Lynn Hagen, 12000 First Street W. Watson, MN 56295, Editor and Chairman,
VMF/VMF(AW)/VMFA-115 Marine Reunion Assn., Inc.
It’s almost reunion time. At this time we have over 110 former Marines of 115 planning to attend.
We will start by getting together on Thursday evening at the Holiday Inn Express hotel at Dumfries, VA with an informal get together. Friday morning we will have breakfast compliments of the hotel. We will start our business meeting at 9 a.m. We will need to decide about upcoming reunions. Anyone who would like to host the next reunion, this is your chance. We need someone who lives in the city to get hotel, banquet, and tour arrangements done. At 1300, we will be leaving on a bus tour to the Washington D. C. area with stops at our discretion. We will end up at the 8th & "I" Marine Barracks for the evening parade at 7:15. We have been invited by the Marine Barracks to have supper at the local establishments in the immediate area of the barracks. We must leave on time as we are paying for the tour bus by the hour. We will try to see as much as possible, Arlington, WWII Memorial, Viet Nam Memorial, Korean Memorial and anything else if time permits. Saturday we will have one bus going to the new National Air and Space Museum, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center where we will see the new museum with the Enola Gay, Concorde, Boeing 307 Stratoliner and other exhibits. We are planning this as a four hour tour or less. Saturday evening we will be having our banquet at 1900. Don Bowen, a former CO of 115 in Viet Nam and John Maas, a former CO of 115 in Korea will talk to us about those events. We will have a Ready Room where we can visit. Please feel free to bring cruise books and other memorabilia such as pictures, Air Station Newspapers, etc.
Don Sypkens, an original member of VMF-115 at Santa Barbara called with his notice of intent of coming to the reunion at Quantico. Don suffered a stroke this spring and is recovering staying with his daughter in Park Falls, Wisconsin. His daughter, Linda works at the VA Hospital near there. Linda attended the Dearborn reunion in 2003. Don said that an original member of VMF-115 during WWII was Clem Cuttervack. Don has been in contact with his wife in Wisconsin. Clem passed away a few years ago. Don's son Steve and his wife, currently serving with the US Navy will be attending the reunion with Don.
Francis Gill, wife of Jim Gill of Robertsdale, Alabama, died May 10, 2004 after a lingering illness. Francis and Jim have attended almost all of the reunions.
Clem Cuttevack, Park Falls, WI, WWII member of 115.
Bill Wright, 74 years old, was in 115 during the F4D Ford years. His address is 1224 Earnst McMahan Road, Sevierville, TN 37862 (865) 774 -9968
He was in squadron when they flew a F4 D Ford to the graveyard at Litchfield. In squadron 1965-66 Went to Viet Nam with VMFA-531. He tells of, a NAP pilot named DeVork (1962-63) who flew a F4D to Litchfield Graveyard. Can anyone add any information on the NAP Pilot, DeVork?
John Forrest sent in a new address of PO Box 1013, Gouldsboro, PA 18424. He like the article about the "Dessert Rats" at Mojave in 55-57 and was a part of that operation.
John "Jungle" Mann gave us new address of 11005 Stacy Run , Fredericksburg, VA 22408-8075 and a new email address of >email@example.com
Don Bowen >firstname.lastname@example.org
Jake Jacobson > Jacobjake@aol.com
Rich & Debbie Renock>email@example.com
William Hazel rigs >firstname.lastname@example.org
John Forrest, new address is PO BOX 1013, 708 Sheffick Drive, Couldsboro, PA 18424.
Ivan Harrison, Pilot/1944-45 sent in a card with his new address of 75 Monroe Drive, Mcdonough, GA 30252.
Swede Larsen (new email address from Harry Rawlinson)
>email@example.com , for Swede and Carol Larsen.
Harry and his wife had visited Swede, as he was recovering from radiation treatment for throat cancer in hope for a full recovery. An email forwarded by Harry Rawlinson on July 1st, 2004 states that there is bad news about Swede. He had another biopsy on his throat. His cancer is still present. Swede is scheduled to have surgery on July 29th. They are going to remove part of his vocal chords, leave one. Swedes address: Robert J. Larsen 199 Camilia Street, Gulf Breeze, FL 323561-4266
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE ROSTER
(There have been over 150 new names added to the roster since the last reunion. I'll try to list as many as possible.)
Bill Wright, 74 years old, was in 115 during the F4D Ford years. His address is 1224 Earnst McMahan Road, Sevierville TN 37862 (865) 774-9968). In 1965-66, he went to Vietnam with VMFA-531. Bill spoke of a NAP pilot named DeVork (1962-63), who flew a F4D to the Litchfield graveyard. Can anyone add information of the NAP pilot, DeVork?
John Forrest sent in a new address of PO Box 1013, Gouldsboro, PA 18424. John liked the article about the "Desert Rats", at Mojave in 1955-57 as he was part of that operation.
Joe Rice >firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerald and Judi Ruud, served in 115 at Chu Lai, Viet Nam from November 1967 to December 1968. His job duties with the squadron were aircraft electrician and QC inspector. They are planning to attend the Quantico reunion.
His address is 7 West Airmount Road, Mahwah, NJ 07430 and email is >Jruud1 @ aol.com. Gerald and his wife are planning to be at this years Quantico reunion.
George J Rodosky was in 115 in 1967 at Chu Lai. George saw our notice in the VFW magazine. >rodoskygj @ ameritech.net, telephone number is 847 381 8695 and George lives in Barrington, Illinois.
Vincil Hazelbaker was in 115 in Korea in 1954-55.>nan.wayne@Hawaii.rr.com
Nichols Houvener September 1965 to October 1966.>email@example.com
David C. Cornish, 172 Axtel St. Amherst, Ohio 44001-1505 >firstname.lastname@example.org
David saw our reunion notice in Leatherneck magazine. Dave and his wife are planning to attend the reunion at Quantico. He served with 115 from April 1965 to January, 1966. He went to Viet Nam with the squadron in October, 1965. Dave said that after the squadron got to Viet Nam, ¾ of the personnel were transferred to 3 other squadrons. Dave was transferred to VMFA-314 in January 1966. He left Viet Nam in April 1966. He now works with the Marine Corps League in the Cleveland, Ohio area.
James Norris , Marseilles, Illinois found us on the internet on the Military.Com site. Jim will be attending the reunion at Quantico this year. His "biography" states he is a "Hollywood" Marine of 1967, went to Aviation Electronics School at Jacksonville, FL, was in VMFAT-201 an F-4 squadron at Cherry Point, and was with VMFA-115 at Chu Lai in 1970 and Danang in 1971.
Derek Luce, 535
Margaret St., Merritt Island, FL
David Wright was a crew chief at Cherry Point on the F4D's Skyray aircraft from November 1961 to 1963. He spent 1 ½ years in 115. He was with the squadron when they went to Cuba and Key West, Florida. He was a crew chief when the squadron was flying the F4D "Fords". Later he transferred to VMFA-531, that was the first F-4 squadron to go to Viet Nam. He still has a VMF(aw)115 banner from the time the squadron was in Cuba. His address today is PO Box 366, Ossipee, NH 03864, telephone number is (603) 539-3651. Dave was with Marines named Jim Kinselk of Ohio, Nathan Brower of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have no information on these two Marines on our rosters. Any help? Dave saw our reunion notice in the American Legion magazine.
John and Florence Poore, 2 Shannon Place, Newark, DE 19711, email is >FlorencePoore@cs.com., (302) 456-4428. John was in the USMC from August 1961 to July 1965. He joined 115 just after they returned from a Med cruise. He joined the squadron at Cherry Point, and after a couple of months, they shipped out to do a tour of duty at Gitmo, Cuba. They had the F4D Skyray "Ford" aircraft during this time. Then they returned to Cherry Point, and he was transferred to VMFA 531 in 1963. He was in 115 for about a year. John was with VMFA-531 when they became the first F-4 Phantom squadron to deploy to Viet Nam. His mos was 6611. John's wife was a Women Marine doing a two year tour of duty in 1961-63.
David Prue>email@example.com. Dave was in 115 twice, first in 1962-64 flying the F4D Fords, and then again in 1970 in Viet Nam with the F4B's.
John B. Maas, was a pilot at MCAS Edenton, N.C. with VMF-115 during 1949-50 and became Commanding Officer of the squadron in Korea from July 1952 to February 1953. John lives at Fredericksburg, VA, about 13 miles from Quantico and will be one of our guest speakers at the banquet.
Joe Cannawa>firstname.lastname@example.org just discovered our newsletter on the internet. He was with 115 from August 1968 to September 1969.
Herbert Swaso, Sgt. Major retired, lives in Jacksonville, N.C. area and was seen at a Wal Mart by C.J. Scozzari wearing a cap with the VMFA-115 logo on it. He lives at 3012 Oakwood Drive, Jacksonville, N.C. 28546, and telephone number is (910) 347-1477.
Tom Hill>email@example.com Tom joined 115 in May of 1964 at Cherry Point, and went to Key West, Florida with the squadron, then to Atsugi and Iwakuni, Japan, and then on to Danang, Viet Nam with the squadron in 1965. Tom was then transferred to VMFA-531 in the fall of 1965 along with about 1/3 of the squadron and he finished his Viet Nam tour with 531. Tom was a RIO in the F-4B. Tom states that there are a lot of folks from 115 that he has lost contact with and thinks it would be great to hear about how others are doing now. Tom's email was given to the editor by Skip Sharp.
Lewis Rogers >firstname.lastname@example.org
Lewis was an RIO in the squadron from June 1963 to December 1965, was transferred in country (Viet Nam) to VMFA-323 and retired from the Reserves in 1991. He was a former Commanding Officer of VMO-4. His mailing address is PO Box 1358, Gainesville College, Gainesville, GA 30503. Work telephone number is (770) 718-3666 and home is (770) 983-9654.
Bruce Waite , 4173 Green Bluff Court, Zellwood FL 32798 was at the Rose Garden in Thailand, Chu Lai, and Phu Bai. He was originally a Recon Marine with his first tours in Vietnam, then reenlisted in Marine Aviation. He has been at Iwakuni, Okinawa, VietNam and Thailand with VMFA-115. In was in Viet Nam 1966, 67, and 68. Bruce was attached to VMFA-312 when they rotated back to the states, then was reassigned to 115. He has also been attached to VMA-324, a Douglas A-4 squadron.
>email@example.com (407) 880-5345
Dan Williams, with 115 from December 1967 to January 1968. Dan worked Comm/Nav shop with a MOS of 6216, but was also spent part of his time as a plane captain. Dan sent me a email about an incident that happened during his time in Viet Nam and he would like to hear more about this incident. He remembers one day when he was in the fuel pits refueling one of his planes, and some F-4's were returning from a mission and one of them was unable to put his landing gear down. The pilot attempted to land on the wing tanks, but as he was skidding down the runway, both tanks caught on fire. While skidding, suddenly the engines went into afterburner and the plane lifted off the runway still burning. Dan watched in awe as the aircraft rose into the air and banked to the left to head out toward the ocean. Dan understands the crew ejected over Chu Lai bay and were picked up by a helicopter. Dan never did find out the complete story about this incident and does not know which squadron this F-4 belonged to. Dan would appreciate it if anyone remembers this incident and can relate or add any information about this. > DMWill3 @ aol.com
John's nephew Dan Best dropped me a email asking for information for his uncle John. John was in VMF-115 at K-3 in Korea from November 1952 to January 1954 working in ordnance. His originally was from Englewood, NJ. He asked about newsletter, reunions, and a chance to get in contact with his old buddies.
John Chouinard, was in 115 at Iwakuni in 1971. He had been with VMFA-334 when that squadron rotated to the states, John was transferred to 115. John and his wife Lisa are planning to be at Quantico. They live at 443 Shore Drive, Templeton, MA. 011468, tel. (978) 939-7312. We look forward to new attendees at our reunions. John uses a Marine email address:>firstname.lastname@example.org
Haywood Smith, 2365 Littlemore Fairway, Cardova, TN 38018 called to ask about our organization. Haywood was in 115 during the Skyray years of 55-56-57. Haywood put 26 years in USMC. He was Commanding Officer of Mag 16 helicopters in Vietnam. Some of those he served with and flew with were Maj General "Smoke" Sopanjer, as CO/XO, Les Brown as CO/XO, Doug Snead, and Bill North. Brown, Snead and North do not appear on any of our rosters. An interesting note from talking with Haywood is about their time at Mojave. He said they were crashing so many Skyrays, that they had to leave El Toro to go out in the desert where there was no population. He said they were dropping afterburners and airplanes everywhere. He said Doug Snead ejected at Mojave. Haywood tells of a flight surgeon assigned to 115 at Mojave that none of the aircrews trusted. They told the flight surgeon that if he could save a donkey that had been shot out in the desert, then he could look at the pilots. The donkey died after the flight surgeon had worked on him.
Jim Cline >email@example.com, saw our notice in the last Leatherneck magazine. Jim was in 115 from Febuary 1953 to Febuary
1954. He worked in S-3 at K-3 in Korea. Jim would like to contact those he
served with. He lives in Beverly, Ohio,
and might attend Quantico as his son lives at
David Clayton, 4613 Shawnee Street, North Charleston, SC 29405. David was in 115 in Korea from 1952-53.
John Gilbert, 5609 Rivera Ave, Banning , CA 92220 was with the squadron in Korea in 1952. He joined the squadron in November 1951 at Cherry Point and went to Korea on the USS Baton. John is retired from USMC. He was at the Philadelphia reunion several years ago. John was in helicopter squadrons after 1965. He spent two tours in VietNam.
Stanley Rogozinski, 145 McAfee Court, Oaks, CA 91360 served with John Gilbert.
Frank M Zaccagnimo, 3186 Manley Drive, Lompoc, CA 93436, also a friend of John Gilbert.
A couple of names that have been brought to my attention:
Robert D Little, N8595 Big Lake Road, Gresham, WI 54128. at Chu Lai 1968. (715) 787-3487
Robert N Rackleff , 1920 Marsh Walk Court, Charlotte, NC 28270 (704) 845- 3077. Robert was at Danang and The Rose Garden 1972.
South Dakota Proposes Working Holiday Honoring General Joe Foss.
South Dakota Legislature recently approved a bill designating April 17 as a working holiday, in honor of Joe Foss. The bill mentioned that Joe was a founder of the South Dakota Air National Guard, a Representative in the South Dakota Legislature, the first Commissioner of the American Football League, and Governor of South Dakota.
There were only seven VMFA Squadrons deployed by the Marine Corps in 1965.
February 1970 saw VMFA-115 on its third tour of duty in Vietnam. This marked the squadron as the longest-tenured Marine fighter squadron in Vietnam. The squadron has flown 8,133 combat sorties and delivered 15,782 tons of ordnance. In 1969 alone, it has supported over 40 major ground operations.
In the last 6 months of 1972, VMFA-115 and VMFA-232 had the highest daily sortie rate of all F-4 units in Southeast Asia.
The history books states that VMFA-115 completed its last combat mission on 22 February 1971 concluding three successful tours in the Republic of Vietnam. 11 October 1965 - 11 January 1966, 11 April 1966 - 14 February 1967, and 16 May 1967 - 22 February 1971. The squadron compiled 34,480 combat flight hours, 30,083 tons of ordnance. Total bomb assessments credit the squadron with 668 enemy killed, 1103 secondary explosions, 883 secondary fires.
VMFA-115 also destroyed 3062 bunkers, 65 bridges, 167 crew-served weapons, 55 vehicles, 270 fighting positions, and cut 475 roads. On 16 June 1972, the squadron deployed to Thailand to the "ROSE GARDEN" to continue combat operations in Vietnam. The squadron became part of Mag 15 at Nam Phong Royal Thai Air Base. This base was 340 miles from Danang. The F4 flights from Thailand needed to be refueled in the air from KC-130 tankers. In September, the squadron completed its 32,000 sortie and then won the "Robert M. Hanson" award as the outstanding Marine Fighter squadron for the second year in a row.
Lt. Col. G.R. Brinegar, CO of VMFA-115 dropped me a email stating that he has been selected to attend the Naval War College this summer at Newport, Rhode Island. He said he looks forward to being a student again.
Request for information for a history book of 115 from the time period of 1964 -74. Clark Jarrett, a son of a former CO of 115 and an author named Lee R. DeHaven are collecting personal stories, photos, and VMFA-115 alumni.
They would like stories from ground personal as well as flightcrews. Any questions can be addressed to >clarkjarret@ adelphia.net or www.clarkjarrett.com
The editor of this newsletter doesn't normally want to get involved with for profit publications. But, since there haven't been any history books floating around other than the one printed by the USMC Headquarters History Section some years ago, anything printed would be appreciated.
QUANTICO REUNION ATTENDEES
Richard M. Brown, Moraga, California, was at Chu Lai in 1969-70 and worked in ordnance shop. He now works for the FAA in the Oakland area.
Harvey D. "Happy" Bradshaw and his wife of Sneads Ferry, NC. Mr. Bradshaw was Commanding Officer of the squadron 1974-75.
John B. Watt and wife Phyllis,, Brandon, Florida. John was in Avionics, AQ technician and attached to the squadron from November 1967-December 1968.>Jwatt45@aol.com
Richard M. Brown, Moraga,, California, was at ChuLai in 1969-70 and worked in ordnance shop. He now works for the FAA in Oakland.
Harvey D. "Happy" Bradshaw, and his wife of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina. Mr. Bradshaw was the Commanding Officer of the squadron in 1974-75.
John B. Watt, and his wife Phyllis of Brandon, Florida. John was in Avionics and attached to the squadron from November 1967 to December 1968. >Jwatt45@aol.com
Phillip Shutler, Lt. General, retired and his wife Margaret of Annandale, VA will be attending the Quantico reunion.
Steven Hagen, was in squadron with the F-18's at Iwakuni. Steve lives within driving distance of Quantico.
In the April 2003 newsletter, there was a story of “one million bombs” being delivered by VMFA-115 in Viet Nam. This story has turned out to be a fabrication thought up by a S/Sgt Jimmy Jones of the ordnance shop. The photo was taken by a Stars and Stripes reporter who had came to Chu Lai, Viet Nam to do a story on our "millionth bomb" dropping by VMFA-115. S/Sgt Jones apparently in conspiracy with the "office pinky", they generated a thirty foot adding machine tape of supposed bomb loads through the war. A few Marines of 115 have copies of the photo.
According to squadron records, only one enlisted man assigned to VMFA-115 was killed by hostile enemy action in Viet Nam. While other maintenance and ordnance personnel died as the results of accidents or other circumstances.
Lance Corporal Thomas E. Novak lost his life in a rocket attack in Chu Lai the mourning of December 21, 1968.
Van McCarty forwarded an email from Bill Uffelman who shares some of the facts surrounding his death. The attack started shortly after 6 a.m. Bill had been on the night crew and had returned to the hooch area and showered. About halfway down the row of hooches, there was an outdoor faucet. He had gone there to brush his teeth, and that is when the rockets started.
On page 38 of the VMFA-115 History book, it states that Mag 13 had several casualties among Mag-13 personnel.
26 October 1965, Capt. William J. Tebow, 1st Lt. John B. McHale, 1st Lt. William R. Genedbien, and Chief Warrant Officer John R. Petty were killed when there F-4Bs crashed into the side of Monkey Mountain near Danang.
May 1966, 1st Lt. Richard H. Royer and 2nd Lt. John D. Kramer were killed in a aircraft accident returning from a combat mission.
September, 1967 saw the loss of two F-4Bs at sea, one as a result of enemy ground fire and the other as a result of mechanical malfunction. One of the aircraft lost at sea was piloted by Lt. Col. Kenny Palmer and was hit from ground fire in North VietNam. He and his RIO ejected at sea just below the DMZ. LT. Col Palmer was taken by Jolly Green Giant helicopter to the 1st MAW headquarters at Danang and created quite a stir when he walked through the door there, soaking wet. His RIO< Major Charles Cohaskie, had been lifted on board a Navy frigate because of back injuries. No deaths resulted from these crashes.
August 1968, two Marines in 115 were wounded as a result of an enemy rocket attack.
21 September 1968, Captain Robert F. Conley, Jr. and 1st Lt. Steven R. Major were killed when their aircraft crashed, apparently hit by enemy fire while flying on a close-air support mission near Phu Bai, Vietnam. Capt. Conley was the son of Brig. Gen Robert F. Conley.
October 8, 1968, Capt. Joseph W. Jones III and Captain Daniel J. Coonon were killed as a result of enemy action while on close air support mission near Danang. Capt Coonon had been shot down earlier near Khe Sanh and successfully ejected along with his pilot, Major Jay N. Bibler.
17 November 1968, Capt. Paul D. Derby and 1st Lt. Thomas A. Reich were killed while on a close-air-support mission southwest of Chu Lai.
11 May 1968, 1st Lt. William C. Ryan, Jr. a RIO, was killed during an airstrike in support of Task Force Alpha, when his F4B was hit by ground fire, went out of control and crashed. His pilot, Capt. Gary L. Bain, was rescued despite suffering a broken arm and leg.
19 August 1969, 1st Lt. James R. Bohlig and Capt. Richard T. Morrissey were lost at sea while returning from a night bombing mission.
Capt. Franklin R. Hooks, officer in charge of the Beaufort reunion in 2003 was lost at sea Saturday, June 24, 2004 , 60 miles south of the Azores Islands in the east Atlantic Ocean. The wreckage of the aircraft was found but the Navy still has not found the pilot. They left June 2 aboard the carrier, USS Harry Truman and they were on a training mission. Capt Hooks, 32 , lived at Pasco , Florida. Captain Hooks was the officer-in-charge of planning the 60th anniversary reunion at MCAS Beaufort last summer.
Quantico guest list:
Terrry & Donna Williams, Jacksonville FL 1978-82
John/Jane Gibson, Cleveland NC 1975-76
Max/Barbara Griffis, Ludowici GA 1958-62
Bill/Emily Horner, Pocahontas TN 1960-61
Marlin/Donna Goodling, Middletown PA 59-61
Mr. & Mrs. Jim Gordon,
Billie Romine & friends,
Joseph & Joan Drasgow, Crystal River FL 1964-69
Lynn & Cindy Hagen, Watson MN 1966-67
Tom & Mrs. Lakin, Placentia CA 1966-67
Doug Hall, KY 1964-66
Raymond & Ann Shinkle, Grand Island FL 52-53 pilot
Ski & Cheryl Scozzari, Jacksonville NC 59-61
Wm & Mrs. Hodson, son and daughter, CA. WWII pilot
Donald Schmick & Mrs., Harrisburg VA 1946
Steve & Marie Kish , North Babylon NY 1960-61
Donald & Roberta Dunning,
Gerald & Judi Rudd, Mahwah NJ Vietnam 67-68
John & Florence Poore, Newark NJ 1962/
Russell Scanlan, Katy TX 1970-71
James & Linda Jacobson, Fairfax Station VA 66,67,72
Phillip & Margaret Shutler, Annadale, VA 1960-61
Bradley & Betty Breaux, Sulphur, LA 1959-61
Herbert Weickum, Palm Harbor FL 1959-61
David & Betty Cornish, Amherst Ohio 65-66
Dorothy "Sarge" Alton, Longport NJ WWII WM
James Norris, Marseilles IL Vietnam 70-71
Don Sypkens, son Steve and wife Cindy, Turney, MO WWII
Van & Robin McCarty, Meridian MS 68-71
Richard Goodwin, Georgetown DE 72-73
John L. Reader & friend,
John B. Maas, Fredericksburg VA (CO) Korea 52-53/ 1949
John & Phyllis Watt, Brandon FL 1970's
James Hairfield, Memphis TN 1959-61
Doanld & Jean Young, Westerville Ohio 1959-61
John D. Underwood, Woodbury NJ 1959-61
James & Georgette Fox, Warwick NY 1959-61
Richard Brown, Moraga CA
Dominic & Mrs Emello
Bernard & Lisa Chouinard
James Brady, Severn MD 1970-72
Paul Vess & guest,
Don & Carole Bowen, Florida (CO)
Joseph & Mrs. Werner, Setauker, NY 45-46
Gilbert Dove, Ft. Mills SC 1959-61
Clifford/Dorothy Friis 1959-61
Clifford Oconnor, Pensacola FL 59-61
Bill Magda/Linda, Brunswick Ohio 59-61
C.W. Heinzerling/ Senga,
Raymond & Sandra Yahner,
Harvey & Mrs Bradshaw, Sneads Ferry NC
John Maas, Fredericksburg VA
David & Mary Ravanesi, Everett MA 59-61
Larry and Loretta Grissett 59-61
Bernard & Linda Blasko,
Mervyn & Mary Burns, Cumming GA 59-61
Don L. Peters, Rock Creek, W VA 59-61