REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETING
American Legion Post 160
FLYING WITH THE COAST GUARD
OUR VERY OWN FLIGHT PROGRAM CHAIRMAN, DON MYERS WILL GIVE US A PRESENTATION ON COAST GUARD FLYING.
SynopsisFlight Vice Captain Dave Jones opened the meeting of the Ben T. Epps Flight at 1130, 19 Jun 2018, at the American Legion Post 160, 160 Legion Drive, Smyrna, GA 30080. The invocation was given by Flight Chaplain Dale Hill. Dale Najewski led the Pledge of Allegiance. Provost Marshal Dale Najewski led the customary toasts. Dale Najewski led a special toast for Flight 102 member Bob “Punchy” Powell who passed away a year ago. Members of the flight introduced guests. Dave Jones recognized new members Rick Marotte and Ryan Jones. Brad Wright introduced Christian Ward (call sign “Mental”) who is the Etowah HS JROTC commander and was a USAF Air Battle Manager. Provost Marshal Dale Najewski led the toasts for our guests. While the members were dining, Dave Jones made a call to members to participate in JROTC programs, recruit new members into the Order, and try to bring at least one prospective new member to a meeting in the coming year. Dale Hill followed up on Dave’s comments by reviewing this year’s participation in JROTC awards and projected increase for next year. Dale also emphasized the impact we have on the young people we meet at these award ceremonies and the opportunity we have to influence them to pursue military aviation. Clint Johnson conducted the raffle drawing to the delight of the winners. The flight generated $325.00 for the scholarship fund. Flight Vice Captain Dave Jones introduced the guest speaker, Flight 102’s very own Cmdr. Don Meyers, USCG. Don began his presentation by saying he initially joined the Air Force. After seven years in the USAF, he switched to the Coast Guard and flew C-130 rescue aircraft with them for the remaining fourteen years of his military career, retiring in 2001. Don is Coast Guard pilot # 2687 on the list of all Coast Guard pilots. The Coast Guard began in 1790 started by Alexander Hamilton. The first Coast Guard pilot was Lt. Elmer Stone in 1916. Today the Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security with the commandant being a four star admiral. Don also discussed the various Coast Guard aircraft, mostly helicopters, in the Coast Guard inventory. Missions include patrols, logistic MEDEVAC, and SAR. Don flew the C-130 and discussed some of the types of survival equipment that can be dropped to someone in distress. Don discussed several personal experiences from his time in the Coast Guard: • Attu, Alaska: husband and pregnant wife bear hunting on a remote island with a disabled airplane. • Kodiak, Alaska: challenging approaches to a runway with a mountain at the end of the runway and very challenging weather conditions. • Goose Bay: a husband and wife hopping across the Atlantic in a small plane and barley making to a landing field. • Peru: Flying the “White Cow” with the Peruvian National Police. • Guatemala: tracking a drug smuggling mother ship and a “go fast” boat. Third largest seizure by DEA of cocaine. • Gulf Stream: participating in rescue efforts to find people whose ship sunk in the Gulf Stream. • Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: transporting Cuban “fence jumpers” seeking asylum in the US. Don thanked the members for their attention during his presentation. Provost Marshal Dale Najewski led a toast for Cmdr. Don Meyers. Dave Jones asked we dispense with reading the minutes of the last meeting. There was no new business to conduct. Flight Vice Captain Dave Jones introduced two new members for induction into the Order: Rick Marotte, Cpt., USA was a Dust Off Army Aeromedical Evacuation helicopter pilot in Viet Nam with many combat rescue missions to his credit. He got his wings at Hunter AAF in Jun 1970. Ryan Jones, 2LT, USA just got his wings at Hunter AAF in March 2018. Ryan is the son of Dave Jones and is the fourth generation military aviator in the Jones family. Flight Vice Captain Dave Jones conducted the induction ceremony and welcomed Rick and Ryan to the Order of Daedalians. Provost Marshal Dale Najewski led a toast for our new members Rick Marotte and Ryan Jones. The meeting adjourned at 1315. Attendance: 38 members, 1 guest.
Don Myers - "Our Coastie"
Ryan Jones, "Dad" David Jones, and Rick Marotte