Before I go into a historical story I want to let everyone know last Saturday at the District 1A 1B meeting in Pryor OK our Commander Charlie “Doc” O’Leary was, by acclamation, installed again as Commander of District 1B. This reflected great honor on Post 142 and its leadership. Post 142 was also recognized having 100% participation. Salute Commander and Post 142.
I was working at Fort Polk Louisiana in 2000. It is the home of the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). Several branches of the military train together in the massive area outside Leesville. While this was right before 9-11 the training was invaluable in the future. I was familiar with the A-10 (Assault) me being a USAF flyboy and all. One day I got the see it action. It has a strange and unique whine to the two rear mounted jet engines, turns on a dime. It is also called “The Tank Killer” doings incredible destruction to Saddam’s tank forces.
Today in 1972 marked the first flight of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (a.k.a. “Warthog”). The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American twin-engine, straight wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. It is the only United States Air Force production aircraft designed solely for close air support, including attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets with limited air defenses.
The A-10 was designed around the 30mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon that is its primary armament. The A-10’s airframe was designed for durability with titanium aircraft armor to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems, enabling it to absorb a significant amount of damage and continue flying. The A-10A single-seat variant was the only version built, though one A-10A was converted to an A-10B twin-seat version. In 2005, a program was begun to upgrade remaining A-10A aircraft to the A-10C configuration. The A-10’s official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt of World War II, a fighter that was particularly effective at close air support.
Its secondary mission is to provide airborne forward air control, directing other aircraft in attacks on ground targets. Aircraft used primarily in this role are designated OA-10. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10’s service life may be extended to 2028, though there are proposals to retire it sooner.
Now from the air to the sea. Our favorite “Coastie” Babo Carter was honored this week along with a few other dignitaries at the Heroes and Legends banquet in Pawhuska. Babo and his wonderful wife Sherry have done so much for the community. They painted up the Caboose at the Depot, but he is being recognized for the consistent program of placing flags in the cemetery for those who have served. I love when those who don’t want the recognition get it anyways. Congratulations Babo and Sherry!
Get yours now! The Department of Oklahoma in OKC has Legion 100th Anniversary coins for sale at $15 each. I got my 10 coins and they are beautiful (already awarded five of them to special folks in my life). I will continue to distribute mine to folks who have a special meaning in my life. Also, please participate in our rifle raffle. Carl Blue has set up opportunities at the NAPPA Store (Thanks to the Breedloves) and The Hominy Pawn Shop.
Next Legion Meeting will be Thursday May 17, 1900 hrs. Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in May are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy with always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things must be postponed (like freezing weather). If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.