to the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group which meets at 930 am (doors open at 900 for social period) on the second Saturday of each month, until 1130. The free meetings are at EAFB's South Dakota Air and Space Museum. You are invited.
On May 14, P-51 Mustang fighter pilot Lt-Col John Gaston of Newcastle, Wyoming, accompanpied by daughter Harmony, will offer a visual presentation covering his WW2 experiences flying out of Lesina, Italy (Foggia Airfield Complex) with the 325th Fighter Group (the "Checkertails") which had the yellow-and-black checker board design on their fighters' tails, part of the 15th Air Force. Gaston's A Pilot's Story was published in 2015:
"From an early age, a boy growing up on a farm in Dust Bowl Kansas during the Great Depression dreamed of flying. Hard work, dedication,and the hand of Divine Providence made that dream come true. From accelerated flight training during World War Two, through acareer in the service of his country, to a fifteen year career in corporate aviation -- here is the story of his lifelong love affair with flying." SDPB, more
Michael Matthesen (son of Cathy) will also reenact the character of WWII General George Patton in period dress at the beginning of the May meeting. He is 12 years old. Notice that the helmet has the Remagen Bridge emblem. more
A free luncheon to honor World War II veterans
(and accompanying family member) will be held Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Rapid City. Call or email Bill Casper
(USAF ret) at 342-0893 for info. Sign-up form
On June 11, US Navy CPT James A. Huff (ret) of Rapid City will talk about being a Naval Air Intelligence Officer for P-3 squadrons involved in anti-submarine warfare, drug ship interdiction, and intelligence gathering 1978-1981. more
On July 9, Ken Delfino of Keystone will talk about his combat experiences with the US Navy's River Patrol Force in South Viet Nam and what the current generation's mission is now: "We members of the original group will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary next year," he adds. more
On August 13, John Mollison of Sioux Falls will talk about his long career as artist of military aircraft, as well as his accomplishments in video and television documentary relating to lifestories of veterans (SDPB had 2015 Veterans Day special film about a Vietnam War POW). more
On September 10,
Jeffrey A. Nord (SFC SDANG ret) will
talk about his role in Desert Storm and show
how publishing your military story online can provide an exciting new format--and bring out the creative in
you. "The book talks about many of the unique things that happened during my 33 years in the military."
On October 8, Rapid City architect Dick McConnell will speak about his Vietnam War experiences as a lieutenant in the Mekong Delta with the US Army. Wounded by an RPG and airlifted to Japan, two weeks later he learned that all other members of his unit, about 30, had been ambushed and killed. more
On November 12, Jim Dugan (USAF ret) of Rapid City will talk about his Vietnam war experiences as a dog handler. It is estimated that combat dogs saved the lives of 10,000 US military. He later was assigned in the nuclear weapons and missle industry at the Nevada Test site. Dugan also served on the Honor Guard at JFK's funeral.
On December 10, Mel W. Gunderson of Black Hawk will talk about his combat in the Ia Drang Valley, early in the Vietnam War, as part of the US Army 1st Cavalry Division, 1965-1966. He was with Joe Galloway who co-authored We Were Soldiers Once...and Young about the experience of surviving near annihilation as their unit landed in the middle of a vastly outnumbered enemy.
Say hello to Bret S. Whitmore at an u
pcoming meeting. He is a USAF Desert Storm veteran, military historian, and writer. more
Military history discussion group at the Rapid City Public Library. more
Speakers, do you want a video record for posterity?
Bill Casper will digitally videotape (onto a CD) a speaker for $25, just the cost of materials. Call Bill (342-0893) in advance of the meeting to arrange for this service. Or email him.
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.