Special ‘Plane Talk’ speakers for April 2017

By Robb S. Alexander Jr.
Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah
April 6, 2017

ROY, Utah — The Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, hosts a Plane Talk series featuring speakers related to the heritage of Hill Air Force Base, the United States Air Force, other military branches and many other subjects related to aerospace and the defense industry. Plane Talk takes place on Saturdays at 1 p.m. in the museum auditorium. Everyone is invited and admission is FREE!

 

April 8, 1 p.m. — Dick Van Allen, Retired U.S. Air Force – Helicopter Pilot

Dick Van Allen joined the U.S. Air Force and volunteered to work on helicopters during his service. Van Allen trained in Reno, Nevada, where he learned to fly an H-19 Helicopter in the mountains at 10,000 feet (even though the helicopter was not designed to go over 3,000 feet). During his career, Dick flew missile site support and rescue for seven years. He spent time in Vietnam working on H-41 and the H-43 Helicopters. Van Allen was one of the first in the Strategic Air Command to fly the H-43. During that time, three helicopters crashed, one of which Dick was on board. He continued his military career, stateside, before returning to Vietnam for a second tour as a detachment commander; during this period 59 numbered missions were flown. Dick retired in 1978 after logging 8,500 flight hours.

April 15, 1 p.m. — Lee Thompson, Retired U.S. Air Force – Pilot

Lee Thomson joined the U.S. Air Force in 1954. He has flown a total of 17 aircraft, seven of which were F-4s. The Hill Aerospace Museum retains six of the exact tail number and aircraft he flew during his Air Force career. Thompson was stationed at Hill AFB working on flight test with the F-101 and F-4; then the F-100 at Area Support and T-33 at Area Support and Base Operations. Lee was also stationed in Vietnam flying the A-1EH before returning to Hill AFB. Thompson’s assignments took place between 1963 and 1975. 

 

April 22, 1 p.m. — Dennis Howland, U.S. Marines, Vietnam Veteran

Dennis Howland served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a sergeant in the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. As a Marine, Dennis accompanied the corpsmen to provide security during his time in Vietnam. When Dennis returned home, he promised a group of Gold Star Mothers who had lost their sons in war that as long as he lived, he “would never let the World forget how important their sons were to the history of this country.” Dennis moved to Utah and dedicated his time starting a chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America and became the organization’s Utah president. Dennis strives to ensure every man who was lost is remembered.

 

April 29, Noon — Salute to Vietnam Veterans at the Hill Aerospace Museum

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