to the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group which meets at 9 a.m. (until 11 or so) on the second Saturday of each month. The next meeting will be at Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City (left on first light past Campbell on Omaha). Main door. No steps. Can't miss it. Lots of close parking. All meetings are open to the public. You are invited.
On September 13, Col Marty Mahrt who lives on a horse ranch in Custer talked about being an F-105D pilot during two tours of Vietnam. He was shot down on his 102nd combat mission, and was rescued by a Jolly Green Giant crew making the farthest north rescue of the war. He received the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and many more medals. Photo above shows him during the fall of Saigon in 1975. more
On October 11, MSGT Jim Blair (photo right above) of EAFB and director of the SD Air and Space Museum will talk about recent advising missions to the Afghanistan military. "I will be speaking on my overall experience and role as an Air Advisor to the Afghan National Air Force students teaching them technical orders and how to maintain and repair the aircraft, both fixed wing and rotary."
Black Hills Military Appreciation Ball Set for Saturday, November 1 more
On November 8, LTC George Larson and Paul Priest will talk about the Bridge at Remagen, scene of horrific fighting at the Ludendorff Railway Bridge spanning the Rhine River, as soldiers like Priest (and other veterans in our group) entered the German homeland. Say Larry Beezley, "Paul Priest of Rapid City was a scout, on foot, with the 9th Armored Division pushing eastward toward the Rhine. He spent a night alone in an abandoned gas station with a cache of German grenades and guns, which he took from dead soldiers, watching for a German advance west. He was alone, a listening post, and figured it was a suicide mission. In 1945, the area was littered with dead bodies. The following day, the 9th came thru on its way to Remagen and Berlin." more
On December 13, former USAF officer Terri Jorgenson of Piedmont will talk about her experience with US missle systems, before introducing a panel of women veterans from the Black Hills. She will also describe her project to record audio interviews of these veterans. Those who have a story to tell either on December 13 (or in an audio interview) should contact her.
On January 10, Army Brigadier General Ted Johnson, recently retired from the South Dakota National Guard, will talk about his experiences directing the Guard through the largest call up of SDNG forces since WWII. More than 7,200 troops were deployed to support the War on Terror. He is the only general officer in the SDNG ever to command a combat unit: the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2010 to 2011. more
As President of the Berlin Airlift Veterans Association, LTC Chuck Childs recently returned from a reunion in Germany and was interviewed by AFN Stuttgart, where Alan Herbert of Belle Fourche served as a US Army announcer right after WWII. MoreSpeakers, do you want a video record for posterity? Bill Casper will digitally videotape (onto a CD) a speaker for $25, just the cost of materials. Call Bill (342-0893) in advance of the meeting to arrange for this service. Or email him.
Military history discussion group? Contact Bill (above) or talk to him at the meeting if you are interested in getting together monthly at the Rapid City Public Library to discuss topics in military history, perhaps focusing on a book or film. Used books can often be had for little on Amazon. The library has a mobile computer project cart with Internet connection that can be reserved along with the room. The last Friday of the month has tentatively been set for the Hoyt Room there, 9-11 am.
Grace Childs' new book is available on Amazon (Kindle edition). My Memories of World War II Homefront. "I was born in mid North Dakota in the depression era and grew up in a large, poor rural family. . ."
Send us a message to be on confidential email list to receive monthly notices of meetings. Do you have a story about your military service that you'd like to share and possibly write down? We'd like to hear from you.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org