Mail Call is one of our communication tools for significant events in our Association and individual members’ lives, including notifications of illnesses and Last Flights.
You can open the Directories at the bottom of this page to access prior year Mail Call entries.
Here are the 2019 Mail Calls.
May 6, 2019 Michael Sullivan notified us that his Dad, 18th SOS Stinger Nav Tom Sullivan passed away April 6, 2019. His family requests that any remembrances go to Gigi’s Playhouse, a Down Syndrome Achievement Center that Tom’s Grand Daughter, Kristi, attends. Additional details at www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/stafford-tx/thomas-sullivan-8241462.
April 23, 2019 Karen Graves gave us the sad news that Marilyn James passed away at age 90 in Buhl Idaho. Marilyn was the wife of our first Association President Chuck James, who passed April 2017. Marilyn will be interred with Chuck in the Boise VA Cemetery.
April 19, 2019 Ev just received word from Mike Bennett that Betsy Alau, Hank’s widow passed. She had a heart attack right before Hank’s funeral and never recovered. Please keep Hank & Betsy’s family in your prayers.
March 24, 2019 Bill George updated us on Hank Alau’s burial: Aloha, Attended Hank Alau’s services yesterday. Betsy, his wife, is in the hospital after a heart attack. She watched the services on Skype & is doing fine now. Represented the 17th as a proud and supportive crew member. People asked about the unit, as Hank was pretty quiet about his part in HISTORY. He was remembered very fondly by family and friends. Met a female Purple Heart awardee Captain that Hank had worked with in one of his many jobs after the military at Fort Shafter. Met another Army Reserve Officer Hank worked with at Schofield Barracks. They flew in from Honolulu just for the services. One of Hank’s grandsons is a WWII history buff who did know the AC-119 and asked a lot of questions. A good human being will be missed… Aloha, Flyin’ Hawaiian
March 18, 2019 Update on Henry “Hank” Alau (17th SOS Shadow Nav), who passed away on March 6, 2019 at his residence. Visitation is 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at Holy Ghost Church in Kula; mass 11 a.m. Urn burial will be held at the Maui Veterans Cemetery at a later date. Henry, Hank to his friends, joined the United States Air Force in 1965, and served meritoriously for 20 years. Hank was an expert in military intelligence, and upon retiring from Air Force, spent 10 years serving as the US Army’s chief civilian intelligence officer in the Pacific Rim. He continued to serve in various roles for Army until he retired in 2014 and returned to Maui to live in his family home. Please remember Hank’s wife, Betsy and family in your prayers. More info at https://memorials.ballardfamilymortuaries.com/henry-dale-kailianu-alau/3772504/index.php
March 11, 2019 Col Mac asked us to post this. Call to All Gunshippers!! Too many of our Brothers have Not done what they Must Do! If you have Not gone to a VA Hospital/Regional Clinic and asked to get on the Agent Orange Registry – do it! It’s not hard; they will ask for any Official document that shows you were in VIETNAM for at least for 24 hours. You will be scheduled for an AO ‘physical’; easy – they will ask you if you are having problems. if any one of your answers is on the now 16 list of AO Diseases, you are 100% covered, No further proof required – You are now in the AO System; You will receive, every 6 months, a 2-3 page color mailing from the AO Registry telling you the status of All studies, & what Your rights are! PLEASE! You must do this! Also, Go to web site www.eBenefits.va.gov to register with the VA, easy! This will open up many communication channels; submit claims for benefits and/or upload documents directly to the VA; request to add or change your dependents; request a Veterans Service Officer to represent You (I like the DAV for this Service); track the Status of Your Claim/Appeal; and Much, Much more! You may not care about Yourself, but do this for your Wife, Kids, Grandchildren. Luck & Cheers Always – COL Mac
March 7, 2019 Henry (Hank) Alau, 17th SOS Shadow Nav, passed away last night, 3/6/19. Hank’s wife Betsy called Bill George, 17th SOS Shadow Gunner who lives about 15 miles away. Funeral is tentative 3/15-16. Mike Bennett also notified us: I just wanted to let you guys know that Henry (Hank) Alau passed away last night at his home in Kula in Maui. I was his son-in-law for a while before an amicable divorce from his daughter, Maile, but I am still close with the family. We will provide updates as we receive them. Please keep Betsy & family in your prayers.
February 13, 2019 Jim Alvis learned that Tommy Peterson, 71st and 17th SOS Shadow Pilot on Ferry crew #2, passed October 7, 2017. Further details at https://www.grant-johnsonfh.com/obituary/697/tommy/peterson/
February 10, 2019 Al Heuss informed Jim Alvis that Maury Ray, 71st SOS Shadow Co-pilot on Jack Morgan’s crew at Nha Trang, passed November 29, 2017. Further details at https://www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com/notices/Maurice-Ray
January 23, 2019 Carolyn Minett informed Ev Sprous that her husband Wallace, 71st SOS Shadow Nav, passed in 2016. He was buried with Honors at Arlington. Donations in his name can be made to The Fisher House Foundation at https://www.fisherhouse.org
January 15, 2019 Ev Sprous found the phone number of Elton C Bates. Elton’s widow informed Ev her husband had passed April 11, 2010 at his home. Elton was in AC-119 Maintenance. Services included burial with full Military honors.
January 15, 2019 Ev Sprous got a call back from Clinton Fraser’s widow who notified Ev that her husband passed in 2016. Clinton was a NAV and VNAF Instructor in the 17th SOS.
January 15, 2019 Ev Sprous reached the wife of 71st SOS Nav Mortimer Hall ; she informed Ev her husband passed in 2005. He was on Lt Col Mulgrew’s Crew #10 at Tan Son Nhut. Ev reminds us: It’s very sad, but we all get closure by knowing where our Gunship brothers are.
January 12, 2019 Blount County VA posted the following: D. Harley Lowe, 71st SOS IO, passed away December 21, 2018. Harley entered the Air Force reserves in 1964. In April, 1968 he was called to active duty & served in Vietnam in 1968 as a Illuminator Operator on the AC-119G gunship. He participated in 37 combat missions and accrued 155 combat hours. He received the Air Medal with 2/OLC. Harley received his Honorable Discharge from the Air Force in June, 1969. Just last month, Harley received a Quilt of Valor! We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends. We are very proud of Harley’s service in the US Air Force. May he rest in peace.
January 12, 2019 Ev Sprous learned that Merle “Max” Maxhimer, 18th SOS Pilot, died June 2, 2018. Max was an Air Force Retiree, Pilot and Vietnam Veteran. Funeral services were held at Crestwood Chapel with Burial in Crestwood Cemetery.
January 3, 2019 Cela Vellines posted in our AC-119 Facebook: It’s with a heavy heart that I post the passing of my beloved husband, Charlie Vellines, this morning (January 3, 2019) at his home following Alzheimers. Most of you know that he has been ill for some time and steadily going downhill since Xmas. Please pray for his family and that his passing is a blessing for all. We will miss him greatly. He was such a good husband, father, grandfather and friend. Charlie was a 17th SOS Shadow NAV. Funeral service was held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at Emerald Coast funeral home with full military honors. Major Charles Herbert Vellines will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com
January 14, 2019 Betty Voos notified Ev Sprous that her husband of 63 years, SMSgt Ernest G Voos, Line Chief in Stinger Maintenance with the 18th SOS, had passed away Sept 29, 2015. “Miss him dearly and all our friends in the Air Force of 28 years.”
Please use the following Contact Form to send Wayne Laessig a message you want posted in Mail Call. Put Gunship Mail Call in the Subject line. If you want your e-mail address posted so members can contact you, please SAY THAT in your message. (For example: “Please include that I can be contacted at BrucePismo@sca.net.”) Wayne will review and post your message as soon as possible.
Note: To help cut down on harvesting of email addresses we use the word “at” instead of the “@” sign in e-mail addresses. Remember to change the “at” to “@” when you use the e-mail.
First, to make your donation, simply go to PayPal and open your account with your user login, then:
- Click on the “send” icon (upper right)
- In the “send money to” box; enter Doug Wohlgamuth’s email address firstname.lastname@example.org
- Click “next” button; then enter the dollar amount
- Click “continue; chose the method to make payment (PayPal or Credit Card)
- Verify summary that all info is correct
- Click on “send payment now”
Second, specify the Sponsorship and Sponsor(s) Name(s). Your Sponsorship can be in your Name as an Individual sponsorship, or in the name of a specific Crew for a Crew Sponsorship, or in a Group name, or in a Crew Position name, whatever. You can include all the individuals who are contributing to that sponsorship. And, if another person wants to add to that sponsorship (e.g. additional crewmembers of a specific crew), they can – just Donate, then send Wayne an email with the Sponsorship Name & their name.
If you prefer, you can donate directly to our Reunion via the Hotel – contact Little America’s Cathy Stirland at 801-258-6644 to apply your donation directly to our Reunion Events.
Questions? Contact Wayne.
Questions? Call Chuck Williams 703-624-6995, Mike Drzyzga 201-310-2943, or Doug Wohlgamuth 813-781-5728. If you prefer, you can donate directly to our Reunion via the Hotel – contact Little America’s Cathy Stirland at 801-258-6644 to apply your donation directly to our Reunion Events.