to the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group which meets at 9 a.m. (until 11 or so) on the second Saturday of each month. The next meeting will be at Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City (left on first light past Campbell on Omaha). Main door. No steps. Can't miss it. Lots of close parking. All meetings are open to the public. You are invited.
On March 8, Verne Sheppard talked about his experiences in the Pacific and the Far East as a radio operator in the Air Transport Command from 1944-1946, and his service aboard a C-54 took him to battle zones such as Guam, China, and Japan. Sheppard entered the Army Air Corps in 1944, after graduating from high school. “I got my education in the Pacific,” he said.
Everyone is invited to the 2nd Annual "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans" program on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the American Legion Post 22, 818 E. St Patrick St. RC from 1-4pm. All are invited to come and welcome all our veterans.
On April 12, we'll hear from
Charles "Charlie" M. Summers of Rapid City who spent three tours in Vietnam flying the F-100 Super Sabre, becoming a member the “MISTY” Forward Air Control Squadron. During his second tour he was shot down and ejected. Injured, he was awarded the purple heart, and after recovering from his broken back and ribs, returned to fly and fight for a third tour. Over the course of his time in Vietnam, Summers received four Silver Stars (only eleven other aviators since WWII have received four Silver Stars), awarded three Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Meritorious Service Medal, and 16 Air Medals.
On May 10, Maj. Ed McGaa (USMC F-4 Phantom pilot Vietnam) will talk about Charles Schreyvogel's 32 drawings which depict Red Cloud, Custer, and the guns and horsemanship used by the Sioux and US Cavalry during heroic battles of the 19th-century. Bill Casper will moderate.
On June 14, LTC George Larson and Paul Priest will talk about the Bridge at Remagen, scene of horrific fighting at the Ludendorff Railway Bridge spanning the Rhine River, as soldiers like Priest (and other veterans in our group) entered the German homeland. more
On July 12, Col. Jennifer Rollins of Ellsworth Air Force Base will talk about her experiences as a Senior Defense Official and Defense Attache in Sierra Leone, Africa, July 2010-July 2012. As a B1-B navigator and Weapons Systems Officer, she has logged thousands of flying and combat hours, working on missions such as Operation Iraqi Enduring Freedom.
On August 9, Maj. Curt Nupen (USAF ret) of Piedmont will talk about his experience in B-52s in Vietnam. You've already heard from other B-52 crew members from Vietnam, including CPT Kim Morey and CMSGT Richard Lake.
On September 13, MSGT Jim Blair of EAFB and the SD Air and Space Museum will talk about recent advising missions to the Afghanistan military.
Read the just-in story of Gary Lillie of Piedmont who served in the US Navy between 1959-1961, coming of age during the Cold War between Korea and Vietnam. Here is sailor Gary in civvies in 1959:
Bill Casper has the BBC WW2 "Land Girls" series on DVD available to loan out, he says. This period drama focuses on the Women's Land Army in an idyllic British countryside, set against the tensions of war. Contact info. See also Bill's DVDs.
Military history discussion group? Talk to Bill at the meeting if you are interested in getting together monthly or quarterly at the Rapid City Public Library to discuss topics in military history, perhaps focusing on a book or film. Used books can often be had for little on Amazon. The library has a mobile computer project cart with Internet connection that can be reserved along with the room.
Send us a message to be on confidential email list to receive monthly notices of meetings. Do you have a story about your military service that you'd like to share and possibly write down? We'd like to hear from you.
Contact us at email@example.com