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September 2021

Call To Order: The meeting was called to order at 1911 hrs. by Club President Jimmy Zocchi. The meeting was held inside at the Fort Douglas Museum observing all mask requirements. Fifteen people were present.

Wellness of members: John Armstrong reported that he will be going in for back surgery on 26 October. Everyone wished him well and a quick recovery.

Treasurer’s report: There was no treasurers’ report.

Events schedule: The club Steak Fry and Swap meet has been set for Saturday 16 October 1000 to 1400 hrs. at the Fort Douglas Museum. A signup sheet was passed around. Pete will send out an email blast to see if anyone else is planning to attend. As a reminder, everyone should bring a side dish. The event may be held outside in Cannon Park, weather permitting. Paid members receive a free steak. Steaks for guests will cost $12.00 per person. The Club Christmas party will be held at the Fort Douglas Commanders House on 4 December. The meal will be catered. Cost per person will be somewhere around $43.00 per person. More details to follow at the Steak Fry. Pete will arrange a walkthrough of the venue. A signup sheet was passed around to get an idea of who will be attending.

Meeting presentation: Club member Mike Haggen introduced himself and discussed his involvement with the Utah Honor Flight organization. A YouTube video was viewed by all and included the groups mission and specifics about the Veteran tours offered. The Utah Honor flight is a branch of a national organization that arranges for Veterans to travel via a chartered flight to Washington DC. They visit many of the war memorials built to honor their service. Each Veteran travels at no cost and the trip lasts two or three days. They are accompanied by an escort or “Guardian” to care for their needs. Guardians are frequently family members. Mike began involvement with the Utah Honor Flight group when he participated as part of the Utah Military History Group (UHHG, reenactors) sending off Veterans to Washington DC. Later he became more active and joined planning and organization activities. Mike volunteered to prepare the history of Vets and the necessary paper forms for trips. At one of the organizational meetings, discussion involved reaching out to Veterans in Idaho. This caught his interest and he asked if Veterans from Wyoming would qualify for a trip as his Dad is a Korean war Vet living in Wyoming. The answer was yes. Mike filled out the paperwork and he (as a Guardian) and his Dad were on the next flight to DC. They visited the WW2 and WW1 Memorials, Marine Corps, Korean War and Vietnam Memorials and Arlington Cemetery where they witnessed changing of the guards. Other memorials were also visited. So far, the Honor Flight organization has sent over 23,000 Vets on trips to the nation’s capital. Mike reported that usually there are two flights in the spring and two in the fall. The trip was incredible and highly recommended for any Veteran and his Guardian. A special thanks went out to Mike for his work with the Utah Honor Fight organization.

Jimmy Zocchi shared information about his time working with the Arizona Ground Crew to restore one of the buildings at the Wendover Historic Airfield. The Arizona Ground Crew has become the stewards of Building 819 and work on it once a year. Building 819 is referred to as the “Squadron Building.” Jimmy continued to say that this year the building was gutted and secured. Eventually, potbelly stoves will be put back in. They stayed on-base in the WW2 barracks and ate in the enlisted men’s mess hall. Each evening at dinner, there was a speaker. Jimmy also reported that the historic airfield recently acquired a small flight simulator which is in restorable condition. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Jimmy and or visit the Arizona Wing’s website.

Club discussions: Club member Walter Wood needs parts for a WW2 script GPW. Anyone with information can contact Walter (see the Club newsletter classified section for Walter’s contact info.) Jimmy reported that he has been contacted by the Military Vehicle Magazine to do an article on our Club for their publication. Pete Park will contact them with the info. Dave Vuyk reported that he has acquired a 1945 M29, Studebaker Weasel which he hopes to restore.

Fort Douglas Museum report: Beau reported that he finally has new volunteers who are currently being trained to help in the museum. Fort Douglas Day will be back during the 2022 summer. Beau continued to say that the WW2 Annex building to the west of the Museum has been demolished. Unfortunately, nothing (fixtures) was saved. Dark Fort Douglas walking tours are offered every Thursday night in October. Discussed are mischief, mayhem, murder and mystery at the Fort! The walking tours are $20 per person for ages twelve and up. Saturday 30 October is the annual Fort Douglas Cemetery tour from 1-4 PM. Volunteers are needed as reenactors to represent different characters during the tour.

Next meeting: The next meeting will be the Club Steak fry and swap meet to be held at the Fort Douglas Museum on 16 October 1000 – 1400 hrs.

Adjournment: Bob Boettcher moved to adjourn the meeting. Ruel Ipson seconded the motion, and all were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 2024 hrs.