Jan 70   MAJ T.E.M. NICHOLS Commanding

CPT Benson assumed command of the first platoon in Vung Tau. He also seemed to assume the additional duty of finding and flying all the problem aircraft as he had three unscheduled landings this month. On the 15th, he made a precautionary landing in #322, then again on the 18th while flying #688 his engine blew up over Ving Long, creating an emergency landing at Ving Long. Then, to end his month, on the 19th #322 again forced him to put her down in Ving Long. Out of the three landings, there was no damage to either aircraft or personnel.

210th Aviation Battalion had a meeting this month, the main topic was, the 54th is moving from Vung Tau to Long Thanh North. This includes the Saigon section and Photo Ship. The area is in bad need of repair work before we can move in, it’s old 1st Cav area and they never have built anything to last. Long Thanh North is no exception. Traded in 298 for 704, an aircraft just back from rebuild in the states.

New arrivals:
Schofield, D. CPT
Sumpter WO1
Rae, C. SP5
Jones, W. PFC
Craton, J. SP5
Frazier, D. SP4
Henderson, F. SP5
Champagne, I. SP4
Goodwin, M. SP4
Johnson, S. SP4
Roinstead, G. SP4
Booth, W. SP5
Caldwell, J. PFC
Hoskins, Y. PFC
Garrett, N. SP5

Chambers, W. CPT
Young, P. CW3
King, H. SFC
Jacobson, D. SGT
Bent, J. SP5
Loving, R. SP5
Maki, M. SP4
Dakins, W. SP4

The 54th flew a total of 1008 hours for the month of January 1970.

Feb 70   MAJ T.E.M. NICHOLS Commanding

The big highlight this month was the move to Long Thanh North. Nobody could believe the shape of the area, the buildings were about to collapse, but, a lot of work and patience on everybody’s part and it’s livable.

Seemingly just to make things more difficult, we have 9 of our 15 aircraft down for engine change. Spartan Strikes its final blow, for we also received word that we will no longer use Spartan rebuilds. Finally the action we’ve all prayed for has come.

New Arrivals:
Corey, R. 1LT
Nakamura, W. CW2
Ziegler, W. SGT
Cook, M. PFC
Miller, J. SP4
Revelle, J. SP4
Moffatt, T. PVT
Errick, D. SP5
Phillips, T. PV2
Uncapher, D. SP4
Lyons, L. SP5
Hickey, M. SP4
Washington, D. SP5
Tank, H. SP5
Jamison, D. SP5
Nichols, G. SP4
Murray, L. SP4
Cisneros, R. PFC

Garretson, J. CW3
Sadowsk, P. CW3
Hoskins, Y. PFC
Rice, R. SP5
Lewis, J. SP4
Rumfield, R. SP6

The 54th flew a total of 791 hours for the month of February 1970.

Mar 70   MAJ TARY D. WILKINSON Commanding

Change of Command

On the 5th of March, MAJ Tary D. Wilkinson took command of the 54th Avn Co, replacing Maj Nicholis.

There was a complete changeover of command, as Maj Panerio was replaced as X.O. by CPT D. Schofield, this in turn moving everybody up at least one slot.

The month was off to a bad start, when we reached a record low of only 12% availability on aircraft. Maintenance was not yet prepared to handle that many engine changes.

The real excitement of the month was our practice red alert. Twenty minutes after they called the practice, enemy mortars started falling in the company area. Four fell in the Officers billeting area, one hitting the corner of the BOQ, another wiping out operations. Four more fell near the aircraft revetment area, causing minor damage to two Big Daddy aircraft, funny though, nobody complains about practice red alerts anymore.

New arrivals:
Wilkinson, Tary D. MAJ
Wages, E. WO1
Oakley, W. WO1
Beck, G. WO1
Mack, R. WO1
Lautner WO1
Anderson, A. SP5
Lenoir, W. SP6
Banta, F. SGT
Collins, D. SP4
Butts, W. PFC
Werremeyre, K. SP4
Fairweather, A. SP4
Ayers, B. SP4
Harrison, R. PFC
Manning, C. PFC
Stevenson, C. PFC

Benson, R. CPT
Hart, J. CPT
Cellum, J. CPT
Shreve, O. CPT
Nicholis, T. MAJ
Panerio, C. MAJ
Bickel, E. CPT
Jimmerson, S. SFC
Brown, T. SP4
Lane, C. SP5
Koening, R. SGT
Hendry, R. SP4
Captain, W. SP5
Cary, R. SP5
Keefer, L. SP5
Harris, C. SP5
Dusgan, D. SP5
Beyer, V. SP5
Garman, J. SP5
Orzechowski, L. SP5
Perez, J. PFC
Carman, R. SFC
Walker, J. SP4
Hall, C. SP6
Perez, W. SP4
Rosario, W. SFC
Tramp, R. SP5
Strpmberg, K. SP5

The 54th flew a total of 808 hours for the month of March 1970.

Apr 70   MAJ TARY D. WILKINSON Commanding

April was a month of shortage for the company, with all of the drops received by the E. M. and the few people we’re getting in, every bit of the company is undermanned. To help out maintenance, we are going to stop flying with crew chiefs. This will put an extra burden on the Pilots, but should ease the strain on maintenance. Battalion says we can expect it to stay this way till June.

The U.S. also moved into Cambodia, to cut off the enemy supplies. So far the 54th hasn’t become involved. But, who knows what the future has in store.

New arrivals:
Majors, J. CPT
McCan, S. CPT
Smeeks, F. CPT
Hauge, C. WO1
Sandlin, W. CPT
Briekback, T. SGT
Sheller, G. SFC
Miller, J. SP4
Armentros, L. SP4
McCollaum, L. SP5
Smith, W. SP4
Stiles, W. SP5
Welch, D. SP5
Francis, J. SP4
Luitweiler, R. SP5
Marr, L. SP5

Pecorelli, J. CW2
Bazel, J. SP6
Parker, G. SFC
Jackson, C. CPT
Lyons, L. SP5
McCreary, M. SP5
Peterson, K. SP4
Johnson, J. SP5
Kleber, G. SP5
David, R. SP5
Morris, C. SP5
Errick, D. SP5
Blackford, R. SP5
Kimberling, S. SP5
Harper, P. SP4
Levitt, W. SP6
King, R. SP6

The 54th flew a total of 757 hours for the month of April 1970.

Sep 70   MAJ STANLEY MINKINOW Commanding

The month of September was highlighted by a complete reorganization of the company, instigated by the influx of new arrivals. New platoon leaders and section commanders were assigned and the reorganization seemed to strengthen the chain of command. CPT Barret and CPT Raper were assigned as platoon leaders and additional duties were assigned to all officer personnel.

The commo section was completed and is operating successfully. A new arms room was built and weapons are turned in every evening for security.

CPT Majors and WO1 Sumpter were awarded the Bronze Star and SFC Burton, SP6 Lenoir, and SP4 Johnson received the Army Commendation Medal at an awards ceremony conducted by COL Hughes, 12th Group Commander, on the 16th of September.

The company participated in the Change of Command ceremony on the 19th of September when COL Hughes relinquished his command to COL Fern.

New Arrivals:
CPT Lah??
PT O’Connor
CPT Beauragard, Raymond L.
CPT Allen
CW2 West
WO1 Smith
WO1 Dangherty
WO1 Dunkin
SFC Masiak
SSG Tripp
SP5 Kneese
SP4 Gray
PFC Van Watermelow
PFC Starkel
PFC Henry
PFC Gable
PFC Washington
PFC Malloy
PFC Kelley

SSG Brill
SP6 Steiner
SP5 Kolton
SP5 Washington
SP5 Welch
SP5 O’Brian
SP5 Rae
SP4 Revelle
SP4 William
SP4 Smith
SP4 Murray

The 54th flew a total of 1670 ½ hours for the month of September 1970.

54th Aviation Company - Vietnam (5th year)


18th 54th 18th CAC Aviation Association