We regret to inform the membership that Billy Hurst passed away on November 8. His obituary is on the "TAPS" Page. Billy served at H1, 1964-65, as a teletype maintenance specialist. He retired with 30 years of service as an air traffic controller and attained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. He attended the Montgomery Reunion.
Billy and I served together at H1. Over breakfast in Montgomery, we had a good conversation about that and his interest in website building. He asked me enough technical questions that I could tell that he was really interested in how this site is put together. He could have been a real help to our organization. Together with the loss of Joe Pyrdek, who created this site, we are losing too many people with the interest and technical expertise in website building. -- Geoff Legg, Webmaster.
We regret to inform the membership that our Webmaster, Joe Pyrdek, passed away last December. Joe was the creator of this site. His obituary is on the "TAPS" Page.
2023 is almost gone and we are planning another reunion in 2024. A plurality of attendees at the Montgomery Reunion voted for Rapid City, SD. The reunion committee is working to see if this is feasible. So far, we have had enough positive responses to make it a go. We had 50 people committed to attend the Montgomery Reunion. Nine people dropped out the week before and we were down to 41 people. It was a great reunion, nevertheless. The future of this great organization depends on having enough people to attend reunions. We keep the membership informed by email, newsletters, and this website. They are not substitutes for the personal experience of meeting the members in person and traveling to new and interesting places.
Here is what happened in Montgomery. Our guest speaker at the banquet was John Blumentritt, Col. USAF, ret. He served in Iceland as a rescue helicopter pilot. He told us how as a 32-year old Captain, he and his crew rescued the crew of an Icelandic fishing boat that had capsized at the height of a North Atlanic storm. They pulled it off with a mixture of skill, quick thinking, good luck and guts. Things started to go wrong right at the beginning when their tanker aircraft could not fly do to the high winds. They flew to Hofn to refuel before the search and rescue could begin. They found the fishermen clinging to the mast, the only part of their boat above water. Because of the wind, they could not hoist the survivors into the helicopter, so they had to be carried in the recue sling, two at a time, to a beach. The first two were near death and needed urgent medical care. They rescued four men and a backup helicopter arrived to get the last two. That one nearly stalled and crashed, but was saved by a sudden wind gust. They flew to the closest town, not knowing anything about it. It had snowed and the supermarket was closed, leaving an empty parking lot to land in. They radioed ahead for help and were met by an ambulance.
The Newsletters section of this site has been refreshed.
We can use photos, preferably with names, places and dates. Photos get reduced when they are formatted by the web program. Original photos will be archived off-line, available by request.
NEW: Send an email to the webmaster. We have a new address for correspondence. We will usually respond within one business day. The address is:
We have received a series of photos taken by Ragnar Sverrisson on October 22, 2022. They give a view of what H-4 looks like now. View the photos at our Return to H-4 page.