AFA National Report

July 1, 2009

A Return to Minot

When AFA Chairman of the Board Joseph E. Sutter visited Minot AFB, N.D., and the Gen. David C. Jones Chapter in April, the local CBS affiliate took note.

“Because we live next to a military base, we know that the impact of Minot Air Force Base is huge, both to our local economy and in the nation’s defense,” the KXMC-TV report began. The Channel 13 video clip mentioned that Sutter—whose primary military duties were in ICBM operations during his Air Force career—had been stationed at Minot. It also noted the Jones Chapter and AFA’s role as an “advocate and supporter for the base.”

During a visit to Minot AFB, N.D., AFA Board Chairman Joe Sutter (left) takes in information presented by SrA. Justin Miller, dressed in ghillie-suit camouflage. Also in the front row are (l-r) SrA. Sylvester Mitchell and SrA. Joshua Nash. The airmen are assigned to the 91st Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force.

While at Minot, Sutter met with 91st Missile Wing Commander Col. Christopher B. Ayers. He visited several units, as well as the Airman Leadership School and the David C. Jones Youth Center.

Sutter made a point of meeting the state’s 2008 Teacher of the Year, science teacher JoAnn Schapp of Bishop Ryan High School in Minot. Sutter was also guest of honor at the chapter’s awards banquet.

State President Jim Simons and the chapter VP, 2nd Lt. Kidron B. Vestal, were among his escorts for the visit.

Doolittle Raiders Honored in S.C.

The South Carolina Air Force Association and the Columbia Palmetto Chapter saluted the Doolittle Raiders during the 67th reunion of the World War II airmen who carried out the April 1942 bombing of Tokyo under the leadership of then-Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle.

The three-day reunion in Columbia, S.C., on April 16-18, brought together four of the original 80 Doolittle Raiders: Richard E. Cole, Robert L. Hite, Thomas C. Griffin, and David J. Thatcher.

At a “Lunch With the Raiders” event, the four received three-dimensional holograms, featuring Doolittle, from Rodgers K. Greenawalt, the South Carolina state president, and Deborah L. Marshall, chapter president.

“The South Carolina Air Force Association is pleased and proud to again recognize the vital role the raiders played and to honor them for what they did,” said Greenawalt.

The chapter mailed similar awards to the five other surviving raiders who were not present at the lunch.

Chapter member P. Wayne Corbett later noted that several of Doolittle’s airmen had South Carolina roots, including William G. Farrow of Darlington, who was executed by the Japanese after his aircraft went down in China; Horace E. Crouch of Columbia, who lived in his hometown until his death in December 2005; and Col. Nolan A. Herndon of Edgefield, who died in October 2007.

In 1942, the raiders had practiced mission tactics in Columbia for several weeks before going to Eglin Field, Fla., to complete mission preparation.

The Roanoke Chapter sent cadets (l-r) Peter Laclede, Brett Rogers, Tavia Cawley, Peter Callo, and Daniel Collins to an Arnold Air Society convention. Retired Brig. Gen. Richard Bundy (center) is AAS executive director as well as a Galaxy Chapter (Del.) member.

More Chapter News

ABC affiliate KSTP-TV, covering news in Minneapolis and St. Paul, did a brief news segment on the April awards banquet of the Gen. E. W. Rawlings Chapter (Minn.). Active duty, reserve, ROTC, and Junior ROTC personnel received honors that evening, but the TV coverage took particular note of cadet Christine Spampinato, from the University of St. Thomas, who described what Air Force ROTC has meant to her: “I’ve been able to travel all over the country and get involved with different things that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to, and I’ve met some really amazing people through the program.” The news segment noted that the Rawlings Chapter has more than 900 members and is open to civilians.

The Roanoke Chapter (Va.), led by James H. McGuire, helped five cadets from Virginia Tech’s AFROTC Det. 875 attend the three-day Arnold Air Society national convention in Phoenix in April. The chapter combined forces with the Virginia State AFA to come up with a grant of $750 to help offset the cost of the trip for cadets Peter Callo, Tavia Cawley, Daniel Collins, Peter Laclede, and Brett Rogers. In addition, AFA’s Chairman of the Board Joe Sutter was a featured convention speaker, and AFA co-hosted an al fresco dinner, with entertainment by a live band, during the convention.

Forty teachers from Miami-Dade County, Fla., participated in the first annual Aerospace Education Teachers Workshop co-sponsored by the Miami Chapter and Dade County. The focus was on rockets: NASA Education Specialist Les Gold—a Gold Coast Chapter member—drove down from Cape Canaveral to present a lecture on the history of rockets. The teachers assembled rockets made of drinking straws, learned how to launch them, and gathered data. They then learned how to use a math program to interpret the information. The chapter provided the teachers with two meals, workshop materials, door prizes, and other freebies. The Miami Chapter has co-sponsored two workshops in past years with Florida’s Gold Coast Chapter and John W. DeMilly Jr. Chapter.

In Warner Robins, Ga., the Museum of Aviation opened a Thunderbirds F-16 aircraft exhibit in May, with help from the Carl Vinson Memorial Chapter (Ga.). The chapter donated nearly $18,000 for supplies and paint to display the aircraft in the same red-white-and-blue paint scheme that is used by the Air Force aerial demonstration team today. The museum’s F-16A flew as the No. 2 and No. 3 aircraft with the Thunderbirds from the early 1980s to 1991 and came from Sheppard AFB, Tex., where it had been a maintenance trainer. Chapter members Jack H. Steed and Dan Callahan joined Thunderbirds Team Leader Lt. Col. Greg Thomas and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center Commander Maj. Gen. Polly A. Peyer, from Robins AFB, Ga., in cutting the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new display.

The 14th annual Chuck Yeager Drill Competition in West Virginia brought teams from four high schools to Beckley, W.Va. Chuck Yeager Chapter President Ira S. Latimer Jr. and Secretary-Treasurer Herman N. Nicely II presented trophies and medals—all provided by the chapter—to award-winning teams from: Parkersburg South High School in Parkersburg, first place; Cabell Midland High School in Ona, second place; and Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, third place. Judges for the drill meet traveled from Langley AFB, Va., to the host Woodrow Wilson High School, with the chapter footing the bill for their expenses.

The Harry S. Truman Chapter (Mo.) named Jeff Morgenegg as its 2008-09 Teacher of the Year. A chemistry teacher at Kansas City’s Center High School, Morgenegg—whose mantra is, “All kids can learn chemistry”—was also a standout because of his ability to teach students about robotics. Chapter President Rodney G. Horton presented an AFA Certificate and $250 to Morgenegg in a ceremony on April 27 at the high school. Truman Chapter’s Communications VP James M. Snyder pointed out that a previous Truman Chapter Teacher of the Year, Susan Rippe of Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kan., became the AFA’s 2006 National Teacher of the Year.

Joyce W. Feuerstein, president of the Tarheel Chapter (N.C.), and Chapter Veterans Affairs VP Lewis E. Feuerstein drove 90 miles (one way) to Trinity High School in Trinity, N.C., to present an AFA JROTC Medal and Certificate to cadet Jason Suttles. It was the sixth year that the chapter representatives made the trip to Trinity, as well as to other JROTC and AFROTC awards ceremonies in the area. Is it worth it? Trinity’s senior aerospace science instructor, retired Lt. Col. Raymond Carter, later wrote to the chapter, “Your attendance is always very special to us.” He added that he had already prepared an application for an AFA JROTC Medal to be presented next year.

Red Tail Memorial Chapter (Fla.) President Michael H. Emig and chapter member James Albritton attended the University of Florida’s AFROTC Det. 150 awards program in Gainesville in April to present an AFA ROTC award to cadet Christopher Thorn. Col. Hubert D. Griffin, the detachment’s professor of aerospace science, is a chapter member.

Twenty-two Virginia AFJROTC programs participated in the fourth annual state drill championship sponsored by the Virginia AFA and the state’s chapters. The Tidewater Chapter and Richmond Chapter organized and set up the meet, with funding from the Langley Chapter, Donald W. Steele Sr. Memorial Chapter, and the Gen. Charles A. Gabriel Chapter. Virginia State President Jeffrey L. Platte attended the meet and was impressed by the level of skill and enthusiasm of the cadets. He presented awards to the winning cadets, including the first-place team from Western Branch High School in Chesapeake.

Unit Reunions

20th Airlift/Military Airlift Sq, Charleston AFB, Dover AFB, Westover AFB. Oct. 8-11 at the Rodeway International Inn in Orlando, FL. Contact: Elmer Andrews, 898 SE Seahouse Dr., Port St. Lucie, FL 34983 (772-878-2486) (772-532-9101) (

20th FW Assn (1930s-present). Sept. 24-27 in Herndon, VA. Contact: (770-429-9955).

55th Strategic Recon Wg. Sept. 15-18 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, NV. Contact: Don Gurney (775-882-6392) (

Memphis Municipal Airport, all active duty, reserve, and civilians of the 445th Troop Carrier Wg, 701st Troop Carrier Sq, 702nd TCS, 919th Troop Carrier Gp, 920th TCG, 2584th AF Reserve Flying Tng Ctr. Oct. 16 at the Tennessee ANG Facility in Memphis, TN. Contact: Al Jones (913-381-0982) (

Unit reunion notices should be sent four months ahead of the event to, or mail notices to “Unit Reunions,” Air Force Magazine, 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209-1198. Please designate the unit holding the reunion, time, location, and a contact for more information. We reserve the right to condense notices.


Mike Emig (far left) and retired Brig. Gen. James Albritton from the Red Tail Memorial Chapter presented an AFA ROTC award to Christopher Thorn at the University of Florida. At right: detachment commander Col. Hubert Griffin.

Trinity High School cadet Jason Suttles displays his AFA JROTC award. Tarheel Chapter’s Veterans Affairs VP Lew Feuerstein (left) and Chapter President Joyce Feuerstein (right) presented it.

Harry Truman Chapter President Rod Horton (far right) has words of praise for Chapter Teacher of the Year Jeff Morgenegg (center) of Center High School, Kansas City. At left is school superintendent Robert Bartman.

Carl Vinson Memorial Chapter members Jack Steed (second from right) and Dan Callahan (far right) join the ribbon-cutting for a Thunderbirds F-16 exhibit with Museum of Aviation officials and Maj. Gen. Polly Peyer (fourth from left).

During their 67th reunion, three Doolittle Raiders–(l-r) Richard Cole, Thomas Griffin, and Robert Hite–pose at Columbia Metro Arpt., S.C., with Columbia Palmetto Chapter’s Stan Hood.