68th AHC Association
15 Oct. 2012
Association Newsletter 08
THE 68TH ASSAULT HELICOPTER COMPANY ASSOCIATION
2012 Reunion – After Action Report
Greetings Top Tigers,
Wow! Fantastic! I Loved it! Two Thumbs Up! And those were just a few of the responses I heard from people after their Huey ride on Saturday morning. What a great reunion. We had 44 members attend the reunion and 90 members and guests at the Saturday Banquet. Attendance was down a little this year with some members unable to attend because of health reasons, and others who had prior family commitments, however it was great to see several first time attendees and we look forward to seeing them again in 2014.
Many members commented on the accommodations and the site of the hotel. We had all the services of a large hotel, but the quiet and serenity of a country setting. Many members took the opportunity to visit Marietta Square and do some sightseeing, shopping or eating at one of the quaint restaurants around the square. A few of the more energetic members took a walking tour of Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield. Several wives spent time in downtown Atlanta seeing some of the sites there. And of course, there were a few who took the opportunity to play golf at the course located right at the hotel. All in all a great reunion and the weather could not have been better.
A reunion wouldn’t be a reunion without the chance to meet and talk with your fellow Top Tigers and there was plenty of time to do that. The war stories just seem to get better with age.
There were two special people in attendance at this year’s reunion. Linda Hingson, widow of WO Paul Hill, who was killed in action in May, 1968, was there and got the chance to meet and talk to some of the people that knew and flew with Paul in the 68th. We were so happy that Linda was able to make the reunion. She and all the family members of those that were KIA while serving in the 68th have a special place in all our hearts and minds. We will forever be grateful for the sacrifice they made. The association presented Linda will a photo collage of Paul and the “Linda K”, the name that Paul and Dave Green gave the aircraft that Paul flew when he became an aircraft commander.
Retired Brigadier General Weldon Honeycutt, the first CO of the 68th was also in attendance. Major Honeycutt, as most of us knew or remembered him, formed the company at Ft. Benning, and brought the 68th to Vietnam in November, 1965. It was he who named the 68th the “Tigers”, a nickname given to him by General Westmoreland when they served together in Korea. Major Honeycutt soon found out that there was another aviation company in the area named the Tigers, knowing that the 68th would be the best, he changed the name to the “Top Tigers.” Major Honeycutt was wounded in action while serving with the 68th and returned to the states, only to be redeployed in 1967 as a Lt. Colonel and CO of an Infantry Battalion, which took part in the famous battle now known as the “Battle of Hamburger Hill.” It was interesting to hear some of the stories told by BG Honeycutt, in a way that only an “Old Warrior” can tell a story. He addressed the attendees at our Saturday Banquet with an interesting and emotional speech. We certainly hope he is able to make our 2014 reunion.
Over half of the attendees participated in the Huey Rides on Saturday morning and the weather could not have been better, not a cloud in the sky and just a slight breeze, perfect flying weather. I’m sure the Huey’s Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! and the smell of JP4 fuel brought back a lot of memories for most of the guys. I know it did for me. I even had my old crew chief, Sandy Noyes, help me into the aircraft, just like old times. The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation Pilots put on a good ride. It wasn’t just up and down, but hard banks to the left & right, steep climbs and rapid descents. The only thing I missed was dragging the darn thing across the ground to get it into transitional lift. Our flight pattern took us directly over our hotel, which I’m sure was also a thrill for those who didn’t go on the ride.
All in all, an outstanding reunion.
Officers & Board Members – We conducted our bi-annual business meeting on Saturday, September 22, 2012. There were 30 members in attendance. Nominations were made for the positions of Association Officers and Board Members. The following people were elected to serve the next two years.
Dave Holloway – President; Sandy Noyes-Vice President/Secretary; Kevin Brooks – Treasurer; Gary Drackett & Lee Daniels – Board Members; and Bobby Vernoy & Jack Turbeville – will share duties as Reunion Point of Contact & Board Members. I would like to thank George Manly for his help and guidance during the past two years as a Board Member. And a special thanks to Jim Rodgers as the Reunion POC, who was responsible for getting the AAHF to bring the Huey to Marietta.
Tiger Fund - It was noted that no one used money from the Tiger Fund for assistance in attending this year’s reunion. There was discussion about whether or not we can make the process any easier for members to use the fund. Frans VandenBroek, Dave Green & myself will address this issue going forward.
2014 Reunion Location - Prior to this year’s reunion board members did some preliminary research on possible sites for the 2014 reunion and this information was made available for the members to read well in advance of the meeting. The three sites researched were Pensacola, FL; Dayton, OH – Wright-Patt Air Force Base; and Charleston, SC. Two other locations were discussed during the meeting, Washington DC and Charlotte, NC. By an overwhelming majority Charleston, SC was selected as the 2014 Reunion site.
Financial Status - During the meeting I mentioned that the association finances may take a slight loss due to the fact that we did not reach our room commitment, which was brought on by a few members having to cancel their reservations because of health issues, through no fault of their own. When all bills were paid after the 2010 reunion the association had $8248.07 balance in the checking account. It was the Executive Board’s intention, during the reunion planning process, to keep the member’s cost as low as possible and yet not sacrifice the quality of the reunion. We did this by reducing the registration fees, having a breakfast buffet included in the cost of the room, and reducing the banquet cost per person by $3.00. Throughout the year we did have some additional income from membership payments and a few donations, plus the Junior Suite auction which help offset the projected loss on our room commitment. Our intention was to maintain an account balance that would give future board members a reasonable amount of operating cash for future reunion planning. I am happy to report that my initial projection of a possible deficit has been turned into a gain of $394.89. After final deposits are made and the last check clears the association account we will have a balance of $8642.96.
I wish to thank all the members and their families and friends who attended this year’s reunion, without your attendance the reunion would not be a reunion.
May God bless you, your family, and all those who serve this great country we live in. I look forward to seeing everyone in Charleston in 2014.
Dave Holloway, President 68th AHC Association
“Top Tiger 49” & “Mustang 26”
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