The Charles M Walling Tucson Chapter of the DFC Society had several firsts at it’s meeting on 19 January at the Davis Monthan Air Force Base. It was the first use of a DFC Table covering with the Chapter Name to display DFC Society materials. It was also the first time that the Chapter contrasted WWII and current service activities by having two Chapter members tell their experiences, including those earning them their DFCs.
Carl Shumway, in the white DFC sweatshirt, served in the USAF from WWII era thru Vietnam as a crewmember in Transports. He earned his DFC in Vietnam carrying hazardous cargo on a resupply mission and delivering it under fire. The other presenter was Col Kim “killer chick” Campbell a current active duty member stationed here in Tucson. She is in her flight suit and told her experiences with the A-10 aircraft during Iraqi Freedom. Flying a Close Air Support mission near downtown Baghdad, her aircraft was hit and seriously damaged. The A-10 lost all its hydraulics and she had to fly the aircraft in manual back to the base where she landed safely. Her full story can be read in “On Heroic Wings” on page 235.
The Chapter also had five first time attendees at this meeting. We are hoping that our current members, Cols Kim and Scott Campbell can attract more active duties DFC recipients to our meetings.
Read the latest DFC News Magazine
View the Salute to Veterans at Petco Park, San Diego, CA
San Diego Salute to Veterans
As part of the Salute to Those Who Serve program, the Mariners recognize recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal on July 12, 2015.
The newly formed Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNWC) recently stepped up to the plate, literally! Although the Society’s newest Chapter, they took a Major League step forward when they were invited to a Seattle Mariners game on July 12 at Safeco Field! The Mariners organization was extremely gracious and welcomed and honored the members of the DFC Society by having them form a semi-circle behind the pitcher’s mound and were then introduced individually to the cheering crowd of 38,000+! After the introductions, the PNW Chapter members remained in place and hand saluted during the playing of the National Anthem. It was a very humbling experience and for some, especially those Vietnam veterans, provided a feeling of finally being welcomed home! While the team may not be playing their best baseball, the Seattle Mariners demonstrated that they are a world class organization in the way they handled this event and treated the members of the DFC society!
More of the ceremony can be viewed at PNW Chapter at MARINERS FIELD
San Diego Lindbergh Chapter
Celebrates Veterans Day
Members of the San Diego Lindbergh Chapter once again celebrated the holiday by participating in the San Diego Veterans Day Parade. This annual parade is now drawing large crowds along the route on Harbor Drive from the marshalling area by the County Building past the USS Midway Museum to Pacific Highway. The large Lindbergh contingent (37 people) included members, family, friends and AFROTC cadets. Some people walked, some rode on the Old Town Trolley who graciously donated their services, and some rode in three beautiful vehicles owned and driven by members Dennis Schoville, Larry Yarham and Ruben Ortiz. Two famous members riding in the back of the Schoville Cadillac were Diz Laird (Navy Ace WWII, only Navy Ace to shoot down both German and Japanese planes) and Bob Cardenas (Blown out of a B-24 in WWII, test pilot who dropped Chuck Yeager when he broke the sound barrier, and prime driver in establishing the National Cemetery at Miramar).
The cadets from AFROTC Det 075 at San Diego State University helped carry the large DFC Society banner along with four Lindbergh members, Dick Deihl, Jack King (President), Ron Grabler and Mike Retz (Secretary). The Old Town Trolley riders had a great view of the crowd and were applauded along with the rest of the contingent. In addition, a picture of Larry Yarham and his wife Sherry appeared on a local TV station covering the parade.
The crowds seemed to really respond to the group as they would stand up and cheer as we passed by. There were also many salutes by veterans in the crowd while many adults and children shouted thank you. Jack and Linda King did a great job of organizing the chapter’s participation in this event for which is always meaningful for the participants.
At our convention in Clearwater, Florida during September 22nd through 24th the Society unveiled its new Challenge Coin. It is a beautiful new coin which shows a representation of the Distinguished Flying Cross medal, the citation language and the values of the Society. During the convention we were able to present this new coin to the Special Operation Command Parachute Team at MacDill Air Force Base for their trophy case.
If anyone should wish to purchase these new coins, check out our Memorabilia section on the website by clicking here.
These coins were designed and manufactured in the USA.
We’d promised sand between your toes and the 2014 convention committee delivered! For those of you that were unable to attend this year’s convention in Tampa Bay, or more accurately Clearwater, Florida, you missed out on some great fun and camaraderie! The convention was hosted by the Sheraton Sand Key Resort and the accommodations and staff were first rate and should you be in the Tampa area, this hotel would be a great location – it’s on the beach with perfect sand!
On Sunday afternoon registration and the hospitality suite opened amid a flurry of storytelling, re-kindling of old friendships, and meeting fellow aviators, spouses, relatives and friends of Distinguished Flying Cross awardees! In addition to the “beverage dispensing area” the hospitality suite had easy access to a wide selection of DFC memorabilia and, new this year, the Author’s Corner.
Monday morning saw the start of three days of tours, with the first being a trip to the Armed Forces Museum and a lunch of pulled pork, coleslaw, and key lime pie! Even the incredible thunderstorm didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance! Following the tour the group headed back to the hotel where the hospitality suite was in full swing! That evening, with the thunderstorms gone, the group had a dinner cruise resplendent with the lights of Tampa Bay and warm, balmy weather! The dinner was great, the beverages plentiful, and, once again, a lot of lively banter!
Tuesday we loaded the buses and headed off for MacDill AFB. The Air Force treated us to some very interesting venues that included a hands on tour of a KC-135 Stratotanker (many thanks to the crew members that answered all our questions!), the parachute shop complete with a state of the art parachute trainer, and the K-9 demonstration – impressive dogs and security personnel! That night the group had an excellent dinner at the hotel that featured a silent auction. Actually the silent auction started in the hospitality room and then moved to the banquet room for a big finish! Numerous winners were justly awarded and the event raised over $3,000 for the scholarship fund!!
Our final day started with a hosted tour at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a rescue, rehabilitation, and release facility. This was an impressive tour that opened with the story of their “star” occupant, a dolphin named Winter and how she was the first recipient of a prosthetic tail! Following lunch the group returned to the hotel for some R&R before the grand finale, the awards dinner!
Wednesday evening the group assembled in the banquet hall to honor our World War II and Korean War Veterans. Following dinner (another excellent meal!), the Chairman of the Board, Bruce Huffman and President Chuck Sweeny presented commemorative plaques to seven veterans of those conflicts that received the Distinguished Flying Cross. A most fitting ceremony for some most deserving veterans!
Overall, the convention was a great success and many thanks to those that helped put it together to include those from the Tampa Bay Area Chapter, the Sheraton Sand Key Hotel and Staff, and to the Reunion BRAT! See you at the next one in 2016!!