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In Memorium
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National VHPA Site








To enhance and accredit the cohesiveness, esprit de corps, and traditions of valor of rotary wing aircrews that flew in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Era. To seek out, using whatever means available, individuals who piloted rotary wing aircraft in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam era and inform them of the existence of the VHPA and encourage all eligible individuals to become members.

Membership is open to all helicopter pilots who flew in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam era (1961-1975).

Next Meeting

Spokane Meeting--Sept. 10th

"West Siders" are encouraged to travel over to Spokane for the East Side Washington meeting on September 10th. It will be held at 1100 hrs. at the Timber Creek Grill, 9211 E. Montgomery Ave., Spokane.  The room is booked until 1400 or thereabouts. The meal cost will be covered by the chapter. Contact Dave Saunders at vhpa.wa.ch.pres@scattercreek.com to RSVP.

Events Calendar
August 6 Centralia Veteran's Museum's Veteran's Remembrance at 1400 in the Jensen Auditorium. Check with Allen Schwartz for details.
August 13 Special Forces Reunion at Crest Airpark. Check with John Combs at 206-660-2187 to coordinate.
September 4 Pacific Beach Parade with KXPB radio with static display as well. Details TBD
November 5 Veteran's Day Parade and Chapter meeting. Auburn. Details TBD
November 11 Elma Veteran's Day Parade—Members encouraged to attend. Details TBD

This link leads you to a number of chapter activities including the UH1 restoration project, special events and other interest projects.




Reference the UH-1, we have experienced problems with the cranking system of the trailer for attaching the hitch to a truck and vice versa. Mr Jim Fleming came up with a plan to convert to a hydraulic system with either crank or electric controls. A cost analysis proved the electric to be the least expensive at around $1200. The chapter offered to split the cost with the museum and they have agreed. We will also approach the hydraulic company about a donation to the effort in exchange for some recognition.

           Several of our members attended the National Reunion in Washington DC. The highlight of the event was the election of our own John Shafer to the office of National Vice President. Congratulations John, you make us proud. By the way, the 2016 Reunion will be held in Reno, NV from 5 to 10 July. Finally they are closer to us.

            Finally, here is a word about your chapter officers. We are approaching the last half of our second year on the job. We will need some new folks to take the reins in February. I will advise the members on which positions will need to be filled and give everyone a chance to talk to us with any questions you may have. Please give this issue a lot of thought.

The chapter coordinated the retirement of CW4 Joseph Long's retirement after 44 years of service. He's the oldest helicopter pilot to serve in Vietnam. Click here for the rest of the story.

Member Profiles

640px-Flickr_-_The_U.S._Army_-_Medal_of_Honor,_Maj._Bruce_CrandallColonel Bruce P. Crandall (Ret.), husband, father, explorer, pilot, Vietnam War hero, engineer, civic leader and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, addressed Antioch University Seattle’s (AUS) 2015 graduates at the university’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 21 at Town Hall Seattle. He shared insights about demonstrating social courage and the inner determination to choose the right path, which may not always be the safest or easiest route.

“Colonel Crandall exemplifies the definition of courage and bravery, not only because of the extreme danger that he faced during his military service, but also because of his willingness to face danger in pursuit of helping others and at great personal risk,” said AUS president Daniel Hocoy. “Standing up for one’s beliefs is difficult enough – doing so in the most extreme of circumstances is the true mark of a courageous leader and hero.”

The local chapter of the VHPA is proud to include Col. Crandall as one of our members.

Chapter Profile

The Washington State Chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) was founded in September, 2000 by Jack Salm, Jr. It holds regular meetings in Washington state including sites on both sides of the Cascades.

What's New?

Check out the VHPAWA Gear page to see our new Chapter Challenge Coin.


Check out the pictures and videos that show what aviators and their crews experienced in Vietnam.

The Washington State Chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) is a totally separate, independent entity and is not authorized to act as an agent, or representative, of the VHPA or any of the other chapters.

2016  Officers

President: Dave Saunders  360-456-6322 dave.maryann.saunders@gmail.com
Vice President:   Jim LaPenske 206-714-3283 jimlep3@comcast.net

Members at Large

Mid Term: Mel Latham 360-890-1798 mclatham84@hotmail.com
Senior: Dave Eck 253-447-4993 david@lighthousefg.com
Junior: Hal Thornton 509-829-0737 hnbthorn@aol.com


Secretary:  Bill Lyons 509-829-0737 hnbthorn@aol.com
Treasurer: John Schafer 253-874-1306 johnshafercpa@comcast.net
Web Master/Photos: Bill Vaughn  425-869-7411 billva@betav.com
Quartermaster: Bill Lyons 509-829-0737 hnbthorn@aol.com
Sgt at Arms: Jim LePenske 206-714-3283 jimlep3@comcast.net
Parade Coordinator Pat Staeheli 253-859-4185 pgstaeheli@yahoo.com
Chaplin: Padre Francis Jeffery 253-588-3478 fjeffery@aol.com
Photos: Dan Fox 253-531-8242 two-foxes@msn.com

Past Presidents

2000 Jack Salm Jr. Founder,  National VHPA President (2009)
2001-2002 Tom Wie   (had to drop out, Jack Salm reelected)  
2002-2003 Jack Salm Jr.
2004 Pat Staeheli 
2005 Dave Rosenkranz 
2006 Dick Glasgow   (Died Feb. 21, 2007)
2007 Chris Farwell 
2008 Paul Fleming
2009 David P. Eck     
2010 Frank Jones (Health issues Feb. 2010)
2010 Bob Brown
2011 Mark Hansen
2012 Mark Hansen
2013 Don LeMaster  
2014 J C Combs
2015 J C Combs

Electronic mail
    Webmaster: William Vaughn (Redmond, WA)
Please note: This website may contain information that the webmaster, VHPA or VHPAWA considers proprietary and confidential. Information contained herein shall not be used for commercial solicitation purposes, or any correspondence related thereto. Correspondence relating to commercial purposes or solicitations can be sent to the webmaster whereupon it will be forwarded to the appropriate VHPA or VHPAWA representative or discarded as they see fit.
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Last modified: 02/12/2016 10:12:07 -0800 (Zulu)