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Dallas, TX--July 1-5, 2004

When the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association met for their 21st annual reunion at the Adams Mark Hotel in Dallas, TX, the 33rd/118th Thunderbirds took the opportunity to meet for a mini-reunion on the afternoon of July 3. There were 29 former Thunderbirds at the reunion and all but three are in the photos below. Not in the photos were Chad Payne (63-64), Gil Ferrey (66) and Angus Desveaux (67).



L to R: James Harvey, John Ness, Bill James, Richard Glasgow and Doug Keith.
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


Kneeling, L to R: Richard LeJeune, Tom Payne, Leroy Spivey, Reed Kimzey and Les Valouche.
Standing, L to R: Donald Parrish, Ralph Orlando, Pat McLarney, Jim Ellis, Jack Swickard
and Paul "Red" Henderson.
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


Kneeling, L to R: Donald Abrams, Ron Suess, Dennis Gulich, Frank Harvey
Standing, L to R: Frank Basaldua, Ron Disbro, Pete Smith, Dale Moore, Leroy Spivey and Glenn Clark.
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)

L to R: Larry Mobley and Ralph Orlando from 1964-65 time period.
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)

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Kansas City, MO--Sep 28-Oct 1, 2005

The bi-annual reunion of the 145th Combat Aviation Battalion was held in Kansas City, MO this year. This reunion is made up of both Officers and Enlisted men assigned to the units that served under the 145th CAB while it was in Vietnam. They include, but are not limited to the following Companies: HHC, 1st, 18th, 25th, 68th, 71st, 73rd, 74th, 114th, 117th, 118th, 119th, 120th, 121st, 135th, 147th, 184th, 190th, UTT, 197th, 334th, 213th, 242nd, 335th, CoA/82nd, CoA/501st and 57th Med Detachment. Of course, all the Transporation, Medical and Signal Detachements of each of these units are invited.

The reunion was attended by 57 total people made up of 37 men and 20 ladies. Activities included an opening reception, great hospitality room, tour and briefing at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, a Kansas City and Truman Library/Museum tour, memoral service and final banquet. Below are some photos of those Thunderbirds who attended. Several attended for the very first time. Joe Boggs, former Commander of the 118th AHC Thunderbirds, and his wife Janet, did a great job hosting the reunion in Kansas City, MO.

Also attending, but not in the photos, were former Thunderbirds Alan Laya(63-64) and Donald Wray(66-67). The next 145th CAB reunion will be at Ft. Rucker, AL in two years.

Downtown Kansas City from the WWI War Memorial
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)



Tommy Thornton (65-66) at Registration Desk. Tommy and
wife, Dixie, helped host the reunion and arranged
for caps and hospitality.
(photo courtesy Tom Payne)


Richard Mika, one of the original Bandit
crewmembers in 1963-64, visits with Jerry Head,
68th AHC, who arranged for all reunion
transportation and drove the bus.
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)


All Bandits at hotel lobby "Welcome" sign.
L to R: Richard Mika, Dick "Teeny Bopper" Rissman,
John Flynn and Fred Eckelmann.
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


All Bandits. L to R: Fred Eckelmann, Dick Rissman
and John Flynn meeting in the hospitality room.
(Photo courtesy Dick Rissman)


Group loading on bus at Ft. Leavenworth following
Memorial Service at Post Chapel.
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)


Dick "Teeny Bopper" Rissman at historic
Post Chapel of Ft. Leavenworth, KS.
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


L to R: Rissman, Flynn, 1SGT Tillman Davis
and Eckelmann at the Ft. Leavenworth Museum.
(Photo courtesy Dick Rissman)


A special Thunderbird dinner arranged by Joe Boggs.
L to R: Payne, Eckelmann, Rissman, Flynn, Ted Jambon,
Diana Jambon and Dixie Thornton.
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)


Thunderbird dinner. L to R: Joe Boggs, Alan Laya,
Richard Mika, Tom Payne and Fred Eckelmann.
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)


Once in a lifetime experience.....George Owens
shining the shoes of Fred Eckelmann.
(Photo courtesy Dick Rissman)


Tom Payne and Kansas City downtown from
WWI Memorial.
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


L to R. Richard Mika, Ted Jambon and Myron Weaver.
(Photo courtesy Dick Rissman)


Special Bandit caps presented at the final banquet.
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)


Bandits receiving their Bandit caps at the banquet.
L to R: Fred Eckelmann, Richard Mika, John Flynn
and Dick Rissman.
(Photo courtesy Dick Rissman)


Joe Boggs presenting a commemorative 145th
CAB pin to John Flynn at the final banquet.
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)


Jerry Head receives his commemorative pin from
Joe Boggs at final banquet.
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)


Final photo of Thunderbirds at the banquet.
L to R: Flynn, Rissman, Jambon and Eckelmann
with Mika seated.
(Photo courtesy John Flynn)


The entire reunion group on the steps of the
Harry Truman Library, Independance, MO.
(Photo courtesy Dick Rissman)

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