456th FIS – Newsletter # 7 – January 10, 2004 by Pat Perry & The 456th FIS Alumni Committee email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year to all 456ers, friends and supporters! 2003 was an exciting year for the 456th FIS. We accomplished all of our goals and have set some new ones for 2004-05. (see pictures attached)
Our goals have been achieved Last May we dedicated F-106 # 57-2456 at our 2003 Reunion held at the Castle Air Museum. Former 456th pilot Tom Dwelle graciously paid off our final debts with whopping $3000 donation. Tom’s Brother, Steve Dwelle, also jumped in with a $2000 donation to the F-4 Thunderbird fund at Castle. We are now fully in the black on the F-106 project and close to capping off a $5000 future maintenance fund. Thanks to all 456ers and supporters who donated your dollars and your memorabilia to save a historic aircraft and keep the 456th alive for generations to come.
We have been blessed in many ways with generosity. In October 2003, the CAM F-106 fund received a beautiful 456th FIS / F-106 wooden clock hand built by former 27th FIS Crew Chief Jim Gier of Pine, AZ. Jim said he just wanted to do something to express his appreciation for all the folks who worked so hard to save this proud aircraft. Jim’s Luther Clock features a three-ship F- 106 formation and a Dart shoulder patch etched into the glass front. Luther is etched into the pendulum and the mirror and cherry wood were recycled from prior uses in Jim’s USAF career. His clocks usually fetch $500 or more and his expectation was that the museum could sell it or auction it to raise funds. Former 456er Ron "Slim" Kollas suggested that we get former sixers to donate funds to keep the Luther Clock at Castle in the 456th Collection for all to enjoy. Within days, CAM received $175 towards keeping the clock ($100 from John Marcotte). CAM sweetened the deal with a special F-106 print offering (details later).
It seems I am always talking to you about money and donations. But unfortunately, preserving history can sometimes be an expensive proposition. Fortunately, I get to take a tax deduction on part of the cost of publishing newsletters when one of the purposes is raising funds for the non- profit Castle Air Museum. Many of you have offered to send money for postage and copying. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness but I’d rather see you make donations to CAM. The Alumni Committee will keep the newsletters coming and the web site maintained.
Your Alumni Committee also helped other museums acquire F-106 aircraft, parts, information and funding. We have worked with Pima Air Museum, Peterson Air Museum, Pacific Coast Air Museum, McClellan Air Museum, Yank’s Air Museum, Hill AFB Air Museum, and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. And we are still working with members of the 87th FIS Red Bulls at KI Sawyer Air Museum in Michigan. Former 456er and Red Bull Leland Nellist is one of the leaders of this effort. Check out their web site at http://www.sawyersixproject.com/ . I know some of you were former 87th FIS members and would probably like to send them a donation.
Finding lost 456ers With the much needed and appreciated help of Paul Ketchum and Lou Pizzarello from the MA-1 shop we increased our found alumni to over 260 former 456ers. We are still looking for people so see the 456th FIS Wanted List below to see if you can help us find them.
Many of our members added memorabilia to the museum’s 456th collection and provided pictures and stories to Bob Justus who expanded our web site at http://www.456fis.org . We still need more pictures and stories so please search your closets and attics and send us some history to record. We’ll make sure it gets back to you or sent to the museum archives if you wish.