of assembly-line employees           financial officer of Shanghai-based     the United States).
9:00 AM the last Saturday of each month         are rising 10 percent a year.              Texhong, one of the world’s lead-           Or we could argue that our one-
(Except December) at 2502 W. Hwy 98,                Worse yet, new labor laws are          ing manufacturers of cotton fabrics,    time opposition to communism
Mary Esther, FL.
                                                making it harder for employers to          told Bradsher. This view, Bradsher      was noble and all that but that,
                                                cheat their workers out of their wag-      reports, is common among Asian          unburdened by the illusions of the
McCoskrie /Threshold Foundation, Inc.           es and benefits. Many American             executives and some American ex-        past, American business, backed
Director: Harry C. Aderholt                                                                ecutives, too, though they have the     by the American government, has
                                                businesses that do their manufac-
Asst Director: John Grove
                                                turing in China had warned against         presence of mind never to say so        realized that the problem with
Secretary/Treasurer:Butch Sluschewski
Field Advisor: Karen Kramer
                                                those laws; the American Cham-             on the record. After all, Vietnam,      communism wasn’t that it was un-
Medical Advisors: John Peters, MD               ber of Commerce in Shanghai had            like China, outlaws independent         democratic but that it was anti-cap-
                                                flatly opposed them. But the good          unions. Absent free speech and free     italist. And that once communism
                                                old days of Maoist labor discipline,       elections, no radical shifts in the     was integrated into a world capi-
            ACA Newsletter
       Published Quarterly By The Air
                                                when the government could send             government’s economic policies          talist system, its antipathy toward
         Commando Association, Inc.             tens of millions of skilled work-          are likely to be sprung upon unsus-     democracy not only wouldn’t be
Jim Boney, Editor                               ers down to the farms to be tough-         pecting American businesses.            a bad thing but would actually be
Jim Yealy, Asst Editor                          ened up and periodically tortured,              Now, far be it from me to be-      good. That is clearly the political
Eugene Rossel, Editor At Large                  are gone. Mao’s heirs, though not          grudge the Vietnamese their mo-         logic that underpins our involve-
Jeanette Moore, Graphic Designer                                                                                                   ment with China. It’s a little dicier
                                                above a touch of torture here and          ment in the sun before global capi-
Gloria Doster, Type Setter
Fred Nowak, Photographer                        there just to keep the system hum-         tal finds them too costly and moves     to say this about our growing in-
Circulation: The Air Commando Association       ming along, are concerned, as he           on to Bangladesh and Somalia.           volvement with Vietnam, since
Newsletter is distributed free to members       was not, with achieving social har-        But didn’t we fight a war to keep       all those Americans whose names
and other interested parties for a combined     mony, even if that means compel-           Vietnam from going communist?           are on that wall on the Mall prob-
circulation of 3000 copies. Submit Copy or      ling employers to sign, and honor,         Something like 58,000 American          ably didn’t realize how compatible
Letters to:                                     contracts with their employees.            deaths, right? And now American         with global American enterprise
ACA Newsletter, PO Box 7,                           Confronted with such appalling         business actually prefers investing     Vietnamese communism would
Mary Esther, FL32569                            squishiness, what’s a good, cost-          in communist Vietnam over, say,         turn out to be or how the cause of
or Email to: aircomando@aol.com.                cutting American business to do?           the more or less democratic Phil-       democracy would turn out to have
This publication is for the information,        Many are fleeing south of the bor-         ippines? In all likelihood, it would    been of no real importance at all.
interest, and enjoyment of our readers. Views
                                                der -- not our border (Mexico costs        prefer investing in communist Viet-         I guess a note from the Ameri-
and opinions expressed are of the author or
source of material and do not necessarily       way too much) but China’s.                 nam to investing in a more chaotic,     can establishment to those men and
reflect opinions, views, or endorsements of         They’re bound for Vietnam.             less disciplined democratic Viet-       women with their names on the
the ACA. Material in the ACA newsletter             According to a report by Keith         nam, if such existed.                   Wall would be in order. Something
may be reproduced provided the source is        Bradsher in the New York Times                  Let’s imagine, just as an exer-    like: Say, guys -- sorry ‘bout that!
credited. Located 4 miles West of Hurlburt      last month, such multinational             cise, that we’re trying to explain      This      article    courtesy      of
on Hwy 98, The ACA Hq Office is open
9am-noon, Monday-Friday. Mail: Box 7,
                                                companies as Canon (the printer            this to those 58,000 Americans and      The Washington Post, Harold Mey-
Mary Esther, FL, 32569. Phone: 850-581-         and copier maker) and Hanes-               their loved ones. We could argue        erson writes for The Washington
0099. Fax: X 8988. Website address is:          brands (the North Carolina-based           that by investing in communist          Post. He can be reached by email:
www.specialoperations.net                       underwear empire) are expand-              countries, we’re pushing them to-       meyersonh@washpost.com
aug 2008                                                          air Commando assoCiation                                                                       Page 3


ACA Member Gen. Trask back with 23rd
By Capt. Amy Cooper                          tory, and has been closely associ-     pilot.                                     AFSOC air, space and cyberspace
AFSOC Public Affairs                         ated with special operations for all       “Special operations is at the tip      director. In this role, Colonel
                                             of its modern history,” said Gen-      of the spear like it’s never been be-      Trask will implement and direct
   The 23rd Air Force welcomed a             eral Wurster. “Mike, I thank you       fore,” Colonel Trask said. “Half of        operational command policy for
new commander during a ceremo-               for your efforts here at Hurlburt.     the things this command is working         AFSOC’s worldwide special op-
ny in the Commando Auditorium                I hope you were taking notes as it     on weren’t even a vision when I left       erations units, including 12,900
here July 14.                                looks like you’ll be building an-      AFSOC a little over four years ago.        people and $4 billion of assets.
                                             other one of these from scratch for    I’m very excited to be back and be             “Our vocation as Airmen and
                                             (Africa Command).”                     back on your team.”
                                                                                                                               air commandos is very special,”
                                                 General Callan leaves the 23rd         As the commander of 23rd AF,
                                                                                                                               said Colonel Trask. “ We defend
                                             AF to become the 17th Air Force        Colonel Trask is responsible for
                                             vice commander at Ramstein Air                                                    our nation’s most treasured right-
                                                                                    supporting the U.S. Special Opera-
                                             Force Base, Germany, the num-          tions Command and AFSOC com-               -freedom-- and we are entrusted
                                             bered Air Force supporting the         mander’s strategic, operational and        with our nation’s most treasured
                                             newly-formed AFRICOM. During           tactical objectives across the full        resource -- our sons and daughters
                                             the ceremony, he was awarded the       range of military operations.              -- and I promise to remember that
                                             Legion of Merit first oak leaf clus-       He is also dual-hatted as the          every day.”
                                             ter for his leadership since April

Col. Thomas Trask (right), who has been
selected for promotion to brigadier gener-
                                             2006.
                                                 “My sole message this after-
                                             noon is to briefly express the su-
                                                                                     Eagles
                                                                                     Continued from page 1
al, accepts command of the 23rd Air Force    preme pride I have in the many
from Lt. Gen. Donny Wurster (left), com-                                                                                       account of his role in the historic
mander of Air Force Special Operations       accomplishments of the men and                                                    Doolittle raid in 1942. Ed was ac-
command, during the 23rd AF change of        women of the 23rd AF,” said Gen-
command July 14 at Hurlburt Field, FL.
                                                                                                                               companied by his regular escort
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sheila   eral Callan. “It’s been an honor to                                               and ACA member Wes Fields.
DeVera)                                      witness their hard work and be part                                                    Among the other honorees
                                             of this great team. I ask the men                                                 this year was Kenneth Rowe. He
   Col. Thomas Trask, who has                and women of the 23rd AF not to                                                   was the North Korean MiG-15
been selected for promotion to               be satisfied with what they’ve done                                               pilot who defected in his MiG to
brigadier general, assumed com-              in the past, but to instead continue                                              South Korea. His tale was also
mand of the Numbered Air Force               to set the bar even higher.”                                                      very interesting.
from Brig. Gen. Michael Callan                   Colonel Trask returns to AF-                                                        The ACSC students treated
during the ceremony, presided over           SOC after serving as the Squadron                                                 us in grand fashion during all the
by Lt. Gen. Donny Wurster, com-              Officer College commandant at                                                     events that included social gath-
                                                                                     Major Kirby, Heinie, Sam, and Anne        erings, breakfast, lunch, etc.
mander of Air Force Special Op-              Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He
                                                                                     sentation, Doolittle raider Ed                 Another well deserved honor
erations Command.                            has several previous assignments        Horton also provided an interest-         for Commando 1 and our Doolit-
   “The 23rd AF has a great his-             in AFSOC and is a career MH-53          ing and extremely well received           tle raider.



Reunion
Continued from page 1
Special Operations an integral part          flight. The memorial will be at 1200
of the Air Force. This may be the            hrs. at the Hurlburt Field Air Park.
last banquet at the Sound Side, as           Then on to the BBQ and auction at
it may be torn down later this year.         the Quality Inn at 1300 to 1600. We
We are currently in negotiations             still need worthy donations for our
with the Hurlburt authorities in re-         Silent Auction so please contact
spect to our offer from the ACA to           Joyce Harrington at 850-581-0099
tear down the club during our ban-           for more information on donating
quet. They do not appear to be re-           your items. The reunion will come
ceptive to our offer at this time.           to a close after the auction.
    On Sunday the 12th, we will                   Let’s have a big turn out this
have our memorial service honor-             time gang! You will not want to
ing those who have taken their last          miss this one! See ya soon.              L-R: Fred Nowak, Ed Horton (Doolittle Raider), Heinie and Felix Sambogna
Page 4                                              air Commando assoCiation                                             aug 2008

Membership News
                                 Ronald K. Sable                    Lori Brown                      Gen Paul V. Hester
           TAPS                  6561 N. Mesa View Dr.              PO Box 21096                    109 Rio Cordillera
           In Memory of:         Tucson, AZ 85718                   Spokane, WA 99201-7197          Boerne, TX 78006
                                 LOST                               Ronald D. Brown Jr.             Gen Charles Holland
 Preston Bradley May 2008        Richard V. J. Anderson             PO Box 21096                    PO Box 76928
 Carl S. Fairbank Jr. May 2008   Jaime Benitez                                                      Colorado Springs, CO 80970
                                                                    Spokane, WA 99201-7197
 Frank Harrison May 2008         Joe Boone
 Mike Kercheval July 2008        Michael G. Brennan                 Mrs. Robert C. Bucky            James A. Howell
                                 George J. Chambers III             750 4TH Ave S. Ste # 503        216 Londonderry Dr.
 George Ruzich June 2008
                                 George J. Garrett                  St Petersburg, FL 33701-4470    Marble, NC 28905-9222
 James H. Campbell Nov 2007
                                 John P. Garvey                                                     George L. Jennings
 Ernest L. Connors May 2003                                         Stephanie Clark
                                 Aaron C. Hall                                                      PO Box 15042
                                 H. P. Harrison                     4017 Cottage Hill Rd. Apt 60
NEW ANNUAL MEMBERS                                                  Mobile, AL 36609-8411           Tampa, FL 33684
Michael Buffington               Sid Howard
69 Forest Hill Ct.               Mike Lewis                                                         Elbert Long
                                                                    William H. ‘Bill’ Clinch        1908 Grosvenor Ln.
Commerce, GA 30529-2609          Mike G. McDaniel                   8100 W. Hwy 98 Apt 1308
                                 Leslie D. Minchew                                                  Colleyville, TX 76034-7703
                                                                    Pensacola, FL 32506-8954
Steve Burt                       Ron Newby                                                          Chong Chua Lor
6087 Silverwood Dr.              Guy C. Rhone                       Rex Corbin                      2181 Elgin St.
Harrisburg, NC 28075             Duane H. Sceper                    4408 Desert Lily Ct. SE         Oroville, CA 95966-6614
                                 R. Todd Small                      Rio Rancho, NM 87124-1559
Dane E. Harrel                   David K. Sparks                                                    Joseph N. Luther
1447 Arbor Green Trail           Alta M. Stone                      Larry W. Cox                    113 Springbranch Dr.
O’Fallon, IL 62269                                                  HC 31 Box 70041                 Kerrville, TX 78028-4907
                                 David M. Vardaman
                                 Michael D. Warbis                  Happy Jack, AZ 86024-9731
William B. Patterson                                                                                Connie J. Lutz
35 Anastasia Dr.                 Clara Watson
                                                                    Michael R. Downs                3105 Herbal Way
Ft Walton Bch, FL 32548          Wesley D. Weber
                                                                    17339 Blue Aspen Ln.            Sumter, SC 29153
                                 Vue Yang
                                 Roger L. Youngblood                Canyon Country, CA 91387-6859
Michael W. Thomas                                                                                   BGen O G Mannon
2902 A Beacon Beach Rd.                                                                             231 Jupiter Ct.
Tyndall AFB, FL 32403            *If anyone knows the wearabouts    Billie Egleston
                                                                                                    Sheppard AFB, TX 76311
                                 of these lost souls let us know.   14343 Arcadia Rose Ln.
                                                                    Herriman, UT 84096
LIFE CONVERT                                                                                        Sean McPartland
                                 ON THE MOVE
William P. Turk                                                                                     23903 Via Flamenco
                                 Charles M. Bahr                    Rudolph A. Elizondo
3606 W. 123RD PL                                                                                    Valencia, CA 91355
                                 1107 Maple Dr                      108 Mindy Rd.
Crown Point, IN 46307            Alamogordo, NM 88310-4913          Pollock, LA 71467-3025          Brian S. Moreland
MGen Donald C. Wurster                                                                              4630 Outer Dr.
                                 Aaron Barnes                       Rick Feeser                     Naples, FL 34112-6779
54 Hume Dr.                      100 Scottsdale Dr                  3943 E. Homestead Rim Ct.
Hurlburt Field, FL 32544         Clovis, NM 88101-2739              Boise, ID 83716                 Rosemary Nay
                                                                                                    45 Happy Valley Ln.
                                 Jack Bell                          Jack E. Gatewood                Parkersburg, WY 26104-7131
NEW LIFE MEMBER                  32635 Hwy 83 #1094                 1001 Mar-Walt Dr #530
Donald A. Devito                 Warsaw, MO 65355                   Ft Walton Bch, FL 32547-6739    G.G. ‘Mick’ Neal
57 Romeyn Ave.                                                                                      770 Sandoval
Amsterdam, NY 12010              John H. Bonner                     Frederick E. Gibbs              Reno, NV 89511
                                 PO Box 1074                        47643 330TH St.
David A. Krebs III               Lake City, CO 81235-1074           Elk Point Sd 57025-6811         Gunther Nowag
299 Timberline Dr.                                                                                  573 Davids Ct.
Crestview, FL 32539              Rose Borinski                      Eugene O. Guidotte              Lakewood, NJ 08701
                                 20731 Crescent Pointe Pl           96 Birch Dr.
                                 Ashburn, VA 20147-3882             Poland Springs, ME 04274        Steve Peters
FOUND                                                                                               51 Krooked Kreek Cir
BGen Alfred M. Miller Jr.                                                                           Cabot, AR 72023-3843
7400 Crestway Dr. Apt 816        Eleanor Bradley                    Dean A. Hall
San Antonio, TX 78239-3093       PO Box 4815                        1320 Truemper St. #361505
                                 Dowling Park, FL 32064-8265        Lackland AFB, TX 78236-6015                 See MEMbERShIp, pg. 5
aug 2008                                                 air Commando assoCiation                                                           Page 5

Membership                                                                     Department of the Air Force
                                                                               1st Special Operations Wing
Continued from page 1
                                    Scott Swanson                     Dear Air Commando Association,          appreciate the time you served and
Jeffrey L. Richardson               32216 Corte Chatada                                                       for showing your pride in those of
                                                                        We are extremely grateful for
14 Saint Marys Ct.                  Temecula, CA 92592                                                        us who continue to carry the torch.
                                                                     the donations the Air Commando
Springfield, IL 62702-6132                                                                                    With sincere thanks!
                                                                     Association continues to provide to
                                    Gordon B. Swayze Od              our military troops deployed. With       Andrea Luna, TSgt, USAF
James A. Richmond                   8638 E. Placita                  such a large contribution, we were       Personal & Family Readiness Center
2033 Santiago Dr.                   Pueblo Bonito Tucson, AZ 85710   able to ship care packages to several    Note: Board member Bob White,
Newport Beach, CA 92660-3836                                         locations overseas. Having recently      initated this project. He collects
                                    David B. Tagert                  been deployed myself, I can tell you     numerous “goodies” that we pack-
Richard J. Rini                     4563 Sailmaker Ln.               these items mean the world to us.        age and deliver to the deployment
17262 Boca Club Blvd. #2405         Destin, FL 32561
                                                                        Again, thank you for support-         processing line. Another great ACA
Boca Raton, FL 33487
                                                                     ing the military community. We           effort. Sam
                                    Nao Yia Thao
Lola Ross                           13130 Kearney St.
980 Pacific Silver Ct.              Thorton, CO 80602-9134
Ft Walton Bch, FL 32547-4284
                                    Song Kao Thao
Bryant L. Ruhman                    13130 Kearney St.
915 Asbury Ave.                     Thorton, CO 80602-9134
Evanston, IL 60202
                                    Thomas J. Trask
Timothy D. Sartz                    52 Hume Dr.
316 Olive Dr.                       Hurlburt Field, FL 32544
Clovis, NM 88101
                                    Kathy Warner
Louis D. Schindler                  1860 Long Iron Dr. Apt 1008
4004 London Rd #1228                Rockledge, FL 32955
Duluth, MN 55804
                                    Robert E. Willis
James H. Shea                       802-D Wynnshire Dr.
2715 W. Highway 98                  Hickory, NC 28601
Mary Esther, FL 32569-2332
                                    Chao Noi Yang
Jerry L. Shoemaker                  809 Grant Ave.
716 Dennis St. SE Spc 67            Hudson, WI 54016-7879
Tumwater, WA 98501-6408
                                    Jane Zevin
Jose C. Sotuyo                      700 Markhill Dr.
1913 Sevierville Rd.                Sevierville, TN 37862-4026
Maryville, TN 37804-5117




Correction:
On page 10 under “Letters” of
our May newsletter we incorrectly
stated the information regarding                                       Aderholt reopens with flair
Howie Pierson and Jim Boney.                                           (Left to right:) Levin Lord, the contractor in charge of the Aderholt Fitness
It should have read “Met Howie                                         Center renovation, retired Brig. Gen. Harry Aderholt, the Aderholt’s name-
Pierson in 1954 at Biggs AFB. He                                       sake, Col. Brad Webb, 1st Special Operations Wing commander, and Tech.
                                                                       Sgt. Heather Klein, 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron, cut the
was a co-pilot in the 97th Bomb
                                                                       ribbon to mark the official reopening of the Aderholt July 28. The ribbon
Wing (B-47s). I (Jim Boney) was                                        cutting kicked off a day’s worth of events celebrating the Aderholt’s re-
a co-pilot in the 95th Bomb Wing                                       opening after being closed for renovations since November 2007. (U.S. Air
(B-36s).                                                               Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kimberly Darnall)
Page 6                                                     air Commando assoCiation                                                       aug 2008

ACA Spouses Invited to Air Force Enlisted Village
By Jodi L. Jordan                     Village, has personally invited all    on the AFEV, as well as a compre-         For more information, call Jodi
Deputy Director of Marketing          spouses for a tour and luncheon at     hensive look at the grounds and        Jordan, deputy director of market-
and Communications, Air Force         the AFEV. The AFEV was founded         apartments of Bob Hope Village,        ing at the AFEV, at 1-800-258-
Enlisted Village                      in 1967 to provide a safe, secure      in Shalimar, Fla.                      1413, or e-mail to afef@afev.us.
                                      and dignified place for surviving
                                      spouses of retired Air Force per-
                                      sonnel. Today, the AFEV operates
                                      three locations in the Fort Wal-
                                      ton Beach area; Teresa Village,
                                                                              Hap’s Comments
                                                                                                                    houses down from us on Memo-
                                      Bob Hope Village and Hawthorn                                                 rial Drive and Heinie just behind
                                      House, and is home to more than                                               her on Leah Miller Avenue... but
                                      500 people.                                                                   they didn’t know each other. Our
                                          “We’re very excited to have the                                           kids were all great friends and
                                      spouses from the Air Commando                                                 got together often.
                                      Association visit with us,” said                                                  I’m absolutely thrilled that
                                      Binnicker. “I think they’ll enjoy                                             ACA member General Norty
                                      the visit, and learn a lot about the                                          Schwartz has been nominated
   When the spouses of Air Com-       AFEV. While the attendees may                                                 as AF Chief of Staff. No one in
mando Association members visit       not need to know about the AFEV,                                              my memory is more qualified.
Fort Walton Beach in October for      chances are that one of the attend-                                           He will show them how to do it
the ACA’s annual reunion, they        ees knows someone who needs                 I had a nice call from General    right and I’ll be astounded if he
will have a special treat in store.   us.”                                    Bill Ginn. He’s doing well and        doesn’t pass total muster. A pox
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air          The tour will be Saturday, Oct.     spends his time doing for others      on any nay sayer.
Force Jim Binnicker, the president    11, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tour      when not traveling. Not sure yet          Joe Coleman called to tell me
and CEO of the Air Force Enlisted     attendees will receive a briefing       about attending our annual re-        that his dear wife Connie was
                                                                              union.                                down again with cancer... her
Air Force Enlisted Village Facts                                                  Bud and Paulette Britain vis-
                                                                              ited recently from Eagle River,
                                                                                                                    third episode. Just several days
                                                                                                                    ago I received a note that Connie
Top 10 Things You Need To Know About the Air Force Enlisted Village           Alaska. Unfortunately we were         had passed. Our sincerest condo-
                                                                              unable to join them. They did         lences and deepest sympathy Joe.
1. We are one of the four official charities of the Air Force.                visit the ACA building and noted      Joe did a lot of magic in Thailand
                                                                              all the changes since their earlier   in our Civic Action programs.
2. We receive no Federal, Air Force or State appropriated funds.              visit some years ago. Also, they          The 4th of July social was a
3. The 50 cents that comes out of all active duty people’s paychecks each     very thoughtfully sent Shirley a      screaming success again. “Bim”
month? That money DOES NOT come to the Air Force Enlisted Village.            beautiful “get well” bouquet.         Barker and his “rib moppers”,
It goes to the Armed Forces Retirement Home.                                      Received a “wish you were         Jerry and Damon, prepared what
4. Dependent Moms are accepted at the Air Force Enlisted Village. The         here” post card from Howie and        several people told me were the
dependent parents of retired or active-duty members are eligible for resi-    Gilberta Pierson from Australia.      best ribs ever! “Mr. T” and crew
dence there.                                                                  They were touring and visiting        fixed all the attending sides com-
                                                                              some of our Vietnam War co-           plimented by a tasty chocolate
5. The Air Force Enlisted Village is a safe, secure community. We have        warriors.
contracted security personnel available after normal business hours.                                                cake. Joyce Harrington put the
                                                                                  Congratulations to Heinie and     event together and along with Ted
6. We have the Hawthorn House, an assisted living residence for when          Ed Horton on their recent induc-      Saunders granddaughter, Ashley,
our residents need help with the activities of daily living.                  tion into the very distinguished      did the decorating. The attend-
7. Subsidy is available for qualifying Air Force enlisted widows to assist    “Gathering of Eagles”. From all       ing ladies were presented with
with the costs of independent or assisted living at the Air Force Enlisted    accounts shared with me by at-        a beautiful red, white and blue
Village.                                                                      tendee Fred Nowak it was quite a      corsage hand crafted by Reine
                                                                              glistening ceremony punctuated        White, wife of Board Member
8. Life at the Air Force Enlisted Village can be as active and involved as    by the appropriate pomp and cir-      Bob White.
each resident chooses. Some of our residents participate in almost all of     cumstance. President Sambogna             Dru Blancroft retires from the
the many events and activities we have each month. Some choose a more         also attended.                        Mary Esther Post Office in early
private lifestyle. It’s up to the resident.                                       Robby and Dee Roberson            August. Her service to the Post
9. Everything we do at the Air Force Enlisted Village is based on “The        were in town briefly. We were         Office, and especially to us, has
Mom Rule.” We treat each resident the way we would want our own               able to share an evening together     been unequaled. Husband Ken
Moms to be treated.                                                           hosted by Heinie and Anne Ader-       was on the mission to secure our
10. The Air Force Enlisted Village is not a place where widows come           holt. It was sort of a “down mem-     Iranian hostages. Thanks Dru for
to die. We’re where you come when you’re ready to live. The residents         ory lane” kind of visit. In the       everything, and you too Ken.
(average age 76) outrun the staff (average age 36) most days.                 early 60’s Anne lived just a few          Hope to see you in October!
aug 2008                                                    air Commando assoCiation                                                          Page 7


 ACA Letters & notes
DEAR SIR,                              ACA Scholarship foundation has       rial Sunday brought out some in- Ronald K Sable, Col. USAF RET.
     Having found your address on      been made.                           teresting (to me anyway) parallels 6561 N Mesa View Drive
the internet, I hope to write you in   Thank you.                           between his career and my experi- Tucson AZ 85718
reference to the base de Couvron in    Sincerely,                           ences. Both of us served on active ph 520-971-4318
France during the 1960’s of which      Jeanine Tiairtack                    duty for more than 5 years before
you were based with the Military                                            getting pilot wings, him as a civil Please update your records.
                                                   HHHHH                    engineer and me as a gunner (B-36, Thanks
Police. I am looking for informa-
                                                                            B-52). I was assigned to Hurlburt Ronald K Sable, Col. USAF RET
tion for one of your colleagues        DEAR SAM,                            to fly a single engine aircraft (T-28) Email: rkssable@aol.com
named Charlie John Johnson who             Thank you, the photos are great- in March 1963 and he was assigned
was a sergeant in the APS from         ly appreciated as is the donation to Hurlburt to fly a single engine                    HHHHH
1961 to June 1964 at Cauvron. He       in my dad’s name. He took great aircraft (U-28) in March 2008.              TO ALL WHO KNEW OR
is from North Carolina and partici-    pleasure in the ACA after his re- So we have 2 Air Commandos, Da- SERVED WITH LT COL
pated in D-Day in Normandy. The        tirement, to be remembered at his vid A. Krebs Sr. and David A Krebs PRESTON E. BRADLEY
name of my mother is Raymonde          passing means a great deal to us.    III, at Hurlburt almost exactly 45         Lt Col Preston E. Bradley
Dambrine. This information may                                              years apart. Spooky isn’t it?          USAF Ret, born May 20, 1927 in
not be too accurate but if you know    The Harrison Family                                                         Palmetto, FL, passed away on May
                                       912 Pocahontus Dr
someone who may fit these details,                                          Dave Krebs Sr.                         15, 2008. He was buried alongside
                                       Ft Walton Beach FL 32547             Box 773                                the Bradley family with military
would it be possible to contact
me?                                                HHHHH                    Destin, FL 32540                       honors at Lake Wales Cemetery.
                                                                                                                   He is Survived by his wife Elea-
                                                                                          nk Yo
    I am including my address, tele-

                                                                                   ha
                                       FELLOW COMMANDOS,                                                           nor Bradley and their children and
phone number and Internet address
                                           I was very sorry to see Dick                                            grandchildren; and those of us who
in case you have some ideas which
could help me find my father, or
                                       Givens appear in the Taps column.         T                                 were privileged to serve under him




                                                                                                       u
                                                                                                       u
                                       Dick and I flew together many                                               in the 21st SOS at Nakhon Phanom
if you would find need to contact      times with the 605 ACS during                                               RTAFB, Thailand from 1971 to
me.                                    1966-67 in Panama and surround-                                             1972.
      I am looking for this man be-    ing areas. I was always happy to                                                As a commander, he was not
cause he is my father. I would         be his navigator in the A-26, and                                           exactly John Wayne. He was bet-
like to know him or to know if I       on one memorable occasion, in a                                             ter. He was a heads-up, common
have sisters or brothers. Help me      box-new CH3 helicopter which he                                             sense, no nonsense guy. He was
please!                                agreed to test-drive for the squad-                                         soft spoken and spare in his words,
     I thank you in advance for any    ron.                                                                        possessing a delightfully dry sense
                                                                               1st Special Operations Wing         of humor. He respected and knew
help which you could give me.              Although I have not seen him
                                       since I left there in December                                              his people exceptionally well and
                                       1967, I have related many stories        On behalf of the entire 1st Spe- they, in turn, respected him and
Sincerely,
Denis Dambrine                         to my kids and other family about cial Operations Wing, thank you held him in high regard. He had a
38, Rue d’Ypres                        some of our adventures. He was for supporting Hurlburt Field’s knack for sorting out the warriors
69004 LYON France                      an officer and a gentleman; a good Quarterly Award Breakfast. With- and flyers from the administrators
Tel: 0033 4 78 28 48 33                friend to me, and a heck of a pi- out the continued contributions of and the not-so-good flyers and as-
E-mail: denisdambrine@yahoo.fr         lot. He was a good man. He will be our community the breakfast would signed duties and tasks equal to
                                       sorely missed by me, and I’m sure not have been a success. The men their rank and abilities. Thus it was
                                                                            and women of Team Hurlburt truly not unusual to see company grade
Ed Note: Submitted by Jo Bailey        many, many others.
                                                                            appreciate your kindness!
20 months ago. It was misplaced                                                                                    officers flying flight lead on com-
until now.                             Bob Urschel                                                                 bat missions leading field grade
                                                                            Marshall B. Webb,                      officers of lesser abilities. He set
Jo, please accept my apologies.        Perry Park, Colorado
                                                                            Col USAF,
                                       rjurschel@comcast.net                                                       the example for us all, flying most
                                                                            Commander                              of the tough missions because he
           HHHHH                                   HHHHH
                                                                                         HHHHH                     felt that he should have to share
DEAR MR. SAMBOGNA,                     SAM,                                                                        the same risks his men took on any
   My family and I join in thanking        Thanks for printing the press ACA,                                      combat mission.
                                       clip and note about David Krebs          As a life member of the Air
you for sympathy and condolences                                                                                           He had a dramatic and pos-
at the death of our dear husband,      III and the Krebs family in the May Commando Association, and one itive effect on the company grade
                                                                            who has lost contact with the orga-
father, grandfather, great-grandfa-    newsletter.                                                                 officers who served under him, es-
ther and friend. “Doug” would be       Ruminating about the past over a nization, I wanted to send you my tablishing quite a legacy. All who
so pleased that a donation to the      beer at David III’s house memo- new address
                                                                                                                                     See LETTERS, pg. 8
Page 8                                                                 air Commando assoCiation                                                          aug 2008


                                  NEW!                                                 Letters
                                                                                       Continued from page 7                   If any VN Blood Chits pop up,

       SILENT AUCTION                                                                  knew him tried to emulate him.
                                                                                       Most of them went on to achieve
                                                                                                                           keep me in mind.
                                                                                                                               Just got home from Memorial
                                                                                                                           Day services in Washington DC at
                                                                                       ranks ranging from Lt Col to Maj.
                 at the 2008 ACA Reunion                                               Gen becoming outstanding com- our ‘wall’ and Arlington National
         Thursday - Sunday in the Hospitality Room.                                    manders in their own right.         Cemetery where I visited grave
                                                                                          To those of us who were fortu- sites of Air Commandos (several
               Donations Needed!                                                       nate enough to have served under of which were marked: 1st Air
                                                                                       him, he was the best of the best. Commandos); Vietnam. Also vis-
                                                                                       That’s the kind of guy he was to us ited the USAF Memorial across the
                 Items-of-Value only please                                            in our tiny, obscure band of broth- river, spectacular! And the Army’s
           Memorabilia, Books, Pictures, Models, etc.                                  ers of the 21st SOS, NKP, RTAFB, Special Ops Museum at Ft Bragg
                                                                                                                           (also well done!).
  Call the ACA office or stop by with your donated items before Oct 9th.               Thailand.
                                                                                          God bless you and keep you Col       If ya’ll haven’t visited them,
 Contact Joyce at the Country Store at 850-581-0099 if any questions.
                                                                                       Bradley, rest in eternal peace and shame on you, they are very worth-
                                                                                       joy.                                while visiting.

                          Forward Air                                                  Robert Lovretich                         Marty Jester
                                                                                                                                9530 SW. 187 St

                          Controller                                                   YO ACA BROTHERS,
                                                                                         Got the Challenge coin!
                                                                                                                                Miami FL 33157


                          Reunion
                     October 1-5, 2008                                                 Memorial Day Tribute
  Welcome to the Forward Air Controller’s (FAC) Reunion.
  The Crowne Plaza in Colorado Springs is the place for renewing old
  friendships and starting new ones. You will want to attend the entire
  event!
  Be sure to call the hotel directly for your reservations and tell them you
  are with the Forward Air Controllers to get the discounted rate of just
  $95.00! These rates are good from September 28 to October 8, so -
  come early and stay late! Check the hotel website for a list of ameni-
  ties.
              You can also make your hotel reservations at:
              www.crowneplaza.com/coloradospring.
              Enter your requested dates, enter our Group Code
              F01 (F Zero One) then click Check Availability.
              The hotel address and reservation phone number is:
                           Crowne Plaza Hotel                                          ACA member Butch Sluschewski salutes with members of the Fort Walton Beach High
                                                                                       School ROTC.
                           2886 South Circle Drive
                           Colorado Springs, CO 80906                                  By Joyce Harrington                      Emcee during the ceremony. A first
                           1-719-576-5900                                              This past May 26th, Beal Cemetery        this year was ACA member, Terry
                                                                                       marked 15 years of a service hon-        ‘Ace’ Shepherd placing a wreath
  The basic reservation fee includes the banquet, transportation to the Memorial       oring our deceased veterans hosted       for the Merchant Marines. A relat-
  Dedication, and memento gifts to each registrant. Our distinguished banquet          by the Disabled American Veterans        ed story on the Merchant Marines
  speaker will be Major General Mason Whitney (Mike 54). There will be enter-
  tainment following the banquet.                                                      Playground chapter 72.                   is on page 20.
  FAC aircraft will be on display and available for flights at Meadow Lake Airport.    The sun shone brightly across the        As 12 noon approached, the roar of
  These aircraft will also provide a ‘fly-by’ at the Memorial Dedication, along with   acres of American flags that were        the F15s from the 85th Squadron of
  F-16’s from the Colorado Air National Guard.                                         placed on the graves by the Fort         Eglin AFB came overhead for the
  Once again, you are encouraged to make your hotel reservations early, as
                                                                                       Walton Beach High School ROTC.           missing man formation. One plane
  we expect a very large reunion attendance. Please check the reunion website
  regularly for updates: www.fac-assoc.org
                                                                                       Uniforms worn so proudly repre-          appropriately disappeared into a
                                                                                       sented all the branches of service.      cloud in front of the crowd.
        Joe Potter,              Charlie Pocock                      Ken Blutt         Over 50 different organizations          This service of remembrance is
  Reunion Chairman              Reunion Co-Chair                Reunion Co-Chair       came forward to place their wreath,      only a small gesture to honor our
     719-488-3954                719-488-9056                     719-351-8284
   jpottercs@aol.com        Charmarpock@comcast.net            kblutt@earthlink.net
                                                                                       and to read the names of those de-       deceased veterans. We live in the
     Sidewinder 16                  Viper 7                         Covey 587          ceased within the past year.             land of the free because of the
                                                                                       ACA member Bill Zell was the             brave.
aug 2008                                                    air Commando assoCiation                                                              Page 9


First Ever World-Wide Combat Talon
Reunion Held in Fort Walton Beach
By Robert B. Underwood Jr              Director at US Special Operations     I and II aircraft. For many of the     comrades. Gen Schwartz gave a
   On one hand, some of the “stars”    Command (USSOCOM) Center              families who were there, it was the    tribute from the heart, and we were
who helped make Talon history          for Special Operations (and former    first time they had ever been on-      all touched by this solemn ceremo-
over the past four decades were        16 SOW/CC), and the current Vice      board this aircraft so important to    ny of distinction and its meaning to
there for the weekend. Seasoned        Commander of the 1st Special Op-      their spouse or loved one. For some    the Talon community.
crew members from the Son Tay          erations Wing, Col. Mark Alsid.       of the folks for whom it has been a        For all of you who missed the
Raid, “Desert One,” “Urgent Fury”      This esteemed collection of the       few years since stepping aboard a      reunion, you deprived yourself of
and “Just Cause,” joined Talon vets    most influential leaders in today’s   Talon, it was a nostalgic trip back    a great time! The hospitality room
                                       Air Force Special Operations was      to a familiar time.                    was a popular place with eats,
                                       testimony to the Talon legacy and         One of the highlights for the      drinks and friends, and the weather
                                       the people who brought it to life.    weekend was when Buff Under-           at the Quality Inn was perfect for
                                          As a bonus to everyone in the      wood unveiled a LARGE draft of         all to enjoy a Spring weekend dur-
                                       Talon community, just a few days      a Combat Talon memorial monu-
                                       after the reunion we found out that   ment. This magnificent, stone mon-
                                       General Schwartz had been se-         ument will be placed in a promi-
                                       lected to serve as the next Chief     nent spot to be announced later.
                                       of Staff of the Air Force! Having a       The replica showed that the
                                       former MC-130 pilot and 16 SOW        monument will commemorate all
                                       Wing Commander as the upcom-          of the organizations that have been
                                       ing leader of the United States Air   home to the Talon over the years,
                                       Force only emphasizes how the         as well as serve as a memorial to
                                       Talon and its people have become      the men and women who have paid
                                       integral to the mission of the USAF   the ultimate sacrifice in service to
Gen Norty Schwartz                     and today’s mission in the Global     the Talon mission. The cost for
who flew combat over the skies of      War on Terrorism.                     this massive stone will be borne
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq,            Friday and Saturday were days      totally by members of the Talon
Kuwait and Afghanistan (to name        for the Talon family to eat, drink    community, and we raised more
a few areas of operations) to share    and visit together. Saturday morn-    than $10,000 in donations in this
and compare stories with their Tal-    ing also featured a visit to Hurl-    reunion weekend. Quite a good          LtGen Donny Wurster and Gen Norty
                                       burt Field for an update-brief on     omen for the campaign we’ll be         Schwartz enjoy food and friends at Talon
on comrades in arms. The weekend                                                                                    reunion.
together gave all the Talon mem-       the current and future ops of the     conducting over the next year to
bers, past and present, the chance     Combat Talon around the world.        raise the funds for the monument.     ing one of the best times of the
to “catch up” on each other’s sto-     Thanks to Ned Calvert for putting     By the way, a special commemo-        year for the Florida panhandle.
ries and reflect on friendships that   that very special presentation to-    rative Combat Talon coin was un-      Barbeque, wurst on the grill, free-
have last through the many years.                                                                                  flowing suds and a few hundred
    On the other hand, the stars                                                                                   members of the Talon family were
came out in blue, in the form of                                                                                   a perfect mix for the three days.
General officers there to honor the                                                                                   For the many people who helped
Combat Talon mission and the men                                                                                   plan and execute this weekend, we
and women who flew it. General                                                                                     say thanks. There are too many to
(that’s four-stars) Norty Schwartz,                                                                                mention in this article, but without
currently the Commander of Unit-                                                                                   your hard work and commitment,
ed States Transportation Com-                                                                                      this weekend would not have hap-
mand (USTRANSCOM), came in                                                                                         pened. Talon members have been
for the reunion, and was the key-                                                                                  noted for their dedication to mis-
note speaker at Sunday’s memorial      gether. In that “up close and per-    veiled at the reunion, and it will be sion, and the volunteers who put
service. Gen Schwartz has a solid      sonal” brief, we heard, first hand,   presented to all donors to the Talon together this first reunion exem-
Talon legacy as a pilot and former     of some of the incredible combat      Monument fund over $20. This is plified that proud tradition. We’ll
commander.                             exploits in ongoing Operations        definitely a collector’s item, and be posting photos of the weekend
    Joining him were Lt General        Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and       it’s available in a limited quantity. soon, on the 7th ACS and SGI
Donny Wurster, the Commander of        then we saw what’s in the future          Sunday morning we gathered websites, so check them out!
Air Force Special Operations Com-      for the Talon mission and aircraft.   at the Hurlburt Air Park for a me-       Although this was the first all-
mand (AFSOC) his vice command-         From that briefing, we went out to    morial service, honoring our fallen   Talon reunion, it won’t be the last.
er, Maj Gen Kurt Cichowski, Maj        the Hurlburt flight line and took     brothers and sisters. At the service We’ll let you know when we have
Gen Dave “Chode” Scott, Deputy         an in-depth tour of Combat Talon      were family members of our lost another one in the planning stage.
Page 10          air Commando assoCiation   aug 2008


          ACA 4th of July Social
aug 2008                                                              air Commando assoCiation                                                               Page 11

Doolittle Raiders receive heartfelt homecoming
By Airman 1st Class Anthony Jennings           through 25, 1942. They were told          ed extensive practice under vary-         the air. After successfully complet-
96th Air Base Wing Public Affairs              any violations of secrecy could           ing conditions to determine which         ing the bombing raid, all planes
                                               mean that the lives of hundreds of        technique would be most suitable          except one either crashed landed
   Six of the surviving 16 Doolittle           people would be put at risk. Little       for the B-25 Mitchells to adopt for       or the crew bailed out. One plane
Raiders were in attendance for the             did they know they would be part          short distance take-offs essential        landed in Russia and the five-man
66th anniversary of the Doolittle              of the war’s turning point and ul-        for the mission.                          crew was interned, but released one
Raider on Japan. The Airmen were               timately be recorded in history as            While at Eglin the Doolittle          year later. The last aircraft to take
part of a secret mission designed to           American heroes.                          Raiders also spent considerable           off from the carrier crash landed on
retaliate against the Japanese attack              “I landed at Eglin Field on           time practicing bombing runs over         the China coast and the crew be-
on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7,               March 3, called all the men to-           water at minimum altitude using           came Japanese prisoners of war.
1941. The airmen were successful               gether, and told them that they           water slicks as target. Many Flor-            “The most memorable moment
in their mission and were named                would be training for an exception-       ida coast residents subjected to          of the mission wasn’t the train-
from the Doolittle raiders for Lt.             ally dangerous mission,” said Gen.        the vigorous low-altitude dry-run         ing, long over-water flight or the
Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle.                  James “Jimmy” Doolittle in a 1991         attacks made numerous telephone           dropping of the bombs in Tokyo,
                                               book interview. “If anyone got par-       complaints to the commander at            it was the crash landing,” said Sgt.
                                               ticularly nosy about why we were          Eglin Field.                              Thatcher. “You just can’t forget
                                               at Eglin or what we were doing,               The project was led by then Lt.       something like that.”
                                               they would give me his name, and          Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle, a               Of the 80 men who took part in
                                               the FBI would take it from there.”        man whom many of the surviving            the raid, two drowned after ditch-
                                                   The crew was also informed that       Raiders refer to as a “leader like        ing their aircraft, one died after
                                               the mission would be a one-way trip       none other.”                              bailing out of the aircraft and eight
                                               and they were given an opportunity            “Jimmy Doolittle was the best         men were captured by the Japa-
                                               to back out. No one did consider-         person for the job leading those 16       nese: Three crew members were
                                               ing the magnitude of the mission’s        aircraft in the entire Air Force,” said   executed by firing squad, one died
                                               importance. The members did not           Lt. Col. Bobby Hite. “I couldn’t          of beriberi and mistreatment, and
                                               find out the target destination until     imagine the mission going any             the other four survived 40 months
                                               the planes were loaded on the USS         more successful with someone else         of prison, most of which spent in
                                               Hornet and the raid was underway.         taking the lead.”                         solitary confinement.
                                                   “We may not have known where              On March 25, 1942, the air-               All 80 raiders were awarded
                                               we were going, but we knew that           planes and crews departed for             the Distinguished Flying Cross.
                                               we wouldn’t have enough fuel to           Sacramento, Calif., where they re-        Those imprisoned and tortured
                                               make it back,” said Staff Sgt. Dave       ceived a final check and additional       also received the Purple Heart.
                                               Thatcher, engineer /gunner aboard         flight training. By April 1, 1942,        Two Doolittle Raiders were given
Retired Master Sgt. Ed Horton, Doolittle       the seventh aircraft to take off dur-     the 80-man crew and 16 chosen             the Silver Star for gallantry in the
Raider from Crew 10, signs a piece of the
Special Delivery, a personally-owned B-25      ing the raid. “We accepted that fact      airplanes were loaded aboard the          line of duty, one being Sergeant
Mitchell. Sergeant Horton flew to Duke         long before we left so there weren’t      Hornet and set off to accomplish          Thatcher. Colonel Doolittle re-
Field for the Doolittle Raider Homecom-        any second thoughts or regrets once       their mission.                            ceived the Medal of Honor from
ing May 31 in the Special Delivery. Sgt
Horton is an ACA member and resides in
                                               the raid commenced.”                          Colonel Doolittle feared Japan        President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Ft Walton. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt.       The first part of the training pro-   may have been aware of their pres-            Many World War II historians
Stacia Zachary)                                gram for the pilots participating in      ence after a small fishing boat was       hail this mission as the crucial turn-
                                               this historic event was practicing        spotted and destroyed. As a result,       ing point in war. In a time when
   “Throughout the history of this             taking off from carriers.                 the Doolittle Raiders launched off        Japanese morale couldn’t be high-
mighty nation, many Airmen and                 *Ed Note: This is incorrect. None         the aircraft carrier April 18, 1942,      er, it was inconceivable to believe
other military service members                 of the B-25 pilots assigned to the        to travel 600 miles to the Japanese       that an attack on Japan’s home is-
have had the chance to stand on the            Raid ever took off from a carrier.        mainland. Because of the early            lands was possible. The idea that
shoulders of giants,” said Col. Rick           Only Lt. John E. Fitzgerald and Lt.       take-off, the planes would be short       enemy forces could bomb Tokyo,
LoCastro, 96th Air Base Wing vice              James F. McCarthy made take-offs          of fuel to reach the “safe zones” in      let alone bomb the Imperial Palace,
commander. “Today Team Eglin                   from the Hornet 100 miles out from        nearby China. The aircraft under-         sent shockwaves throughout the
has the wonderful opportunity to               Norfolk, VA. These 2 pilots proved        went desperate measures to pre-           War Cabinet and the Imperial High
dine with them.”                               there were no problems on carrier         pare the planes to give them the          Command. As a result, Japanese
   Sixty-six years ago, after the              take-offs with ordance and extra          maximum amount of fuel storage            fighter groups were recalled from
surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on             fuel tanks.                               available.                                abroad for home defense.
Dec. 7, 1941, 140 Army Air Corps                 Navy Lt. Henry Miller, ordered              Despite the lack of fuel, all             Six of the 16 surviving Doolit-
personnel were brought to Eglin                from Pensacola, Fla., familiarized        16 planes took off successfully,          tle Raiders that attended the home-
Main, Wagner Field, Duke Field                 Army personnel with naval cus-            reached and bombed their assigned         coming were Lt. Col. Dick Cole,
and Eglin Auxiliary Fields No. 1               toms and carrier techniques. With         targets. Many planes encountered          Maj. Tom Griffin, Maj. Gen. Davy
and No. 3, to train for a “danger-             flags spotted along the runways           anti-aircraft fire while some en-
ous secret mission,” from March 9              every 100 feet, all pilots conduct-       countered enemy interception in                          See DOOLITTLE, pg. 12
Page 12                                                                air Commando assoCiation                                                                      aug 2008


PAVE LOW lands in Air Force Museum
By 2nd Lt. Lauren Johnson                    mand and control helicopter in the
1st SOW Public Affairs                       rescue attempt of American prison-
   Chief Master Sgt. John De-Salle           ers from the Son Tay prison camp
and MH-53 PAVE LOW aircraft                  in North Vietnam. For the mission,
number 68-10357 have something               the crew of 357 received an Air
in common: they both have roots              Force Cross and four Silver Stars.
in Ohio.                                     Out of the five helicopters that par-
     Chief DeSalle, a 20th Special           ticipated, 357 is the only one not
Operations Squadron gunner, grew             lost in combat.
up in the state. The helicopter,                  After 38 years of service, 357
known as 357, planted permanent              flew its final mission in Iraq March
roots in Dayton July 7 when it was           28.
inducted into the National Museum                   DeSalle, who served on that
of the United States Air Force.              mission, said it was bittersweet.
    “It’s important to us at the mu-                “I’ve been flying the PAVE
seum, because we have a charter,”            LOW for 16 years,” he said. “We’re
said retired Maj. Gen. Charles               a six-man crew from crew brief to            Lt. Col. Shawn Henrie, 20th Special Operations Squadron, addresses the crowd during
Metcalf, museum director, in an in-          debrief, but it is this aircraft that        the induction ceremony for the MH-53 PAVE LOW tail number 357. Henrie was the air-
                                                                                          craft commander for the helicopter’s final flight June 28 in Iraq. He is accompanied at the
duction ceremony in the museum’s             really brings people together. It’s          podium by his crew: Master Sgt. Robert Strong, Tech. Sgt. Vincent DePersio, Master Sgt.
Cold War Gallery. He referenced              awesome. I hate to see it go.”               Kevin James, Chief Master Sgt. John DeSalle and Capt Nathan Davidson. The remaining
the museum motto: “We are the                     During the ceremony, Lt. Gen.           MH-53s will be retired by Sept. 30.
keeper of their stories.”                    Donny Wurster, commander of the              and operated that have been flying             deactivated by Sept. 30. Some of
    “Visitors come and want to hear          Air Force Special Operations Com-            for two-thirds of the history of the           the helicopter’s mission sets will be
the story about each and every air-          mand and former MH-53 pilot, ad-             Air Force,” he said. “The machines             taken over by the CV-22 Osprey.
craft.”                                      dressed the rich history of the en-          did not do the job themselves, but                  “This is home for me,” Colo-
     Number 357 has many stories             tire PAVE LOW community.                     always they remained the enduring              nel Becker said, “This aircraft, this
to tell.                                         “(357) is but one of a fleet of 72       posture to respond to the nation’s             squadron. I haven’t thought a lot
     In 1970, it served as the com-          of its kind that the Air Force owned         call when needed.”                             about the future, I’m just trying to
                                                                                                Lt. Col. Eugene Becker, 20th             cherish every moment of it.”
 The end of an era for Pave                                                               SOS commander, said the muse-
                                                                                          um, which saw 1.3 million visitors
                                                                                                                                            For many of the squadron mem-
                                                                                                                                         bers, including Sergeant DeSalle,
 Low and 20th SOS                                                                         last year, is a fitting resting place
                                                                                          for the PAVE LOW.
                                                                                                                                         the museum provides a saving
                                                                                                                                         grace — their mission immortal-
                                                                                               “Inducting it here is a very ap-          ized a chance to reflect on their
                                                                                          propriate way to end its career of             shared history well into the future.
                                                                                          important service to the Air Force                   “September is going to be a
                                                                                          and to the United States,” he said.            tough month for us,” he said, “but
                                                                                          “It recognizes the 40-year combat              we have everything to come back
                                                                                          legacy of the H-53.”                           to.”
                                                                                              The remaining MH-53s will be
                                                                                                                                                 See more pave Low on page 22
                                                                                          retired and the 20th SOS will be



 MH-53 PAVE LOW helicopters from Hurlburt Field fly over the Gulf of Mexico during
 the last five-ship formation of the 20th Special Operations Squadron June 12. The
                                                                                          Doolittle
 MH-53 will be retired from the Air Force inventory later this year. (Photo/Senior Air-    Continued from page 11
 man Emily Moore)
                                                                                                                                         mission despite the dangers.”
                                                                                          Jones, Master Sgt. Ed Horton, Lt.                 Ed Note: Recently, four of the
     The last of the Special Ops combat helicopters will retire this fall.                Col. Bobby Hite and Staff Sgt.                 Doolittle Raiders: Richard Cole -
 That is the end for the mighty MH-53 Pave Low as they are sent to the                    Dave Thatcher.                                 crew #1 Doolittle’s copilot; David
 bone yard or placed on sticks in front of Air Force bases around the                        When asked how they would                   Thatcher - crew #7 engineer-gun-
 states. This calls for a party. The 20th deactivation party and Pave Low                 like for their legacy to be honored,           ner; Tom Griffin - crew #9 navi-
 retirement will take place in Ft Walton on 16 – 18 Oct 2008.                             Maj. Tom Griffin responded, “We                gator; and Ed Horton - crew #10
     The events include a dinner on 16 Oct at the Hurlburt Soundside                      don’t ask a special holiday be cre-            engineer-gunner, visited the ACA
 Club, deactivation and dedication at the Hurlburt Air park on 17 Oct,                    ated for us or anything like that,             building, escorted by ACA mem-
 and a party at the Quality Inn motel on 18 Oct. Details are available on                 we only wish to be remembered as               ber Wes Fields. They autographed
 the Pave Low web site at: www.thepavecave.com. More information                          service members that were given a              their book, the “Doolittle Raid” for
 will be posted on the web as the detailed plans are made.                                mission and we accomplished that               our library.
aug 2008                                                      air Commando assoCiation                                                             Page 13

Air Commando Day at Planes of Fame Air Museum
By Eugene D. Rossel                    the present.                              and easily can shield any operation    along Route 15 below Bien Hoa
    The Planes of Fame (POF) Mu-          The Air Commandos started in           from prying eyes).                     Air Base and Vang Tau. He talked
seum of chino, CA held another Air     1943 when Gen Arnold was asked               Airplanes assigned were WWII        about how they flew their defo-
Commando Day at the Chino Air-         by the British for help supporting        and Korean vintage to include          liation mission and the maneuvers
port on 5 Jul 2008. They called me     Gen Wingate and his Chindits in           B-26, C-47, C-46, AT-28, A-1E and      they used to surprise the enemy
a little late this year due to some    Opening the Burma Road to sup-            a U-28/U-10 Helio STOL aircraft.       to avoid his gunfire flying 100 ft
management changes and I had a         port China since the Japanese took        All prop driven, which matched the     off the deck. They also used FAC
week to get speakers and material.     control of it in 1942. This was the       WWII Air Commando aircraft.            aircraft to call in fighter aircraft to
The ACA sent me their new re-          beginning and birthplace of Spe-             The USAF AC/ SOF Units were         soften the area up before they flew
cruiting pamphlet with some news-      cial Operations.                          the most decorated in Vietnam.         low and slow over the area to be
letters and AFSOC sent me their                                                                                         sprayed. He indicated that people
pamphlets, pictures of airplanes                                                                                        claiming to have been drenched
and two books to give out during                                                                                        by “Agent” Orange on the ground
the briefings. All were given out                                                                                       was questionable since 3 jiggers (3
to the approximately 350 attendees                                                                                      ounces) of Agent Orange was used
(a smaller attendance was expect-                                                                                       per acre--.009 oz per sq foot. The
ed because of the 4 July holiday)                                                                                       term agent orange was coined by
and the two books, along with Bob                                                                                       Bill Curtis of CBS. His talk was
Gleason’s book “Air Commando                                                                                            informative, humorous and well
Chronicles,” were included with                                                                                         received by the audience.
the drawing for a ride in a P-51D                                                                                           The next speaker was Charlie
Mustang. This added to 4 draw-                                                                                          Spicka who talked about his expe-
ings which everyone was happy                                                                                           rience in flying the AC-130 Gun-
about.                                                                                                                  ship in SEAsia, ‘68 - ‘69. Charlie
    Due to the short notice I was                                                                                       served in the Pentagon, ‘70 - ‘73,
able to get 2 speakers as well as                                                                                       with several ACA members, includ-
myself for the day and their subject                                                                                    ing Tom Schornack, and the Purple
delighted the 350 eager aviation       Photo courtesy of Frank Mormillo/Planes of Fame                                  Water Fountain Gang. Charlie al-
aficionados who attended. There                                                  50% of the USAF MOH winners            ways wanted to be a fighter pilot,
were two WWII Air Commandos-           • The Air Commando WWII suc-              were from AC/SOF units.                but was sent to C-119’s after UPT.
OB Carter a P-51A pilot and his        cesses includes                               Today Hurlburt Field has grown     He flew Flying Boxcars (C-119’s)
crew chief Gene Piester. The POF       • Validated Forward Air Control-          into a modern base with great fa-      all over Europe before converting
air Museum has been totally up-        lers                                      cilities, money for support, and       to C-130 aircraft in ‘58 in France.
graded in the last couple years and    • Tested and validated helicopter         latest technology in aircraft as-      Charlie was assigned to the AF
is now a world-class air museum        technology                                signed (CV-22 Osprey &UAV) and         Academy, ‘65 - ‘68, where General
to include an Air Commando dis-        • Established aeromedical evacu-          state of the art equipment. It has a   Robin Olds told him to get some
play. The founder of the museum        ation process                             squadron of Russian aircraft which     combat time. Charlie was advised
is Ed Maloney (non flyer but a         • Pioneered the development of            they use to help friendly nations      that he had an A-1E SEA assign-
very knowledgeable expert on all       special operations unit                   who use these aircraft. It is a base   ment when he learned there was a
aircraft) who started the museum       • Expanded air logistics role in          we never dreamed of in 1961. The       need for Gunship pilots. As Char-
some 50 years ago and his son-in-      theater ops                               AC/SOF forces have continued to        lie had lots of C-130 Hercules time,
law Steve Hinton, a world famous       • Exploited night operations              grow since BG Ben King organized       AF/MPC changed his assignment
aviator and movie pilot who never      • Foreshadowed Night gunship              it with practically nothing in 1961.   to the 16th SOS at Ubon RTAFB,
served in the military and learned     tactics                                       Books Ralph Van Wagner’s           Thailand. Charlie gave the as-
his flying while working at the mu-    • Introduced rocket weaponry              book “Any Place, Any time, Any         sembled group an insight into a
seum, is the president of the POF                                                Where” and Bob Gleason’s book          typical “truck killing” Interdiction
and has flown every WWII and              In 1961 the USAF established           “Air Commando Chronicles” are          mission, at night, over the Trails in
most Korean jets at the museum.        Jungle Jim in the 4400 CCTS               the two best books on the history      Laos. He also explained how an air-
Steve is currently widely known as     which was the forerunner of the           of the Air Commandos.                  craft, using ‘Pylon Geometry’ with
one of the few P-38 pilots who fly     USAF Air Commandos and Spe-                   Jack Spey, Vietnam Ranch           sensors connected to a computer,
Glacier Girl which was recovered       cial Operations Forces today.             Hand Association President and         could locate targets. He described
from Greenland.                           Col Ben King, a WWII ace and           C-123 pilot for 11 years with some     all the AC-130 weapons and how
    The briefing was started at 1000   unconventional officer, was named         5700 hours and 3 1/2 years in op-      every 14 member crew worked to-
hours with their MC giving a short     commander by Gen Lemay                    eration Ranch Hand, talked about       gether to destroy 10,000 (Ed note:
history of the WWII Air Comman-           The unit was based at Hurlburt         the operation in South East Asia. It   this number is highly questionable)
dos and I then followed with the       Field, FL (Field 9 of Eglin AFB           started out in 1961 when six C-123     trucks between ‘68 and the end of
evolution of the Air Commandos         which is the largest Air base in the      were sent to Vietnam and in Janu-      the Vietnam War.
to the current SOF –from 1943 to       world (850 Sq miles Land territory        ary 1962 they started defoliation                         See pLANES, pg. 15
Page 14                                                             air Commando assoCiation                                                                    aug 2008




Laos                                                       do not flood. Most of the schools now have real dation over the years in places like Philippines
Our Newest Project                                         indoor bathrooms as well. We still have many and Panama. This shipment will arrive in Ecua-
    The MTF partnership with the TLC Brother-              projects identified that need our attention. Give dor this fall.
hood is expanding to include school projects in            a little or a lot, just give, to help these wonder-
northern Laos. Many of the SEA era Comman-                 ful people. Send you check to: MTF, PO Box
dos have spent many hours over and on the land             67, Mary Esther , Fl 32569. Indicate if the funds        Tennessee
around the Plain du Jares (PDJ). Our member                are for our general MTF fund, Thai ,or Laos Continuing our Support
Mac Thompson recently made a trip to the NE                projects.                                               MTF received a nice thank you letter from
corner of Laos and has selected several projects                                                               the Hawkins County area Habitat for Human-
that we as Commandos and TLC members can                   Ecuador                                             ity. MTF has provided large loads of clothing
accomplish with little funds and great results.                Working with the Admiral Jeremiah Den- and supplies to Rogersville, TN in the past 9
Mac has established a working relationship with            ton Foundation, the MTF will provided a ma- months. Our support to that very poor area of
the local governing officials and feels confident          jor portion of a SEA LAND container for the the US is made possible because Air Comman-
that we can make a difference. If you were a               people of Ecuador. The Denton Foundation has do Frank Gray and his bride Penelope. They
guest of the great Lao people and would like               arranged for shipping and distribution of many have arranged to store and distribute the items
to repay them for the hospitality NOW IS THE               items. MTF will provide soap, razors, ball point to the most needy. That includes the Habitats
TIME. When you donate funds this quarter to                pens, hospital textiles like sheets and scrubs, new home recipients. We will continue to haul
MTF please indicate which country you wish                 kitchen items, and chairs for a hospital waiting ‘stuff’ north for Frank and Penelope to distrib-
for us to provide assistance.                              room. We have worked with the Denton Foun- ute.


Thailand
4 More Schools
   The MTF/ Air Commando effort has been
just outstanding. Your contributions have fund-
ed at least 22 school projects in the NKP area.
Many of these were complete rebuilds of the
rural schools, like the last four you funded this
                                                            Projects in Honduras like the John Grove High School are giv-
                                                            ing children a chance to learn.




                                                                                                                            Donation from ACA members made it possible to
                                                                                                                            provide first aid kits like the one pictured above
                                                                                                                            to area schools.




                                                            Above is a learning lab with com-
                                                            puters donated by the ACA for
                                                            students.
Thai kids enjoy a break at one of the tables provided by
the Air Commandos.

summer. Many Thai school kids now have clean                Pictured right is a grade school
                                                            saying thank you for food, clothes,
safe water for the first time thanks to you. They           and continued support in main-
also have roofs that do not leak and floors that            taining buildings.
aug 2008                                                    air Commando assoCiation                                                                    Page 15

Planes                                                                                           Air Commando Association
Continued from page 13

    Charlie mentioned he had nom-      5 mechanics. He said OB Carter                            Membership Application
inated Col. Ron Terry, USAF (ret.),    always completed his missions and
the Father of Gunships, for induc-     did not return early from a target     Membership is open to:
tion into the National Aviation Hall   with some strange sounds they          • Persons who served or are currently serving with or supported Air
of Fame in Dayton, Ohio.               heard in the engine that day. There      Force Air Commando/Special Operations Units.
    They next introduced one of the    were other pilots that would.          • Widows of persons eligible for regular membership qualify as
first Air Commandos, a WWII P-            Jack Spey, who spent 3 years in       non-dues paying members.
51A pilot who had shot down two        Laos, was to talk about Project 404    • Other units/interested parties may join as non-voting associate
Oscars. His name was O.B. Carter       and the air war in Laos but time         members with approval of the Board of Directors.
who is a docent at Palm Springs Air    ran out. They then had a draw-
Museum and well versed and gave                                               Type of Membership you are requesting:
                                       ing for the P-51D ride and for the     _____ $20 Annual Regular        _____ $150 Life Regular
us a short talk on his experience in
                                       three books donated by AFSOC           _____ $20 Annual Associate      _____ $150 Life Associate
the organization. His crew chief
                                       and ACA. The P-51 took the lucky       _____ Widow (No Dues)
Gene Piester was the next speaker.
He was selected for the WWII Air       winner up for about a 20 minute
Commandos through an interview         ride over the Chino airport and the    Name: _________________________________Rank: _________
in the states and was chosen out of    rest of us either left or toured the
                                                                              Address: _____________________________________________
                                       museum.
                                                                              City: __________________________ST: ____ZIP: ___________
Campbell receives journalism award                                            Phone: (____)__________________Cell:(____) ______________
    Local writer Bill Campbell has    “I was just overwhelmed,”
received the Will Rogers Humani- Campbell said of receiving the               Email: _______________________________________________
tarian Award at the National Soci- award. “It just kind of validates an       Branch of Service:  USAF  Army  Navy  USMC  Other
ety of Newspaper Columnists’ an- otherwise hedonistic existence.”             If other please list:_______________________________________
nual conference.
                                   Ed note:                                   AFSC/MOS: ____________________Job Title:_______________
                                   Bill is an ACA life member. He has
                                   been very supportive of the ACA in         Dates of Service: From____/____ To: ____/____ Retired? Y or N
                                   past years. He has been the emcee
                                   at our banquets, and has written           Air Commando/Special Operations Service:
                                   complimentary stories about ACA            Unit: ______ Aircraft: ________ Location: __________ Date____
                                   members when he was a columnist            Unit: ______ Aircraft: ________ Location: __________ Date____
                                   for the Northwest Florida Daily
                                                                              If more room is needed please use separate piece of paper.
                                   News. Bill, thanks for all you do!
                                                                              Present Occupation:______________________________________
                                        Gets great mileage: The               Spouses Name: _________________________________________
                                        average American walks                Permission to provide phone # and address to other ACA members only? ___ Yes ___ No
    The award recognizes colum-         900 miles a year, reports             Permission to publish phone # and address in ACA newsletter? ___ Yes ___ No
nists whose sustained work in civic     a Harvard study. The av-
journalism benefits their communi-                                            Amount Enclosed: $___________
ties.
                                        erage American drinks 22
    Campbell, a former columnist        gallons of alcohol a year;            Signature: _______________________________ Date:_________
for the Northwest Florida Daily         says the American Medi-
                                                                              Return application to:
News, has been writing in the area      cal Association. So Jack
                                                                                                   Air Commando Association
for more than 20 years.                 Finarelli of SportsCur-                                    P.O. Box 7
    He has served on a number of        mudgeon.com connected                                      Mary Esther, FL 32569-0007
local boards and been involved in       the dots: “This means
many organizations, including the
Children’s Advocacy Center and
                                        Americans get about 41                For Office Use Only: Membership Number:_________________
the American Cancer Society.            miles to the gallon. Kind             Amount Paid: ___________ Ck #: _________ Date:__________
    He now is a columnist for the       of makes you proud to be
                                                                               Entered in Membership Database                       Welcome Package Sent
Beachcomber in Destin.                  an American.”
Schedule of events - October 9-12, 2008                                                                      Buy Your Tickets Early                                           2008 Reunion Ticket Order Form
           ★ ★ ★ Thursday,                 October 9 ★ ★ ★                     The 2008 banquet will feature table                                                                                                   Ticket      Number of              Total
1300-2000 Early registration & check-in at Hospitality Suite, Quality Inn service with choice of entrees; prime rib or                                                                                               Price        Tickets               Cost
1400-???  Hospitality Suite open for action                               chicken. Please mark your ticket order with
                                                                                                                                                                    Reunion Package
1700-2100 Heavy Hors d’oeuvres at Hurlburt Soundside Club                 your choice. The banquet facility has a strict
                                                                          seating policy enforced by the base fire mar-
                                                                                                                                                                    (Includes Fish Fry, Banquet, & BBQ)               $70.00          _______            ______
          ★ ★ ★ Friday, October 10 ★ ★ ★                                  shal. The maximum number of guest seats is                                                Friday Fish Fry ONLY                              $15.00          _______            ______
0830      Golf registration at Hurlburt Golf Course                       320. No squeeze-in seats for last minute space-                                           Saturday Banquet ONLY                             $40.00          _______            ______
1000      Golf shotgun start                                              A hopefuls. Please buy your tickets early. An
1000-1600 Reunion registration at Hospitality Room                                                                                                                  Sunday BBQ ONLY                                   $15.00          _______            ______
                                                                          accurate head count for planning purposes is
1200-???  Hospitality Suite back at it                                    very helpful. Thanks.                                                                     ACA Widow Package*                                  $0            _______            ______
1430      Golf awards ceremony                                                 The good news is that there is plenty
1600-???  Fish Fry at Quality Inn                                                                                                                                                                                                        TOTAL _______
                                                                          of space at the fish fry and BBQ, so bring a                                              *Widows of ACA members may attend all of the above functions of the reunion at no charge.
         ★ ★ ★ Saturday, October 11 ★ ★ ★                                 friend and set a spell. The agenda has lots of
0800-0830 Bus at hotel to take folks to Business Meeting                  free time built into the schedule.                                                       Thursday Night Social at
0900-1030 Annual Business Meeting at 23rd STS                                  Access to the base is still tightly con-                                            Hurlburt Soundside Club                             $10.00           _____        ________
1030-1400 Burger Bash at the STS (pay as you go)                          trolled. Don’t forget your ID card. If you are                                           Friday Golf Tournament                              $50.00           _____        ________
1100      Bus leaves for Ladies Luncheon & Tour                           driving a rental car, you will be required to
          at Air Force Enlisted Village                                   park at the front gate and get a pass to the                                             Saturday Ladies Luncheon                            $10.00           _____        ________
1400-???  Hospitality Suite ready to rip                                  base for the vehicle. For those without an ID                                                                                     TOTAL from both boxes ________
1800-1900 Social hour at Hurlburt Soundside Club                          card who wish to enter the base, everyone                                                         Banquet Meal Selection:                    Special Banquet Needs Request
1900-2130 ACA Banquet at Hurlburt Soundside Club                          must have a picture ID and a sponsoring party                                                ___ Prime Rib     and/or      ___ Chicken       Please indicate if you need assistance with:
            • Featured Speaker                                            who will act as their escort. Check at the reg-                                                        (Indicate Number Please)              ❑ Wheelchair             ❑ Early Seating
            • Hall of Fame Presentation ceremony                          istration desk about vehicle pass for use on                                             Please indicate what group you want to sit near     ❑ Seating near exit      ❑ Special Dietary
                                                                                                                                                                   _____________________________________________          across from              Requirements.
            • Awards Presentations                                        Sunday if needed.                                                                        For Golfers       My handicap is ________              restrooms                (Please call us)
                                                                               We encourage all widows to attend. Also,
          ★ ★ ★ Sunday, October 12 ★ ★ ★                                                                                                                           Indicate status:     ❑ ACA Member     ❑ ACA Widow      ❑ Separate Guest Registration
                                                                          for those ladies interested there will be a                                              The above order is for: ❑ Myself ❑ My Spouse ___ (#of) Guests. Please indicate guest names
0900-1100 Open house at the ACA Building
                                                                          Saturday luncheon and tour at the Air Force                                                                                               on a separate piece of paper.
1200-1300 Memorial Service at Hurlburt Air Park
                                                                          Enlisted Village. Please let us know if you
1300-1630 BBQ at Quality Inn                                                                                                                                       Name _______________________________________Spouses Name ______________________________
                                                                          are interested so we can make
1300-1630 Hospitality Suite good to the last drop                                                                           IS                                     Address __________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                          the necessary arrange-                      AIL TH
                                                                                                                T TO M
1400      Silent Auction at Hospitality Suite                                                        DON’T
                                                                                                           FORGE ITH YOUR
                                                                                                                 W             ION!
                                                                          ments.                      ORDER
                                                                                                            FORM       8 REUN                                      City _________________________________________________ State ________Zip ___________________
1630         Reunion over                                                                                       OUR 200
                                                                                                                                                 FOR
                                                                                                                                           CHECK
                                                                                                                                                           7       Phone ( _____ ) ___________________ ACA Number _________ Email ___________________________
                                                                                                                                                    . BOX
                MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS EARLY!! The Quality Inn will be the reunion headquarters again this year. The room rate             ACA P.O THER, FL
                                                                                                                                                  ES
                                                                                                                                           MARY                    I will be staying at _______________________________________________________________________
                for our people will be $73 per night. We have 85 rooms and they will go first come first served. Call Quality Inn at (850)    32569
                275-0300 to make your reservations. Please mention you are with the Air Commandos. To get our special rate you must                        -0099
                                                                                                                                                    50-581         Signature_________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                                                             TEL: 8
                book by September 1, 2008. The reunion tickets must be ordered by Octorber 1, 2008.
Page 18   air Commando assoCiation   aug 2008
aug 2008                                                                          air Commando assoCiation                                                                          Page 19

                                                                                                       Freedom Rock in Adair County, Iowa
                                                                                                           Every year, for the last nine
                                                                                                       years, a talented artist, Ray
                                                                                                       (Bubba) Sorensen II, has done
ACA Coin (Bronze) .................................................................... $5.00           a Memorial Day tribute to our
ACA Decal (4” x 5”) .............................................................. 2/1.00              servicemen and servicewomen,
POW/MIA Decal......................................................................... $2.00           both past and present, with a
ACA Patch .................................................................................. $3.00     stirring tableau painted on a
Group Patch ................................................................................ $3.00     large granite boulder which
Zap Patch .................................................................................... $3.00   stands next to Highway 25. The
POW/MIA Patch ......................................................................... $3.00          huge granite boulder weighs
ACA Cloth Tab............................................................................ $3.00        approx. 56 tons and is 12 ft
                                                                                                       high.
ACA Bumper Sticker .................................................................. $2.00
                                                                                                           For years this boulder was
ACA Car Window Decal – 8”..................................................... $3.00                   known as “the graffiti rock”
Printed Plastic License Plate Holder........................................... $4.00                  and was decorated for high
Traditional ACA License Plate ................................................. $10.00                 school rivalries, etc. Since the
New! License Plate choose White or Blue................................ $12.00                         Memorial Day paintings began, the “rock” has remained with the annual
Special Aircraft License Plates - Over Mekong, B26 Asia,                                               tribute intact.
  Nimrods Over Laos, Son Tay, A1-H Hobo’s ........................ $12.00                                  When Sorensen was 19, he saw ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and this moti-
ACA Lapel Pin (Small or Large) ................................................ $4.00                  vated him to paint the rock. He knew if he painted the rock a lot of people
New! Thai Wallet (Brown or Black Leather).............................. $8.00                          would see it.
                                                                                                           Sorensen paints over the previous years mural. This takes him any-
ACA Ink Pen ............................................................................... $1.00
                                                                                                       where from one to three weeks to paint. He gets his ideas from books,
ACA Glass Mug........................................................................ $10.00           movies, previous artwork and images by other artists.
New! Gorski Posters (B26 & Truck) ............................ set for $20.00                              If you are anywhere close, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see
50th Posters (Full Color 20”X24”) ............................................. $1.00                  what is truly an American treasure.
POW/MIA Flag......................................................................... $12.00
Golf Towels (w/ACA Logo) ....................................................... $8.00
Ball Cap (Navy, Royal & Light Blue, Black, White, Gray,
  Denim, Camo, & Red) ACA Crest or Lettering.................... $10.00
Bush Hats Firm Only! M, L, XL ............................................. $20.00
ACA T-Shirts (White Only) S, M, L, XL.................................. $10.00
ACA T-Shirts (White Only) XX-Large..................................... $12.00
B-26 T-Shirt All Sizes ............................................................... $10.00
Denim Long Sleeve Shirts (Ladies M, L, XL
  Mens M, L, XL, XXL) available in Crest or Lettering......... $20.00
ACA Golf Shirts (White, Red, Royal Blue, w/ Crest) or
                                                                                                        Our Brick Campaign has been so successful that we are expanding
  (Navy or Black w/ Lettering)...... M,L, XL $15.00 ... XXL $18.00
                                                                                                        our Wall of Fame! Commemorative bricks are again available for
Jackets M - XXL (Tan, Navy, Black, or Royal Blue) .............. $35.00                                 you, a beloved family member, or a devoted or departed friend. The
                                                                                                        donation remains at $100. We are currently making additional wall
                    Country Store Order Form                                                            space available and bricks will be allotted on a first come, first served
         Send to: ACA, P.O. Box 7, Mary Esther, FL 32569-0007                                           basis. Please submit your request to: Air Commando Association,
                                                                                                        ATTN: Brick, P.O. Box 7, Mary Esther, FL 32569-0007.
Qty      Color            Item                                       Size          Unit Price
                                                                                                         Yes! I would like a Commemorative Brick displayed on the Wall of Fame in
                                                                                                        the hallway of the Air Commando Association building. My three (3) lines should
                                                                                                        be crafted as follows:
                                                                                                              _______________________________________________
                                                                                                              _______________________________________________
                                                                                                              _______________________________________________
                                                                                                        I understand that my three (3) lines are limited to no more than 17 characters per
                                                                                                        line. By definition that means letters, spaces, periods, commas, dashes, etc. Here is
                                                   Sub Total __________                                 an example:
                                     20% Shipping & Handling __________                                                                 LARRY MOORE
                                                 Grand Total __________                                                                  311 ACS 67-68
Please understand we do NOT accept credit cards or cash through the mail.                                                              SMSGT RETIRED
Page 20                                                     air Commando assoCiation                                                        aug 2008

Merchant Marine vet disappointed                                                                                    Gene Rossel
few know of seamen’s sacrifice                                                                                      gets Kudos
By Kari C. Barlow                      If you don’t get the guns and boats,“I learned what to do, when to do it     from MOAA
   More than 60 years have passed      you can’t shoot anybody.”           and how to do it right.”                     Rossel worked for eight years
since Ace Shepherd’s days as a             Shepherd wants more people          Although the worst of the war        to help Royal Australian Air
U.S. Merchant Marine deckhand.         to know about the role mariners     was behind him, he had a few scary       Force pilots -who flew as forward
   But he can still recall the sway    played during the war. For de-      moments.                                 air control and Dehaviland CV-4
of the ship, the all-night poker       cades, he has attended the Memo-        “I used to stand watch on the        Caribou aircrews in support of
games and the threat of torpedoes.     rial Day service at Beal Memorial   bow, and these porpoises would
                                                                                                                    U.S. forces in Vietnam -obtain
                                       Cemetery, and this year he carried  come at you, and you were never
                                                                           sure if it was a torpedo or not,”        U.S. Air Force Air Medals.
                                       a handmade red, white and blue
                                       flower wreath for the Merchant      Shepherd recalls.                            U.S. Ambassador Robert
                                       Marine. He stands alone, wear-          He also learned the critical dif-    McCallum presented the 127
                                       ing his Merchant Marine hat with    ference between a boat and a ship.       Air Medals at the Australian
                                       a small black-and-white photo of    “If you can hoist it aboard a ship,      War Museum in Canberra in
                                       himself pinned to the side.         it’s a boat,” he says with a laugh.      April. Rossel received a citation
                                           “It’s amazing that this genera- Monumental sacrifice                     for outstanding service from
                                       tion doesn’t know anything about        Aboard ships such as the U.S.S.      Australia’s         Parliamentary
                                       (the Merchant Marine),” he says.    Lumber Lady and the U.S.S. Ring          Secretary for Defense Support.
                                       “It’s just disappointing that there Leader and the U.S.S. Wolf Creek,        Courtesy of Military Officer July
                                       aren’t more people aware of it.”    Shepherd learned lessons that            2008
                                       Doing his part                      would guide him the rest of his
                                           In 1944, Shepherd was a teen-   life.
                                       ager in St. Louis. Times were hard;     “That three years in the Mer-       WHY VETERANS
                                       gas and food rations were in place. chant Marine, that technical train-
                                       For news of the war, he would lis-
                                       ten to the radio or read the Post-
                                                                           ing I got made me better prepared
                                                                           for the Air Force,” he says. Today,
                                                                                                                   REUNITE
“I hadn’t even gotten out of high                                                                                      “I now know why men who
                                       Dispatch.                           he would love to reminisce with
school, but I wanted to work for                                                                                   have been to war yearn to reunite.
                                           All around him, friends were    other mariners, but their numbers
the (World War II) effort,” recalls
                                       signing up to fight. Barely 17, he, are few.                                Not to tell stories or look at old pic-
the 81-year-old Shepherd, an Air                                                                                   tures. Not to laugh or weep. Com-
                                       too, intended to do his part. The       “I’m about the only one around
Force retiree who lives in Fort
                                       Army Air Corps, however, turned     here that I know of,” he says. “I       rades gather because they long to
Walton. “We all wanted to help.”
                                       him down.                           know there has to be others here,       be with the men who once acted at
    During wartime, the Merchant
                                           He eventually found his niche inbut I haven’t been able to find         their best; men who suffered and
Marine acts as an auxiliary to the
Navy. Although records vary, about
                                       the Merchant Marine as a seaman,    them.”                                  sacrificed, who were stripped of
                                       first serving in the Army Trans-        He wants people to remember         their humanity.
243,000 mariners served from 1940
                                       port Service and then on a tugboat  that the seamen of the Merchant             I did not pick these men. They
to 1946.
                                       docking ships.                      Marine accepted their govern-           were delivered by fate and the mil-
    “The bad years were in ’42 and
                                                                           ment’s call to duty. “They’re the       itary. But I know them in a way I
’43,” Shepherd says. “I’m not sorry
                                                                           least recognized of any veterans,”      know no other men. I have never
I missed that time, that’s for sure.
                                                                           he says. “That kind of puts a burr      given anyone such trust. They
I’m sorry for the ones who didn’t.”
                                                                           under my butt!”                         were willing to guard something
The Merchant Marine suffered a
                                                                               Mostly, he wants young people       more precious than my life. They
larger percentage of casualties than
                                                                           to know the history of the Mer-
any other service during World War                                                                                 would have carried my reputation,
                                                                           chant Marine and its wartime con-
II, according to American Mer-                                                                                     the memory of me. It was part of
                                                                           tribution.
chant Marine Casualties at www.                                                                                    the bargain we all made, the rea-
                                                                               “I’d just like to get a reviving
usmm.org.                                                                                                          son we were so willing to die for
                                                                           of the recognition if World War
    The service lost close to 10,000                                                                               one another.
                                                                           II Merchant Marines,” Shepherd
seamen during the war. German          For the next three years, he sailed says. “Just the monumental sacri-           As long as I have memory, I will
submarine wolfpacks sunk many          the world’s oceans, docking at fice.”                                       think of them all, every day. I am
ships, but aircraft, armed raiders,    ports in the Marshall and Mariana Ed Note: Terry ‘Ace’ Shepherd is a        sure that when I leave this world,
mines and the elements also threat-    islands, Guam, South America, life member of the ACA.                       my last thought will be of my fam-
ened the fleet, according to the Web   Holland, Italy, France and Canada. Permission to reprint this story by      ily and my comrades…Such good
site.                                  “I learned to mind my own damn the Northwest Florida Daily News.            men”
    “They helped save England,”        business,” says Shepherd, who Daily News Features Editor Kari               Author Unkown
Shepherd says. “They moved             served alongside green recruits C. Barlow can be reached at 863-            (Courtesy of The American Legion
equipment, supplies and personnel.     and old timers from Scandinavia. 1111, Ext. 1104                            Magazine, May 2008)
aug 2008                                                         air Commando assoCiation                                                              Page 21

A farm of a different sort
By Joe Perry                               sive endeavor, kiwi farming re-         “dicey,” Gummerson soon saw              ery eight female plants for fertiliza-
Item Staff Writer                          quires heavy fertilization and irri-    progress in the development of a         tion. Only female plants bear fruit,
                                           gation.                                 strong root system. But Hurricane        and average about six each, which
   Walking around his three-acre               “Summertime when it’s hot,          Hugo in September 1989 proved            have to be harvested by hand.
kiwifruit plot off Oswego Highway,         like around 100 degrees, each one       to be a major setback when he had            Once harvested, kiwi need to
ACA life member Al Gummerson               of these plants takes 30 gallons of     to harvest early in a vain effort to     be placed in a cooler to remove
inspects the male and female viny          water a day to support the transpi-     save the crop, which had yet to rip-     the “field heat,” and if stored in the
plants and makes a hopeful decla-          ration [--] the moisture going out      en properly and had to be tossed.        bottom of a refrigerator in a plastic
                                                                                       Last year’s harvest was ruined       bag, without other fruit, can last up
                                                                                   by the chilly Easter weekend, and        to a year.
                                                                                   resulted in about 400 pounds of              Wind breaks in the form of tall-
                                                                                   fruit, whereas his most productive       er trees are used to prevent strong
                                                                                   March to November growing sea-           spring winds from snapping off
                                                                                   son can result in 30 tons, or 6,000      vines.
                                                                                   pounds.                                      Gummerson calls his land Ap-
                                                                                       Gummerson jokes about being          teryx Farm, named after the flight-
                                                                                   “too stubborn” to quit, and how          less bird native to New Zealand,
                                                                                   he initially farmed five acres. But      and a symbol of that country.
                                                                                   he clearly enjoys being out in the           Gummerson grows the most
                                                                                   plot, staying busy with tasks such       common Hayward kiwi as well as
                                                                                   as replacing the T-shaped wooden         the smaller Arctic kiwi.
                                                                                   trellises needed to support the top-         Kiwifruit originated in China
                                                                                   heavy trees.                             and was known as Chinese Goose-
                                                                                       “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s kept me       berry.
                                                                                   out of the bars [--] mostly,” he said,       Harvest usually requires about
                                                                                   laughing. “After I joined the church     30 people, and Gummerson has
Photos by Chris Moore, of the Item, S.C.                                           I don’t go to the bars to speak of.”     some friends who help out so they
                                                                                       Whether tending to the upkeep        can make wine from the fruit; and
ration based on 23 years of experi-        through the leaf,” he said.             of the trellises, or inspecting fresh    Gummerson said his wife Miriam
ence.                                         The nitrogen fertilizer, potas- blossoms, or mowing the paths be-             has hundreds of kiwi-influenced
    “This year looks like it’s going       sium and phosphorous costs have tween the rows of plants, being a                recipes -- kiwi can be used in ev-
to be a bumper crop,” he said.             just about doubled, he said.
    Gummerson, 78, is a New Jer-              Gummerson plans to get his
sey native who joined the Army at          grandson, Justin Hyatt, more in-
17 and served in the Air Force for         volved with the operation to spread
27 years, retiring as a chief master       some of the burden of farming and
sergeant. After a 12-year stint at         selling the fruit of Sumter County’s
BD as a supervisor, he retired, and        only kiwi orchard.
decided he wanted to do something             “I call it a vineyard, but New
different.                                 Zealanders call it an orchard,” he
    “I had all this land here and al-      said.
ways wanted to farm something                 The state was thinking about
when I retired, and I wanted to            getting a company to handle all the
grow something different,” he said.        excess fruit, Gummerson said, as
“The New Zealanders were over              there were big plans for the hoped-
here promoting kiwi, and I went            for kiwi harvest. New Zealanders
to a couple seminars and I said,           make candy, toothpaste and wine
’That’s just about as different as         out of kiwi, Gummerson said.
you can get,’ and that’s how I got            “Anything you can think of,
into it.”                                  they make with kiwi,” he said.          kiwi farmer means constant physi-        erything from muffins to margari-
    Sumter County’s Clemson Ex-               Gummerson started kiwi farm- cal labor.                                       tas and sauces for fish and meat, as
tension Agent Greg Harvey said             ing in 1985, and after working with         “I don’t have to join the ’Y’ and    well as the ever popular kiwi key
the state’s agriculture department         Clemson University professors I don’t have trouble sleeping,” he                 lime pie.
hosted a contingent of kiwifruit –         and extension agents for the first said, smiling.
commonly called kiwi – experts             two years -- and waiting the two to                                              Reprinted with permission of The
from New Zealand in the mid-’80s           three years it takes to see fruit -- he Kiwi facts:                              Item, Sumter, S.C.
to extol the virtues of kiwi farming       nearly saw his entire efforts wiped
as an alternative to peaches.              out by a freeze the first year.
                                                                                       Gummerson said he relies on a        Ed Note: Al, What AFSC covers
    A year-round and labor-inten-             While the first few years were
                                                                                   ratio of one male kiwi plant for ev-     Kiwi farming??
Page 22                                                            air Commando assoCiation                                                                  aug 2008

Helicopter retires after service in Vietnam, Iraq
    MH-53 Pave Low helicopter             it was also considered a success            many years. It was lost in combat           rescue mission for a British aircraft
tail number 68-10357 flew its final       because conditions for POWs held            in Afghanistan in 2002.                     shot down near Gorazde, Bosnia-
mission and last flight supporting        in North Vietnam improved after                Although “Apple 1” changed               Herzegovenia in 1994. I also flew
special operations forces March 28        the raid.                                   call signs many times since 1970,           it in Kuwait several times under
in Iraq after 38 years of service.           Training for the Son Tay raid            it continued to fly in operations           combat support missions for Op-
                                                                                      supporting U.S. national objectives         eration Southern Watch in 2001.”
                                                                                      around the globe.                               Inevitably, aircraft age and tech-
                                                                                         “It is awe inspiring to know peo-        nology advances.
                                                                                      ple sat in this very seat and created           As a result, the MH-53 Pave
                                                                                      history,” said Col. Brad Webb, 1st          Low’s long and distinguished ca-
                                                                                      Special Operation Wing command-             reer will soon complete its service
                                                                                      er and MH-53 pilot. “I’ve flown             to the Air Force. The remaining
                                                                                      this tail number periodically since
                                                                                                                                  MH-53s in the Air Force inventory
                                                                                      1988,” Colonel Webb said. “The
                                                                                      closest I came to combat while fly-         will be retired as they return from
                                                                                      ing 357 was a combat search and             combat duty.




Current and former members of the 20th Special Operations Squadron and the 1st
Special Operations Helicopter Maintenance Squadron and former Son Tay Raid partici-
pants gather by an MH-53 PAVE LOW before a ceremony inducting the aircraft into the
National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio June 7.

    The helicopter was the lead           began in the summer of 1970 at
command and control helicopter            Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., under
for a mission to rescue approxi-          the command of Brig. Gen. LeRoy
mately 50 American prisoners of           J. Manor, who retired as a lieuten-
war from the Son Tay prison camp          ant general. There, an all-volunteer
in North Vietnam in 1970, which           team of Army and Air Force con-
became a significant event for Air        ventional and special operations
Force special operations.                 members planned and practiced
    From Iraq, the MH-53 known            flight and ground operations for            MH-53 PAVE LOW on display at the Hurlburt Air Park, below is the plaque that de-
as 357 will be transported to the         a rescue mission deep into North            scribes the 68-0928 missions.
National Museum of the U.S. Air           Vietnam. The mission was repeat-
Force in Dayton, Ohio, where it           edly rehearsed using a full-sized
will sit on display in the Cold War       compound mock-up near Duke
Gallery.                                  Field, known as Auxiliary Airfield
    “It’s fitting that this aircraft’s    No. 3.
last mission was flown in combat              For Operation Kingpin, HH-53
before it is placed on permanent          357, mission call sign “Apple 1,”
display at the museum,” said Lt.          was flown by Lt. Col. Warner Brit-
Gen. Donald C. Wurster, com-              ton and carried the operation com-
mander of Air Force Special Op-           mander, Army Col. Arthur Simons
erations Command and an MH-53             and his team of Soldiers to the tar-
pilot. “Aircraft 357 led a formation      get.
of HH-53 and HH-3 helicopters on              The crew of “Apple 1” was
a daring raid into North Vietnam to       decorated with an Air Force Cross
rescue American POWs. Of those            and four Silver Stars for their role
five 53s that participated, only tail     in the raid.
number 357 is left.”                          Within 1.5 years of the Son Tay
    Historical records indicate 66        mission, three of the five HH-53s
prisoners were being held at the          were lost, two in combat operations
Son Tay camp, located 23 miles            and one destroyed on the ground in
west of Hanoi.                            Da Nang during a rocket attack by
    Although the mission was con-         the Vietcong. The fourth HH-53
sidered a tactical failure because no     was converted to an MH-53J and
prisoners were found at the camp,         flew in a special operations role for
aug 2008                                                     air Commando assoCiation                                                          Page 23

Ambassador McCallum Presents Medals to RAAF Heroes
By Gene Rossel                         military chaplain.                      the two countries and that Australia   morning on the Sunrise show seen
                                          Before the ceremony started          has always supported our efforts.      all throughout the country. The
   On April 4, at the Australian       there was a Caribou fly-by over the        The Air Commando Association        ACA was recognized for their
War     Memorial,       Ambassador     War Memorial that brought back          was recognized for its efforts in      support in getting the Air Medals.
McCallum presented more than           many memories of when we used           getting these awards. Air Marshall        The 21 Australian Vietnam
80 United States Air Medals to         to do the same thing. The No 38         Geoff Shepherd AO, Chief of            Veteran Forward Air Controllers
members or family of members           Squadron Caribou was flown by           the RAAF, gave a short address.        (FACS) received their Air Medals
of the 35th Squadron of the Royal      Squadron Leader Vicki Rookyard.         Ambassador McCallum presented          on 24 April at the US Ambassador
Australian. These medals were                                                                                         residence with about 100 attendees,
awarded for the 35th Squadron’s                                                                                       including the American FACS
participation, support, and heroism                                                                                   who are holding their reunion in
in Vietnam from 1964 to 1972. The                                                                                     Australia this year. There were 36
35th Squadron was the first Royal                                                                                     RAAF FACS and the New Zealand
Australian Air Force unit to serve                                                                                    Royal Air Force had 14 FACS
in Vietnam and the last to depart.                                                                                    in Vietnam. The reason that all
   The Vietnam veterans of the                                                                                        were not included (including three
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)                                                                                     RNZAF) was because they did not
Transport Flight Vietnam (RTFV),                                                                                      provide Garry Cooper, “Tamale
that later became No 35 Squadron,                                                                                     35”, with data for to receive these
received the USAF Air Medal at the                                                                                    Air Medals.
Australian War Museum, Canberra,                                                                                         Garry Cooper received his Air
Australia on Friday 4th April 2008.                                                                                   Medal with the 35 RTFV due to
The RTFV flew with the 315th Air                                                                                      scheduling problems. Graham Neil
Commando Group (later renamed                                                                                         (a RAAF FAC) took my wife and
315 ACW and 315 SOW) flying            The United States Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. Robert McCallum               I to dinner on the 3rd April since
the DeHavilland DHC-4 Caribou          Jr, presents to all deserving RAAF members with the United States of           my schedule did not allow me to
to support Air Commando units in       America Air Medal.                                                             attend the 24 April FAC Air Medal
Vietnam.                                                                                                              presentation.
                                           The Director of the Australian      the Air Medals, as setup by the
   The US Ambassador to                                                                                                  The 35 RTFV members were
                                       War Memorial, Major General             Defense Attaché Col Britschgi
Australia, His Excellency Mr.                                                                                         very appreciative of being awarded
                                       Steve Gower, gave the welcome           USAF, to the first six family
Robert McCallum Jr. awarded the                                                                                       the Air Medals this late in life.
                                       address. The US Ambassador              members and each RAAF Vietnam
Air Medals and pinned them on each                                                                                    Comments from members and their
                                       addressed the audience of about         Veteran.
veteran. There were 83 of the 105                                                                                     families were really great to hear.
                                       400 people (including four ACA             I was presented with a plaque
members present for the awards.                                                                                       The 127 RAAF Vietnam Veterans
                                       members - Col Benson, Garry             by the Parliamentary Secretary
Six family members received the                                                                                       truly deserved these awards and it
                                       Cooper, Ron Workman and myself          for Defence Support, The Hon
Air Medals for Vietnam Veterans                                                                                       was unfortunate it came this late.
                                       - stressing the close relationship of   Dr Mike Kelly AM, MP, as a VIP
who were either deceased or                                                                                                   A list of people who were
                                                                               guest. There were a number of
couldn’t make it because of illness.                                                                                  instrumental in getting these
                                                                               35 RTFV Vietnam Veterans who
The RAAF couldn’t provide a                                                                                           decorations finalized, approved
                                                                               made remarks. The highlight of
C-130 transport to bring the far                                                                                      and signed are as follows:
                                                                               the event was the presentation
flung veterans to the ceremony as                                              and laying of a plaque for the 35
had been expected.                                                                                                    • The wives of Ron Workman,
                                                                               RTFV in a special area of the War
   The presentation took place at                                                                                     Garry cooper and Eugene Rossel.
                                                                               Memorial for Australian units.
1400 hours on a very hot afternoon.                                                                                   It would have been impossible to
                                                                               The order of the service followed
The US Embassy provided an                                                                                            do this without them
                                                                               the Australian protocol and was a
Honor Guard (great feeling to see                                                                                     • Colin Benson, an ACA member,
                                                                               delightful ceremony. That seemed
US military members attend the                                                                                        who started it with an email from
                                                                               the justification for getting money
awards), the Band of the Royal                                                                                        MacKay to me.
                                                                               for the ceremony and the party
Military College provided the          The Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP,                                                   • Ron Workman, an ACA member,
                                                                               afterwards used by the RAAF
music, the Australian Rugby Choir      Parliamentary     Secretary    for                                             who was the most dedicated and
                                       Defence Support, presents US Air
                                                                               veterans.
provided the vocalization and the                                                                                     persistent Australian responsible in
                                       Force Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)         Ron Workman and I appeared
singing of both National Anthems                                                                                      getting the medals for the 35RTFV
                                       Eugene Rossel with the citation of      on Australian Channel 7 on the
and there were other readers and a     outstanding service.                    3rd April at 0630 on a very cold                         See RAAF, pg. 24
Page 24                                                      air Commando assoCiation                                                         aug 2008

RAAF
Continued from page 23

and moving others to contribute         later found them wondered what         you and your outstanding staff          under fire, they never lost a man.
their talent.                           the hell this was all about.           for hosting this important and          In short, the men before us today
• Garry Cooper, an ACA member,          Remarks by U.S. Ambassador             meaningful ceremony.                    represent a very special aircrew,
persistence, writing ability, superb    Robert D. McCallum at the                  The history of the Australian-      a unit of airmen, pilots, support
organization and desire to help his     Australian War Memorial Air            U.S. Alliance is a long and storied     and maintenance personnel who
fellow FACs.                            Medal Awards Ceremony                  one, steeped in shared combat, in       in the well-established tradition
• Lt Tony Snyder of the US Defense      April 14, 2008                         kinship and mateship. From the          of the Royal Australian Air Force,
                                                                                                                       punched above their weight,
attaché office in Canberra who was                                             trenches of World War I to the
                                           The Honorable Dr. Mike Kelly,       unforgiving terrain of Afghanistan      earned the respect and admiration
a very positive force to help us gets
                                        Air Marshall Geoff Shepherd,           today, the soldiers, seamen and         of their American brothers in arms
it done at the Embassy.                                                                                                and have our continuing gratitude
• Graham Neil who added his             Major General Steve Gower, Lt          airmen of our two countries have
                                        Col Gene Rossel, members and           stood together in the cause of          today.
influence to move things in                                                                                               The Air Medals we are about to
                                        family of the Royal Australian Air     freedom, not just for our own
Australia.                                                                                                             present today are not easily won.
                                        Force Transport Flight Vietnam,        nations, but for people around the
• Congressman Gary Miller’s local                                                                                      They are awarded to valiant aviators
                                        distinguished guests, Returned and     world.
representative, David Varnam, was                                                                                      who have distinguished themselves
                                                                               We are here today to recognize
so instrumental to get this done                                                                                       in meritorious achievement while
                                                                               a particular group of Australian
and his patience putting up with                                                                                       participating in aerial flight. These
                                                                               airmen who in their own particular
me for all these years. It could not                                                                                   medals are recognition of their
                                                                               Australian way wrote a page to that
have gotten through without his                                                history and made their mark on our
support.                                                                       countries’ alliance.
• Jeffery Simmons who probably                                                     It was nearly 44 years ago on
wanted to get rid of me with all my                                            8 August 1964, that Squadron
persistent faxes, emails, telephone                                            Leader Chris Sugden, who passed
calls but he stuck with me to the                                              away just this last week and is
end.                                                                           represented today by his son, Peter
• Col Douglas Galipeau, an ACA                                                 Sugden, led 33 members of the
member, was an excellent friend                                                Royal Australian Transport Flight
and supporter at the Secretary                                                 from their new Caribou aircraft
of the Air Force. As an old Air                                                onto the tarmac of Vung Tau Air
                                                                               Base, South Vietnam in a driving
Commando he wouldn’t let us
                                                                               rain. 7 of those original 33 are here
down.                                                                                                                  Gene Rossel       observing    Color
                                                                               with us today. What followed was
• General “Heinie” Aderholt,                                                   nothing short of amazing. For the       Guard.
                                         Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd AO,
an ACA member, provided his             the Chief of the Air Force, presents   next 7 ½ years, “Wallaby” airlines      bravery and sacrifice. I have a joint
signature for the FAC submittals        Mr Ron Workman with the citation       with just 6 twin-engine DH-4            letter from the U.S. Army and U.S.
which meant everything for getting      of outstanding service.                Caribous flew over 80,000 missions      Air Force Chief’s of Staff which
the FACs Air Medal.                     Services League members, ladies        totaling 47,000 hours. In that time,    reads;
• The Air Commando Association          and gentlemen:                         they carried 677,000 passengers,        A Joint Message From The Chief
(ACA) who contributed many              I am honored to represent the United   moved 36 million kilograms              Of Staff And The U.S. Army
things to help with this effort.        States of America at this ceremony     of cargo and, probably most             And The Chief Of Staff Of The
• Col David Fleming, USAF Ret           today where we will present United     importantly to the Australians and      U.S.Air Force
former commander of the 315ACG          States Air Medals long overdue to      Americans deployed throughout             “On behalf of the Secretary of
in Vietnam. Ret USAF commander          more than 80 members or family of      Vietnam, over 5 million kilograms       the Army, Sergeant Major of the
of the units who had the 35RTFV         members of the 35th Squadron of        of mail. Day and night, sometimes       Army, Secretary of the Air Force
                                                                               flying in the worst of weather and
fly under his organization and who      the Royal Australian Air Force.                                                and the Chief Master Sergeant of
                                           I am particularly honored to        into the worst terrain and airfields    the Air Force, it is our great honor
started the process back in the
                                                                               imaginable, the Wallabies got the       to congratulate this distinguished
60s in Vietnam but had to keep          present these medals in this most
                                                                               job done. The Royal Australian          group of Vietnam veterans from
the Australian decorations for the      hallowed of military settings, the
                                                                               Transport Flight, later designated      the Royal Australian Air Force.
                                        Australian War Memorial Museum.
35RTFV locked in his desk because                                              as the 35th Squadron was the first      Your receipt of the U.S. Air Medal
of the Australian Government            General Gower, please accept my
                                                                               RAAF unit to serve in Vietnam
policy. Probably some VC who            thanks and that of my country to                                                                  See RAAF, pg. 25
                                                                               and the last to depart. Often
aug 2008                                                     air Commando assoCiation                                                                               Page 25

RAAF
Continued from page 24
for your participation, support
                                                                                                             ACA Scholarship
and heroism in Vietnam is long
overdue.                                                                                                       Application
   From 1964 to 1972 the Royal
Australian Air Force contributed                                                Student’s Name: ______________________________________
desperately needed squadrons                                                    Student’s ID# ________________________________________
of transport aircraft, helicopters
and bombers. RAAF forward                                                       Relationship to ACA Member: ___________________________
air controllers were famous for                                                 Student’s Age: __________
bringing in air support to save
American servicemen on numerous                                                 College: _____________________________________________
occasions and the U.S. Army                                                     Address of College:____________________________________
could not have sustained itself
without the support of the RAAF                                                 City:________________________________________________
Transportation Flight Vietnam.                                                  State: ______________________ Zip: ____________________
For all of you receiving this award
today, we applaud and thank you        MSgt Eiteneuer with tray of med-         Member’s Name:______________________________________
                                       als.
for your courage and dedication.                                                Member’s ACA Number: _________
Thank you for your service and             Now, it is my honor to present
                                                                               This year we will award four scholarships of $1500 each. The scholarships will be awarded
congratulations on your receipt of     United States Air Medals to the         at the general membership meeting. The Board of Directors will randomly select the winners
this prestigious and well-deserved     brave men of the 35th Squadron          from the eligible candidates submitted by the membership.
                                                                                     Scholarship eligibility criteria are as follows: The Candidate must be the child (natural,
award. Signed; George W. Casey,        with the grateful thanks and            adopted, or step), grandchild, or great grandchild of a member in good standing of this Asso-
General United States Army Chief       admiration of the Government and        ciation. The candidate must be accepted to or enrolled in an accredited college or university
                                                                               and be less than 24 years of age at the end of May. Candidates may not be a member of this
of Staff and T. Michael Moseley,       citizens of the United States of        association, on active duty, attending a Service Academy, or on full scholarship to a college
General United States Air Force,       America.                                or university.
Chief of Staff.”


Binnicker named Executive of the Year                                                Authentic Blood Chits
By JODI L. JORDAN                      In spite of financial challenges, he    Genuine USAF issue Blood Chits
Air Force Enlisted Village             found a way to complete a state-of-     are available. To obtain a Korean
    The leader of a local charity      the-art assisted living facility that   War Blood Chit, all you have to do
was recently named “Executive of       enabled many residents to avoid         is recruit a new member. If that is
the Year” by the Florida Associa-      nursing home placement,” Coxson         too hard for you to handle, a $15.00
tion of Homes and Services for the     said. “He’s a sensitive and caring      donation to the McCoskrie/ Thresh-
                                                                               old Foundation will achieve the same
Aging.                                 person who is a ‘no-nonsense’ ad-
                                                                               purpose. Currently there is only one
    On July 30, James C. Binnick-      ministrator when it comes to care       variety of Blood Chit available: The
er, president and CEO of the Air       and dignity of residents, and he        Korean War variety, published in
Force Enlisted Village, received       expects his employees to treat ev-      1951. Again, make check payable to
the FAHSA Executive of the Year        ery resident in the same way they       the McCoskrie/Threshold Foundation
award, which recognizes the high-      would treat their mother.”              and mail to:
est qualities of leadership, innova-       Receiving the Executive of the
tion and commitment.                   Year award was a great honor, Bin-      ACA/BLOOD CHIT
                                                                               P.O. BOX 7
    Binnicker has shown all these      nicker said, but as is his style, he
                                                                               MARY ESTHER, FL 32569
qualities and more, said Charles       downplayed his own role. “It is a
Coxson III, a member of the            great honor to be recognized by         If you are recruiting a new member,
FAHSA Board of Trustees and the        FAHSA, but any success I enjoy is       make sure you indicate on the ap-
regional vice president of ACTS        directly related to the outstanding     plication that you recruited the new
Retirement-Life       Communities,     folks who do all the work at Air        member so that Pete can give you
Inc., Florida Division.                Force Enlisted Village. I have al-      credit for your Korean War Blood
    “The community he oversees         ways tried to surround myself with      Chit. Get busy today so you can get
                                                                               your chit together!
has grown under his leadership         very smart people, tell them what
— not only in size, but also in the    needs to be done and then get out       Shown is Official Korean War Blood
scope of services it offers to some    of the way.”                            Chit 1951 issue from survival kits.
500 residents with modest incomes.
Page 26                                                    air Commando assoCiation                                                        aug 2008
                                                                           what plane in commission or ready. The plane that came out of phase or
 ROSSEL’S REPORT                                                           major service at Udorn might end up at different base. Each pilot might
                                                                           end up fly almost every one of them, one at a time of course. I believed
RAAF C-130 EXCHANGE PILOT.                                                 Australia got about 13-15 of them when PL crated them up for sale 15-20
    Gene--It was a pleasure and a great honor to have you with us on 4th K-US each a few reach US from AU for 30-40 K.Kham CPK Red.
April. The Medal Presentation part of the ceremony was as much yours Email: KManiT28FB@aol.com
as it was ours - you and Ron Workman did a great job pushing the bureau-
cracies till the award was eventually recognized. As one of the originals T-28 Number 38364...Hold on to your socks
(in on the 8th August 64) thank you again - we grew up in Vietnam flying      Hi Gene, Some time ago I had heard that the Aussies had #364 and
most of every day mostly supporting your Special Forces. We feel we then saw the photos your forwarded a week or so ago. #364 was in Viet-
made a difference in those small and remote camps - we were often re- nam in 1963 (bien hoa, soc Tran, Da Nang) and I must have flown it six
supplying ammunition that was almost gone, just in time for attacks that or eight times or more. I kept a rather detailed log entry of each mission
came in behind us or that night, sometimes while attacks were underway I flew and #364 comes up frequently.
in the vicinity (especially in the Ashau Valley). Later on (1970-72) I had Tom Schornak, Email: schornakt@comcast.net
a tour with the USAF (TAC) at Pope AFB as an instructor and then Stan
Eval Pilot preparing C130 crews to go into Vietnam - mostly onto gun- T-28 Tail Number 38364 supposedly used in Laos
ships. I made several trips to Hurlburt during that time and had friends      The number would be 53-8364. I was Chief of Maintenance for the
who lived in Fort Walton Beach. My time on Caribous in Vietnam was det in Udorn when 15 T-28s were stripped from the Lao to go to the Phil-
useful background - it all helped later when I became Commander of our ippines. Incidentally, the Lao were really mad about giving up the planes
own C130H tactical squadron, and developed what became the RAAF’s and just cut the wiring on the pylons rather than undoing it. All of them
current tactical transport practices. I hope you and Anne enjoyed your were in terrible shape. Thai-Am got to rebuild them.
time in Australia. We enjoyed hosting you. Regards, and hope you stay Thomas Crocker, Email: normcrocker@yahoo.com
in touch.
Kevin Henderson, email: kevhend@bigpond.net.au                             T-28 Tail Number 38364
                                                                           Gene - I have been off line for the past 3 weeks. I personally flew T-28
Didn’t know you were at Hurlburt.                                          # 364 15 combat missions out of Soc Trang and Bien Hoa in 1963-64 in
                                                                           #364.
AUTHORITY FOR THE RAAF VIETNAM VETERANS Dean Hunter, Email: BearFlt@aol.com
TO WEAR THE NEW USAF AIR MEDAL
    Approval to accept and wear US Air Medals Chuck. Australian De-          Thanks guys-it certainly gives a better perspective what has happened
fence Force personnel were approved by the Governor-General to accept        to our birds but after 35 years a lot of data is lost. Somewhere in these
and wear the US Air Medal on 15 Apr 08. For those personnel on the list,     emails we have 38364 and someone will recognize it. Search for Warbird
the medal may be mounted with other Australian medals and worn on the        Adventure Flights on the internet and you will see the most beautiful T-
left accordingly. The precedence for foreign awards in accordance with       28D 38364 in flight.
the Australian Order of Wearing is after all other Australian medals and
in order of date of authorisation of their acceptance and wearing.           COL DAVID FLEMING
Regards Mr Pat Clarke, A/g Director Honours and Awards T-4-08 De-            He was with SAWC at Eglin and Commanded the 315 Air Commando
partment of Defence                                                          Group in Vietnam which had the RAAF 35 Sq. He is now 92 and lives
                                                                             at a retirement home --Sterling House of W. Melbourne, 7300 Greenboro
AUSTRALIAN T-28D TAIL NUMBER 38364                                           Drive, West Melbourne, FL 32904. Phone: 321-953-6464. If you are in
   This old commando AT-28D which came out of Laos, bought by the            the area drop in and say a kind word to this old warrior.
Philippines from Laos is owned by Kim Rolph-Smith of Warbird Adven-
ture Flight. Trying to find the history of the bird I received the follow-   THANKS FOR AIR COMMANDOS!
ing:                                                                            Brothers, for me probably totally different from all of you. I was born
   After the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty, 16 T-28s were transferred    in Samneua but grew up in Vientiane and joined RLAF in 1965. For me
to the Philippines AF. Of the remaining 40, about 29 were taken over         some unfriendly neighbors were invaded my country it’s my job to serve
in 1975 by the Pathet Lao. The last RLAF offensive operation occurred        and defend my country. I was freshly out off college and soon to be 18,
on April 14, 1975, when a vital road junction just north of Vientiane        the 1st day I show up at Savannakhet or L-39 the primary Pilot Training
had been captured by the Pathet Lao. The attack, performed by nine T-        School of RLAF I was insulted by my older friends which washed out
28s, was ordered by the Royal Lao Government Defence Minister, who           from T-28 class from Udorn that I could not be a pilot because I was too
hadn’t secured permission from the Prime Minister in this matter. As a       young, too small (short) 5 foot 2 and 94 # but I challenge them, that I will
result of the public berating of the Defence Minister, the RLAF became       proof them wrong, size did not really matter.
de facto grounded.                                                              I survived the war after rag up over 3000 combat sorties on T-28 over
   It was a USN bird #138364, sold by the Phillipines to Australia in        5 years and over 1200 sorties on AC-47 Gun ship until the war end, and
1990, in 2004 at Maitland (Russell Field) New South Wales, Australia in      became trash hauler and still flew C-123K and C-47 for PL after they
2004.                                                                        took over until 77 when they sent me to Re-education camp in Ban Ban
MacAlan Thompson                                                             area. I feel like I was blindfold and doing my job to serve and protect my
T-28 Tail Number 38364 supposedly used in Laos.                              country, I credit my surviving to USAF Air Commando and Air America
   The plane not assigned to specific pilot. They were assigned to fly                                                                See ROSSEL pg 27
aug 2008                                                   air Commando assoCiation                                                         Page 27

Rossel                                                                      the picture duplicated and re-hung over the bar. We never heard from the
Continued from page 26
                                                                            guy and never got our picture back. We were all kicking ourselves for not
(C-123-K) who trained me so well. I had great respect for all Aviators of   having pictures made when we had the chance.
all branch and especially Ravens who most of the time working side by       Al Brashear, Reperek@Hughes.net,
side with us and sometime share same meal (20A) they were my Peers
and my Mentors and more than Brothers to me, some of them paid the           AIR FORCE ORDER OF DISPLAY/WEAR
ultimate price. The TLC brotherhood open my eyes from that blindfold,          Here’s a spiffy site. Just check off the medals AND devices you were
for me all I know was there was a war between North and South Vietnam       awarded and click at the bottom. It sets them up in the correct order as
and Laos was used as passing route. Now from every brothers experi-         they would be worn. www.usmedals.com/RibbonSelect.aspx
ences link the whole scene of the SEA War, and everyone did their part      PAUL TOBEY, paultobey@verizon.net
and their assign job and it’s as important neither more nor less but some
might be more risky than other. I never know that the whole Secret War      LAO T-28S
in Laos were conduct, direct and control by CIA until I settle down in        I flew a number of Lao T-28s both in Udorn and clandestinely in Laos.
US, all I know was Laos war were support and aid by US Government.        It always confused me that I could take off from NKP and bomb the hell
You all earn my respect and camaraderie, YOU ALL MY BROTHERS              out of Laos but an American could not take a T-28 off in Laos and bomb
IN ARM. Kham Phiou Manivanh, CPK Red and Spooky-13.                       the hell out of it., go figure. While the AOC Commander in Vientiane
    The Hmong pilots motto was “Fly till you die or blast out of the Sky” I was encountering some resistance from the B pilots with the excuse
and that hold true for most of them. The Hmong far more aggressive        that it was too dangerous to attack some targets. I tried to find out where
because the war was on their door step and backyard, when you have        they were getting their information and it lead to a Thai compound a few
no place to run and/or hide you fight like “The cornered Dog” I feel the  clicks east of Udorn. In talking to them I found that my leg might be
same way and consider myself lucky to survive.                            being pulled by the Pilots. I proposed to the Air Attaché (Col.”Pappy”
Kham Phiou Manivanh, Email: KManiT28FB@aol.com                            Pettigrew) that I be allowed to lead some of those mission in a T-28, he
                                                                          made an attempt but the Ambassador turned it down except that I could
Thanks for the gratitude to the Air commandos.                            take off from Udorn and lead a flight, this was a coordination nightmare
                                                                          and I finally talked them in to letting me fly as a FAC, I first rescued a
REMEMBERING DON MORRIS                                                    U-17 from a dirt strip at the west end of the PDJ that had been abandoned
    I was an instructor at Udorn in the Det 1, 56th Air Commando Organi- by an RLAF, pilot. I flew this airplane to Udorn and had Air America
zation. I arrived in May 1970. Don had lost his life about a month before work their magic on it; I got it back a few days later with target marking
I got there. All the people remembered him as a great guy. He was well capability and in tip top shape. I used that for a couple of months mostly
respected by the pilots and the maintance personnel. I am sorry that I directing flights in support of FAR forces. I then inherited a derelict O-1
did not get a chance to meet him. We trained Laotian students to fly the from the RLAF, again Air America made it like new, that number I re-
AT-28 and how to fire guns and drop bombs. We also flew combat mis- member 2666, it was later used by the Ravens.
sions on weekends. We worked with the Raven FAC’s and trained many            In 1986 I made a trip to Bangkok to visit a friend. I had a friend in the
of them to fly the AT-28. We had a plaque on the wall at our operations states who wanted to acquire at least one T-28 so I went to the MAAG
honoring Don. Hope this will help you in your quest for info.             in Bangkok and inquired into that possibility and was told that those
Gary Parker, MQM107@aol.com,                                              airplanes were still considered US assets and could not be bought, yeah
                                                                          right. My friend eventually got two T-28C out of the bone yard at Da-
    I received an E-mail from Don Morris’ son requesting info about him vis Monthan, he offered to have me fly one back to Florida, and since I
and anyone who knew him or had pictures at Waterpump during 1969- hadn’t flown any significant amount since 1978 I declined. Never in the
70, when Don was there. Being old and a bit senile, I can only remember history of the US have so many Draconian and incompetent Rules of
a few names that might have been there and known Don. Larry Tarnow, Engagement been imposed on an American fighting force. I understand
Doug Brazleton and Howie Below.                                           that obscenity is gradually creeping in to the Battlefields of Iraq and Af-
                                                                          ghanistan; I suspect by political pressure from the incompetents we seem
RANK HAS ITS PRIVILEGES                                                   bent on electing. Joseph Holden, aceusaf@earthlink.net
    My first assignment in Vietnam was with a MACVSOG dedicated
organization at Nha Trang, called “First Flight Detachment”. We flew Thanks Joe—always enjoy your war stories.
specially equipped C-123F aircraft with 1 USAF pilot and 9 Chinese Air
Force crewmembers from Taiwan. We lived on the beach, 5 miles north SOME REMEMBRANCE OF PANAMA
of the airbase, in a rented Catholic Church compound. Long story to get       I was originally assigned to Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Was slated to go
to the point, but in our Officer’s Club, upstairs in our quarters, we had to Danang with a Prime Beef outfit, but TET hit and they rerouted some
hanging over the bar a 4 foot by 4 foot picture of a monkey screwing a of us. Later I sat in a stupid hanger for 2 solid weeks with 50 other guys
duck. The monkey was staring at the camera and grinning very big when with all arms, equip., and baggage, eating C rations & waiting to go to
one of our guys took the picture. One day we had a surprise visit from Korea if needed. They had just captured the Pueblo. That blew over and
the son of the famous General Stilwell. The son was also a general. When I thought I was safe for a while. Came home to get married in June 68,
he saw the picture he said it was his and took it. We weren’t too worried returned to Calif. in July and was immediately handed orders for 24th
because the guy who took the picture had just rotated back to the states,
so we wrote him and asked him to send us the negative so we could have
                                                                                                                                     See ROSSEL pg 28
Page 28                                                   air Commando assoCiation                                                       aug 2008

Rossel                                                                     ever cause) in the Korean theater of operations, the total U.S. dead in the
Continued from page 27
                                                                           Korean War numbers 36,516.
ACW in Panama. Didn’t even get to sign back in!
Steve Burt, Email: wsburt@uncc.edu.                                        AF HISTORICAL SITE
                                                                             There is a new website that indexes 550,000 Air Force Historical
I TOOK A LOOK AT YOUR WEBSITE                                             documents at www.AirForceHistoryIndex.org. The site is very interest-
    I had better luck going through the Special Operations site. You’ve ing for historical data of the Air Force--might not give you everything
compiled a lot of good information. I noted your goals to keep the flame but it sure as hell is very interesting. Try it.
alive—what a great task. I also saw another of the goals of ACA is to
help families of fellow Air Commandos through scholarships. Is John COL ED LEONARD
Carney associated with you? I believe John’s Special Operations War-         Does anyone know of an A-1H pilot named Ed Leonard, Col, USAF,
rior Foundation also works on behalf of Air Commando descendants. I Ret. He flew 257 combat sorties and was shot down twice over Laos,
had met him at Scott back when he was still on active duty and he spoke captured the second time. He spent five years at the Hanoi Hilton. The
at one of our Program Management Reviews in Georgia. Stay in touch – reason I ask is he will be the featured speaker at the Veterans Memorial
good to talk to you.                                                      Museum 11th annual Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day on July 26th
R.D. Van Wagner, slowfr8@sbcglobal.net , Author of WWII Air Com- in Chehalis, WA. Anyone in the northwest who may be interested in at-
mandos                                                                    tending can find more information at www.veteransmuseum.org I am
                                                                          a member of the museum but was not asked by any member to post the
LIVER PROBLEMS AND RECOVERY.                                              above information. Just doing a FYI. Paul C. Lee MSgt, USAF, Retired
    I am back from two weeks of testing at the Mayo Clinic in Jackson- 23rd TASS, NKP & Ubon ‘69 O-2, Fixxer Upper Extraordinaire, Email:
ville, Fl. All about my liver. I do have minor problems with my liver but pa2lees@msn.com
have had minor problems since my early physicals with the Air Force.
Great news is that I do not need a transplant, just good checkups every FOUND LOST USAF BRACELET
three months at Mayo. I am very excited and positive about the news.         USAF Bracelet I found a bracelet at Lake Mead and figure it may
To throw out a few numbers that I do not understand, called MELD num- belong to the family of this soldier. The engraved name is Donald L.
bers. The numbers run from 6 to 40, 6 are the best and 40 are the worse. Wright USAF 11-24-69 with Laos and MD also engraved. Maybe they
I am a nine which sounds pretty good to this non-medical guy. So I am would like to have it back? I would be happy to send it to you or to them.
putting this sorry liver on the back burner and going on with my life at I have had it a few years and just ran across it in the moving process and
the beach and ball games and whatever else I desire to do. In short the thought I would Google his name. It came up on your site. Please e-mail
Mayo experts at Mayo, every doctor there graduated in the top 10 at me or give me a call at 702-860-6215. Happy, Happyinvegas2007@aol.
medical school, lot of pin heads in one place said I can walk, talk, eat, com
drive and enjoy life and they do not want to mess with my quality of life
by giving me dozens of pills for 40 days and then some for life. Take I have the bracelet and if anyone knows where I should send it let me
care. Walt Hennigan, whennigan@yahoo.com,                                 know.
LAVELLE TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS                                          MOH FOR LS-85
    Gen. John D. Lavelle, former four-star general and U.S. Air Force          I recommended the MOH for CMSgt Richard Etchberger, one of the
commander in Southeast Asia, testifies before the House Armed Services     troops killed at LS-85, right after it happened. It was downgraded to the
Committee. He had been relieved of his post in March and later demot-      AF Cross because of the publicity the medal attracted. We could not ad-
ed after it was determined that he had repeatedly ordered unauthorized     mit we were in Laos. The CSAF told me and his exec, who is still alive,
bombings of military targets in North Vietnam. Court-martial charges       that it would be upgraded to the MOH after the war was over and the
were brought against him by his subordinates but were dropped by the       project was declassified. Unfortunately Gen Ryan is dead. However the
Air Force because the “interests of discipline” had already been served.   request for upgrading has been resubmitted has passed the House and is
Lavelle became the first four-star general in modern U.S. history to be    in the Senate as S2787. We have high hopes.
demoted on retirement, although he continued to receive full general’s     Gerald Clayton, jayree@tampabay.rr.com
retirement pay.
Willi Pete, Da Nang + Monkey Mountain, Korat EC-121D RIVET GYM             SAR PICTURE
and The Pentagon, NSA and CIA afterwards                                    To you all collectively and individually - you are invited to the dedi-
                                                                        cation of the SAR painting (Rescue on the PDJ) to the CIA art gallery.
KIA FIGURES FLIP FLOP                                                   The event will take place on 10, October 2008 at the CIA headquarters in
    The original figure of American troops lost--54,246 killed--became Langley, Virginia.
controversial when the Pentagon acknowledged in 2000 that all U.S.              Hotel rooms have been blocked off at the Embassy Suites in
troops killed around the world during the period of the Korean War were Tyson’s Corner VA. for reservations 800 362 2779 under Air America
incorporated into that number. For example, any American soldier killed ($119)
in a car accident anywhere in the world from June 1950 to July 1953 was If you are interested and can make the trip, I will need your social secu-
considered a casualty of the Korean War. If these deaths are subtracted rity numbers.
from the 54,000 total, leaving just the Americans who died (from what-                                                           See ROSSEL pg 29
aug 2008                                                      air Commando assoCiation                                                            Page 29

Rossel                                                                              Silenced for decades by their classified missions over Laos, the men
Continued from page 28
                                                                                finally in recent years began to speak publicly of their war, a decision that
It is my understanding that Sam Jordan will be driving up from Florida          would ultimately lead to a rare historic correction by the Navy.
in a van that accommodates eight (8)                                                Forty years after the squadron’s actions, VO-67 has been awarded the
    Undoubtedly I have overlooked some names or information - let me            Presidential Unit Citation, the highest decoration for combat valor a unit
know! RSVP, John Wiren, jwiren@centurytel.net, Air America                      can receive. Some of the surviving 300 members of that squadron will
                                                                                be on hand Wednesday in Washington, D.C., for the ceremony in front of
LOOKING FOR A RANCH HAND ARTIST                                                 the U.S. Navy Memorial.
   Ranch Hand query was referred to your site by a vet who signed his               “It’s special after all these years,” said John Forsgren, a young sailor
email “jaz”. He was responding to my display advertisement on VA-               who served in the squadron and lives in Arlington. “But it’s also bitter-
watchdog.org. Essentially, Tony Swindell (attached to 4/3 LIB and spec          sweet. How do you get proud of something that you did 40 years ago?
ops ‘68) and me (D 1/7 Cav ‘70) are widely published writers hoping to          There’s a bit of a feeling of ‘Why didn’t they recognize the unit 30 years
write a book about the gallows humor war jokes and war art. Referring           ago?’”
veteran said there was a Ranch Hand fixed wing artist on your site whose            The Presidential Unit Citation is reserved only for the most valorous
cartoon work I should check out. Couldn’t find it. If possible please           combat units, and it’s worth noting that far fewer of them were awarded
send a link or FWD this email to Ranch Hand vet. Thanks much.                   for the Vietnam War than Medals of Honor. A unit receiving the citation
Marc Levy, silverspartan@gmail.com,                                             is the equivalent of every man receiving a Navy Cross.
                                                                                Submitted by Chris Vaughn, Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Can anyone help?
                                                                                B-57 & C-123 COLLISION
SON OF SPOOKY A SHORTY—LIGHT GUNSHIP                                               Until recently I was unaware that USAF used B-57s in addition to
   SOCOMs gunships (the AC-130) are wearing out because of heavy                the A-26 missions on the trail. I also understand that they did not do as
use in combat. In 5-10 years, all of them will have to be retired, or heavily   well as the A-26s. Apparently quite a few were either shot down or had
rebuilt. So the air force portion of SOCOM (AFSOC, Air Force Special            malfunctions of some sort or another. My question is, were the B-57s
Operations Command) is going to try converting new light (two engine)           pulled from that duty before the war ended due to poor performance? I
transports to “light gunships.”                                                 do not blame the crews, they were and are brave men who did as they
   Last year, the U.S. Army and Air Force have agreed on using the Ital-        were ordered, but perhaps it was the wrong aircraft for the job.
ian C-27J two engine transport, to replace the elderly C-23s (used, via a       Bob Lewis, bobblewis@comcast.net, NKP 67-68
special Congressional loophole, by the U.S. Army National Guard), and
thus provide more small transports for delivering cargos in places even            Info I just got off the web says that both aircraft (B-57 and C-123K)
C-130s can’t reach. The C-27J (a joint U.S./Italian upgrade of the Italian      were lost in a mid air on Dec 13, 1968. The C-123k pilot was able to bail
G-222) is a 28 ton aircraft that can carry nine tons for up to 2,500 kilo-      out and was rescued. His name was Lt. Thomas Turner. All other crew
meters and land on smaller airfields than the C-130 can handle. The new         members were lost and never heard of from returning POW’s. More on
“Joint Cargo Aircraft” is officially designated the C27B.                       this story at: www.aiipowmia.com/ssc/smith324c.html
                                                                                Bob Pruiksma, Email: rspusaf@bellsouth.net
ARMY/AIR CORPS ENLISTED PILOTS
NEWSLETTER                                                                  Anyone know Lt. Turner?
Greetings to all. The sad news of the day for me is that I had a serious
computer glitch and lost a lot of data. One of the most serious was my CUBAN AIR FORCE IN EXILE PILOTS
address book. I am trying to get things back in order. Send me an e-mail Cuban Air Force in Exile pilots who attended Squadron Officer School
indicating if you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail or regular with me in 1963 which we discussed at the Air American Reunion:
mail. The e-mail is free. Billy Nickell, Editor, bvern@efn.org              1. Capt Farias the leader--his story is in the Reader Digest “Decision for
                                                                            Disaster by Mario Lazo
U.S. TO HONOR MEMBERS OF SQUADRON IN                                        2. Capt Soto who flew the B-26 from Cuba and landed at Tampa and
‘SECRET WAR’                                                                caused turmoil in the US Air Defense Command
   The Presidential Unit Citation will be awarded Wednesday to mem- 3. 1/Lt Alvarez
bers of Observation Squadron 67.                                            Do you know where any of these pilots are now?
   Not many men in the military are eager to join a brand-new unit,
where they don’t know people, don’t know what they’ll be doing and Janet Ray Weininger reply:
don’t have a proud unit lineage. But the Navy assured the men it would         Capt Van Hovel was one of the American instructors for the Cuban
be good for their careers.                                                  Air Force in Exile.
   So some men volunteered and a lot more were drafted to join Obser-          Matias Farias is living here in Miami and a retired USAF Col. I think
vation Squadron 67, so named because that was the year it was born.         the Soto you are referring to is Antonio “Tony” Soto Vazquez. who is
   After a while the men took to calling themselves “the Ghost Squad- also here in Miami and flew in the Congo. Alvarez could be Mario Al-
ron” because they felt forgotten, participants in a secret war that neither varez Cortina who is deceased. I’m off to LA for the weekend, but will
the U.S. nor the North Vietnamese wanted to acknowledge was being
waged next door to Vietnam.                                                                                                          See ROSSEL pg 30
Page 30                                                                    air Commando assoCiation                                                 aug 2008

Rossel
Continued from page 29                                                                 could, doing odd jobs. Eventually they scraped together a few hundred
                                                                                       dollars for a Piper J-3 Cub, a small plane famed for its simplicity. The
try to find these guys when I return.
                                                                                       boys were 13 or 14 years old, too young to fly alone legally, said Rhyne’s
Last night, I was reading the Air Commando Association newsletter.
                                                                                       older brother Bill, but that didn’t stop them. Jim Rhyne joined the Air
What an honor for BG Aderholt. I am going to try an attend this year’s
                                                                                       Force in 1954, according to an unpublished interview with historian Wil-
reunion.
                                                                                       liam Leary in 1990. When budget cuts in 1958 made the Air Force cut
Janet Ray Weininger, Home 305-255-5994 Cell 305-610-6464
                                                                                       flights for each pilot to two a month, Rhyne said, he decided to quit.
PO Box 56-2801 Miami, FL 33256, Email: WingsValor@aol.com
                                                                                       While running a small airport in Georgia in 1960, he heard about Air
Website: www.WingsOfValor.org
                                                                                       America and applied for a program that used planes specially designed
                                                                                       to fly from rough, extremely short runways.
THE GREATEST PILOT WE NEVER SAW
                                                                                           He flew in India and other places, but beginning in 1962 he spent more
from The News Observer, Raleigh, NC.
                                                                                       than 10 years flying over the landlocked kingdom of Laos, where the CIA
Jay Price and Peggy Lim, Staff Writers
                                                                                       was running the largest paramilitary operation in the agency’s history. In
    When the CIA needed to fly a small team into Iran to lay out a land-
                                                                                       short order, he was a senior pilot supervising some of the company’s best
ing strip for a Delta Force operation to spring 53 U.S. embassy hostages
                                                                                       pilots on its most secret programs.
-- and maybe save Jimmy Carter’s presidency -- it knew where to turn:
                                                                                           Air America also flew CIA agents and paramilitary officers in and out
Clayton resident Jim Rhyne. It was 1980 and Rhyne may have been the
                                                                                       of hundreds of tiny strips hacked out of jungles and mountainsides in
only pilot alive who could regard the request as routine. For him, the
                                                                                       Laos, and dropped both supplies to indigenous forces fighting the com-
question wasn’t whether the flight was possible, but how to do it. He
                                                                                       munists and food to their villages. Some of the more unusual planes were
employed perhaps his second-best skill: calculating the risks against the
                                                                                       designed for gut-wrenching landings and takeoffs in strips little longer
options. Yeah, he replied, a Twin Otter with extra gas tanks, and brings it
                                                                                       than a soccer field.
in at roof-level.
                                                                                           The airline also moved freight and passengers in the open. It also was
    Rhyne was perhaps the greatest pilot no one ever heard of, the only
                                                                                       sometimes the only resource available for rescuing downed U.S. pilots.
person to win the CIA’s top two medals for valor and a veteran of Air
                                                                                       Rhyne was known as a disciplined, careful pilot who was always plan-
America, the notorious airline secretly owned by the CIA.
                                                                                       ning for the next day. He would take a drink or two, but seldom more --
The company was perhaps best known for supporting the agency’s clan-
                                                                                       there was always a flight coming up, after all. He was known for a sense
destine war in Laos in the 1960s and early 1970s. Rhyne played a central
                                                                                       of humor and, perhaps not surprisingly, for being unflappable and tight
role there.
                                                                                       with information about himself.
    He also is part of the answer to a North Carolina mystery that has
                                                                                           “He was something of an enigma,” said friend and former Air Ameri-
puzzled people across the world.
                                                                                       ca flier Ward S. Reimer of Las Vegas. “I don’t think anyone really knew
    He moved to Clayton in 1979 to start Aero Contractors, tucked away
                                                                                       him in depth. What you knew about him, he let you know.”
at the small Johnston County Airport.
                                                                                       Submitted by Ronald W Brown, Email: ronnreenie@starfishnet.com
    Its most controversial suspected mission is flying prisoners captured
in one foreign country to be held -- and perhaps tortured -- in another.
This practice is known as extraordinary rendition.
                                                                                        AVIATION MUSEUM , FULL AIRCRAFT LISTING
                                                                                       For you aircraft buffs, this is a keeper.
    Many of these prisoners have been suspected members of al-Qaeda,
                                                                                          This is the most comprehensive collection of aircraft info that I have
but at least one was a case of mistaken identity.
                                                                                       seen. Want to check out almost any airplane ever built in the World? Old,
    Rhyne died in a plane crash -- the circumstances are disputed -- not
                                                                                       new, military, civilian? Browse this site for a few minutes. You will be
long before the 9/11 attacks. It’s unclear whether the company was in-
                                                                                       amazed at what has been done in airplane design. The amount of info
volved with renditions when he was alive.
                                                                                       available is unbelievable. www.aviastar.org/index2.html
    But Secord, who flew with both Hoover and Rhyne, said, “There’s no
comparison: Jim could fly rings around him.” And Hoover had two legs.
Rhyne had only one. Love of flying. Rhyne was the son of a pharmacist
                                                                                        USAF RESEARCH SITE
                                                                                          The United States Air Force Historical Research Agency maintains
in tiny La Fayette, Ga. In his early teens, he and his friend Paul Robin-
                                                                                       hundreds of thousands of historically significant U.S. Air Force docu-
son began hanging around a local airport, begging rides whenever they
                                                                                       ments representing some 70 million pages of interest to historians, re-
                                                                                       searchers, and Air Force buffs. These include unit histories, special
                                                                                       studies, personal papers, end-of-tour reports, oral histories, interview
           BANGKOK CLEANERS                                                            transcripts, and more. Now an index of 550,000 of these documents --
                   Rated one of America’s Best Cleaners
            A continuous supporter of the Air Commando’s MTF                           representing records held by AFHRA up to 2001 -- is searchable on the
          Humanitarian Mission. Support the folks who support us.                      web at www.airforcehistoryindex.org.
                                                                                       Dale, Nail 49
                      Drop off or delivery, same price!
                       Save time and money today!!
                                                                                        VOLUNTEER FLARE KICKERS
                      Call 850-243-4556                                                   I wish that one day someone would write about the volunteer flare
                                 for personal service.                                 kickers who flew the flare missions every night after they worked their
               Located at 125 SE First Street, Ft Walton Beach, FL 32548
                                                                                                                                               See ROSSEL pg 31
aug 2008                                                    air Commando assoCiation                                                            Page 31

Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow: A story of a real warrior Chief
    On June 25, 2008 Dr. Joseph                                               becoming a War Chief during his        tions include Honorary Doctorate
Medicine Crow, 94 received                                                    military service: (1) He touched       degrees from the University of
France’s highest award, the Legion                                            an enemy, and (2) took away his        Montana/Missoula, Rocky Moun-
of Honor, for his distinguished ser-                                          weapon in hand to hand combat;         tain College, and the University
vice in France during WW2. The                                                (3) He led a war party by taking a     of Southern California. In 2000 he
ceremony was on the Crow Indian                                               squad at night on a dangerous mis-     performed the opening song at a
Reservation (sovereign territory)                                             sion in a combat area to retrieve      United Nations summit conference
in Garryowen, Montana and the                                                 dynamite; and (4) he captured an       for Spiritual and Religious Lead-
date was chosen because it was the                                            enemy’s horse by sneaking into         ers, and in 2005 was named Mon-
132nd Anniversary of the Battle                                               a barn at night and rode out on        tana Tourism Person of the Year.
of Little Big Horn, where Custer                                              bareback with stampeding horses        Joe and his wife Gloria reside in
made his last stand. Ceremony was      1939-41 were interrupted by war.       belonging to retreating German         Lodge Grass, Montana and have
at the Tomb of the Unknown Sol-        He supported his studies by writing    SS Officers. Dr. Medicine Crow’s       been married since 1947.
dier commemorating the battle and      Hollywood scripts. Joe Medicine        significant decorations include the    History Of The National Order Of
is apparently the only such monu-      Crow was the first Crow on the res-    Bronze Star, and the Combat In-        The Legion Of Honor
ment in the US outside of Arling-      ervation to receive a Master’s De-     fantry Badge awarded for merito-           During the French Revolution
ton National Cemetery. Parts of the    gree.                                  rious achievement in combat. He        all the orders of the kingdom were
battle started at this spot.              Dr. Crow served during World        was discharged at Camp Mc Coy,         abolished. It was the wish of Na-
Biography- Dr. Joseph Medicine         War II with the U.S. Army 411th        Wisconsin in January 1946.             poleon, the First Consul, to create
Crow                                   Infantry Regiment attached to the         After World War II, Joe served      a reward to commend civilians and
    Joseph Medicine Crow was           103rd Infantry Division. Follow-       as an Appraiser for the Bureau of      soldiers regardless of their stature in
born in Lodge Grass, Montana in        ing U.S. Army induction in March       Indian Affairs in Montana for over     life. In 1802, a Légion d’Honneur,
October 1913. He attended primary      1943 and basic training, he was de-    25 years. After 1984, he became        (Legion of Honor) was established
and secondary school on the Crow       ployed to France in October 1944.      involved in college teaching and to    as the first modern order of mer-
Reservation. His college education     Joseph saw action in Central Eu-       this day is a self-employed rancher,   it. The order is France’s highest
includes an A.A. degree from Ba-       rope. He was involved in danger-       author, public speaker, and Indian     award and is conferred upon men
cone College; a B.S. degree from       ous missions behind enemy lines        History consultant.                    and women, either French citizens
Linfield College and an M.S. de-       and was one of the first soldiers to      Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow is a       or foreign nationals, for outstand-
gree from the University of South-     cross the German Siegfried Line        noted author with five published       ing achievements in military or ci-
ern California (USC). His con-         from France with heavy resistance.     books covering the Crow Indian         vilian life.
tinuing PhD studies at USC during      He met the four requirements for       culture. His significant recogni-      Submitted by Robert Johnson

Rossel
Continued from page 30                                                    www.class59-D.org.
                                                                          Paul Schueler, Email: peschueler@hotmail.com
regular jobs, some lost their lives filling in as combat crew members ________________________________________________________
in 1966 flying out of Vietnam. S Master SGT Gary F Thomas, Email:
veter3@sbcglobal.ne, 310th Air Commando                                   We are looking for any type documentation/on-site awareness that may
                                                                          exist where the Australian 35th Squadron, flying for the 315th Air com-
Anyone got any stories on these flare kickers?                            mando Group, where included in the award of the Air Force Outstand-
                                                                          ing Unit Award (AFOUA) or the Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) or
RISING RUSSIAN AIR FORCE POWER                                            in any of the other Air Commando/Special Operations units which they
Reported from our ACA member in Finland.                                  operated under for 8 years. For some reason while they worked for the
Friends: Russia’s air power is nowadays as strong as it was during the Air Commando/Special Operations units who received both the AFOUA
Soviet Union. They have many big and active air force bases near our and PUC they were never included in the orders even though they were
border and their strongest fighter/bomber units are located near our bor- an integral part of the unit. The 315th ACG was under the command of
der!!! It is sure that the Russkies have done that because they know Col David Fleming. Please contact me if you have any information you
Finland will join NATO sooner or later. Russkies flying activities have can provide me to help our RAAF Vietnam Veterans, particularly the
increased back to Soviet Union era.                                       non-rated officers and airman of the 35th SQ, get their fair share of war
Well, well... may be they are afraid of us... after all.                  recognition
Jari Salo, jarisalo@netikka.fi
                                                                          Eugene D. Rossel
CLASS 59 PILOT TRAINING CLASS REUNION.                                    909-591-7342 Home, 909-930-5710 Fax
The 1959 - H pilot training class will hold its 50 reunion on 8-12 Oct E-mail aircommando1@earthlink.net
2008 at Wrigth-Patterson AFB, OH. Contact Paul Schueler or go to Web site www.specialoperations.net
                            Air CommAndo                                                                                                NON-PROFIT ORG
                                                                                                                                         U.S. POSTAGE

                            AssoCiAtion, inC                                                                                               PAID
                                                                                                                                        MARY ESTHER, FL
                            Post Office Box 7,                                                                                              32569
                                                                                                                                         PERMIT NO. 3
                            Mary Esther, FL 32569



ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED




                                                                                                 President’s Corner
                                         August 2008                                                                         By Felix “Sam” Sambogna

                                        ticipate in the induction of General    the presentations, Gene received        of the attention, but the AC-119
                                        Aderholt into the “Gathering of         a Citation from Australia’s Par-        also played a significant role the in
                                        Eagles” was a most enjoyable ex-        liamentary Secretary for Defense        the combat. Joel Talley, Teresa Vil-
                                        perience. Once again, our general       Support. Well done, Gene.               lage Director, receive the AF Cross
                                        made us proud. Please see com-              ACA member Wes Fields               for his effort on a rescue mission
                                        ments and pictures of the event in      was the driving force behind the        as a PJ medic. The respect and at-
                                        this newsletter.                        “Doolittle Homecoming” held at          mosphere of appreciation for the
    This is our last newsletter prior       The 4th of July BBQ at Two-         Fort Walton Beach during May.           military is so obvious at the Village
to the annual reunion. I strongly       Trees Restaurant was a success.         The magnificent event that in-          - warriors and widows who served
encouraged folks to sign up early       Bim Barker and crew certainly           cluded B-25 flights, book signings,     proudly.
as we anticipate a good turnout this    know how to prepare great ribs. All     luncheon, and a spectacular ban-            Our association remains healthy.
year. We are sticking to our “nor-      the food was super. Many thanks         quet was a great tribute to these       Our membership is staying steady,
mal” agenda: hospitality room,          to Bim, Damon, Jerry, Joyce Har-        wonderful warriors. Seven of the        our finances are in good shape, and
golf, fish fry, business meeting,       rington, Hap and Shirley Lutz, Ash-     remaining raiders attended and          through the MTF we continue to
briefing, banquet, and the memori-      ley (Ted Saunders’ granddaughter),      were treated royally. Ed Horton,        help the less fortunate. BG Ader-
al service followed by the BBQ. A       and Mr. T and his staff.                one of the raiders, lives here, and     holt remains in good health and
special event this year is the ladies       The buzz in the local area is       Wes is his escort to all the events.    continues to go to the Aderholt Fit-
social at the Air Force Enlisted Vil-   great concerning the confirmation       The raiders visited our building        ness Center on Hurlburt at 0530
lage. Board Member Jim Binnick-         of General Norton “Norty” Swartz        and seemed impressed. Lt Col            most mornings. He still provides
er, who is the CEO at the Village,      to be Chief of the USAF. The            Cole, who was Doolittle’s copilot,      guidance and suggestions for the
has arranged the transportation,        General is a member of the ACA          noticed a picture on our wall with a    ACA and MTF. He is looking for-
luncheon, and a tour. We think our      and was a great supporter while he      C-47 that was used to fly missions      ward to the 08 reunion and always
ladies will really enjoy this event     was commander of the 16th SOW           in Burma during a commando op-          enjoys seeing air commandos.
on Saturday.                            at Hurlburt. Congratulations Gen-       eration. He said he was assigned to         It has been mentioned that some
    I also encourage everyone to        eral! We wish you success in this       the unit and flew that very aircraft.   of our members may want to know
submit a ballot that you should         most difficult and important posi-      He recognized the tail number.          more information about Chuck
have received in a separate mail-       tion.                                       I represented the ACA at an         Keeler, the candidate whose is run-
ing. Chuck Keeler is willing to be          As I mentioned in a previous        event at Teresa Village, a part of      ning for ACA President. Charles
president. He served two previ-         column, Gene Rossel played a key        the AF Enlisted Windows Home.           “Chuck” Keeler is a life member
ous terms and is anxious to get in-     role for eight years in the effort to   Board Member Jim Binnicker is           of the ACA, is a retired Chief Mas-
volved again. We still do not have      help Royal Australian Air force         the CEO of this wonderful or-           ter Sergeant. He is a past president
anyone who has volunteered for the      pilots-who flew as FACs and Cari-       ganization. AC-119 association          of the ACA, serving two terms
VP slot. The VP’s biggest task is       bou aircrews in support of U.S.         members Gus Sininger and Garry          as president from 1986-1989 and
to manage the annual reunion, and       forces in Vietnam- obtain U.S. Air      Gourley presented two lithographs       1992-1994. After retirement from
if anyone is interested please let us   Force Air Medals. Gene was fur-         of AC-119s for display at the Vil-      the USAF, he worked in the com-
know. I will remain as treasurer        ther recognized in the July issue of    lage. Both men gave interesting         munity as Fort Walton Beach Chief
unless someone steps forward for        the Military Officers Association of    talks about the role of the AC-119      of Police and as City Manager.
that position.                          America (MOAA) magazine under           in Vietnam. They stated the AC-47           Stay well and join us in Octo-
    The trip to Maxwell AFB to par-     “Kudos.” While in Australia for         and the AC-130 exploits get most        ber. Sam

								
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