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Published by BBYRA, 2016-10-17 07:30:34

October 2016

October 2016

Volume 25, Number 2

October, 2016

AirCorps Aviation Restores WWII Aircraft

Erik Hokuf was so interested in airplanes and aviation that by the time he got to high school he figured out
how to get a job at the airport as a mechanic the summer before his senior year. There, he worked an on-the-job
training program. So the second half of the school day he spent out at the airport getting high school credit and
working toward his airframe & powerplant license. He got his A & P license when he was 20. At that time he
already had three years of experience.
After apprenticing for Bemidji Aviation, Erik worked for a charter company in Minneapolis for about four
years. Through connections, he was contacted by Ron Fagen (a War bird enthusiast with a love for P-40's.) In
2004 he moved to Granite Falls and started Warhawks Inc. During his time there he restored and worked on a
couple P-40's, P-51, and P-38. The P-40 Aleutian Tiger won Grand Champion at Oshkosh!

In 2008, Erik and his wife, Sarah, moved back to Minneapolis. They started their own company: AirCorps
Aviation. It’s now a family affair that specializes in restoration, maintenance and parts fabrication for WWII

Luncheons are Wednesday, 11:15 AM
K of C Hall, Bloomington, MN.
See our website:

Eighth Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota Officers
& Directors as of January 1, 2016

President Vice President Treasurer John Ahaus
Steve Marks Dick Hill (179th FS) Gary Birchem 10548 Penn Ave., S
5121 Gorgas Ave. 934 Woody Lane 28790 Ivywood TRL Bloomington, MN 55431
Edina, MN 55424 Coon Rapids, MN 55448 Chisago City, MN 55013 (612) 720-8307
(952) 926-0148 (763) 755-3559 (651) 257-1550 [email protected]
(952)-797-2783 [email protected] almostaranch02@
[email protected] Vince Parker
38 Moonlight Bay
Spook Johns Dick Kaminski Gene Kretchmer Stillwater, MN 55082
5933 Walnut Dr. 6633 Xerxes Ave S 11206 Virginia Rd. (651) 439-8679
Edina, MN 55436 Minneapolis, MN 55423 Bloomington, MN 55438
(952) 935-3650 (612) 869-5978 (952) 943-3988

James Rasmussen Lawrence Sagstetter
18273 Fillmore St., NE 1696 E. Third St.
Cedar, MN 55011 St. Paul, MN 55106
(763)-434-3654 [email protected]

Frank Frison (447th BG) Past Presidents Ed Kueppers (AM)
William Herbert (96th BG) Earl B. Joswick (95th BG)

James Keefe (95th BG) Richard Postier (96th BG) Harold Rutka (34th BG) Dave Dahlberg (487th BG)

Don Zupan (379th BG) Don Bruns (379th BG) Larry Bachman (392nd BG) Don Kent (401st BG)

Clyde Thompson (490th Dick Kaminski (457th BG) Robert Clemens (15thAF) Al Anderson (ARDC)

Newsletter prepared and edited by Lawrence Sagstetter, 1696 E. Third St., St. Paul, MN 55106,
Phone: 651-776-7434, Email: [email protected].

“Deterrence through strength, global strike on demand.”



8th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016

President’s Report
of the Greatest Generation alive.
By Steve Marks
Earlier this year we partnered with HOME DEPOT
Thank you to everyone for a great airshow season. for a Vietnam veteran's home repairs. The home
Blaine's "Discover Aviation Days" was good. As had sustained severe water damage in the basement.
usual, though, we did have rain again on Saturday. HOME DEPOT supplied all materials and labor to
Wings of the North’s airshow 'Air Expo' on July repair the house! The veteran died shortly before
16th and 17th was a good event for us. the damage and his widow was thrilled the entire
basement was gutted, treated and rebuilt. I look
It was probably the last time we will see Dick Cole forward to working with HOME DEPOT on other
at that air show. He is now 100-years old. Still projects in the future.
doing well. Air Expo was the one event he really
wanted to be at this year. But it is getting more Remember those who have gone before and those
difficult for him to travel. And the summer heat is who are protecting us now.
hard on him.
We've lost two more members, Bob Clemens and
Calvin Garrison. Bob used to give Calvin a ride to -Steve Marks.
the luncheons when Calvin felt well enough to
attend. Bob flew 50 missions over Germany, Air Force Song
flying from a 15th AF base near Foggia, Italy. He
had a story to tell that always got a laugh. He will Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
be sorely missed. He was a great man and I am Climbing high into the sun!
honored to have known him.
Here they come zooming to meet our
Calvin had been POW of the Germans. He spent thunder,
around 14 months as a 'guest' of the Germans. He
had several bad incidents due to his hosts back At ‘em boys, give ‘er the gun!
then. But he was always willing to talk and listen Down we dive, spouting our flames from
to anyone about his experiences. I always liked
talking to him. under,
Off with one hell of a roar!
We (the 8th) have a financial problem. Our We live in fame or go down in flame,
biggest expense is the newsletter. The dues ($20) Nothing can stop the US Air Force.
are enough to cover the newsletter but very few
are paying dues. Because of this, the board has
come up with membership cards so you will know
when to pay your dues. If someone doesn't pay his
or her dues for the year, no card or newsletter will
be mailed to you. But we will keep you on the

I realize this may be a hardship for some but we
need to stay financially viable to keep the histories



8th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016

Chaplain’s Message Editor’s Notes

Airman's Prayer by Lawrence Sagstetter

Pilot divine, and Lord of all on high Jottings:
Thine are the starry squadrons of the sky!
Lead us whose wings for freedoms sake now soar, Thank you to Lloyd Flynn for always
Into our hearts thy faith and courage pour remembering my birthday in August with a
card. Lloyd also sent a card to me after the
Oh hear our prayer. recent death of my father. Very kind of
Father and friend, in whose almighty name Lloyd.
We dedicate our lives to freedom's flame,
Bless now our wings as on through space we wend. The past few months, the last few weeks,
Bless us who to Thy care our souls commend have been difficult for me. I cared for my
Dad, a proud WWII Navy seaman, as his
Oh hear our prayer. health declined over the course of the
summer. September 10 was his last day.
January 1942
He served on destroyer escorts in the Pacific.
“I don't see much future for the Americans ... it's Went from Hawaii to Okinawa, to Shanghai.
a decayed country. And they have their racial Then on to Japan. Dad was on the USS LSM
problem, and the problem of social inequalities Butner, as it escorted the USS Indianapolis
... my feelings against Americanism are away from Tinian Island after delivery of the
feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... first atom bomb. Japanese torpedoes sank the
everything about the behavior of American Indianapolis after leaving Tinian.
society reveals that it's half-Judaised, and the
other half-negrified. How can one expect a My Dad’s ship was one of many that plucked
State like that to hold together?” surviving sailors out of the sea. Once on
board, they would tell harrowing stories of
-- Remarks recorded by Martin Bormann, hearing their fellow seamen screaming into
published in Hitler's Table Talk (1953) the darkness of night as they were nipped at
and dragged under the waves by feasting

My Dad was haunted by those stories the rest
of his life. About 900 men died after the
sinking of the Indianapolis. The survivors
were less than 300. To overcome the trauma
of being part of the rescues, of hearing the
stories, my Dad made a point of being
extraordinarily compassionate to others
throughout his years – not unlike many of
you who are members of the 8th and attend
the luncheons when you can.



8th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016

More on the Dresden Fun Day Capper,
At Mission Briefing we were told the MP2
CENTER was Schultz’s Drug Store. At the target, we
had to do a 360-degree turn so as to
September 11, 2016, the Minnesota Humanities perform our drop visually.
Center honored 25 Outstanding Minnesota An error by the lead took us over known
Veterans for their leadership and community heavy flack positions and they damn near
contributions. Our own Don Patton was one of shot down old #867. We lost one and a half
them. Here is his citation: engines; We were losing fuel. Our co-pilot’s
oxygen supply was cut. We gained a new 2-
inch window next to the ball turret, which
Colonel Donald G. Patton. Army. Edina took out the electricity junction box, two
control cables and the intercom.
A piece of another blast struck me in the
Don Patton is an Army Veteran from Edina who side of my flack helmet, sending my
headset into the side of my head. The
served in the U.S. Army for 30 years, which bleeding may have subsided shortly after I
regained consciousness.
included 13 years in command positions with two I had no intercom. I could hear engines. We
were straight and level. So I just stayed
battalion commands. He served as Commander of where I was.
I learned from Vince Parker, “There is no
Unit as custodian of Nuclear Weapons for the bailout bell in the tail.” Ho hum. Without
enough power, we had to drop out of the
French Air Force. After graduation from the Army formation. Only superb piloting & navigation
got us home by ourselves.
War College in 1985, he organized, with Dr. Harold

Deutsch, the WWII History Round Table series of

conferences. This includes oral histories from WWII


Since retiring as a Colonel, Danodnswtuodryksofti WrelWessIIly. to
preserve the factual history

Don’s work through the Round Table includes

organizing and leading tours of European battlefields

and American cemeteries to educate and pay tribute

to American Veterans. The WWII History Round

Table has organized over 300 programs that

recognize, honor, and tell the stories of over

1,000 veterans.

Don, himself, was awarded the Meritorious Service
Medal five times during his military service.
Recently, Don was awarded the Minnesota Superior
Civilian Service Award by the Adjutant General of
Minnesota for his work with the Round Table and
raising awareness of Veterans’ contributions. He is
currently serving on the Committee for
Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Pearl

At right is a photo of Don Patton with Jack
Christopher at AirExpo in Eden Prairie.



8 th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016
And finally – my pilot, Bert Ward, said he

recommended a purple heart for me. But
because of the rush to return to the states,
nothing happened in that regard.

I began seeking the honor of receiving a purple
heart in the early 1980’s. In 1992, I got crew
medical confirmation of the injury. In 1994, 49-
years after the injury, the medal arrived by
parcel post.


- Ray Prozinski, B-17 Tail Gunner (From 8th Air
Force archives.)

Americans seize 1,100 tons of
Uranium – 17 April 1945

On this day in 1945, U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Boris

T. Pash commandeered over half ton of uranium at

Strassfut, Germany, in an effort to prevent the

Russians from developing an A-bomb.

Pseaasrhchwfaosrh Geaedrmoaf nthseciAenlstoisstsGirnotuhpe, organized to

environment in order ntoowpreavpeonttetnhteiaRl tuhsrseiaatn,sf,rom
previously Allies but

capturing araintcoyhms“iccciaertnectshieseatssr,c”ahnadps ltpahnuettytsi.n wUgerrtahen enimuemcteospwsialoersyrktoat
their own
were also

the development of atomic weapons.

Ode to Bob Clemens


8th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016

The Dr. Harold Deutsch

WWII History Roundtable

2016-2017 Schedule

We meet at 7:00 PM on the second Thursday of every month September through
May in the History Center at Historic Fort Snelling

October 27, 2016 Germany during 1930’s – Rise of Nazis in Germany
Henry Gole, author of Exposing the Third Reich from observations by Colonel Truman Smith as Military
Attaché in Berlin to expose the upcoming threat of Nazi actions.

November 10, 2016 The Dr. Harold C. Deutsch Lecture – Sentencing at Nuremburg
Greg Peterson, Founder of the Robert Jackson Institute, will discuss the International Tribunal and the
Sentencing as a commemoration of the end of the Trials in 1946.

December 7, 2016 75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor – Events at Minnesota Historical Society in St Paul
10:00 Ceremony of USS Ward Gun engagement in 3M Auditorium
1:00 Presentations on events of Pearl Harbor in 3M Auditorium
3:30 Marc Wortman, author of 1941, will discuss events leading up to Pearl Harbor
7:00 Dave Kenney, author of Minnesota Goes to War, will highlight the home front.

December 8, 2016 75th Anniversary of Battle of Bataan and Corregidor
Colonel John A. Adams, author of The Fighting Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, along with Veterans of
Philippines will discuss the attack of Japanese and Bataan.

January 12, 2017 Battle of Koenigsberg – Forgotten Battle of Eastern Front
Dennis Showalter, author with Harold Deutsch of If the Allies had Fallen and Veterans of War on Eastern Front
will discuss the often-overlooked struggle by Russians.

February 9, 2017 Nazi Hunters – Seeking Justice for perpetrators of the Holocaust
Andrew Nagorski, author of Nazi Hunters will discuss the search for Nazi Criminals that evaded capture at the
end of the War and sought sanctuary outside Europe.

March 9, 2017 Mobilization of U.S. Industrial Machine – Fighting a Global War
Maury Klein, author of Arsenal of War and Workers in Minnesota Defense Industries will present the
transformation of peacetime companies into a Military Goliath.

March 23, 2017 Minnesota-Born Unsung Architect of Army Doctrine
Mark Calhoun, author of General Lesley J. McNair will discuss the little known contributions of a true Hero
who transformed a fledgling fighting force to Victory.

April 13, 2017 Last Mission of “Jerk’s Natural” – with the 93rd Bomb Group
Gregg Jones, author of The Last Mission and Veterans of European Air War will discuss the dangers of the
bomber missions to destroy German armaments.

May 11, 2017 Final Major Battle in Western Europe – Battle of Bulge 7
Hal Winton, author of Corps Commanders of Bulge and Veterans of Battle of Bulge Will discuss critical
decisions and mistakes that resulted in a hard fought Victory.

8 th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016

8th AFHS of MN
2016 Christmas Party

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Cabaret Entertainer Heidi Ziman will sing classics and parodies.

Mancini’s Char House
531 West 7th Street, St. Paul

11:30 – 12:25 Social Hour
12:15 – 1:00 Dinner

$30 per person

Checks payable to 8th AFHS of MN

Gary Birchem
28790 Ivywood Trail
Chisago City, MN 55013-9634


Return this portion with your check to:

Gary Birchem
28790 Ivywood Trail
Chisago City, MN 55013-9634

Name_________________________________________________Steak Chicken Fish

Guest_________________________________________________Steak Chicken Fish

Guest_________________________________________________Steak Chicken Fish

Number of reservations________ Total $$_________.00
($30 per person)


8th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016

More Jottings:

Spook Johns is having some health issues. At
AirExpo in July, he was readying to fly a T-6
trainer plane. On his walk-around before taking off
he collapsed due to dehydration or some heat
stroke. Very lucky it happened before he got into
the cockpit of the airplane. It seemed he lost some
memory at that time.

Retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole assisted in But his wife says he has been losing memory over
dedicating the newly remodeled Doolittle Raider’s time. She got him to a doctor. He is diagnosed with
exhibit July 30, 2016 at the U.S. Air Force Alzheimer’s. For now, he is in the memory care
Armament Museum on Eglin Air Force Base, unit of Edina Care nursing home. They are hoping
Florida. to find him a room at the VA. Memory-wise,
Spook has some good days and some not so good
days. But the Alzheimer’s seems to be a permanent
progressive problem. They prefer no visitors at this

Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force
Special Operations Command, spoke at the
ceremony and highlighted the importance of Cole
and his history as one of the founding members of
the 1st Air Commando Group.

“To say that I’m humbled and honored to even be in
the same room with Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole is
an understatement,” said Webb. “The legacy that
these Airmen brought to the table is incredible. The
Doolittle Raiders and AFSOC have a shared heritage
– both composed of Airmen that are audacious and
willing to fly in tough and uncertain missions.”

The Doolittle Raiders trained at the then Eglin Field,
before loading 16 B-25's onto the aircraft carrier

sUuScSceHssofrunlleyt.eAvaftdeirndgi tccahpitnugreh,isCahiirncersaeftnaantdionalists

escorted Cole to safety. He later returned to the
China-Burma-India Theater to fly dangerous supply
missions over the Himalaya Mountains until April

It was after that when Cole was asked to be one of Heidi Ziman returns to Mancini’s 8th
the founding members of the 1st Air Commando Xmas party December 4 to entertain
Group as a pilot and engineering officer. He flew us. Here she is with Lou Martin at last
200 soldiers into Burma as part of the 319th Special year’s party. Nice tux, Lou!
Operations Squadron, taking part in the first U.S.
invasion into enemy territory and the first night-time
heave glider assault landing.


8 th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016

Wednesday Luncheon Photos


8th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota October, 2016

8th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota Membership


First Name Middle Initial Last Name


Street Apt. No. City State


Zip Code Tel. No. 8th AF unit or other service?

I want to subscribe for: 1 Year, $20.00_____ 2 Years, $40.00_____ 3 Years, $60.00_____ Other____

E-mail address____________________________________________________________________

Please send this form (or a copy) with your check or money order for $20.00 per year to:

8th Air Force Historical Society of MN
Gary Birchem, Treasurer
28790 Ivywood TRL
Chisago City, MN 55013



WWII Memorial, Washington, DC

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