If there any golfers in this bunch going to Charlotte, some of us are bringing clubs and plan to play. More than welcome to join. Harrell Guidry (AKA Cue) 191st AHC 67-68
Harrell Guidry <Harrell.Guidry@fina.com>
Groves, Tx USA - Tuesday, May 30, 2000 at 09:30:27 (MDT)
Flight: Looking for a little help! Any one who was at Fort Carson in or about July 1967. Remembers a helicaopter crash. The gunner killed was Roger Steele RA19813339. He served with me in 65-66 in the 129th. Would like info from any archive newspapers reports or even a accident report. Hope everyone had a safe Mermorial Day. And remembered our fallen Brothers. Take Care my BRO'S Alex
Alex Fernwalt <alfern@bellsouth.net>
Memphis, Tn USA - Tuesday, May 30, 2000 at 08:36:01 (MDT)
Bruno!!!So good to see your post! And yes, the "426" was thought of today. Went to Tom Shaw's brick at the local memorial here today. Left him a carnation, smiles, and hello's from the 129th. I pray all is well with you. To All: The new virtual wall site is up and running...it's very cool. the addy is the same: www.the virtualwall.org. Stop in.
Gently <GentlyJ@aol.com>
USA - Monday, May 29, 2000 at 20:08:25 (MDT)
Thinking of you all today. God bless those who did not make it home. You are with us forever. Gus
Ted "Gus" Gustafson
USA - Monday, May 29, 2000 at 15:45:44 (MDT)
Aday of rememberance to the fallin also toall that haved served exspecialy the 129th as well as POW/MIA. A special thanks to you Mr Westwang for your continued service to veterans.Also Mark Jackson for this outstanding web page for us to continue the comradeship that has been a missing part of our lives since we returned to the world To all have a safe and Joyfull Memorial day Don McCort 129th 1971
Don McCort <mccortfmly@aol.com>
Seminole, Fl USA - Monday, May 29, 2000 at 11:50:35 (MDT)
Barbques are lit, picnics in abundance, swimming, fishing, boating! I am happy to see the flags waiving, flowers being placed, etc... A prayer of thanks for our deliverance and one of sympathy for the families of our fallen brothers and sisters May God also be with our brothers/Sister with Rolling Thunder providing them with travel mercies on their return. Chip McGregor, Joe Johnson, Ted Gustavson, Cobra Baron, Falstaff, Jester, Soothsayer, "King" Cobra, and all those I can't seem to remember, God Speed....Clear right ...
Don G. Johnson <sheridon1@prodigy.net>
Edmond, OK USA - Monday, May 29, 2000 at 11:36:28 (MDT)
This early foggy spring morning, typical in the Northwest, I set out my flag on the front porch. With the list from our homepage I was able to read off all the names of our fallen 129th family. Thanks to the information on Mark's homepage, this Memorial Day has a special meaning to me. Bruno, the next time you change servers let us know right away! We hate loosing track of our members. Joe Munez, good to see your post. Hope to see you in July as I pass through LA from Phoenix on the 22nd. I will keep you informed. Drive carefully and have a memorable day everyone. As I watched the Rolling Thunder Parade I was sure that I saw the large 129th Flag flying behind Mark Jackson's motorcycle. Perhaps it was only wishfull thinking. I saw, what I thought was, the 129th red and blue emblem on a black field. Thanks to all that made the trip to represent the rest of us.
Dan Hertlein <DHert10408@aol.com>
Sumner, WA USA - Monday, May 29, 2000 at 08:20:49 (MDT)
My Heart is with you all today in remembrance of our fallen comrades. I have more respect for you all & them than anyone. I was watching some of Rolling Thunder Yesterday although I had to work it at the VA. I hope you all made it there safe. I sent several messages to the RFTW. ORG & they must have gotten somewhere because i didn't get a mailer Daemon back. I have to make it there sooner or later. Right now I am trying to raise 2 kids & just can't afford the Money or time off. I did hear a number of disparaging remarks about the VA yesterday & while there are a lot of issues that are problems, such as cuts in staff, finances etc. I want you all to know that I am giving our vets the best care I know how. I had someone tell me a long time ago " If it's meant to be, let it begin with ME". I want you to know that you are ALL the best. ESPECIALLY YOU 129th!!! I wish you all Peace & a safe Memorial Day!! Yours as always, Smitty
Jim westwang <westwang@cyberhighway.net>
Sheridan, Wy USA - Monday, May 29, 2000 at 06:59:35 (MDT)
To all,have a safe weekend with your families.
Joe Muniz <zinum@hotmail.com>
San Diego, CA USA - Saturday, May 27, 2000 at 18:15:09 (MDT)
Hey Bernie, Que Paso Hombre? Long time no see.A BIG HELLO to Bill ShillitoJust signed in this memorial day to remember Bulldog 426.My new EMail is rauls@surface.net.Smitty I got the E-Mail But sorry I haven't responded.I'LL be drinking a few to remember.E'NUFF SAID.LATER I'M O'TTA HERE.
Bruno E Sanchez <rauls@surface.net >
Laredo, tx USA - Saturday, May 27, 2000 at 12:18:31 (MDT)
Thanks Mike. If anybody is going out this weekend please be careful out there and rememeber the fallen. Thanks Rick
Rick England <bd431@inficad.com>
Wittmann, Az USA - Saturday, May 27, 2000 at 10:23:12 (MDT)
Hi guys and girls, first things first. Thanks Rick England for the fine job you did on the pins,and to one and all have a good weekend. I guess just remenber what it's for. Take care, Uncle Slick out.
michael barrett <michael_barrett@icpphil.navy.mil>
Phila., Pa. USA - Friday, May 26, 2000 at 07:30:05 (MDT)
Taps for one of the Brothers. According to the VHPA Newsletter(Mar/Apr) Carl R Jones passed away Nov 27, 1998. He flew his second tour with the 129th 68-69. Lou, out.
Paul Tenhet <pqt2@trilobyte.net>
Tooele, Ut USA - Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 16:25:27 (MDT)
Hello Flight; I'm looking for my old crew members. If you gunned on 637 from 7/68 thru 3/69 email me. The names have gone fuzzy after 30 years, sorry! Bill Roddis #637 "The Flintstone Flyer"
Bill Roddis <piopub@mcn.org>
Ft. Bragg, CA USA - Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 14:13:59 (MDT)
Bill Jeanes... Thanks for your insightful "going home" story! I'd encourage you all to read it, as I've wondered at times what happened after I left. I remember leaving a pair of "like new" low quarters, because I simply didn't have room in the old duffle bag when I left. I had to buy a new pair at Ft. Carson for 15 months of stateside duty (probably wore those once!). I did manage to sell the $5 fan I bought for $5, and the $25 fridge for $25!
Dave Powers <powers@montrose.net>
Montrose, CO USA - Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 07:58:01 (MDT)
Hey Flight, for you hardcore Bite and Strike types, I asked Mark to post my recount of the last days of the company. Posted under stories. Cobra/Bulldog 52.
Bill Jeanes <jeanesb@socom.mil>
Valrico, FL USA - Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 06:28:43 (MDT)
Flight, Had the pleasure Saterday of meeting up with the riders on the Run for the Wall. Lots of really nice people and a lot of great rides. Got to meet one of our flight, Berry Swanson; he told me that there were three others, but because of mechanical problems with Ron Paye scoot they fell out to make it to a dealer for repairs. If any of you do get a chance to check out the formation as it comes into your area I highly recomend it. Well got to go. Tails clear left. Matt Casey
Matt Casey <mcasey@rjrinc.com>
Denver, CA USA - Monday, May 22, 2000 at 14:37:30 (MDT)
Flight: Well the Charlotte reunion is only weeks away! And I hope we have passed the word to as many 129th as possible. Hopefully we will have a great turn out. Dan hope I gave you enough info so you can get the personnel rosters that you want. Need any more help, I am only a click away. Gently! my friend haven't heard from Bernie since the Denver reunion. I hope everything is going ok for him. See you in Charlotte! And to the rest of the Flight. A minute of prayer honoring our fallen Brothers. And have a safe Memorial Day. AlEX
Alex Fernwalt <alfern@bellsouth>
Memphis, Tn USA - Monday, May 22, 2000 at 08:02:11 (MDT)
Rick-looking forward to getting my 129th pin. Thank you. Alex-you saw Bernie Hernandez?? How is he? do you have a current Email for him? Gently
Gently <Gently@aol.com>
Milwaukee, WI USA - Friday, May 19, 2000 at 23:17:15 (MDT)
Hello flight, just a note ....... if you wish to see where the RFTW will be on certain date go to http://www.rftw.org/schedule.htm the whole schedule is there. (it makes it easier to join them on the run if you know where and when)the home page is http://rftw.org later, ..... Don
Don Miller <ayla@c2i2.com>
Valley Farms, AZ USA - Thursday, May 18, 2000 at 18:41:46 (MDT)
Hello Flight, unfortunatly my part of the RUN FOR THE WALL is over for this year. I met up with Les Sprague on Monday night and spent till Wednesday with him. it was a very emotional time. we laughed, we cried, and in general had a great time. you can't get completly caught up on 30 years in 47 hours. but we had a great time. let me tell you brothers, if you get a chance to meet up with ANYONE that you knew there DO IT. if getting together did Les half as much good as it did me, then it was a great thing. those 2 days together helped me more than I can ever express in words. there are 3 people I would like to single out to thank for the help they have given to ALL the Vets: JIM ROSIN, (folks you have to meet this man to believe it, he is an inspiration to all that meet him)PAUL BATTAGLIA, he has more energy than any 10 people I know. and last (but certainally not least) DICK DARNELL, this man can do it all (he says he's just a cook ....... don't you believe it. he's that and much much more). I saw old friends meet again, new friendships made and everyone I saw, no matter what they were doing, if you said hi to them they would stop and talk to you. everyone made you feel welcome. it was one of the greatest experiances I have ever had. even if you can't make the RUN FOR THE WALL if you have the chance, find out where they are stopping for the night and go there just for the evening. you will never regret it. and to you Mark ........ THANK YOU BROTHER ..... with out you, this would NEVER have been possible. now that I have written a book I will go. stay safe brothers
Don Miller <ayla@c2i2.com>
Valley Farms, AZ USA - Thursday, May 18, 2000 at 11:14:44 (MDT)
Wishing my Bro's a safe flight on the rftw. Wish I was riding with you. And I will be there in spirit. Tke care my brothers and all of the 129th family are riding with you. Alex
Alex Fernwalt <alfern@bellsouth.net>
Memphis, Tn USA - Thursday, May 18, 2000 at 08:03:32 (MDT)
Got my pins yesterday, GOOD JOB, thanks to Rick England. I'm the envy of all at local Legion Post. Thanks to Mark Jackson for the info on maps, I now have a set of tac maps for the entire 129th AOof 1968. Good luck and best wishes for all on the ride to the wall. Ted
Ted Buisker <Skyking@aeroinc.net>
Davis, IL USA - Wednesday, May 17, 2000 at 06:47:21 (MDT)
Swanny, I want to wish you all the best & safest trip! Are you going through vegas & will you See Festus? as you can see in the previous postings, Dave Powers is wanting a picture of Shaky (Jay Hillon). I know Festus has one. Do You? I can't remember. I am posting this on the site so you have 2 chances to read it before you take off. Be safe all & the good Lord ride with you! Lurch was saying he wanted some maint. comments . Keep some mil-l-23699a in those machines!! Watch the 42 & 90 degree gear boxes for those pesky chip detector lights, hopefully you all make it there & back without 1 master caution panel light. I have 6 friends from my home town, about 7 i knew in the 120th & some 4 I met of our own. Please say hi to them for me. I have done it at the traveling wall but havn't gotten to the big one YET! Yours, Smitty
Jim Westwang <westwang@cyberhighway.net>
Sheridan, Wy USA - Tuesday, May 16, 2000 at 18:28:58 (MDT)
Good Morning Flight, Well the time has finally arrived, the anticipation has been gut wrenching. Since reading many posts from Mark Jackson last year and following the television coverage of "Rolling Thunder" on Memorial weekend tomorrow morning I depart from Ontario, CA with a group called "Run For The Wall" and in formation from the 129th will be Ron Paye, Curt Classen, Mike Teucthman (spelling ?),and myself. In Arizona we hook up with Les Sprague and will meet Don Miller. It was an inspiration that Mark made within me 1 year ago, I decided at that time that Memorial weekend 2000 would be my first time to visit the Wall. What a way to visit it, along with so many brothers and sisters and family members of the 129th going across this great country on a Harley Davidson with a goal of walking along the Wall. I can't begin to explain my inner feelings, many of you know them as well. But we will be there to support one another arm in arm. I am looking forward to meeting up with Mark Jackson when we roll into West Virginia and completing this mission together. I promise to take as many pictures as possible and will have Mark post them on the web site for all to see and enjoy. I will be meeting Ron, Curt, and Mike this evening to introduce ourselves prior to getting together tomorrow morning. Seeing this my first long distance bike ride, any suggestions from any of you cowboys and horsemen to cure saddle sores????? Also, if anyone would like to send a message to us while we are on the road there is a morning "Mail Call", send it to MAILCALL@RFTW.ORG. All of you know what it's like to receive mail from family while away from home......... Will keep everyone posted on the trip as soon as we return, Take Care, Swanny
Barry Swanson <Bulldog910@hotmail.com>
Riverside, CA USA - Tuesday, May 16, 2000 at 10:35:40 (MDT)
Hey flight! Got a written assignment for you. If, as I have, you have seen and appreciated the movie "Philedelphia" you may remember the running line that Denzel Washington's character uses throughout the movie, "Explain it to me like I'm five years old." That is something like the line, it has been sometime since I last saw the film. Anyway, I would love to read the words you all would use to explain to a five year old or to someone who knew nothing of aviation the controls of the UH-1H, the cyclic, the collective, the foot pedals. I would love to see how you would describe the linkage from the cyclic to the main rotor and how it tilted the rotor system and what that created. Same-same with the collective and the anti-torque pedals. I am working on some stories from my experiences with the 129th. With regularity a reader will comment that my description of the mechanics of flying the Huey seems too complex or complicated. Now those of you who know me know that I am a simple man, never one to complicate a situation with any extraneous bullshit! Ya'll know that I am a man of few words, that I am a man who speaks rarely and only with brevity. You know that I get straight to the point and waste little time with anal-retentive minutia. Well I guess there may be times when I choose to express myself in a somewhat wordy, detailed, some might say verbose way. I guess I'll give you that one. This is why I need your help. I remember what a quiet, reserved, and soft-spoken group of men were with the 129th while I was there! Seriously, let's have some input! Let's have a discussion of the controls, linkages, maintenance headaches, mauevers, etc., etc., etc. I expect to hear from you guys! Remember, my callsign was Lurch and I do have the ablility to locate any slackers and I've got a duece and a half load of whoop-ass to bring out there if that's what it takes! Remember, keep 'em in the green boys! Lurch, out.
Keith "Lurch" Weisheit <kweishei@gibsoncounty.net>
Ft. Branch, IN USA - Monday, May 15, 2000 at 23:38:42 (MDT)
Hello Flight, well I guess it is that time. I had a nice phone call from Les Sprague tonight and he is starting his "run for the wall" tomorrow. I will be meeting him on one of his stops. and them I have to come back home. but I will also get to meet a few other 129 ers that will be traveling with him. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. so to all of you that are lucky enough to go. take care and have a safe and joyful ride. be sure to make a post here for all of us that can't go. so we can enjoy the ride thru your stories and take lots of pictures. be safe brothers. Don Mar 69 - 70
Don Miller <ayla@c2i2.com>
Valley Farms , AZ USA - Sunday, May 14, 2000 at 01:25:38 (MDT)
Hi, I got the thing back up & running so am on-line again. Rick England, I got the pins & damn fine job. THANKS. Dave Powers, I just sent you a message & I forgot about this but the only picture I saw of Shaky is in Festus' scrapbook in Las Vegas. He does not have a computer so must be contacted by mail. I can either do it or give you his snail-mail address. hope all are well & is good to hear that you are hanging in there Bob Heidenreich Best to you all, Smitty
Jim Westwang <westwang@cyberhighway.net>
Sheridan, Wy USA - Saturday, May 13, 2000 at 19:13:34 (MDT)
Mark you done a nice job on the new home page,this is the first time I've seen it and I think it great job, Thank's to you and all involved in getting it up and running for the 129th group. Viet Nam 1966-67
Larry Flannell <flanl@shawneelink.com>
New Burnside, il USA - Friday, May 12, 2000 at 19:03:50 (MDT)
FLIGHT...........am at Bob Heidenreich of the 129th AHC right now.....having the time of my life. Here with Big Donald Frederick and Rick " SHAKEY" Vogel, both of the CAV and the 57th Gladiators crazies. I have lived through many mind shots of these Vets that I am with this weekend. I am lost.........but in very good hands............JUNE????..........the VHCMA in Charlotte?????......can't wait...................pullin' pitch in thr morning and headed back to OHIO in the morning on the Hawg!!!!!!!!!!.......... Vietnam Vets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....as always.........my utmust highest respect is in my heart for you all,............please remember....what you mean to me............when you speak......you are the voice of my brother Take care and God Bless...................."257"......skids up....... I WASN'T THERE, BUT i STILL CARE........................Pop-A-TopII..OI4
Pop_A_TopII <fourfour@bright.net>
Somewhere lost in Missoui at Bob H's house, USA - Friday, May 12, 2000 at 17:57:32 (MDT)
To Donnie Purvis: No, I'm afraid I don't remember the name. I might remember the face if I had a picture. I like your saying, "Slicks are for Kids . . . With Very Big Balls!" I think I smell a bumper sticker business! Who would know what it means unless you were "one of us". Thanks for the 'sound bite', and of course I will swear that I thought of it! I will use it often! Later, Mike Miles 129th 70-71 Bulldog "Frog"
Mike Miles <michael.miles@gsa.gov>
Easton, MD USA - Friday, May 12, 2000 at 10:12:25 (MDT)
Hi flight its been a long time, but all is well and i hope everone is doing fine. Mike Miles do you remember mike mckinney. He was a door gun for the cobra's then moved over to the real action slicks. i once had a gun pilot say slicks are for kids, until he flew a combat assault mission and took three rounds through the window, then he said slicks are for kids with very big balls. hope to see a lot of you in june. god bless and take care.
donnie r. purvis <dpurvis@lexcominc.net>
lexington, nc USA - Friday, May 12, 2000 at 04:31:45 (MDT)
Hey Lurch: Did we call JJ, "Baby Boy"? Does anyone out there remember CE name of Gary Felt? Later, Mike Miles 129th 70-71
Mike Miles <michael.miles@gsa.gov>
Easton, MD USA - Thursday, May 11, 2000 at 10:27:40 (MDT)
Goodmorning Flight: Just checking in. Was lucky enough to have a few day off with the wife on the beach. want to wish everyone a safe trip to D.C. on mermorial Day.Mark will be having the 129th flag blowing in the wind. Mark you and Dee have a safe trip. I have everyone have their rooms for the reunion. Looks like a good turn out. I will have the balance of the T-Shirts with me. Will keep everyone posted on reunion news or you can go to the VHCMA web page. Take care Bro's Alex
Alex Fernwalt <alfern@bellsouth.net>
Memphis, Tn USA - Thursday, May 11, 2000 at 08:48:22 (MDT)
Smitty and Lurch... Shaky's name was Jay Hillon, Cobra crewchief/gunner (from Seattle, WA I believe). Smitty, do have a copy of that photo? I'd like a copy if I could get it.
Dave Powers <powers@montrose.net>
Montrose, CO USA - Wednesday, May 10, 2000 at 14:21:55 (MDT)
Mike, Nice thing about the mechanic, about OUR drivers, Me & my Aircraft were treated well by most & I retain a fondness for you all. Lurch, Festus has a very good picture of shaky that i saw in vegas but darned if I can bring his name either. Speaking of mechanics. Suddenly, this computer stopped recognizing the A (floppy) drive. I replaced a couple parts at the request of the co. & still does not work so tomorrow it goes to depot maintenance. I should be down about a week. Let you know when i'm back. Best to you all, Smitty
Jim Westwang <westwang@cyberhighway.net>
Sheridan, Wy USA - Wednesday, May 10, 2000 at 09:05:06 (MDT)
Frog, I love your entry on how to mangage a mechanic. Thank God that at the 129th we Slick Jocks were partners with our crewchiefs, door gunners, and peter-p's. I will never forget the comradship I felt for Gary Conley, "JJ" (my mind originally wiped out all memory of Conley going home and "JJ" and I crewing together toward the end of my tour), and "Shaky" our beloved doorgunner whose face is fresh in my minds eye but whose name is AWOL. I loved those guys in the way that we all did when we were Bulldogs and COBRAS! Thanks again Frog!
Keith "Lurch" Weisheit <kweishei@gibsoncounty.net>
USA - Wednesday, May 10, 2000 at 08:33:12 (MDT)
Hey Guys (and Gals). This is a little long, but well worth reading. Mike Miles 129th 70-71 HOW TO OPERATE A HELICOPTER MECHANIC By William C. Dykes A long, long time ago, back in the days of iron men and wooden rotor blades, a ritual began. It takes place when a helicopter pilot approaches a mechanic to report some difficulty with his aircraft. All mechanics seem to be aware of it, which leads to the conclusion that it's included somewhere in their training, and most are diligent in practicing it. New pilots are largely ignorant of the ritual because it's neither included in their training, nor handed down to them by older drivers. Older Drivers feel that the pain of learning everything the hard way was so exquisite, that they shouldn't deny anyone the pleasure. There are pilots who refuse to recognize it as a serious professional amenity, no matter how many times they perform it, and are driven to distraction by it. Some take it personally. They get red in the face, fume and boil, and do foolish dances. Some try to take it as a joke, but it's always dead serious. Most pilots find they can't change it, and so accept it and try to practice it with some grace. The ritual is accomplished before any work is actually done on the aircraft. It has four parts, and goes something like this: 1. The pilot reports the problem. The mechanic says, There's nothing wrong with it." 2. The pilot repeats the complaint. The mechanic replies, "It's the gauge." 3. The pilot persists, plaintively. The mechanic Maintains, "They're all like that." 4. The pilot, heatedly now, explains the problem carefully, enunciating carefully. The mechanic states, "I can't fix it." After the ritual has been played through in it's entirety, serious discussion begins, and the problem is usually solved forthwith. Like most rituals, this one has it's roots in antiquity and a basis in experience and common sense. It started back when mechanics first learned to operate pilots, and still serves a number of purposes. It's most important function is that it is a good basic diagnostic technique. Causing the pilot to explain the symptoms of the problem several times in increasing detail not only saves troubleshooting time, but gives the mechanic insight into the pilot's knowledge of how the machine works, and his state of mind. Every mechanic knows that if the if the last flight was performed at night or in bad weather, some of the problems reported are imagined, some exaggerated, and some are real. Likewise, a personal problem, especially romantic or financial, but including simple fatigue, affects a pilot's perception of every little rattle and thump. There are also chronic whiners complainers to be weeded out and dealt with. While performing the ritual, an unscrupulous mechanic can find out if the pilot can be easily intimidated. If the driver has an obvious personality disorder like prejudices, pet peeves, tender spots, or other manias, they will stick out like handles, with which he can be steered around. There is a proper way to operate a mechanic as well. Don't confuse "operating" a mechanic with "putting one in his place." The worst and most often repeated mistake is to try to establish an "I'm the pilot and you're just the mechanic" hierarchy. Although a lot of mechanics can and do fly recreationally, they give a damn about doing it for a living. Their satisfaction comes from working on complex and expensive machinery. As a pilot, you are neither feared nor envied, but merely tolerated, for until they actually train monkeys to fly those things, he needs a pilot to put the parts in motion so he can tell if everything is working properly. The driver who tries to put a mech in his "place" is headed for a fall. Sooner or later, he'll try to crank with the blade tied down. After he has snatched the tailboom around to the cabin door and completely burnt out the engine, he'll see the mech there sporting a funny little smirk. Helicopter mechanics are indifferent to attempts at discipline or regimentation other than the discipline of their craft. It's accepted that a good mechanic's personality should contain unpredictable mixtures of irascibility and nonchalance, and should exhibit at least some bizarre behavior. The basic operation of a mechanic involves four steps: 1. Clean an aircraft. Get out a hose or bucket, a broom, and some rags, and at some strange time of day, like early morning, (or when you would normally take your afternoon nap) start cleaning that bird from top to bottom, inside and out. This is guaranteed to knock even the sourest old wrench off balance. He'll be suspicious, but he'll be attracted to this strange behavior like a passing motorist to a roadside accident. He may even join in to make sure you don't break anything. Before you know it, you'll be talking to each other about the aircraft while you're getting a more intimate knowledge of it. Maybe while you're mucking out the pilot's station, you'll see how rude it is to leave coffee cups, candy wrappers, cigarette butts, and other trash behind to be cleaned up. 2. Do a thorough pre-flight. Most mechanics are willing to admit to themselves that they might make a mistake, and since a lot of his work must be done at night or in a hurry, a good one likes to have his work checked. Of course he'd rather have another mech do the checking, but a driver is better than nothing. Although they cultivate a deadpan, don't- give-a-damn attitude, mechanics have nightmares about forgetting to torque a nut or leaving tools in inlets and drive shaft tunnels. A mech will let little gigs slide on a machine that is never pre-flighted, not because they won't be noticed, but because he figures the driver will overlook something big someday, and the whole thing will end up in a smoking pile of rubble anyway. 3. Don't abuse the machinery. Mechanics see drivers come and go, so you won't impress one in a thousand with what you can make the aircraft do. They all know she'll lift more than max gross, and will do a hammerhead with half roll. While the driver is confident that the blades and engine and massive frame members will take it, the mech knows that it's the seals and bearings and rivets deep in the guts of the machine that fail from abuse. In a driver, mechanics aren't looking for fancy expensive clothes, flashy girlfriends, tricky maneuvers, and lots of juicy stories about Vietnam. They're looking for one who'll fly the thing so that all the components make their full service life. They also know that high maintenance costs are a good excuse to keep salaries low. 4. Do a post-flight inspection. Nothing feels more deliciously dashing than to end the day by stepping down from the bird and walking off into the sunset while the blade slowly turns down. It's the stuff that beer commercials are made of. The trouble is, it leaves the pilot ignorant of how the aircraft has fared after a hard day's work, and leaves the wrench doing a slow burn. The mechanic is an engineer, not a groom, and needs some fresh, first hand information on the aircraft's performance if he is to have it ready to go the next day. A little end-of-the-day conference also gives you one more chance to get him in the short ribs. Tell him the thing flew good. It's been known to make them faint dead away. As you can see, operating a helicopter mechanic is simple, but it is not easy. What it boils down to is that if a pilot performs his pilot rituals religiously in no time at all he will find the mechanic operating smoothly.( I have not attempted to explain how to make friends with a mechanic, for that is not known.) Helicopter pilots and mechanics have a strange relationship. It's a symbiotic partnership because one's job depends on the other, but it's an adversary situation too, since one's job is to provide the helicopter with loving care, and the other's is to provide wear and tear. Pilots will probably always regard mechanics as lazy, lecherous, intemperate swine who couldn't make it through flight school, and mechanics will always be convinced that pilots are petulant children with pathological ego problems, a big watch, and a little whatchamacallit. Both points of view are viciously slanderous, of course, and only partly true. _________________
Mike Miles <michael.miles@gsa.gov>
Easton, MD USA - Tuesday, May 09, 2000 at 11:19:41 (MDT)
Great Idea! I was the 395th 5 ton wrecker driver from 1/68 to 6/68. I was crewchief on #637 "the Flintstone Flyer" from 6/68 to DEROS 1/69. I have many hours of color super 8 movies of all type of missions flown from Lane field summer and fall 1968. C-A, resupply, Miami Beach,Quin Yon, Materhorn re-supply, Cav-regement CA, day off in Quin yon, hooch run to town, China beach R&R center & many more.
Bill Roddis <piopub@mcn.org>
Fort Bragg, CA USA - Monday, May 08, 2000 at 21:05:42 (MDT)
Good day Flight. Jim Westwang your pins went out today 5/8. Mike Barrett and Bill Jeanes your pins will go out tues 5/9. Mike I will send $2 back with your pins. Thanks.Look forward to seeing some of you at the reunion. Can't wait. Be careful out there. Rick
Rick England <bd431@inficad.com>
Wittmann, Az USA - Monday, May 08, 2000 at 17:02:21 (MDT)
Joe Johnson <jrj@e-universe.com>
Morongo Valley, Calif USA - Monday, May 08, 2000 at 10:21:41 (MDT)
Good Day Flight, Haven't checked in a while. To Rick English, I sent out a check today and I hope it is enough. If not tell me and I'll settle up with you. To Paul Tenhet, Thanks for the pictures back. I had more, but ex's are very good at destroying certain things. (If anyboby can find Ferrall Norman I gave him a full C ration box full of undeveloped film. Midwest?). He was my doorgunner on 698 and 693. To the rest of the guys and girls, I'll try to make the reunion, but I'm having my knee worked on the middle of May, so we'll see. Take care.
Michael Barrett <michael_barrett@icpphil.navy.mil>
Phila., Pa. USA - Friday, May 05, 2000 at 12:02:40 (MDT)
Good Day Flight, Haven't checked in a while. To Rick English, I sent out a check today and I hope it is enough. If not tell me and I'll settle up with you. To Paul Tenhet, Thanks for the pictures back. I had more, but ex's are very good at destroying certain things. (If anyboby can find Ferrall Norman I gave him a full C ration box full of undeveloped film. Midewest?). He was my doorgunner on 698 and 693. To the rest of the guys and girls, I'll try to make the reunion, but i'm having my knee worked on the middle of May, so we'll see. Take care.
Michael Barrett <michael_barrett@icpphil.navy.mil>
Phila., Pa. USA - Friday, May 05, 2000 at 12:00:18 (MDT)
Hey Bulldogs and Cobras, It's been a while since I logged on, I believe my sub-consicous is a wee bit troubled right now. Not sleeping much or well, lots of dreams, and a deep abiding sense of sadness. I know many of you deal with this same thing. I also know that "this to shall pass" and that my appreciation for life will return. I was sitting here listening to Grand Funk Railroad's "Closer To Home/I'm Your Captain." This song meant a great deal to me while I was with the 129th. Many of you probably remember it as well. Its recurring chorus is, "I'm getting closer to my home . . . I'm getting closer to my home . . ." Anyway, I got a Christmas drop (never been so happy and suffered as much guilt over the same event in my entire life) and l left Lane on 23 Dec 71. I pissed in their bottle at Cam Rahn and flew out on Tiger Airways at approximately 0400 on 24 Dec We went to Japan, caught an incredible tailwind, crossed the date line, and landed at McCord AFB at approximately 0400 on 24 Dec. Ah yes, Vietnam was a strange little war! So anyway, when we were loaded onto a military bus for transport to Ft. Lewis some guy turned on his portable radio and tuned in a local station . . . have you guessed it yet? First song, this is no bullshit, the very first f-ckin' song they play is GFR's "Closer to Home." I cannot with certainty tell you how many guys were on that bus, but suddenly transistor radios came on, were tuned in to the right freq, and we had one hellacious choir singing. I've never forgotten the experience. Hell, I probably finally had some tears in my eyes. Little did I know it would take me so very long to feel as if I was truly home. Still working on that one. Anyway, that's where I sit this morning as I write to the best, the very best, men I have ever known. I am so very grateful that I was sent to the 129th and I am proud to have served with some of you. May God bless you and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you, and may He grant you peace! Keep 'em in the green boys! Lurch-Out
Keith "Lurch" Weisheit <kweishei@gibsoncounty.net>
Ft, Branch, IN 47648-USA - Wednesday, May 03, 2000 at 08:30:46 (MDT)
Sorry bro's, but I honestly can't remember alot of you. I do remember the chapel, Lt. Classen, LTC Griesie, Majors Jones and Durham, and a few officers; the enlisted club (spent a good deal of time there), flying all freakin day, hauling supplies to the outer OP's, the worst mess hall (until they got rid of the skinny little E-6 Mess Sgt), the whore that sufficated being smuggled onto Lane in an empty fuel tanker; the xo or someone getting fragged, standing out in formation for most of the night after that, and piss tests.Anybody remember that? Lt. Classen, Hindle, Patton, Cottrell(from Tulsa), give me a holler.
Richard A. Boles <rboles@cox-internet.com>
Siloam Springs, AR USA - Tuesday, May 02, 2000 at 16:48:41 (MDT)
Ron Smith, glad to see that you have surfaced. I tried calling you a few times in the last ten years when in BKK but unable to reach you at AUA Khon Kaen, so will post a message here to say hello. I'm still working in Saudi, in Yanbu since 1984. Hope you're doing ok, your kids must be pretty big now.
Ron Merritt <ronmerritt@hotmail.com>
Yanbu, Saudi Arabia - Tuesday, May 02, 2000 at 14:35:44 (MDT)
Flight: Well sent in another request for personnel rosters to cover both tours with the 129th. I just recieved one for the period of 10/66-11/66. It has all personnel during those periods. Also trying to obtain operation reports.Theres a lot of info sitting in St. louis. These rosters also have the service numbers on them. They will bring back alot of names a guy forgets. Well May is here and the reunion is only 7 weeks away. Really looking forward to seeing everyone and there familys. Two years ago I hadn't ever met any one from the 129th. And in Dallas met Glenn pearmain. Then in Denver met Glenn once again along with Larry Buller and Berine hernandez. Now Charrlotte many more of you. But not to forget the few hours that I spent with Mark and Dee Jackson in Coldwater Ohio. You All take care Bro's See you in Charlotte. Alex
Alex Fernwalt <alfern@bellsouth.net>
Memphis, Tn USA - Tuesday, May 02, 2000 at 08:01:16 (MDT)