1. An especially important event to take place will be the re-dedication of "Turchi Hall" at Ft. Rucker which was named a couple years ago in honor of 118th Thunderbird and Bandit Crewchief, SP4 Louis Turchi, KIA in Vietnam, Oct 14, 1966. SP4 Turchi was from Philadelphia, PA. When the building was originally named Turchi Hall, there was a dedication. However, there was very little available, as far as memorabilia is concerned, to make a proper display. Recently, there was a box of family donated items, including his Vietnam helmet, found stored with other items at the Ft. Rucker Aviation Museum. Also, several other items have been donated to allow DAC Michael Greenwood to create a wonderful display near the first floor entrance to the building in his honor. They would especially like for some guys who knew Turchi to attend the event.
Ms Lesa Brown
2. The 145th CAB reunion will be held this year at "Mother" Rucker, AL. Dates are June 22, 23 & 24th. Plan to attend this reunion because there should be a good crowd of guys, both EM and pilots from all the units of the 145th. In the past, our Thunderbirds have usually had the most attendees. Please go to the 145th CAB web site for the schedule and to sign up. Their web site is www.145thcab.com then when you get to their web site click on "Reunion".
3. The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association annual reunion will be in Phoenix, AZ this year from July 4-8, 2007. For more info and to register for that reunion go to: http://www.vhpareunion.org/
3. Another event to take place near Ft. Rucker, AL, and hopefully at the time of the 145th CAB reunion in June, is the dedication of a "Huey on a Stick" at the Andalusia/Opp Airport. What makes this special is that the Airport Manager is a former Thunderbird, Bill Benton. And, this Huey is the one that Bill and his close friend Bob Kelley were in when Kelley was wounded at "LZ Gold" on March 19, 1967 during the Battle at Soui Tre. No definite details available, but they will be forwarded to you when known.
1. Jim Hill, a Spartan Tower operator there in 1966, found our Thunderbird web site and sent an email, " The first pic (photo unavailable at this time. To be posted later) is a short timers party in a downtown bar. The three guys standing L-R are crewchiefs. You might know their names. The two sitting are my tower chief, Andy Anderson, me and standing behind me another controller, Larry Bruce. The second one is of me,(left) and one of your gunship guys we called "baby killer". Can't for the life of me remember his name. The two of us partied with you guys at the BOQ club until way after curfew one night, after flying a "pigs & rice" mission all day. Rode back with the OD in his jeep wearing a W/O Flight Suit to get past the main gate. It worked." Jim can be contacted at: Killersdiner1@aol.com
2. A guy named Seitz contacted me with this email.... "this is doc also served with 118th as doorgunner would like to have contact with you. can be reached at my email address of firstname.lastname@example.org or my wife's at email@example.com looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible."
3. Irvin Robinson sent an email and said......"118th Bandit Crew Chief A/C 3/4 WO George pilot, Cpt Cubine Platoon Ldr, was Crew Chief when WO Valentine and Lt Miller was wounded would like to hear from anyone that remember incident. I was sp/5 at the time Irvin B Robinson, during this time there were very few African American's as Crew Chief's would like to get this documented for PTSD. reqards." His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. David Myer sent an email and said....."I flew with the second platoon choppers and the bandits from march 68 to aug 68. My name is David O Myers. RA16956503. Please get in touch with me for verification." His email is: David Myer email@example.com
5. Ken Collins wrote an email to tell of his efforts to memorialize the memory of Richard P. Bubar, the 118th enlisted guy who was killed in the mortar attack on the Bien Hoa Airbase on in 1964. The Thunderbird Day Room was named his honor. " Hello Sir, First and foremost, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to you for your incredibly comprehensive website honoring the men who served at Bien Hoa. I am am 29 yrs old and never had the pleasure of knowing my uncle, Richard P. Bubar, who sevred as a mechanic and died during the '64 mortar attack at bein hoa air force base. I was fascinated to learn more about the mortar attack on bien hoa air force base, like the fact the 52mil mortar rounds were US made. I was also heartened to see the Richard P. Bubar day room photo on your first page of the website. From what the US government told us Richard spent his last moments retrieving soldiers from the barracks and leading them into foxholes nearby, saving many lives. The Richard P. Bubar day room photo adds credence to Governments accounts.
In Ricard's memory I am amassing as many photos of him as I can for archival purposes. I'd like to share those photos with you, as there are many photos detailing the base and regional life. In exchange I'd like to ask for a favor if I may. I'd like to receive any contact information of people who might have known Richard, like David Vandenberg who submitted the Day room photo on your front web page. Maybe a short blurb on your web site with my eMail address may turn up results. I understand this favor may prove impossible or too daunting. I just would like to know more about my uncle during his military days before its too late. Another option: I'll also check to see when the next thunderbird reunion is.
Here's my contact information just in case:
103 Hall Rd
Watsonville, CA 95076
6. Robert "Bob" Rose sent this
email....."I was assigned to the 118th during the period
above. I really learned how to fly in this short period. There
weren't that many strong D models and with the weaker ones you
had to really "baby" them to get what you wanted. I
was assigned to the Blues and two AC's that really took me under
their wing were CWO Tom White (later commissioned) and CWO Bill
Blair. With these fine pilots I learned three corp arty zones
and other critical issues. I flew smoke on several occasions and
might have some pictures of the smoke ship when I was a PP slick
driver. These two ppilots flew lead on many occasions and I was
blessed to fly with them.
The day before Thanksgiving 68 We lost one of the Bandits, CWO LaRoque (SP) and two others lost their lives and the fourth was taken into Cambodia, left for dead, but survived. Bill Blair and I went back to the Bird Cage and brought back the Thanks giving dinner for the team at Tay Ninh city strip. The left overs we took out to a SF fire base west of Tay Ninh.
Left in Jan 69 and went to the Delta with the CAV. I still learned to "Fly" with the Thunderbirds. BOB ROSE
7. Teddy Keithly wrote: "Hi! My name is Teddy Keithley, Jr. I am sending this on behalf of my father, Teddy B. Keithley. He served in Vietnam, with the 118th AHC from 1966-1967 at Bien Hoa airbase. He worked as a security guard. Do you have any pictures of the SGs working the front gates? He has some pictures that I might be able to submit to your site if you are interested. Also, do you have any members that worked as security guards? What about future reunions? Anything scheduled for 2007? I have tried to get him to go to a reunion, but alas, he thinks the reunions are for pilots, crewmembers, or mechanics, not some dumb security guard. Any help or information you can give me for the 118th AHC security guards or reunions, would be great. P.S. I think he might have been assigned or attached to the 145th combat aviation battalion. Please email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much for your time!!!! And God Bless you and all of the former soldiers of the 118th.
Teddy Keithley, Jr.
8. Ken Simpson, who has been serving along our US/Mexico border with the U.S. Border Patrol sent this (Ken is on the back row second from left):