American Legion Post 160
Smyrna, GA
Where were you January 31, 2005? Had you attended the Flight meeting at the Harp Irish Pub that evening, you would have enjoyed hearing fellow Flight members tell a little about their military flying. We left that meeting with all in agreement to do this again someday. While we’ve done a “hit and miss” at that format now and then, this coming meeting is dedicated to that very format. Not certain what the Flight Captain has up his sleeve, I would take a few minutes and chronicle your days following pilot training. This will be fun. Obviously, not everyone will be able to have the microphone at this meeting. But, we’ll keep a record who did talk so we’ll know who to target the next time. Come on, start on that “kitchen pass” now. You’ll be glad you did. Just do it!


PASS THE MIC PLEASE We finally did it – dedicate a meeting to ourselves. That’s right, we don’t need no stinkin guest speaker to have fun. We let the Boss pick a couple of Flight members to tell a few stories on themselves. What a better way to get to know fellow Flight members? Which is just what happened in this meeting. Before hearing the stories, Flight Captain Joe Redden introduced the Flight Awards & Decorations officer (and Flight Chaplain) Dale "Boots" Hill. Dale took a few minutes to explain the JrROTC Daedalian Award medal and explain the process to signup to represent the Daedalians and make these medal presentations. Dale highlighted the signup board and information he brought to the meeting to help enlighten Flight members on this process and a program this Flight strongly supports. Before the Boss told a story or two, he introduced Vince & Mavis Compagno. What a neat story in itself – both classmates at “the zoo”, then get married the day after graduation and before headed together to UPT at Reese by the sea. After UPT, where they actually flew a formation flight together, the Air Force kept they “joint spouse assignment” program on the back burner and sent Mavis to Mather air patch in the T-43 and Vince off to Travis. Hey, at least the Air Force kept them in the same state. Eventually, they were together at the “armpit” (Altus) while Mavis passed gas to Vince – Mavis got tankers to Altus. Vince saw the light paycheck and left for Delta while Mavis continued her career. She had a lot of time in the Gulf War, then a couple of ‘square-filling’ career-broadening assignments, before T-1s at Columbus, MS. Great stories by both Vince and Mavis. Next, General Joe told a couple of neat stories about how he got from the last class of T-33s at UPT (he ain’t no spring chicken!) to O-1s in Vietnam, then extending and doing more combat in the A-37s. Oh what our current Combat Control Teams would think to hear the FAC directions from Joe’s time – “Go 2 blocks down the road, take a right at the intersection and find the building with a red roof…, then hit it!” We also heard a scary but funny story about a particular rocket attack he experienced at Bien Hoa Air Base. But, the best story was wall-to-wall with NAPE and CBU and dropping the napalm on first pass. Yep, lots of smoke to fly through on his second pass. But, the FAC told him to! The low vis put Joe into a near-death experience. Somehow he thought to roll and pull at just the right time as he entered the forest of dead trees. This resulted in a tree-limb jammed between the CBU canister and he wing leading edge. Only real problem with that? Can’t jettison the canister.., per normal procedures. That resulted in the fire-trucks and wing king meeting him upon arrival at Bien Hoa. Boss not happy. Grounded and sent to stan-eval for punishment, he was eventually exonerated when his FAC provided photos of the dead-tree forest and told the wing-king that he had directed napalm first. Well, you get the picture…, sit around and tell stories. This format has been long overdue and we look forward to hearing your stories soon. Plan on it. General Joe finished the meeting by inducting new Flight member Greg Eggert. Greg received his wings at Fort Rucker, AL in July 1974. Welcome aboard Greg. Please join us for our next meeting. Even if we don’t have anything advertised, you can plan on it being the third Tuesday in the even months. See you there.
"There I was" General Joe telling some war stories.
Mavis telling her USAF story
Vince and Mavis after Vince telling his USAF story.