220th Reconnaissance Airplane Company
August 2003 CATCOM E-Newsletter
and all Friends
and Brothers in Arms,
in memory of those who have served
220th Reconnaissance Airplane Company REUNION
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. You can make reservations
now. Contact Paul V. Brennan (Reunion 6), John Hillman (Reunion 5), or any other staff member, with questions,
suggestions, and recommendations. A link to John's e-mail address is at the bottom of this page.
As of this date, there are forty-seven rooms reserved, out of the fifty allocated to our group. If anyone has difficulty reserving a room, please let Jerry Bonning know. Let us try to work something out, before you give up and go to another hotel.
Who will be there?
Answer: You and many others who want to share some good times and renew friendships. Typical of the young, energetic warriors who served in the unit is Daryl V. Wesley. While he recently indicated that the following photo represents that warrior many moons ago, we know that this personality could not have changed much over the years. Be there, and see, and hear, and enjoy one another; let's make this an excellent reunion of brothers:
LAS LEGAS GOLF BRIEF:
Joe "Beans" Brett, Golf 6, on guard with a golf warning order for the week of October 19-22.:
We have established a golf ops center in Las Vegas and have a contact who will handle all our golfing needs. Please check out the following web site.
Our man in Las Vegas, Brady Kannon ( great name...his father must have been the chief of smoke), is setting it up so that we can play casual rounds, and he will set up tee times for those who want to play, at any given time and day.
He is also arranging courses and tee times for Monday and Tuesday, for around 1200 hours, which nicely enough is cut off time for cheaper rates. Its also the time when all good Catkillers and Sundowners start to get sober and feeling good. Brady says to check out the Siena Course on his web site in the medium price range, and the Lexington Course at Anthem in the higher end range.
He will also set up times for those who want to get out earlier by themselves or with a few pals on any day during the reunion. This is like Las Vegas DASC (Direct Aviator Golf Support Center; the golf is silent, like the silent pee in swimming).
This is Golf 6, out
NEWS FROM THE BACK SEAT:
You should all be happy and feel secure with the knowledge that the Sundowners will be attending the reunion in Las Vegas. After you guys get done with the watch hacks, altimeter settings, checking out the motor cycles and discussing mag drops you knew and loved, the sundowners will be there to keep you from getting lost as you attempt to navigate the perils of Las Vegas. You will not have to ask the back seater, "is that Paris," or "how far is it to Mandalay Bay," or ask twice about the action in New York, New York. Here are some brief bio's on the Sundowners who will be there to help you all find your way in the bright lights:
- Sundowner Kilo: Joe Krebs was a Major, the S-2 of the 108th Arty Group, and the person who was in charge of the Sundowners and their mission along the DMZ, from 1969 to early 1970. This was his second tour of Vietnam,, as he was there as an advisor very early in the war. Joe retired a Colonel and was the Army advisor to the Missouri National Guard. He is fully retired now and lives in St. Joseph, MO, just outside St Louis.
- Sundowner Mike: Thomas Murray took the AO job from Joe Brett, when Yankee went home. Previously, Tom was at Con Tien, working perimeter security, and has plenty of hair-raising experiences to talk about. Instead of going home at the end of that tour, he extended to fly with the Sundowners and got back from his one month trip around the world, just in time for Lam Son 719. Tom was assigned to an Air Cav unit and was shot down 3 times in OH-6's, before he said " F--- this and returned to the Sundowners. Tom lives in Florida and teaches special need kids and has a wonderful award winning education program on Vietnam Veterans that he uses to teach his students. He lives in Clearwater, Florida
- Sundowner Victor: Fred Janklow was a Sundowner in 1969 for a few months until he got wounded while flying with Glenn Stewart near the mouth of the Ben Hai River. Fred was hit in the shoulder and after he and Glen adjusted 28 rounds of artillery fire, Glen landed at Quang Tri where Fred was put in the hospital. He was sent home and spent a year in and out of hospitals getting his arm back to some use, but never 100%. He lives in Minneapolis and just retired for the last time. He has been sort of missing in action these past 30 years so it will be good to see him again. I know he wants to meet up with Glenn Stewart again so that they can get their stories straight, along with all the hand gestures that will accompany it, I am sure.
- Sundowner Yankee: (yours truly) Joe Brett who was a Sundowner from August 69-Auguts 70. He distinguished him self by throwing a laddle full of Beans on Lt. Col. Myer during a casual party in Dong Ha. As an FNG- civilian, he was forced to move west of the Mississippi river because he had bored all his friends and family in New York and all along the East coast with his incessant war stories. Joe is now a quiet land developer in Prescott Valley, Arizona, just about a 4- hour drive from Las Vegas.
Joe "Beans" Brett, Golf Six
PHOTOS FROM VIETNAM:
Thanks to Phil Lowentritt, we have a few remarkable photos to share:
Can anyone identify this person?
Who could forget this one-of-a-kind warrior:
More photos from Phil Lowentritt, some risque (normal disclaimers apply here), are now at the Catkiller Photo Site, page three. We are actively seeking photographs of other members of the 220th RAC, all years, both enlisted and officer. Everyone recognizes that good times and good memories, and well as memorable personalities, developed and happened from the day this unit formed until the last man closed the door. If you have something to share, please sent it in.
MORE CATKILLER HISTORY
Alan O'Hollaren's 212th CAB annual, published in 1971, contains this previously unpublished photo:
This helpful hint came from [Redacted]. I agree and find it a very effective procedure to copy those black and white oldies:"Just a thought...If there are others who want to copy and send photos to you as I have, ask them to copy them on a COLOR copier. They will get better results. One of Alan's cousins owns Standard Printing in Omaha, NE and he taught me that trick after copying some old black and white photos."
The following message came from Charlie Finch back in mid-June. His statement of unit history is significant enough to post on the internet, so here it is again:Gentlemen:
THANKS for all of your replies on dates [to his request for specific information]. Tonight I hooked up with BILL EVERETT who was one of the original CATKILLERS under the leadership of Jerry Curry.
He and I are going to get together very shortly as Bill has the actual Military History of the Catkillers from the National Archives. Bill is 72 years old and like many of you has fond memories of being a Catkiller. He stepped me through a lot of the beginning of the 220th and I am eager to hear it first hand. Bill is going thru prostate surgery soon (first week in July I believe). He has a wealth of information and I am sure many of you know him.
For the third time this week I have heard that an officer by the name of DICK QUIGLY picked the word CATKILLERS out of his hat, if you will, when those in Danang were trying to get the unit to have a callsign. There is no history or significance to the name Catkillers----all of you however MADE IT SIGNIFICANT.
A response from William "Bill" Everett to Don Pepe might also interest many of us, so [thanks to him] this is made available to brief you on archived history material:"Don, are you aware that a complete military history on the 220th exists? It does.
It was compiled by Stuart Miller from the Military Histories submitted by the 220th to the Department of the Army. These were submitted every six (6) months and in one (1) or two (2) times yearly.
Stuart was one of the original members of the 220th 1st Platoon. He spent a lot of hours extracting this information from the national archives. I have sent one of the copies made from the original to Bob McComiskie and have another for Charles Finch. I have one or two copies left and will send a copy to one of the "Catkillers" that wants to do serious work with it.
CATKILLERS EAGLE LOCATED:
This came in from Randy Jones [to Jerry DiGrezio], regarding the Catkiller Eagle that had a place of honor on the floor of the officer's club:"Jerry:
I do not have a picture of the Eagle, I have THE Eagle. I was there when we stood down the 220th and I asked the CO what was going to happen to all of the paraphernalia in the O club, and he said take whatever you want---the locals are going to wind up with it---I have a plaque or two as well. I moved several times during and right after the service [so] most of it is still packed away somewhere. The Eagle is in my game room!
Look forward to seeing you in Vegas.
Word is that this Eagle will find it's way to Las Vegas, so at the banquet watch where you step!
CATKILLERS QUERRIES [seeking information]:
The following is a list of Catkillers who have not been contacted recently. Anyone with firm knowledge about their where abouts, social security number, etc., please let us know:
- Steve Grass [69 - 70 year group] (Catkiller 46)
- Bobby Arrington (Catkiller 18)
- John Herring
- Bob Jones
- Russ Blanchard
- Scott R. Burke (Catkiller 33)
- R. M. "Bo" Boatwell (Catkiller12)
- Charles R. Dudek (Catkiller 32)
E-MAIL LIST UPDATE:
We welcome Don Medley, of Port Charlotte, Fla.; Jim Glavin [U. S. Navy]; and Ned Wilson. Ned plans to be at the reunion. Also new to the newsletter e-list are Lynn Bumgardner (Catkiller14/09), Phil "Coach" Caverhill, Keith Klett (Catkiller), and Tank Meehan.
Don Medley sent in this informative statement:
"I would like to be added to your personnel roster and e-mail list. My name is Don Medley and I was a Catkiller in Da Nang from March of 66 to Oct. 66, when I transferred to the 54th Avn. Co., in Vung Tau. I was a WO-1 (W3152371). Other Catkillers in Da Nang at that time were WO-1 Norman S. MacPhee and WO-1 Ron Santos. I was shot down west of Hoi An on June 13, 1966. A USMC Major Hammel was my observer.
There is a new book out, written by Norman MacPhee, entitled " Catkiller". I've ordered it and will review it for Amazon.com after I read it. Norman was quite a character so there should be some good stories in it.
Don Medley, Port Charlotte, FL"
This message came from one of our U. S. Navy observers:
I flew as an AO with the 2nd platoon out of Hue Citadel from Mar 66 to July 67. I have a bunch of pictures of Catkillers. Would any body have any interest? Have recently been in touch with Jerry Tastad, Jerry Jackson, Maj Dick Tobiason, Palmer Haines and Mike Mizenhiemer. Great site!
CATKILLER HOME PAGE:
Thanks to Scott Cummings for maintaining this site at:http://www.catkillers.org
Photo page:www.catkillers.org (contains a link to previously published newsletters and alerts).
Bob McComiskie's Photo Page
CATKILLER LOGO HATS [LIMITED SUPPLY]
Attached is a photo of one of three different colored floppy R.A.C Wear "Cat Hats." They are $14 each, and this price includes shipping. Sizes are M/L and L/XL. I only have three Medium hats (one in each color). If you have a small head or want one for the misses be quick.
Colors are Blue, Khaki and White. We have 8 in each of the colors in L/XL. Will take color preferences, but it will be first come first served. I am not planning any more.
Notice that we have another variation of the Logo. The logo is smaller than on the shirts. But it came out nice.
For more information and ordering:
E-mail Catkiller 44/33 (Jerry Bonning)
CATKILLER LOGO GOLF SHIRTS, T-SHIRTS AND STICKERS [revised 8-7]:For the R.A.C. Wear shirts, visit the following URL:
Please note the price change on the sweat shirt. Shipping costs for our limited order are higher than first thought.T-Shirts:
We have made contact with a graphic producer in Virginia (for t-shirts). The price will be about $12, shipping included. There are no set-up charge for producing the logo, and the shirts are the famous 100% cotton Hanes Beefy T-Shirt. Here is a brief on the high points of the t-shirt project:
1) The shirts are 100% cotton.
2) Sizes are no problem, they go up to 4X and some to 5X.
3) We can get other colors, but this material [to make the crest] is designed for white or light shirts (they look great on white or ash). So we are going to stick with the light colored shirts; WHITE, TAN or ASH].
4) Turn around time now is about two weeks"
If you are really interested in this item, please let Don Ricks. We have about 43 t-shirts reserved, and a list is being kept. We will send an e-mail or post a web page, soon, to those who reserved them and let you know how to order. The white and ash t-shirts will make the Catkiller crest stand out very well.
Please remember that any profit from the sale of these items will be applied directly to our reunion overhead costs, so your participation goes to a worthy cause. It is one way to help manage our costs and to provide a personal momento at the same time. No staff member has a personal financial profit motivation concerning these products, but we have invested our personal funds in order to generate your interest and to have some fun and gain experience while doing so. Thanks for your interest and support.The previously announced Catkiller sticker decals (exactly like the logo at the top of this page) are being produced and should be ready for delivery by the end of the first week in August. If you are interested in ordering visit the following URL. These will be a treasure to have:
CATKILLER BIKERS:Johnny Moore, who will be in Las Vegas in October, sent in a photo of his wife and his new bike, a Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic. Nice bike, nice lady. Both look happy, indeed:
From Jerry DiGrezio:Several of you have requested information on contacting the motorcycle rental companies directly...
Below are the addresses of the Las Vegas Harley dealer and, thanks to Don Pepe, the address of a dealer that rents other models:
Some interesting facts about distances from Las Vegas. It is:
- 252 miles to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
- 169 miles to Zion National Park, Utah.
- 270 miles to the center of Los Angeles, CA.
- 152 miles to Death Valley, CA.
- 1790 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee, to Las Vegas! See you there!
Paul V. Brennan
John S. Hillman