Tim's September 2008 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!! Greetings and best wishes for much success to General Norty Schwartz (USAFA '73) in assuming the reins of the Air Force as our 19th Chief of Staff. Also, a hearty '68 welcome to members of the Class of 2008 as they join the honored ranks of the Long Blue Line.

REUNION NOTAM #5: LAST CALL!! Our 40th Reunion is from 1-5 October at the Embassy Suites in Colorado Springs. Many thanks to Reunion Committee Chairman Gene Rose and our C-Springs-based crew for putting an excellent program together! You can purchase '68 merchandise and football tickets on-line through the AOG website by clicking on Class Reunions. For specifics on the reunion and other class news, please check our class website at www.usafa68.org. Hope to see you there!

FAC Donation

"68 Gives Donation to FAC Association." L-R: Jim Palmer (President, FAC Association), Bob Sallee, Rhip Worrell, Steve McPhail, and Al Blumberg.

FAC MEMORIAL DONATION: On Tuesday, 15 April, members of the FAC Association and the USAFA Class of 1968 gathered on the site of the 2008 FAC Memorial for the presentation of a donation of $10,000 from the Class of 1968. The Class made the donation to honor of the five classmates we lost flying the Forward Air Controller Mission in Southeast Asia: John E. Duffy, John L. Ryder, Willis G. Uhls, Paul V. "Skip" Jackson, III, and Ted B. Hallenback. The Class's generosity represents the largest cash donation received by the 2008 FAC Memorial Committee. As you may recall from my last column, buses will be provided at the Embassy Suites for those who wish to attend the dedication of the FAC Memorial.

CLASSMATE FOUND!: Through the impetus of the lost classmate search conducted by Gene Rose, Bob Daley, and Pat McBride, I made contact with Colonel DeVere Henderson (USAFA '63), who is the brother of our classmate, Don Henderson. After a flurry of phone calls and an e-mail or two, Don and I reconnected over the phone after some 40 years since our last conversation. When asked what he had been doing for the last 40 years, Don provided a brief summary. After graduating from pilot training at Moody AFB, Don flew KC-135's at Griffiss AFB, New York and then volunteered for a tour in C-7A's at Cam Rhan Bay. For the end-of-tour trip home from Vietnam, he volunteered to ferry one of fifteen C-7A Caribous back to the States guided by a C-130 on the five-stage island-hopping trip to Hamilton AFB near San Francisco, CA. On the last and longest leg, one engine seized to a halt near the half-way point while flying at 10,000 ft. in the middle of the night. The aircraft could not maintain altitude and descended to level flight at 3,700 ft. above the water. After flying for 13 more hours in mostly IFR conditions, the fuel bladders were empty, and the fuel gages were pegged on "E". The aircraft had reached the Farallon Islands about 25 miles off the California coast. Clearance had been given to fly under the Golden Gate Bridge, and emergency actions were being taken to clear segments of beach and freeway for landing. After ditching, they exited through the cargo door and were picked up by a Coast Guard vessel within minutes. Don was trapped and entangled in cockpit debris in the submerged aircraft nose and was rescued by Air Force divers only 2 minutes before the fuselage disappeared beneath the water's surface.

After leaving the Air Force in 1973, Don went to work as an engineer first on safety equipment and then on air-delivered weapons for the Navy. Next, he worked on weapon systems at General Dynamics Convair Division where he was employed as a mechanical test engineer. This was followed by employment as a contract engineer for job shop agencies where his positions included stress analysis engineer and mechanical test engineer. For the past 14 years, Don has worked as an independent Christian missionary in the Puget Sound area. He authored the book God Signs - The Bible in a Nutshell, which was published in 2007.

Jim Madsen & Family

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game!" L-R: Marty Cole and Buck McCants at Wrigley Field.

Marty Cole has a number of "quests" - sort of like a "Bucket List" but just a little bit different. One of these is to visit all of the Major League Baseball stadiums. As Buck McCants notes, "Marty has graciously allowed me to participate. We knocked out Wrigley Field in Chicago and Miller Park in Milwaukee in July of 2007. In 2008, we visited Yankee Stadium (which will soon be torn down), Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and the new Nationals Stadium in Washington, DC." If anyone lives near one of the stadiums and would like to help Marty and Buck fulfill their quest, please drop them a line.

BUMPED INTO IN TAMPA: While on my pilgrimage to US Special Operations' "Mecca" in Tampa to participate in a SOF conference for Industry in May, I bumped into Lindsey Bierer. Lindsey and I had not seen each other since the Academy and enjoyed catching up on what we had been doing over the past 40 years. Lindsey is now a Principal for Energy and Environmental Business Development for Keystone Government Services in Poway, CA. Lindsey and I were joined by Charlie Coolidge and Charlie Holland, who were also in attendance.

Rob Linsmayer's son, Rob

"Gone Fishin'!" L-R: Carl Janssen and Bob Beanblossom with Catch of the Day.

The photo above was snapped at Bob Beanblossom's private operation about ten miles south of Leadville, CO in June. Their place is called Mount Massive Lakes and it sits up above the Arkansas River. As Carl Janssen writes, "The mountains to the west are spectacular and so is the fishing!" For you non-fishermen, those are all rainbow trout ranging from 2 to 4 pounds. Occasionally, Bob serves as a fly fishing guide in Colorado and is very knowledgeable on the subject. For classmates who would like to grab a pole and drop a line, Bob and wife, Julie, would be glad to have classmates and families stop by.

PRAYERS REQUESTED: Bob and Thuy Johnston's daughter Carolyn has been diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APML) and is undergoing chemotherapy at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in Philadelphia. In addition, I received word on the death of our classmate John Cobb in April. Please keep the Johnston and Cobb families in your prayers.

THAT'S A WRAP: Please join us for our 40th reunion! Mind the flak; keep 'em flying, and keep those cards, letters, e-mails, and photos coming in to Pat Russell and me. Please go to the Class Website to see photos included in this column in color and in full size. Ciao for now. Tim

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