Aug
21
2018
Vietnam Revisited
American Legion Post 160
Smyrna, GA
Apollo aug 2018
Amazing Report from those who were there
This "Apollo App" will only let you list one speaker in the "Speaker" line. This meeting is not going to be just our fantastic Raffle Chairman Clint Johnson stealing the mic for the entire luncheon. It's going to be Clint, Charlie Tutt and Dave Skilling telling us about their trip back to Vietnam to visit and tour the target areas they were fragged to attack, and meeting "former enemies" of that war. Think about it. You know you would like to hear this presentation. So, plan to attend. Also, do your best to bring a guest..., a guest who also took an oath in U.S. military uniform as an aviator.

Synopsis

Flight Captain Joe Redden opened the meeting of the Ben T. Epps Flight at 1130, 21 Aug 2018, at the American Legion Post 160, 160 Legion Drive, Smyrna, GA 30080. The invocation was given by Flight Chaplain Dale Hill. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Provost Marshal Dale Najewski led the customary toasts. Four guests were introduced by members and Provost Marshal Dale Najewski led the toast for our guests. Clint Johnson conducted the raffle drawing to the delight of the winners. The flight generated $463.00 for the scholarship fund. John Kennedy invited everyone to attend a car show at the Aviation Museum this Saturday, Oct.25, 2018. Our speakers today were four flight members who were part of a group of eleven Vietnam pilots who went to Hanoi in April 2016 and met with North Vietnamese pilots as part of a mission to bring reconciliation to both sides. The visit was reciprocated in September 2017 when the Vietnamese pilots visited the same group in San Diego. Our panel today included: Jim Hoogwerf (USAF) Clint Johnson (USN) Dave Skilling (USAF) Charlie Tutt (USMC) Charlie Tutt: This whole project started several years ago when Charlie was working for ASA who wanted to start an airline in Vietnam. During meetings with Vietnamese concerning the airline, Charlie met Lt. Gen Nguyen Duc Soat, a former MIG 21 pilot with six victories against American fighters. Charlie’s meeting with Gen. Soat led to the first trip by eleven American pilots in Hanoi in April 2016. Clint Johnson: Clint was able to meet with Senior Col Duc Tua, who was flight lead of the element of MIG 17’s that engaged Clint and his element in their USN Skyraiders. The engagement resulted in one of the MIGs being shot down. Clint also mention the Vietnamese officials tried to get Clint to apologize for his part of the shoot down, but Clint would not. Jim Hoogwerf: Jim discussed the hosted tours while they were in Hanoi, including: Vietnam Air Force Museum B-52 Victory Museum Vietnam Peoples Air Force Memorial Kep Airfield Hoa Lo Prison (the “Hanoi Hilton” to our POW’s) Charlie Tutt: You Tube has an interview conducted during the visit by Vietnam television. The interview can be accessed by searching US/MIG pilot visit Vietnam Dave Skilling: Dave discussed visiting several sites in the south, including Khe Sanh. Clint Johnson: Described meeting a Senior Coloner Vietnamese pilot nicknamed “the snake.” This pilot had seven kills to his credit and had a remarkable resemblance to Ho Chi Minh. Charlie Tutt: Arrangements are being made for another meeting in Hanoi in November. A question and answer period followed, and the members thanked the panel for their presentation. Provost Marshal Dale Najewski led a toast four our speakers. The meeting adjourned at 1330. Attendance: 47 members, 4 guests.