October 2020


Greetings; Ghost Riders, Avengers, Caretakers, friends and family.  I hope this finds each of you well and safe.  I am sure that you have been on lockdown long enough and ready to get out, but it seems like we must continue to stay at home and social distance.  As of this date no one has reported to me that they were infected with Covid-19.  Hopefully, it will stay that way for each of us.

Reunions:  I can not find any unit reunions scheduled for this year.  I did notice that the Special Operations Group reunion will be held by Zoom.  Most units are delaying their reunion because of the Pandemic of Covid 19.  We have rescheduled the 189th AHC Reunion for October 6-10, 2021 at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport in Herndon, VA.  Of course, we have no way of telling what the situation will be as that is a year away.  I have thought about doing a Zoom meeting, but I am not fond of them.  With our age and many health issues it is best to wait and see.  That does not mean we do not have contact with one another as we have email, texting and even face calls.  In the Spring, I and the team will evaluate the situation once again.

The Pilots Perch:  Dear brother pilots and faithful crewmembers:  Now that I think of it the COVID-19 pandemic alone was a disaster for our country. But added to that now we have the riots in many cities and people calling to defund the police and open our country to unlimited illegal immigration. Wow – who would have thought we would see this type of behavior in our beloved country?

And the 2020 presidential election is upon us. And Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been nominated for the Supreme Court. We can expect the behavior of our politicians to be greatly increased, to say the least. This is almost as much fun as patrolling the Camp Holloway perimeter on a dark night – not much!

We can be effective when we go to the polls and vote in this election. Please do vote if you are at all able. Our country needs all of us to get this great ship of state back on an even keel.

Regards to all, Steve Schmidt (“Silver Lead” – 1st A/L Platoon)



From the Orphanage:  Vietnam has weathered the Covid invasion better than most.  They had some dramatic lockdowns and rules that worked for them.  Those of you who get the FVSO newsletter will have read about how the nuns handled it. (You can sign up for free at www.FriendsofVSO.org).  The nuns did an excellent job managing 800 kids through remote learning and social distancing.  Many of our college scholarship kids came back and helped with the schooling.  As of today, the kids are back in school with new social distancing protocols like ours.  The college kids are still “home”, and we are not certain when classes will begin for them.  This year we hope to have 23 on scholarship to college and another 13 in trade school.  We hope to award another 5-6 scholarships but need to wait until the student are in school.  $1,000 / year provides one student living essentials, room and board as well as books and fees.  Many have part time jobs, which we encourage.

Our mission has always been to help the nuns become self-sufficient, knowing that we will not always be around.  They have taken great steps in the recent past with a banana farm, coffee farm and bakeries.  Most recently we granted Sr Kham at VS5 funds to start a chicken ranch!  She now raises chickens to sell on the local market.  Our British friends sponsored a large BBQ / chicken roaster for them, so they also sell BBQ chicken as well.  Love the entrepreneurial spirit.  The 189th has been significant in our fund raising and on behalf of all of us on the Board, the nuns and the kids … ...

Thank You and Be Safe.  Patrick Leary, Avenger III


Gerry’s Travels:  Greetings brothers and sisters of the 189th AHC family.  Twenty years ago, this month Bobbye and I attend the 52d CAB reunion in St. Louis with many of you.  I had urged you to attend this reunion and you did.  The 189th AHC had the most members at that reunion.  We left the reunion and headed for Colorado Springs what would begin the planning for the very first 189th AHC Reunion to be held October 2001.  Well we all know what happened in September 2001.  Yes, America was attacked by airplanes flown by crazy people who had a wish to destroy our land.  Many lives were lost that day.  America will never forget.  People came together to support one another.  We need that spirit of mankind today.  We went on and had a reunion and we have many more since then thanks to you.  Many did not come to the first reunion because of fear and I understand that just as I understand the fears of many today.  We have seen combat and know fear, but we must remain cautious to keep our family and ourselves well and safe.  I ask each of you to pray that one day soon we will be able to meet in person and reunite with one another.  On another note since the last newsletter I had a Pacemaker implanted.  So Bobbye says I am a bionic man with the Cochlear implant and the Pacemaker.  I do not feel very bionic.  Keep the faith that America will prosper and be well again.  Your brother:  Gerry

189th AHC