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October 4, 2000
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Category: Updates - OBA Created: 10/04/2000 12:00 AM
Related Website: N/A Updated: 11/28/2001 03:58 AM
OBA Update - October 4, 2000

SUMMARY:  Grump's report on the Mother of all FAC Reunions.

Hi folks,

I am almost caught up from our appearance at the FAC Reunion in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and thought I should give you all an update. The reunion was billed as "The Mother of All FAC Reunions," and I think they were right. 700 people were expected, but tropical storm Helene messed things up a bit - yet a large gathering did take place. Although O-1, O-2 and OV-10 FACs were present from across the Air Force, the predominant squadrons were the 19th TASS "Rustics", the 20th TASS "Coveys", the 23rd TASS "Nails", and the "Ravens".

We set up a hospitality suite/PX/recruiting center near the "hootch." Chuck "Igor" Burin, Mike "Merlin" Whaley, Joe Copalman, Ned "Crash" Helm, John "Buffalo FAC" Lee and I had a great time meeting present members and working to recruit 13 new members. All totaled, there were about 30 OBA members in attendance. Some of the ANZUS FACs made the trip including our own Ken Semmler.

The highlight of the weekend was the memorial dedication of OV-10A #626 that we located at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, TX a year ago last July. It, along with an O-1 and O-2, were dedicated to the 216 FACs who lost their lives in SEA. It was a wonderful moment with close to 1,000 people in attendance. It may be an Air Force memorial on an Air Force base, but it is a fitting tribute to all FACs. The organizing committee can well be proud of the job they did to make the memorial a reality. It is located at the north end of the Air Park at Hurlburt AFB in Fort Walton Beach, FL. It is worth the trip if you pass that way.

We appreciated the opportunity to participate in the weekend's activities and want to thank the organizing committee of the FAC Association for all their courtesies.

Now, though, it is time to meet our new members. Please welcome:

Mary Ann Harrison ( comes to us from Lubbock, TX. She is on the board of the Vietnam Studies Department at Texas Tech and wife of Marshall Harrison, author of "A Lonely Kind of War."

Terry "Nail 83" Tabor ( enlisted with us as a Lifer. Terry lives in Fort Worth, Texas so we hope to see him a lot at the museum.

John "Buffalo FAC" Lee comes to us from Brentwood and along with Ned Helm was almost a constant fixture in our suite. John is a former 20 TASS "Covey" who among other things supported covert ops in southern Laos.

Bob "Nail 69" Craig ( came to us from the 23rd TASS. He now lives in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and was a participant in the Son Tay POW raid.

Joseph Rivera is a member of the Cairola-Barber VFW Post 2342 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He along with John Lee brought us an idea for future recruiting.

J. Pewthers ( is another Nail from the 23rd TASS. Jay lives in Sacramento, CA and his claim to fame was to conduct the first if not only success night extraction, (SAR) in SEA.

Howard Kravitz ( was one of the six original Air Force OV-10 pilots. After four hours of instruction from Marine instructor pilots at Columbus, Ohio, he headed to Hurlburt in 1968 to commence OV-10 instruction. Howard enlisted with us for 3 years.

Bill Ebert ( comes to us from the 20th TASS. Bill was in Da Nang from May of '69 to Apr '70. He lives in Herndon, VA is wants to help locate folks in the DC area.

Nick Nicholas ( is a former Army Cobra driver and owner of On Target Graphics, his shirts and hats were a big hit at the reunion. Nick was concerned that our shirt and hat order wouldn't make it to Fort Walton in times, so he drove 5 hours to make sure we had our goods. He ended up staying with us for a day and was so impressed he enlisted with us.

Debbi Lambert ( is from Fort Worth, Texas. Debbi was at the reunion to try and learn something about her father, Lt. Col. Frank Briggs, USAF. She was a young child when her father was KIA while attached to the 19 TASS in Bien Hoa in 1969. She is eager to make contact with anyone who knew her father.

Reuben Best is one of the original North American Aviation OV-10 Project Managers. He lives part time in the Fort Walton area and dropped by for a visit. Actually, I think it was 3 or 4 visits. We feel very fortunate to have Reuben join the growing list of former NAA employees who have enlisted with us.

Mike Wilson isn't a new member, but he reenlisted with us in Fort Walton Beach for an additional two years.

The following is a list of the other OBA folks who attended the reunion. It was a pleasure to meet some of you for the first time and good to renew older relationships. We look forward to doing it again in a couple years.

Other OBA members in attendance: Angela Bennett and Jake, Bob and Carolyn Carlson, Ned Helm, Earl Mayfield, Jack and Barbie Norton, Howard and Pops Pierson, Ken Semmler, Bill Sleigh, Walt Trukki, Darrel Whitcomb, Dick Wood, Glenn and Shirley Wright, and Fred Zickrick.

Best regards,

Jim "Grump" Hodgson
OV-10 Bronco Association
505 NW 38th Street
Hangar 33s
Fort Worth, TX 76106
(800) 575-0535

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know!

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OV-10 Bronco Association, Inc.
Mailing Address:
P. O. Box 161966
Fort Worth, TX 76161
      Physical Location:
(Don't send mail here)
3300 Ross Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76106
Phone: (800) 575-0535

President:   Jim "Grump" Hodgson
  Board of Directors:
    Chairman: Chuck "Igor" Burin
Jim "Boomer" Bloomberg
Mel "Doctor" Clouser
Gordy "Bear" Evans
    Jim "Grump" Hodgson
Tom Kemp
Jim Lair
Jack Thompson
Vice President:   Jim "Grump" Hodgson
Executive Director:   Jim "Grump" Hodgson
Treasurer:   Tom Kemp
Secretary:   Debbi Lambert

Colombian Wing OBA
Jorge Gutierrez
President, CWOBA
German Wing OBA
Tony De Bruyn
Commander, GWOBA
P.O. Box 70
Zavenetem 1
B-1930 Zavenetem
Phone: + 32 2 758 02 60
Fax: + 32 2 758 02 70
Philippine Wing OBA
Capt. Silvestre U. Glinoga, Jr.
Commander, PWOBA
16th Attack Squadron
Sangley Air Base
Cavite City, Philippines 4101
Phone: (006346) 431-1492
Venezuelan Wing OBA
(Info coming soon)

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