Checkpoints 1981               Rick Layman

Winter 1981

From the desk of Jeff Hackett (Guest Writer)

In the greatest traditions of English 430 I have put this writing endeavor off to the last possible moment and now sit here frantically compiling, composing and typing all at once.

The procrastination was in part for selfish reasons: it allowed me to put off the sad task of passing on the news of Kerry Putt’s death this past October during a T-38 training mission at Williams AFB. I’m certain the whole class joins me in wishing Celeste and the rest of Kerry’s family our collective condolences. From the Com Sci lab to UPT and on to MacDill and Spain, everyone who got to know Kerry felt the impact of his very special abilities as an officer and a man. The Class of ’75 does indeed feel proud that he was…and is…a part of us.

Unfinished Business: (Item 1) As income tax time approaches surely everyone in the class can part with a few dollars for the class crest. I understand we’re fairly close to “meeting the mission” on this one, so give yourself the satisfaction of knowing you put us over the top. By the way, as one who gets to see the crest often, it’s really  “Sierra Hotel.” Checks or money orders to Steve Pitotti or Rick Layman please. (Item 2) This class column will never be admissible in a court of law until some people get off their keisters and write; as of now it’s mostly based on hearsay and rumors (see last part of column). Defend yourself from slander! Drop Rick a postcard and let him know what you’re really doing.

Hey You, Mister!  We’ve finally reached the point where some of our classmates have opted for charcoal grey rather than blue suits. Mickey Clemons is with Martin Marietta up in Denver; Tom Page is giving away money at a bank in Emporia, Kansas; and Lenny Salvemini is playing professional soccer with the San Francisco team of the indoor league. Part-time civilians (full-time students) include Jon Turner who finally got that slot at Stanford (follow-on to USAFA); Bill Buchta is in his first year of Med School at the University of Wisconsin and doing great; the AOG also got a change-of-address card from Kim Schwartz to Palo Alto, CA. We’ll just assume that means higher education for him too.

Professionals and Fast Burners: Bill Lyerly fits in this category and the last one too. Bill and his wife are in Kenya where he’s an Army doctor doing research on tropical diseases; Bill Caskey is helping people get to sleep at Wilford Hall where he’s a resident in anesthesiology; just out of law school and into the JAG office are Rich Bowers (Hurlburt AFB) and Doug Williams (George AFB). You can add Brad McAllister and Dave Commons to the list of 75ers with stars in their eyes, both on their way to ASTRA assignments.

Fast Movers: New or moved zoomers and boomers include Bobby Thompson (F-4G, George), Tom Calhoun (RF-4 IP, Shaw AFB), and Buck Rogers (DRCPB F-5 Aggressor, Clark AB).

F-4s: Lance Grace, Jamie Blissit and Marinus Bosma (Homestead AFB), Todd Zedjlik (Clark AB. NOTE: Glad to see there’s a younger and larger Zedjlik playing defense for USAFA hockey these days), and Julius Hargrove (?).

F-106s: Bruce Fritsche (from Castle AFB to Griffiss AFB sometime this summer. NOTE: Bruce likes to make “big moves” in the summer, he got married last May), and Jim Michelini (from Castle AFB to K. I. Sawyer AFB).

F-111s: Dave Fleming (Cannon AFB. NOTE: UPT made a pilot and an expectant father out of Dave), Marlo Mellum (Upper Heyford), and Jeff Prater (?).

F-15s: Kent Traylor (Kadena), Doug Fraser and Mark Beesley (IPs at Luke AFB), Jed Vanden Dries (Holloman AFB), John Dailey (?), Rick Pyatt (Langley AFB), John Oleksey (Bitburg AB) and Cary Niehans (?).

A-10s: Dave Schmitz (IP at Davis-Monthan AFB), Tom Popp (Myrtle Beach AFB), Dick Park, Randy Chapman and Ollie Lorenz (Bentwaters AB).

F-16s: Charlie Simmons (MacDill AFB) and Jim Corrigan (?).

T-33s: Bob Turner (McChord AFB), Hoss Erving and Wayne Willis (here at Peterson) and Brent Hall (Keflavik AB. NOTE: If you’re thinking of “seven-day options” talk to Brent).

Big Movers: Not much news from the trash haulers. I saw Mark Donnelly at Norton AFB. He’d just returned from Australia and said something about nirvana. Larry Fariss, Jeff Graves and Stan Collins are flying C-130s at Dyess AFB these days and Joe Marksteiner is on his way to the student squadron at Little Rock AFB.

Peacekeepers: Had a super time last weekend when Chuck Holland came to visit from Ellsworth AFB. Chuck is the fearless leader of a B-52 crew that includes Mark Posthumus. Let there be no confusion, Mike Anderson is really stationed at Castle AFB as a CCTS Instructor; he just spends a lot of time in Hawaii. Mike Reese (B-52) has left Fairchild AFB for balmy days on Guam and Terry Young is in missiles now at F. E. Warren AFB.

Fear, Ridicule and Insult: ATC’s finest include Bob Allen and Mark Isabelle who are back at Willy in T-38s and (good deal of the year) Brian Gomes, who’s left the alert and snow of Loring AFB behind on his way to T-43s at Mather AFB. Four of our classmates are smashing bugs here in Colorado (T-41s, USAFA); Ken Smith, Dave Barnthouse, Scott Skinner and Greg Dunbar. On the other side of the coin, Pete Losi and Rich Wilson have just started UPT (Columbus AFB and Laughlin AFB).

Different Strokes: Paul Narzinski is working in the MX program out at Norton AFB. Willy Cosby is Ops Officer for the Recruiting Squadron in New York City (no he hasn’t got a Bronx accent yet). Dan Kraft is Assistant Basketball Coach here at USAFA and got a nice write-up in the paper for the hand he gave in USAFA’s victory over UNLV. J.P. Waller, Danny Burkett, Dickie Dye, Mike Heil and Ralph Rye are all on the Dean’s Team here. Mike is on a joint spouse tour; his wife is at the Chidlaw Building downtown. I’ve found what I hope is the real Air Force as the Assistant Chief of Soaring here; it is a great job! (and the cadet labor comes in handy for big projects around the house). The job is so laid back that Randy Roberts will join the office here in April after SOS.

Rumors: Danny Burkett suggested this section. The following info is based entirely on the grapevine. Kevin Donovan is a student at C.U. and working for Mountain Bell. Greg Sheridan is flying C-5s at Dover AFB, Dave Williamson may go back to T-33s at Castle AFB; Kurt Osterheld and Andy Dichter are going ASTRA. Finally, Rich Chanick received an “imaginative gift-giving award” for his wife’s birthday cake (actually the last one isn’t a rumor but you’ll have to ask him about it).

Well, that’s it. The best efforts of this quarter’s guest writer. Oh, by the way, send your complaints/suggestions to F.E. Warren, not USAFA…I ain’t the regular crew chief.

 


 

Spring 1981

What in the blazes did Hackett do, light a fire under everyone? Although I haven’t received my last copy of Checkpoints yet, I’m sure he must have done that. The cards, letters, and phone calls are about running me ragged. We’re overcome with news, both good and bad, I’m afraid. I guess it’s best to get the worst behind us. Mike Simpson, formerly of twelfth and twenty-third squadrons, was killed in an aircraft accident on the 21st of January. He was flying an F-5E out of Nellis when he had a mid-air. Mike was to have been married to Kathy McFarlane on the 21st of March.

Twenty-four members of the class were selected for ASTRA for the upcoming year. In case you haven’t seen anything on the list yet, here are their names: Akers, Arnott, Barrett, Bergman, Braun, Burkett, Commons, Davis, Diehl, Dubuisson, Henney, Jefferson, Lamy, Layman, Lewis, Marlow, McVay, Meyerrose, Piotter, Risi, Romanowicz, Stein, VanPelt, and Wolter. By the way, that’s Bill Davis and Lamar Lewis. I wish I were able to give you offices and dates, but don’t have that information.

Special congratulations are in order for Steve Pitotti. The class has achieved its goal in the Class Wall project. We are not last!!! If you feel guilty or wanted to contribute and didn’t, please don’t let it keep you down. You can still send a check and we’ll apply it to our reunion fund. Thanks for all your hard work, Steve.

Steve also reported that Dusty Rhodes was going to be at Nellis to go through F-4 Fighter Weapons School and that Steve Brown was enroute to being the F-15 Safety Officer. Steve and Marty Miller had just returned to Nellis from McConnell where they had been doing night tests on the Maverick missile.

Scott Hente wrote us a book. He’s spent the last four and one-half years at Offitt. He has been working with Mitch McVay and Bruce Hevey, but both of them are gone now, Mitch to Grand Forks and enroute to ASTRA and Bruce to Plattsburgh. He then moved to another squadron and was working with Collin Flynn, Frank Dubuisson, Steve Watson, Raider Ramstad, and Bob Eaton. Never having been able to hold a job for a long period of time, Hente then moved to another squadron and now flies the E-4. He says he’s the youngest officer in the squadron and there’s only one other grad. We’ll have to do something to help you–upgrade the quality of the company you keep, Scott. Scott ran into Dick Webber and Gary Shugart when he was on the east coast earlier this year. Both of them are at ASTRA now. Pat Ash was also there. He’s flying T-39s out of Andrews. Others included in Scott’s letter were: Brian Duffy at Kadena, Rick Wilson at Eielson, Ken Finn at Tinker, and Joe Facenda at Langley. Scott and Lyn are expecting their second child in September.

Bill Spencer saw fit to set down his julep for a moment to let us in on what’s happening in South Carolina. Bill will be going to USAFA as a soaring instructor soon. In the meantime he’s still at Shaw with Duane Lodridge, Tom Bishop, Tom Calhoun, Ken Nease, and Paul Deren. Ken and Paul are flying O-2s. Bill wanted to let them know that he finally found something that flies and has less power than their O-2. Bill also reported that Chris Fillar was pilot on one of the two C-9s that flew the hostages from Algiers to Frankfort. In case you didn’t catch it, Bill is one of the new candidates for the AOG board. He and John Loucks would both appreciate your support.

Don Byers’ wife, Gina, wrote in to bring us up to date on the events at Keflavik. The Byers had a daughter about a year and a half ago, Jennifer. Marv Cox, recently married, just arrived at Keflavik. Marv was married to Marcia Smith over Elmendorf in a hot air balloon. They are expecting a baby in August. Ric and Alice Lewallen are at Kirtland where Ric flies choppers. They had a daughter in February. Rudy Roth is in Africa practicing medicine. Dan McCory left for George to be an F-4 IP and Phil Kendall is still in Iceland flying choppers. Thanks, Gina, for your letter.

The last letter came in from Mike Goyden. Mike is working in an Education with Industry slot at Hughes Aircraft right now but he’s on the way to Tyndall. Mike and Jan just had another baby, a girl this time (there seems to be a lot of that going around). Steve Eickelman is an aircraft commander at Little Rock; Tom Finn just got back from Egypt where he was working as a nav instructor; Steve Keen is flying KC-135s at March; Paul Kent is at McChord in C-141s; Brad Lindsey, also in C-141s is at McGuire; Tom Peterson has moved from the T-38 to EC-135s at Offutt; John Santer just completed his first year at the St Meinrad College seminary school; Dave White, father of two daughters, is an aircraft commander in C-130s at Little Rock. J.D. Barrowclough is also an A/C in C-130s, but he’s at McChord; Mike Rosebush is in OV-10s out of Sembach. Mike is working on his Ph.D. He’s going to the Academy in July 1982. Steve Wojcicki is in sunny California working on satellite movement.

That about wraps it up for this time. Keep the good work coming. It’s great to hear from you even if I don’t get to answer each letter in person. Have a good summer.

 


 

Summer 1981

Well, I guess the summer blues have hit the whole world. We haven’t had one single hero in the past quarter. What’s worse is that I’ve only talked to one guy over the phone and have received only one letter. Scotty Smith was the originator of the phone call. He has his sights set on going to the Academy as an instructor of either history, military training, or something else. He’s still working at the command post at Little Rock for the time being. Mark Marksteiner is due to arrive in Little Rock shortly.

The bulk of this article is taken from a letter from Mike Rosebush:

“My biggest news is that Gwenda and I had our first child (Clint) on the 20th of March. I’m still an OV-10 pilot at Sembach along with Dave Ruddock, Jim Scully, Gil Braun (who is headed to the Pentagon for ASTRA in July 81), Mike Roznovsky, Pete Strunk, and Mike Ruth. I’ll be going to teach Psychology at USAFA starting June 82. Some others headed that way are Jon Turner (presently getting his master’s at Stanford) and Mike Reese. Jon and Diana recently had their second child, Ric.

“Other recent papas include: Mike and Jan Goyden (Jennifer); J.T. and Meg Wolter (Lindsey); Chip and Mary Lou Diehl (Branden); Pete and Cindy Krough (Christen); Bentley and Debbi Rayburn (Moriah); and Pete and Katie Strunk (Elizabeth).

“Tom Popp and Vicki are at Myrtle Beach flying A-10s; J.D. Barrowclough and Diana are at McChord; Tom and Sheryl McClain are at Osan, Korea. Bran and Carolyn McAllister are at ASTRA; Rick and Rosemary Pyatt are at Langley. Jack Storer is in Minot, and Jon and Joan Stapley are at Davis-Monthan. Leon and Stephanie Smith-Harrison are at San Antonio’s Wilford Hall Hospital. Jed and Cam Vanden Dries are at Holloman Air Force Base, and Jay and Patty Wallace are still at Hurlburt Field."

Well, that’s the way it is. The only other news and the brightest spot I’ve had all summer was when Chumley Collins flew into Cheyenne (NOBODY flies into Cheyenne) just a few weeks after Mickey Wright did the same. I felt real good about it as both had been my roomies at one time or another.

Sharpen those pencils and drop a line!

 


 

Fall 1981

This quarter has been a time of happiness and sadness as well. With deepest regret, this column is dedicated to Kenny Hossler, a member of the Black Panther Squadron, who was killed in an aircraft accident this September. Our thoughts go out to his wife, Susanne and his two children.

As for the good news, it is my pleasure to inform all of you that a full 20% of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America for this year were members of the Class of 1975. Scotty Smith and Dave Janetta were both selected to receive this prestigious distinction. Scott also has some more good news: he was in Colorado Springs for an interview at the Academy and was selected for a sponsored master’s degree program and a follow-on job in the History Department. Best of luck to you and Jan, Scott.

Kid Vreeland is now at Stanford doing some graduate work and has a follow-on assignment to work on the MX. Willie Cosby is working for a computer firm in Atlanta and will soon be moving to New York. Dink Yurko is enroute to becoming world-famous as a lawyer. He’s at law school at Pitt. Duke Buyhoff is in WC-130s out of Andersen. Wayne Nelson and Bruce Linster are both at Clark. Bill Scheussler is an IP at Little Rock and Jerry Macken works in C-130 tactics, also at Little Rock. Dave Williamson and his wife, Mary, are new parents, while John and Nance Kearns have had three children.

I had the opportunity to go to the Academy for Career Day in September. Phil Romanowicz and Jim Schuman were there also. Phil was acting as a command briefing officer for ATC (and you thought that you’d never have to do it again after MT 302), and Jim spent his time, as I did, answering questions posed by the Cadets. While I was there, I saw Jeff Hackett, now a civilian in Phoenix, and Randy Roberts, still himself as he always will be.

I also stopped in at the office of the AOG. Colonel Wheeler has one of the AOG clocks in his office. It is really something to behold. Very distinctive and eye-catching. And, speaking of eye-catching, you should see the changes made to the terrazzo in front of the Class Wall. The Wall itself shows off all of the Class Crests as you know, and a reviewing pavilion has been added as an offshoot of the terrazzo to allow a place for the Superintendent and others to review the meal formations and other activities in the area.

Deer and elk season approaches, and I have a deadline to meet. Write in and let me know how you’re doing, where you’ve been, and where you intend to go.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

P. S. Mark Risi, by this time, is happily married. He got married in Colorado Springs on 17 October. Congratulations, Mark.


1981 Album

     
 

1. Mark & Melodee Risi, 17 October 1981.

2. Mac McIntosh: First operational assignment in the F-15 with the 27th Squadron, 1st Tac Figher Wing at Langley AFB, VA. (November 2016)

3. Mac & Linnea McIntosh. (November 2016)

4. Dave Williamson & Dad.


Checkpoints