May 2000 Newsletter

Dear Fellow Blue Stars,

Here we are again. Late May and our annual mini reunion a scant 5 weeks away. It certainly seems to be true that time passes by faster the older you get. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been almost eleven months since we bid farewell to one another in Nashville. I know that for me, these annual reunions are virtually mandatory in attendance. I think everyone remembers how we said our farewells when we left Vietnam. Aside from the Blue Star Specials, there were the usual promises to keep in touch. While some did keep in touch, the majority of us went on with our lives, some not even wanting to admit they were in Vietnam but always wondering – I wonder whatever happened to …………! Now is your chance to keep that promise and reestablish contact with old friends. Things do change though, now the Blue Star Specials are optional. Since our last get together in Nashville, several things have happened that have truly reunited the 48th and reestablished that bond we shared so long ago in a distant land. Ken Bording established a Blue Star email reflector list. When I last checked, we had over 106 members of the 48th online. I think that one of the greatest accomplishments of the reflector list is that it reestablished contact and dialogue with a large number of crewmembers. Lets face it, without the dedication of everyone in the 48th or one of our supporting units, most of us may not be here today. Here’s to the crewmen of the 48th, a long overdue well done and thank you.

Also, during the past year we laid to rest Capt. David May and CWO Jon Reid whose remains were recovered, returned home and interred in Arlington in a moving ceremony this past January. The ceremony was reported in the last Newsletter and the pictorials can still be viewed on our web site. On May 3, 2000, a hangar was dedicated to WO David Crow, KIA April 9, 1969. A report of the dedication follows. Now, on to the news…..

Upcoming Mini Reunion

As most of us know, the 48th will be having their annual Mini reunion on July 3rd at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. The mini reunion will held from 1 PM to 5 PM. The location of the reunion will be posted in the hotel, in the VHPA registration area.

Our mini reunion is being held in conjunction with the annual reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA). The mini reunion is free and open to all former members of the 48th or one of our supporting units. As I reported in my last Newsletter, the VHPA banquet follows our mini reunion beginning around 6 or 6:30 PM. Unfortunately there was some confusion on my part about attendance at the banquet.

Attendance at the banquet is open to anyone, whether you are a member of the VHPA or not, whether you are a pilot or not. Unfortunately, the VHPA has a requirement that anyone who attends a ticketed event, must be registered. I was under the impression that all I had to do was buy a ticket for someone. However, I was wrong. In addition to the price of the ticket for the event, you must register and pay the VHPA registration fee of 35.00. I want to apologize to all of those who were caught in the middle of this. I DO WANT TO RE-STATE THOUGH THAT THE MINI REUNION IF FREE! THERE ARE NO TICKETS TO BUY OR REGISTRATION FEES TO PAY. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SHOW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It appears that my request for a large mini reunion room was justified. To date, I have almost 100 members and wives (or significant others) who have indicated they are coming – and that’s just from the reflector list!

Other Reunion Activities

Aside from the mini reunion on July 3rd, most of us will arrive either on June 30th or July 1st. In other words, we’ll be getting together all through the period from June 30th to July 4th. So if you can’t make it for the 3rd, chances are if you come to the Renaissance on one of the other days, just look for us at the closest bar or the Blue Star hospitality room and you’ll be sure to find someone from the 48th.

Blue Star Hospitality Room

We are planning to have a hospitality room this year. Unfortunately, all that was available was to convert a sleeping room into a hospitality room. We are planning to have a room beginning on June 30th through the wee hours of July 4th. Depending on the number of attendees, we are estimating the cost to be around $10 to$15 (for each of the guys (this will cover spouses /significant others). That works out to about $4-$5 a day. The more we have, the cheaper it will be. We’ll be on our own to stock the bathtub with adult beverages but I don’t think that will present a problem. One quick note on the mini reunion while I’m thinking about it, we will not be able to bring our own adult beverages in coolers as we did last year. Apparently there is a law in DC against this. We will have a bar set up close by though.

National Air & Space Museum Garber restoration Restoration Facility

We’ve set up a private tour for the Blue Stars of the National Air & Space Museum’s Garber Restoration facility. This is where aircraft are prepared for display at the main National Air & Space Museum’s venue on the Washington Mall. This is a behind the scenes tour of how skilled craftsmen bring these one of a kind aircraft back to operational  condition and many of the aircraft seen on the tour have never been on public display for lack of space at the main museum.

The tour is scheduled for 10 AM on Saturday July 1st in Suitland, MD. This is about 10 miles away from the Renaissance and everyone will be responsible for getting themselves there. Directions for driving or by going by public transportation will be available in the Blue Star hospitality room. Reservations are required and no one will be admitted without a reserved space. Spaces are limited, so contact Ken Bording by email at: or by phone at: (904) 642-2195 (Florida number).

The Museum staff requested that we emphasize a few important facts:

1.      The tour is 3 hours long and highly technical (right up our alley)

2.      Children are not recommended

3.      Once the tour starts, due to the fact that these aircraft are in restoration facilities and not polished museum buildings, there are no water fountains and/or restrooms. Bring your own water bottles (one full and one empty)

4.      Buildings are not air conditioned so they warn everyone to dress appropriately.

You can learn more on the facility at:

Hangar Facility Dedicated in Honor of David R. Crow IV

On May 3rd, the 10th Aviation Brigade (formerly the 10th Combat Aviation Battalion) dedicated several facilities located at Ft. Drum, NY named in honor of members of the 10th CAB who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. One of those facilities, a hangar, was named in honor of WO David Reid Crow IV who was killed in action on April 9th, 1969. Attending the ceremony were Dave’s brother, John ( a former marine and Vietnam veteran), his sister Kathy Crow Holmes, her son (Dave’s nephew) Carter Holmes and Dave’s mother. Those attending representing the 48th were John Freiberger III, Bobby Schulze, Logan Weiler, Gary Moorman and Jeff Fisher, who was Dave’s crew chief on that day. The dedication plaque read:

The Crow Building

In honor of

WO David Reid Crow IV

Awarded the Silver Star

For making the supreme sacrifice

Giving his life to save the lives of

His fellow soldiers

In the Republic of Vietnam

9 April 1969

48th Aviation Company

10th Combat Aviation Bn

In addition to the various buildings dedicated, Vagabond Park was also dedicated. The park has a plaque honoring all of the units of the 10th CAB in Vietnam. More can be seen on the dedication ceremony by going to:  www.

Open Letter from Erin Thomas – Sister of Joe Marshall, KIA

Dear Friends of Lt. Joe Marshall,

In searching for information about my brother, Joe, I found that what I was really doing was putting the pieces of him together like a puzzle. Each of you holds a precious piece and you are scattered all over God’s green acres. Each Piece of the puzzle is wrapped in its own special treasure box that I didn’t know came as a bonus … YOU! I’m getting to know my wonderful brother through the memories of his only brothers.

It’s important to speak of our departed loved ones as we go through the rest of our lives healing from their absence. Until recently visiting the Moving Wall this Easter for the first time, and having never seen the actual Wall, I had tucked “Jay” (as we called him) away in a far place of my memory to think about once in awhile through the eyes of a 9 year old. The wall opened my heart to a million questions and I needed to talk about Jay. It’s time.

I now realize that I have been actually saving a place for him in my heart. Unconsciously thinking that if he were to ever to show up at a family function, etc., we would all just shove over and get another plate from the cupboard. One of you asked if you could call me “sister”. The answer is a welcoming “Yes”. All of you are welcome anytime to grab a plate from the cupboard and we will all shove over for you. You are my family, too. Allow me, for just a little while, to take care of you for taking care of my brother. As I said to one of you, I now say to you all … I send you warm hugs and soft kisses because the words “thank you” are simply too inadequate to express my gratitude for being my brother’s brothers and caring for him while he was so far away from us.

All my love,

Erin (Marshall) Thomas

….. a little background. Recently, Erin visited our website and sent several of us messages requesting any information we might have on her brother. Many responded and are continuing a dialogue with Erin and her sister Suzanne. Suzanne is currently a member of our reflector list. Erin would like to hear from anyone who knew Joe. She can be reached by email at:

Banquet Seating

I have been able to reserve a group of ten tables with ten seats each for seating at the banquet. This will allow us to sit together as a unit. They are filling fast.To date, I have filled all but 14 seats. If you would like to reserve a seat in “the Blue Star section”, please contact me as soon as possible. I may be able to get additional tables if the need is there. I need to receive your request by May 31st at the latest. After that, you’ll be on your own.

Blue Star “Stuff”

We have the following Blue Star and Joker merchandise available:

Blue Star and Joker lapel pins. Bobby Schulze had these great looking pins made.  The pins are $2.00 each plus 2.50 for shipping. Bobby will ship the same day your order is received. Contact Bobby Schulze to order at:, or (203) 926-8848 (CT number).

Blue Star vinyl decals are available from Stoney Stitzle. The decals are 3”x3”. The decals are .30 each plus postage. Contact Stoney to order at: or (817) 431-1220 (TX number).

Blue Star and Joker (both old and new type) patches are available from Ron Lance. Please check with Ron on the pricing. Contact Ron Lance to order at: or (480) 812-0676 (AZ number).

Needed for the Reunion

We need a little help for the reunion from the local guys. The VHPA will supply a TV/VCR combination for the mini reunion. We are in need of a carousel type slide projector so we can show the slides that various people will bring with them. They are available at the hotel but the cost is outrageous. If you live locally or are driving and have one and can bring it along, please let me know.

We also need some help to insure our presence is known at the banquet. Those of you who attended last year know what I mean. I’m planning to bring along around 300 balloons with the Blue Star logo on them. We’ll need a couple of things. First, we need to find someone local to arrange for and pick up a helium tank large enough to inflate 250-300 9” balloons and a small committee to inflate them a place them around our seating area at the banquet facility. Just wishful thinking, but maybe some of the wives or significant others could help out with this one. Anyway, the helium tank is a biggie and the main ingredient to our visibility. If someone would like to take on this task, please let me know ASAP. We do have some funds in our informal Association that could be earmarked for this. Please let me know the estimated cost and we’ll get the $ to you to reserve the tank.

Web Sites

As many of you know, our website is up and running. Will is continually updating the site and it looks terrific. Visit the web site often as it is in a constant state of change and view all of the new features. There is a link on our web site to direct you to the Blue Star email reflector list. It makes signing up a breeze. Our web site address is:

For those attending the reunion or interested in attending, you can visit the VHPA web site for the updated reunion schedule and activities. In addition, you can view the morning report and see who has or hasn’t registered to attend. The VHPA web site address is:

In closing I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the help you given in the past to make our reunions such a great success. Without everyone’s help, we wouldn’t be enjoying the success that we are today. It’s one’s willingness to take on task that contributes to the overall enjoyment of everyone. Believe me when I say that we do need everyone’s help in putting this together. You local guys are a key to helping us pull this off. It’s difficult to haul this stuff with you on an airplane so we depend on you greatly.

Again I’m appealing to everyone who has not committed to attend the reunion to please go. We don’t sit and cry in our beer and tell whoa is me stories. We rekindle friendships, remember the good times and remember good friends …. and in the process, manage to consume large quantities of adult beverages. This year we’ve gone International. Gary Revheim is coming in from Norway to join in the festivities. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone this year!

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached at:

Home:                                                              Work:

 828 W. Foothill Blvd., Unit B                1-800-869-0235

Monrovia, CA 91016                                      email:

(626) 358-2680



The Ladies Blue Star Journal

By Cindy Cortez

Well ladies, it’s that time of year again. I think most of us look forward to the reunions as much as our men do. It seems like we’ve only returned from Nashville yesterday and now it’s time to pack our bags once again. I know I look forward to seeing all of the new friends I’ve made the last few years and to meeting new ones. Seeing how happy my husband and all the men are make this such a rewarding experience. For most of us, the highlight of the reunion is the 48th’s mini reunion. Listening to the men’s remembrances and heroic tales, most of which are quite unforgettable, is truly the highlight. In the past few years we have had a group picture taken of the wives at the mini reunion. I’d like to encourage all of the ladies to attend and wear their men’s flight suit for the photo. Let’s show our men how proud we are to be a part of their reunion. I look forward to seeing you all in DC.


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