In Remembrance of Brigadier General Heinie Aderholt
A lovely ceremony for Heinie Friday morning inside a packed room as the story here says. The weather was lovely all day, so too bad they decided the night before to move the ceremony inside. They had also scheduled a fly by that got scrubbed also.
Short program but very inspirational. Just remarks by Kue Chaw of Hmong Coalition and by USAF C/S Norton Schwartz -- his speech was very fitting and very comprehensive even in its brevity.
Lovely full blown reception afterwards in same room, and they ran a slide show over and over with several photos of Heinie at all stages of his career and life.
Since I spent much of the time beforehand trying to hook up my laptop and get wi-fi and set up Skype for some of you, in the back of the room, I didn't get the chance to introduce myself to Ann beforehand, and by the time I'd talked to some of the other guests right around me afterwards, she apparently had already left. I called and left her a voice mail message later Friday afternoon. I will call again Monday or Tuesday and see if I can get her on the phone directly and apologize and express kindest sympathies from all of you by name.
I did get to meet Heinie's cousin Robert the Congressman from Alabama and passed on all sympathies from "the guys halfway around the world wishing they could be here." Very likeable and conversational and humble fellow. I managed to see the one minute speech in the floor of the House he gave earlier this week on C SPAN. It may be up on youtube also, you may want to check.
Sorry I could not connect with you guys via Skype beforehand. But the Air Force had two videographers taping the entire ceremony, and General Secord says ACA will be making CDs of the ceremony available, so I will call Jennifer Tuesday morning in ACA office and see how quickly I can get CDs. I will post one to all you guys here and put on facebook and get one or more out to Dick Graham either soon or when I travel next to BKK next month or so.
Just a couple of pix here.
One of General Secord (in his new "blimp" look) with Steve Patten and retired Army and Air America® chopper pilot Bob Caron -- in white shirt and shorts. Caron is USMA '56 (Schwartzkopf classmate) and remembers Izzy and Bob Moberg RIP among lots of other AA colorful characters.
Also met Kit Carson #3 from JUSMAG days under Heinie -- first time I'd met him, I thought maybe he was THE Kit Carson who co-started MITRAPAB, but he said he was #3 -- some of us knew Kit #2 and Malee and Maleewan. Kit #3 said he was fat dumb and happy in JUSMAG when Heinie issued him an order "Go join MITRAPAB and tell me what it's all about!"
Others of reception and wide shot of crowd before the ceremony began.
Was able to meet briefly my hometown war hero and CMH winner Bud Day and his lovely wife as they were walking out of the club. Sorry could not get a very good picture.
Warm regards, Dave
Air Force, family and friends honor Aderholt's legacy
July 01, 2010 8:32 PM Angel McCurdy HURLBURT FIELD — Thirty years in the Air Force, countless awards and a room packed with family, friends and colleagues showcased the legacy Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Harry C. "Heinie" Aderholt left behind.
More than 650 people gathered Friday morning for a memorial service at the Soundside Club to honor the man many deem the father of special operations.
"It would be impossible to sum up even the best of his war-time stories today," said U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "Heinie was a role model of leadership and a mentor of combat airmanship."
Aderholt graduated from pilot training in 1943 and went on to serve in World War II, flying B-17s and C-47s. Later, during the Korean War, he commanded a unit responsible for covert air support to special operations including working with the Central Intelligence Agency.
Among his other accomplishments, Aderholt was responsible for the release of 150,000 with the Hmong Coalition. Kue Chaw was among those who gained freedom.
"I first met Harry in early spring 1961 near North Vietnam border," Chaw said. "The new generation will miss you. We now shall celebrate his life together and say thank you for your friendship. The Hmong people all around the world will remember you."
During his time in service, Aderholt received the Bronze Star, Order of the White Elephant, AFSOC Order of the Sword and was inducted into the ACA Hall of Fame in 1969.
"Heinie did not make waves, he made hurricanes," Schwartz said. "There is so much more that can be said about him. There is a living legacy of Heinie's efforts in so many military men. So now, I ask that we give him one last salute."
The audience stood and military men and women raised there hands in one last salute to Aderholt.
As crowds gathered together to reminisce after the service, many in the room said there would never be another airman quite like "Heinie."
He was a peculiar animal, but he loved flying," said Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Richard Secord. "He was the best combat commander I ever saw – and I've seen a lot."