Columbus-Bakalar Chapter #288 Air Force Association
Columbus, Indiana began August 12, 1992
The first chapter president was Russell Hollinger and Betty Hollinger was the first chapter secretary.
Click on photographs for full size viewing
AFA #288 Officers
Robert J. Goedl, President, Jim Peters, Vice President, and Owen D. Stickles, Treasurer
AFA Chapter #288 quarterly meetings are held at the museum's William "Bruce" Dalton Media Center Columbus, Indiana Municipal Airport. Meeting start time 7PM.
The AFA Chapter #288 meeting on Thursday September 15th featured guest speaker Lt Colonel John Knabel, Commander Indiana Air National Guard 181st Intelligence Support Squadron Hulman Field Terre Haute, Indiana
AFA Columbus-Bakalar Chapter #288 Mission Statement
The Air Force Association (AFA) is an independent Veterans organization whose primary objective is to promote greater understanding of aerospace and national defense issues. The Air Force Association was developed as a civilian organization designed to disseminate information and educate the general public on the needs for a strong defense and the unique capabilities of aerospace power in meeting these objectives.
AFA Columbus-Bakalar Chapter #288 is a community minded organization designed to educate the general public in aerospace power and its unique relationship with the United States Air Force components (Air National Guard, USAF Reserves, USAF Active Duty, and USAF Retirees).
The mission of AFA Columbus-Bakalar Chapter #288 includes support of the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum, Columbus Municipal Airport, Columbus, Indiana, which is dedicated to the memory of all military and civilian personnel who served in any capacity in the war and conflicts from 1942 to 1970, and other civilian and military community activities.
The support mission includes voluntary and financial resources support through aerospace educational public relations programs. These programs include, but are not limited to, special scholarships and grants, recognition of outstanding individuals and organizations who support our country, state and local community. In addition we will promote a good working relationship with our local community including business, government, education, and other veteran organizations.
The guest speaker for the September 15, 2011 AFA Chapter #288 meeting was Lt. Colonel John Knabel, Commander Indiana Air National Guard 181st Intelligence Support Squadron Hulman Field Terre Haute, Indiana
The guest speaker for the August 19, 2010 AFA meeting was Bob Kelly, USAF Veteran and author.
Bob Kelly a native Hoosier who spent his formative years on a farm near Milan, Indiana. He grew up with a father who was known as 'The Historian of Ripley County," so a love of history came honestly, and at an early age.
History, and many other early loves took a back seat for many years while he pursued the course of living and raising a family. Bob spent a four year tour in the USAF during the late 1960's as a Russian Linguist, coming back to Indiana as a photographer, and later as a writer for Cummins. More recent occupations have included owning of a commercial art agency and producing documentary videos. He spent about 15 years producing videos for and about missionaries.
His time in the Air Force made him more aware that his father not only loved history, but that he had helped write some of it. As time passed, books like Brokaw's Greatest Generation made him realize how important it was to record some of his father's contributions. While second hand, he had a good grasp of just how unique and important his father's story was. He describes his book, Broken Wings: "It was fun to put together a book that has some details of WWII that have never been told, and it was a lot of work. Broken Wings, The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Air Armada is the only book I know of that details the destruction of the aircraft left in England after the war. It has been well accepted and Bob considers it a blessing to have been able to write it."
Tony Patterson, Vietnam War USAF Pilot and Northwest Airlines Pilot was the May 2010 Guest Speaker.
The special guest speaker for the May 2010 meeting was Mr. Tony Patterson, Captain – Northwest Airlines (Ret). Tony will share his flying experiences as both a USAF pilot during the Vietnam war; and his commercial flying with Northwest. He is a local fellow, graduating from Columbus High School in 1961; Ball State University in 1965 as a 2nd Lt commissioned through the USAF ROTC Program. Tony received his wings in 1967 and assigned to Homestead AFB, Florida flying the F-4 Phantom. In 1968 he was flying the F-4 out of Clark AFB, Philippines.
A change of pace for Tony in 1969 found him flying O-2’s for the 4th Infantry Division in Pleiku, Vietnam as a Forward Air Controller (FAC). This lead to an assignment to Osan, Korea as an instructor to organize and train Air Force ground forward air controllers to fly along the DMZ. His career ended at Seymour-Johnson AFB in 1972 when he separated from the USAF.
His commercial flying included the Martin 404, Airbus A-320 and the DC-10 type aircraft for Northwest Airlines. Tony retired in 2001. He now devotes his time pampering and flying his own Beechcraft Bonanza. This pilot has accumulated over 30,000 hours flying time.
The March 18, 2010 meeting's featured speaker was Colonel (Ret.) Larry E. Fagersten, Director of Community Outreach for Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Mascatatuck Center for Complex Operations. Colonel Fagersten's presentation focused on the current operations conducted at both military installations.
The November 2009 AFA meeting featured speaker was Master Sergeant Jeffrey E. Mittman an Army NCO wounded in Iraq delivered a message of inspiration. MSG Mittman served in the first Gulf War and in Afghanistan. In July 2005, on his second tour in Iraq he was driving a Humvee when a improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. The explosion destroyed parts of his face, a finger and most of his vision and teeth. He was unconscious for a month. Since then he has undergone more that 40 surgeries. Mittman's visit to the Columbus Bakalar Chapter was part of the Army Wounded Warrior Program.
The May 21st 2009 AFA meeting featured William Grider DDS who is the owner/operator of the Kokomo, Indiana Dental Clinic and a General Aviation pilot/owner. He is the Indiana State President of the AFA. His presentation will highlight the military budget trends and downsizing of personnel and aging Air Force fleet.
The featured speaker for the Chapter #288 March 19th 2009 meeting was Lt. Colonel Robert McCracken, USAF Retired with 25 years active duty 1942-1967. Bob was born and raised on a third generation family farm near Hopewell, IN. From his earliest boyhood days, he was always interested in aviation and flying. So it was no surprise that in the Spring of 1942 after high school, he applied and was accepted into the Army Aviation Cadet Program. Because Bob excelled in the harder, more challenging college prep courses in high school, he was able to "test out" of several of the basic areas; and was placed straight into the hard core one of Cadet Class 44E.
The many phases of his training took him to some of the more exotic locations around the country; Nashville, TN; Miami Beach, FL; Maxwell Field, AL; Spence Field, GA; and Key field, MS to name a few. In May of '44 Bob graduated with his Wings, rated in both the P-40 and P-51 fighter aircraft.
Assignments included a P-51 Tactical Recon unit in France; Army Corps of Engineer assignment in Korea; a T-6 Instructor pilot; F-80 Jet Transition pilot/instructor; a tour with Systems Command; Inspector General duty; and ending his career at Hanscom Field, MA. You can see that Bob had a very diversified career. He shared some of his more memorable experiences at the meeting.
Retired Lt. Colonel Martin Baier from the German Air Force was the featured speaker at the November 2008 AFA meeting. The photo on the left is of Major General John Hoff USAF Retired and Martin and the center photo is of Martin with his aircraft on the right Martin in the cockpit.
Martin, a native from Essen, Germany entered the German Armed Forces after graduating from Leibnz Gymnasium (high school) in 1985. He graduated from the GAF Academy and attended a two-year Weapons System Officer (WSO) training in the United States on T-37 trainer aircraft, in Bavaria, Germany on Alpha Jet combat trainer and in Cottesmore, England on Tornado combat aircraft. He served with the Fighter Bomber Wing 32 and achieved his instructor's license for Tornado-ECR aircraft and flew EW missions over the former Yugoslavia. Martin was awarded the IFOR and SFOR service medals for outstanding performance during this campaign. He was stationed at Holloman AFB New Mexico and was liaison to the U.S. Air Force for projects on staff and command level. The GAF awarded him German Armed Forces Combat Medals. He obtained a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Military Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Economic and Cultural Studies.
Martin now lives in Carmel, Indiana where he founded "All German Solutions LLC" specializing in cross-cultural consulting and communications.
The special guest speakers for the
Chapter’s 15 May 2008 AFA quarterly meeting were Mr. Eric Kemp and Mr. John Clegg,
both British citizens at the time, served in the British National Service
shortly after the conclusion of WWII. These two men shared some of their
unique memories and experiences as youths during those fighting years when the
Germans attempted to destroy the great city of London, England.
The Chapter #288 special speaker for the
Thursday 21 Feb 2008 meeting was Mr. Mel Lantz. Mel shared some of his
military experiences as an Intelligence Officer during the “cold war” period
(1945~1991) between the Soviet Union and the United States.
The AFA Chapter #288 members had as guest speaker for the November meeting. Colonel John Lewis
served our country
in three wars: WW II, Korea, and Vietnam. John joined the Army Air Corps in June
1942 and ended up flying P-40s, B-25s and other
aircraft during WW II. After flying 69 combat missions, he returned home in
September 1944. In 1951 John was recalled to fly bombers during the Korean
conflict. He flew 50 combat missions in 7 months, returned home in November 1951
and joined the Air Force Reserve at then Atterbury
AFB. John and all 434th reservists were called to active duty in October 1962
for the Cuban Missile Crisis. In May 1968, reservists of the 71st Tactical
Airlift Group of the 434th Tactical Airlift Wing were called to active duty. The
71st trained on C-119 Flying Boxcars that were modified into side-firing
gunships and ferried them to Vietnam. While in Vietnam,
John completed 51 combat missions. He retired from the USAF Reserve in 1978 as a
full Colonel. During his military career, he earned a DFC in each conflict,
eleven Air Medals in World War II, and one in Korea and Vietnam. John retired
from Seagrams in Lawrenceburg after 47 years.
Dr. Paul Muller in the left photo and BG Lacey Murrow, an unknown officer and Dr. Muller on the right in the second photo.
Thursday August 16 AFA meeting featured speaker was Dr. Paul Muller.
Dr. Muller was born and raised in Lawrenceburg, IN and received his pre-med
education at Notre Dame. He graduated from St. Louis University in 1940 and
joined the Army as a 1st Lt. in June 1941. He was later assigned to the 61st
Troop Carrier Group and ultimately assigned to the 9th Troop Carrier Command
Headquarters as Executive Surgeon at Grantham, England. Dr, Muller was heavily
involved with the air evacuation logistics of wounded troops following the D-Day
invasion of Normandy, and visited the Buchenwald POW camp following its
liberation in 1945.
James Peters M/Sgt USAF (Ret.)
The May 17th AFA meeting guest speaker was James Peters, chapter member and museum volunteer. Jim was drafted into the Army in February 1943 and transferred into the Army Air Force. He was assigned to the 99th Bomb Group 348 Bomb Squadron and flew 27 missions before VE Day. He was discharged in October 1945 and re-enlisted January 1948 for a two year tour in Alaska and was reassigned to the 92nd Bomb Group as a B-29 ground crew member. He trained for conversion to the B-36 aircraft and was assigned to the 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing for RB/GRB-36 aircraft maintenance. Jim was promoted to Left Wing Chief and to Dock Chief.
The February 22, 2007 featured speaker was Zack Ellison, former USMC C-130 crewmember who served in Vietnam. Zack also a recipient of the 2006 Honoring Veterans Award is a tremendous supporter of veterans, and those currently serving in the Armed Services. Pictured on the left is Zack in front of the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans. He was one of the prime movers in getting this unique and moving memorial built.
Jim Alvis was the guest speaker at the November 16, 2006 AFA Chapter #288 quarterly meeting. Jim, a former member of the 71st Special Operations Squadron, Gunships, Vietnam and museum volunteer recounted the history of the 71st Squadron from World War II through present. Some former 71st members were on hand along with regular AFA Chapter #288 members.
Frank J. Biehle was the guest speaker at the August
17, 2006 AFA Chapter #288 quarterly meeting.
Frank's older brother Charles, also known as "Gene", was a bombardier on B-29s in India during WW II. Later, Gene trained as a navigator and flew on C-119s with the 434th Troop Carrier Wing at Bakalar Air Force Base for many years. Gene retired from Grissom Air Force Base as a Lt. Colonel in the early 1970s.
The May 18, 2006 AFA Chapter #288 meeting featured guest speaker, Norm Davis a W.W.II fighter pilot with the 345th Fighter Group. He flew the P-51 in the same Fighter Group that Lt. John Bakalar was assigned to. The former air base was named after John Bakalar. Norm pictured at the Museum prior to the AFA meeting. Chaplain Dick Yeaton, Norm Davis and Jim Sellars at the Chapel.
Pictured above on the left are Tom Eisenhuth, Indiana State AFA President, Bob Goedl AFA Chapter 288 President and Bill Howard, AFA Great Lakes Region President (Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky) presenting chapter 288 an award. In the photo on the right are former B-24 pilots Bob Kirk, museum volunteer and Robert Palmer, chapter guest speaker. These photos were taken at the February 2006 AFA Chapter 288 meeting at the Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck Memorial Chapel.
February 16, 2006 guest speaker was Robert W. Palmer, M.D., a retired Indianapolis physician attempted to enlist in the Army on December 8, 1941, but his enlistment was delayed until March, 1942. He was thrilled to train as an aviation cadet and eventually learned to fly P-40 and P-51fighters. “We were hotshots.” Because the Pacific theatre needed more B-24 bomber pilots than fighter pilots, he was transferred to the bombers. As soon as he qualified as a B-24 pilot, he was sent to New Guinea where he joined the 400th Bomb Squadron, 90th Bomb Group (Jolly Rogers), of the 5th Air Force.
Bob remained with this group until the end of the war, having completed a remarkable 175 missions. “I was there because they liked me.” Actually, Bob had the most combat and instrument hours, so they kept him to become an instrument instructor pilot. The 90th Bomb Group island hopped across the Pacific, ending up at le Shima where they were preparing for the invasion of Japan. Following the end of the war, he completed his undergraduate degree and went on to medical school and a successful career.
November 16, 2005 AFA Chapter #288 guest speaker John E. Walker, W.W.II P-38 pilot and former POW.
John E. Walker was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from high school he enrolled at Cornell University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. John also joined the ROTC. In 1942 after two years of college, John joined the U.S. Army and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Program. Camp Atterbury, Indiana was his first stop for processing and testing, then on to Southern California to start pilot training. Upon receiving his wings, John was shipped to France where he flew the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. On his 38th mission his plane was shot down and parachuted into a farmer's field where he was promptly captured by the Germans and sent to a POW camp. The Russians liberated the camp in August 1944. The War was over. John was discharged in October 1944 from Camp Atterbury
The August 18th AFA meeting featured Colonel Kenneth L. Weber, USAF (Ret.) who was assigned to the AC-47 "Puff the Magic Dragon" detachment Bien Hoa Vietnam. Ken often flew with John Levitow, who was awarded the Medal of Honor during action in Vietnam. The meeting is open to the public.
August 2005 AFA Chapter #288 featured speaker Colonel Kenneth Weber. In the photograph second from the left is Chapter President Bob Goedl accepting a copy of Col. Weber's book "What the Captain Really Means" for the chapel library. The photo on the right is of Chapter #288 Secretary Jim Alvis a former AC119 gunship crewmember with Col. Weber a former AC-47 gunship crewmember.
The featured speaker for the February 17th AFA meeting was David W. Brown a former Air Force food service airman. David, of North Vernon, Indiana enlisted in the Air Force in March 1989 and served until August 1992. Following Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas he attended Food Service Cook School at Lowery Air Force Base, Colorado. His first assignment was the Flight Line Kitchen at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina where he prepared in-flight and box lunches for crews and troops on joint service maneuvers. He was selected as a member of the Humanitarian Disaster Response Team and responded to several natural disasters. In the early 1990's he deployed to the Country of Oman on a thirty day field exercise to test pre positions stores of equipment and food stuffs. He also deployed to the Middle East during operation "Desert Shield". David is married and has a seven year old son and is currently in the promotional products business with his father-in-law.
Photos of David Brown during his Air Force service and at the Chapel with his AFA meeting presentation.
Don Bryan a W.W. II U.S. Navy veteran was the featured speaker at the November 18, 2004 AFA Meeting. His presentation was of his time as a Martin PBM-3C Mariner aircraft crew member.
Photos of Don Bryan at the Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck Memorial Chapel during the AFA meeting. Chapter #288 President Robert Goedl presents Don with a picture of a PBM in action. Don as he
The Thursday August 26 2004 AFA meeting featured Harry E. Thompson as guest speaker. Harry was a former member of the USAF Combat Control Team assigned to the 434th Troop Carrier Wing, Bakalar Air Force Base during 1962-1965.
Harry E. Thompson is second from the left in the first photo as the Combat Control Team prepares to jump from a 434th C-119G #985. The second photo is of the team doing a little PT. The middle photo is of Colonel (Ret.) Chuck Richardson and Harry Thompson both former Control Team members. A special Control Team cake was presented to Harry. Mr. & Mrs. Petro of F.C. Tucker/Wagner Realtors were presented with the AFA Community Partner Plaque by AFA Chapter #288 President, Bob Goedl.
The May 2004 AFA meeting featured guest speaker Lt. Colonel Gregory L. DeMaio, Commander of the 434th Maintenance Squadron at Grissom Air Reserve Base. Lt. Col. DeMaio a 1981 graduate of Norwich University was commissioned a second lieutenant and entered missile combat crew operations training at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. He earned his missile badge in 1982, and was assigned to the 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, MO., as an ICBM combat crew commander. Lt. Col. DeMai remained on active duty for 11 years with assignments in missile operations, missile maintenance, war plans and munitions maintenance before separating from active duty in 1992. He joined the Air Force Reserve's 908th Airlift Wing in May1994 and entered the air reserve technician program in January 1996 as a maintenance officer trainee in the 908th Logistics Group, at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. He was then reassigned to his present assignment as Aircraft Maintenance Manager Grissom ARB, IN.
Major General Mark Pillar on the left and on the right Major General John Hoff (Ret.), former 434th Commander were in attendance.
Exterior and interior view of the Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck Memorial Chapel where Columbus-Bakalar Chapter 288 meets. The chapel is the only remaining 1942 barracks building which was converted to a Chapel during the Korean War. The chapel was completely renovated by the museum volunteers for special event use and as a living museum. The chapel is part of the Museum, Chapel and Bakalar Green complex at the Columbus Indiana Municipal Airport.
SSGT Robert Barnes and Elizabeth Petro
The February 19, 2004 AFA Meeting featured speakers were SSGT Robert Barnes the local area Air Force Recruiter who gave an update on current Air Force opportunities and Elizabeth Petro with the Veterans Story projects of Senator Richard Lugar's office.
Bernie Heitz speaking at the Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck Memorial Chapel, Bernie during WWII in his P-38 and Bernie with his son Pat.
The November 20, 2003 AFA Meeting featured speaker was Bernie Heitz, a native of Madison, Indiana. Bernie applied for the Army Aviation Cadet program at Freeman Field Seymour, Indiana and entered the Army Air Corps in 1943. He was completing his training as a photo recon pilot of P-38's at Coffeyville, Kansas when the war ended. Following the war he joined the Kentucky Air National Guard at Louisville, Kentucky where he flew P-51s and F-86 Sabre jets for 12 years. Bernie's love of aviation continues to this day. He has flown a wide variety of aircraft, has accumulated well over 10,000 hours. He has served on the Board of the Madison Airport for 40 years and still flies his Piper Comanche regularly. Bernie and his wife have six grown children, all of whom graduated from Indiana University.
During the 21 August 2003 Chapter 288 AFA meeting at the Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck Memorial Chapel, William Jones, AFA Chapter 143 Vice President, the guest speaker on the topic "Hiroshima and Nagasaki Photographs" presents Chapter 288's, John Walter photographs of the two bombed out cities for the museum archives.
The Thursday, 15 May 2003 meeting featured guest speaker Bill Grider. His topic "Atlantic Crossing" the adventures of he and his single engine Piper aircraft crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
Colonel James A. Humbert, INANG (Ret.)
The Thursday, February 20, 2003 meeting featured guest speaker James A. Humbert. His "Target Oil-Target Victory" presentation focused on the WWII bombing missions on the German synthetic oil production sites. The bombing missions were to target that production and transport networks. Some of Colonel Humbert's military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster.
Charles W. Arrington
Thursday November 2, 2002 AFA meeting featured guest speaker Charles W. Arrington, "Wartime Bowman Field." The presentation covered the major participants at Bowman Field during World War II starting with the 46th Bombardment Group, succeeded by the First Troop Carrier Command, and concluding with the field as a convalescent center.
The Thursday August 15, 2002 AFA meeting featured guest speaker George S. Robbins. George flew T-6, B-25, B-26, B-36, C-45, T-33, B-47, B-52, F-102, B-58 and O-2's. He served from 1950 to 1974 with a tour in Vietnam among his many assignments.
George Robbins on the left next to an O-2 aircraft in Vietnam, receiving an award and a current photo.
On Thursday May 16, 2002, special guest speaker was William R. Grider, DDS who planed a North Atlantic Crossing in his single engine Piper Turbo Arrow III in June 2002.
Dr. William Grider and his Piper Turbo Arrow III
Chaplain Richard Yeaton delivers the invocation at a recent AFA meeting at the museum. AFA Chapter President, John Walter introduces the meeting's featured speaker, Bruce Dalton. Bruce a CG-4A Glider pilot talking about the World War II Glider Pilots and their missions. The after meeting reception.
Jim Alvis, former 71SOS member and 71SOS web site webmaster presents the 71SOS story to AFA members.
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firstname.lastname@example.org Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum
4742 Ray Boll Boulevard Columbus, Indiana 47203