Catkiller Newsletter, July 2003

220th Reconnaissance Airplane Company

July 2003 CATCOM E-Newsletter

Catkiller plaque
and Family,
and all Friends
and Brothers in Arms,
in memory of those who have served


"Guys, I know you've heard this before, well here goes again:

We need your help.

I ask you to sit back, fold your arms, and get a serious, pondering look on your face, and contemplate the following , as I speak with you man to man:

If you plan to attend the Reunion in October, please make your room reservations ( boy is it hard for me to use that word ) as soon as possible. The reason for this is completely self serving.

The more rooms we can show the hotel we have rented the more it might allow us to get some sort of break or other no-cost perk. Vegas is all about power. If we can show some group power, it might serve to hold some of the costs down for this little get-together.

We have 83 on the committed list and only about 31 rooms (59 total in-room) reserved, as of 6/25/03. We need bargaining power here, and you can provide this by reserving your rooms NOW!

A lot of hard work has already been performed in preparation for OUR Reunion. Each one of you is important, and everyone of you can help in this effort, if you reserve your room ASAP ! Of course, I want you to show up, too, and I am personally looking forward to seeing everyone of you and anticipate a wonderful gathering of Warriors

John S. Hillman
Catkiller 46/3"


There are numerous links to internet sites with information about Independence Day and its history. Just search for those words, and you will find more than you have time to read. Some of us take this important holiday for granted, but most of us find some private moment to recognize our fortune and history that brought us to celebrate this day. Remembering requires leadership, and thanks to sites like the one below it is easy for the leader to gather information:

Whatever you plan to do to celebrate, please include safety; and say a prayer for our men and women in uniform.


Harold Vail's photos of the Tet Offensive era reminds us of the dangers involved in fixed base operations during an unconventional war. It was also a psycholocical war, as it is today, too:

Yank go Home poster (N. VIETNAM)

Below is a photo of our Vietnamese counterpart. According to Harold, all the airplanes were damaged or destroyed during the Tet Offensive:

Does anyone recognize this pilot?

Vietnamese Catkiller


Johnny Moore provided several copies of special orders, and the March CATCOM contained most of those listed in the orders. I promised to extract the remaining names the following month but couldn't get to the task; below are those names, taken from SO 224, dated 11 Dec. 1969 [social security number omitted], all members of 220th RAC with departure [DROS] instructions:

Name Rank Home of Record DEROS/Assignment
Morris R. Buster SP5 Valleso, CA 21 Dec. 1969, Ft. Lewis, WA
William E. Fenstemaker SP5 Lawrence, KS 22 Dec. 1969/Ft. Benning, GA
Samuel L. Cooper SP5 Sacramento, CA 23 Dec. 1969/Cumberland, PA
Johnny C. Moore SP5 Beachville, AR 24 Dec. 1969/Ft. Lewis, WA
Michael R. Donnick SP5 Appleton, WI 28 Dec. 1969/Ft. Lewis, WA


A few days after posting the June newsletter, I received an email from a former Bird Dog pilot. Here is his inoput:

"A fellow Bird Dog pilot told me about your letter. The picture of WO1 Anuskewicz [page 16, June edition of CATCOM E-newsletter] appears to be that of Roger Anuskewicz who is currently flying as a Captain for United Airlines. He had been flying out of San Francisco (living in Sonoma County). He moved to the Chicago area and was flying out of O'Hare the last I heard.

I flew for the 74th RAC---part of the 145th CAB in 66-67.

Steve Dunnicliff [e-mail:]"

Thanks for the information, Steve. [EdPub Note: I spoke with Roger's wife for several minutes and briefed her on our reunion plans, also gave her my phone number and e-mail address. Roger lives in Illinois and flies for United Airlines.]

Alan O'Hollaren's 212th CAB annual, published in 1971, contains these previously unpublished names (photos for all listed): Page 14: unit commander Captain David C. Sapp; First Sergeant Pedro F. Toves; first platoon leader Captain Randy F. Jones; and Captain Thomas J. Shaver the operations officer. Other unit members are as follows (including photo of page 17 below):

CPT Stanley L. Cherrix, Section Leader CPT Richard P. Almond, Motor Officer CPT Larry J. Vanhorn, Supply Officer
CPT Norwood S. Sothoron LT Thomas H. Aldrich Begin p. 15, pub. June, 2003
LT Behrens LT Wilcox LT Kirk M. Knight
Lt Douglas H Schere W01 Mann LT Lewis
W02 Becroff W02 O'Hollaren [Alan] W01 Baronowski
W01 Ferguson W01 Dinan W02 Smith
W01 Gaunt [Jim] W01 Cabell [Brown] W01 Wood
W01 Hohmann Begin Page 16 W01 Rodenhouse
W01 Ross W01 Haygood W01 Novetzke
W01 Martinez W01 Snyder W01 Kennedy
W01 Wells W01 Mann W01 Anuskewicz
W01 Garner W01 Ferguson W01 Dinan
W01 Helsel W01 Taber W01 Sells
see Photo page 17 (below) p. 18: SP5 Burnett SP5 Clemons
SP5 Buchanan SP5 Mc Cullough SP5 Giles
SP5 Wright SP5 Hurtado SP5 Platta
SP5 Jackson SP4 Robbins SP4 Hofmann
SP4 Stowe SP4 Ma Cord SP4 Livingston
SP4 Peeples SP4 Milewski P. 19: SP4 Vasquez
SP4 Hoyhem SP4 Clarke SP4 Jackson
SP4 Reece SP4 Thompkins SP4 Fritchig
SP4 Bradshaw SP4 Allen SP4 Briggs
SP4 Woodlaw SP4 Turner SP4 Breitweiser
SP4 Nikolai SP4 Ethridge SP4 Wettergren
P. 20: SP4 Ramige SP4 Williams SP4 Brown
SP4 Parker SP4 Todd SP4 Clobes
SP4 Ebeling SP4 Mead PFC Figueras
PFC Ungate PFC Sanders PFC Burnett
SP4 Foggleman SP4 Dyall SP4 Olivas
PFC Edgar PFC Graham PFC Thomas
PV2 Miranda end of list blank

Photo of Page 17, 212th Annual, 1971
212th CAB Annual, 1970, page 17

More to follow in later issues of CATCOM Newsletter.


We welcome Gene Hayes (Catkiller10); Dick Tobiason (Catkiller26, Dec. 66- June 67, Hue Citadel.), of Bend, Oregon; Ed Arthur; Don Medley, who flew with the 220th out of DaNang from March 1966 until Oct. 1966; and Herb Johnston, who was an army intel sergeant working for a Marine major. Herb states: "I flew back seat and debriefed pilots after recons. Our office was called the VASSAC. [Was] at Hue during Tet 68, then moved to Phu Bai . I have *mm movies of compound and people. pilots Vail, O'Conner, Davis, Corrigen and others."

[Redacted] has a new e-mail address:


220th Reconnaissance Airplane Company REUNION


October 19, 20, 21, 2003
Where: Palace Station Hotel &Casino
2411 West Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(Reservations) 800-634-3101, or 702-367-2411 [Hotel Group ID for reference is: PCI220T]
To locate the hotel on a map, visit this site and type in the above address: Rand McNally Maps


Reunion 6 - Paul V. Brennan
Reunion 5 - John Hillman (Executive in Charge)
Reunion 4 - Jerry Bonning (Logistics) Rooms, hotel, meeting rooms, banquet
Reunion 3 - Jerry DiGrezio (Operations; notifications, etc.)
Keeper of the E-List - Bob McComiskie (send your changes and updates to Bob)
Newsletter- Donald M. Ricks
Golf One-Joe "Beans" Brett (Sundowner Yankee)

We have reserved a block of rooms under: "220th RECONNAISSANCE AIRPLANE COMPANY" (CATKILLERS). Please state this when you make your reservations. Cost of rooms: $69 per night, or ask about their smaller garden rooms ($49 per night). You can make reservations now. Contact Paul V. Brennan (Reunion 6) with questions, suggestions, and recommendations.

From Jerry Bonning:

"As of yesterday we had 37 rooms reserved at the hotel with 64 attendees. Looks like a real good event shaping up.

We have a 50 room block with the guaranteed prices. We will start turning in any unreserved rooms at August 15 (10%) and finally at September 15. After September 15 the rooms will be at the standard hotel prices. Whether the room cost will be higher or lower outside our room block depends on how well the hotel is booked up. When we were there for the recon, the hotel was full. Time might be running out, so make your reservations, soon!"


See CATCOM Newsletter for June 2003


Charlie Finch (Catkiller 19) sent in a recent photo taken at the first meeting of these two pilots since 1969:

Charles Finch-Glenn Strange

Getting ready for Las Vegas:

Charles Finch-Sarge Means


Thanks to Scott Cummings for maintaining this site at:

Photo (contains a link to previously published newsletters and alerts).

Bob McComiskie's Photo Page


Do you have a comment or suggestion? How about sending a briefing on your history after Vietnam? Do you have an accomplishment you aren't embarrassed to share? How about an interesting story about one of your children? Don't like what's in the CATCOM? Want to sound off?

Positive or negative, we would like a chance to publish your input (normal filtering protections apply).

For instance, did you know that, from the beginnings of an army private, our former first commander, Jerry Ralph Curry, MG, retired, is an opera singer, among many other accomplishments ( Why, besides the war stories there are many interesting family and accomplishment stories here among us, so let's share the good times, funny happenings, and memories. Lift up your children, your job, your hobbies, or your profession. Come on! Open up your heart! Thanks for sending it in....


As a personal non-profit venture, and as a service to the entire group, Jerry Bonning has put a lot of work into making available to us a selection of golf shirts, a nice sweat shirt, and a long sleeve denim shirt, all with some form of the Catkiller unit patch. When we meet in Las Vegas, it will be nice to have such a shirt to show off our Catkiller pride, all at a reasonable price.

To find out more and to order your R.A.C. Wear Catkiller shirt, visit the following link:

R.A.C Wear Shirts

There is no new information available concerning the Catkiller stickers; awaiting response from the graphics producer.


Gary Tragesser visited Glacier National Park last year, and here is the material proof:

Gary Tragesser's Harley


What should you know about the National Do Not Call Registry? Check out this link:

Opt-out of not wanted telemarketing phone calls

Paul V. Brennan
Reunion 6
Atlanta, GA
Donald M. Ricks
Spring Hill, TN

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