New Members
Third-Party Stuff
Other Contributions
In Memorium
Old News
Change of Address

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).

Future Meetings

   The Washington State Chapter of the VHPA will meet Saturday, 6 Feb, 2016 at Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, in Tacoma, WA.  The address is 1901 S. 72nd St, Ste. C-39, Tacoma Place Shopping Center. We have the meeting room from 1100 to 1400 hrs. Please come early, have some coffee, and pick up some chapter t-shirts, hats, patches, coins, etc. We will start the official meeting about 1145 and enjoy lunch afterwards.
his meeting is also election time for our chapter council. Please step up and help us operate this great organization. Your current council has served two years on a one year obligation. We need assistance and some new blood. Email or call John Combs at 206-660-2187 if you have questions or have a topic for chapter consideration.

Events of Interest

15th Medical Battalion -- First Cav Division (Air Mobile) Reunion
This link provides details of this event to be held in Olympia April 11-16.

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

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.




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.

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.

VHPA-WA  2015  Officers

President: J C Combs  206-660-2187 hooker44@comcast.net
Vice President:   Hal Thornton 509-829-0737 hnbthorn@aol.com

Members at Large

Mid Term: Steve Lodwig 206-930-8521 stevelodwig@gmail.com
Senior: Dave Eck 253-447-4993 david@lighthousefg.com
Junior: Bill Lyons 253-631-0371 bill60lyons@comcast.net
Secretary:  Bill Lyons 253-631-0371 bill60lyons@comcast.net
Treasurer: John Schafer 253-874-1306 johnshafercpa@comcast.net
Web Master: Bill Vaughn  425-869-7411 billva@betav.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/Camera: 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  

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.
Send mail to the webmaster billva@betav.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Portions Copyright © 2003-2013 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Washington State Chapter
Portions Copyright (c) 2003-2013, William R. Vaughn
Last modified: 12/29/2014 12:39:14 -0800 (Zulu)