Friday, February 15, 2013

SoCal QOV Reciepient

Karim Slate: Vietnam Veteran

As a senior in Tri Valley High School in Alaska, Karim  tested and pre-qualified for Warrant Officer Flight Training  in 1970.  As a new U.S. Army recruit after graduation, Karim was sent to Fort Polk Louisiana for basic training.  His next stop after 12 weeks of basic training was Fort Wolters, Texas for primary flight training.  Out of 219 pilot candidates, Karim was included in the 76 that  passed and moved on to Fort Rucker Alabama for advanced training including instrument and tactical  skills. Having earned his wings and now a Warrant Officer 1, Karim was assigned to Cobra Gunship Transition at Fort Hunter-Stewart.

Karim’s stateside training complete, he was deployed to Vietnam and assigned to the 1st Air Cavalry, 3rd Brigade,  229th Battalion, B company as a troop ship better known as a “Slick” to fellow soldiers.  “Slick” was a term of respect and the label was one of admiration by his Comrades in Arms. A Slicks job description was primarily to insert and extract soldiers into operational areas.  The job entailed the mobile strategy of “ Find, Fix, and Attack” the enemy by tactically dropping off troops into key locations and retrieving the troops at completion of the contact .

After 5 months as a “Slick” Karim was assigned to The “Nighthawk” or “FireFly System. The Nighthawk  operation was designed to interrupt enemy movement and gather intelligence at night. The job was considered risky due to the illumination of the aircraft as it searched for enemy operations and was an easy target for hostile fire.

In April of 1972 the city of An Loc was invaded by 3 Divisions or 30,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars along with Heavy Armor, Anti Aircraft, and Artillery. The city was surrounded by enemy troops with no way to access the city for defense except by helicopter support.  Karim returned to his “Slick” duties  as he was assigned to insert ARVN( Army of the Republic of Vietnam) troops into the city to hold off the impending take over . Karim flew his troop ladened Huey on 12-15 sorties a day for 2 weeks at which time the enemy was routed.  The sorties after the decimation of the enemy began to decline and Karim was again assigned to Night Hawk duty until September of 1972 at which time his tour had been completed. He rotated into Fort Lewis,  Washington as a Cobra Attack helicopter in the 9th Division. After 6 months at Fort Lewis, Karims military service had wound down and had come to a close.   Warrant Officer 2 Karim Slate made his transition into civilian life again in March of 1973.

Karim had 1042 flight hours in Vietnam and was recognized for his service as follows:

Vietnam Service Ribbon with 3 stars
National Defense Medal
Bronze Star
41 Air Medals
The Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with the Bronze Star
The Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with the Gold Palm
The Presidential Unit Citation for the Battle of An Loc
The Distinguished Flying Cross for actions during the Battle of An Loc
Submitted by Barbara W - So Cal QOV

Thursday, February 14, 2013

NE Longarmers needed

We have quilt top makers in the northeast part of the country with quilts completed and ready to go but no longarm quilters available to quilt them.

If you're a longarmer in this part of the country and haven't registered on the website, please consider doing so here:

If you're a quilt top maker, please speak with the longarm quilters in your group, tell them about the work you do for our men and women of the military, how they deserve a Quilt of Valor and so much more, and see if they might be able to help us out.

Thanks in advance for your help,

Judie Yates
Longarm Topper/Coordinator

Judie Yates
Longarm/Topper Coordinator

So Cal Presentation 3

Jim Davidson: Vietnam Veteran

Jim was called to service in December of 1965.  After prequalifying for Warrant Officer Pilot Training School, Jim entered service in New York and soon was sent to Fort Polk, Louisiana for Basic Training.  Upon completion of Basic Training Jim went on to Fort Wolters, Texas for Basic Helicopter Training.  After successfully completing Basic Helicopter School. Jim was assigned to Fort Rucker , Alabama for advanced training where he was instrument rated and taught basic tactics for UH1 Hueys. On December 6, 1966 Jim was awarded his wings as a Warrant Officer 1.

Jim was assigned a Tour of Duty to Vietnam and arrived in January of 1967.  He was assigned to 1st Air Cavalry, 229th Aviation  Battalion, C Company as a Hughey Troop Ship Commander. A “Slick”.  His assignment was to insert and extract troops in the Central Highlands and Coastal areas of  An Kea and the Bong Son region.  During the tour, Jim racked up 1000 hours of combat flying.

Upon completion of his tour, Jim rotated back to Fort Rucker, Texas where he assumed duties as an Instrument Training Instructor from 1968-1969.  While an Instructor, Jim requested  an AH1G Cobra Transition at Fort Stewart in Savannah Georgia. The request was granted and he began training for a Cobra Rating.  While in training  Jim received a direct commision to 1st Leutenant.  Before completion of training, 1st Luetenant Davidson was requested along with 7 specially selected pilots to join Lt. Colonel James Booth  for assignments with the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry,  as a part of the 1st Air Cavalry. They were selected because of their skills and experience for special assignment  in Cambodia and Laos. As a Cobra commander Jim was back in Southeast Asia.  Jim continued combat duty in a Cobra but also saw duty as a Loach pilot as part of Hunter/Killer teams. Loach pilots would fly their aircraft into suspected hot areas to draw fire so that the hovering gunship could take out the hostile fire activity in the zone. The Loach pilot was basically bait.

In 1970, the recently appointed Captain Davidson was on Loach duty as a part of an operation in Cambodia when his aircraft came under hostile fire. His helicopter was incapacitated by ground fire and went down in enemy territory. Jim and his two crew members were now under attack on the ground.  Although unhurt, the three were avoiding the  enemy for 4 hours while two gunships fired at the hostile forces.
After 4 hours of evasive action, a “Hot Extraction” was made by a Huey after 4 attempts under the protection of the gunships. Jim returned to duty with a new helicopter the following day. His helicopter was recovered and 52 bullet holes were counted in the aircrafts fuselage. Loach pilots had a history of 60-70% casualty rate. Jim is proud of his record of no casualties under his supervision.

After two tours in Vietnam, Jim had logged  2100 hours of combat hours and
participated in 6 of the 17 Campaigns in Vietnam.

  In July of 1970 Jim rotated back to the States and began training in Armor School. Upon completion of school, Jim was assigned to Europe where he served as an Executive Officer, a Commanding Officer and an Operations Officer  for Cavalry Troops for 3 years.

Jim completed his military career in Alaska in 1973 after packing a lifetime of experience into 8 years of Army life.

During Jim's career in the Army, he was recognized with the following citations:

Vietnam Service Ribbon
Vietnam Campaign Ribbon
National Defense Medal
Air Medal with a V (Valor)
Air Medal with 57 Oak Leaf Clusters ( 57 Air Medals)
2 Bronze Stars
Silver Star
3 Distinguished Flying Crosses
Purple Heart  

Purple Heart Recipient

While serving his second tour in Vietnam in 1969, Jim Davidson was assigned  to Quan Loi Base as a helicopter pilot.  The base was subject to hostile fire at times but at the time of Jim Davidson’s injury there was a more aggressive attack on the base which resulted in a mortar attack and intense hand to hand combat with enemy troops.  During this firefight Jim was struck by shrapnel in his leg by incoming mortar fire.  After tense and violent fighting, the American troops successfully pushed the hostile forces back . Jim was treated for his leg wound at the base  after which he continued his assignment as a combat helicopter pilot.

Southern California Quilts of Valor was honored to present to Jim his Quilt of Valor
Submitted by Barbara Winkler

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So Cal QOV presentation 2

Archie Sanchez

Shortly after Archie's graduation from High School,  he joined the National Guard. He did his basic training in Monterey Bay, California in Fort Ord.

The next year in 1966 he in listed in the Army, where he attended Airborne Training in Cusseta, Georgia at Fort Benning. From there he proceeded to take upon Ranger Training in Eglin, Florida where he later graduated.

After all his training he was sent to Germany where he was stationed from 1966 to 1967. In October of 1968 he was deployed to Vietnam where he spent 18 months serving with the 196 Rangers. He returned to the States in June of 1970, because his father had been in a fatal car crash.

After his return to the US, he was no longer sent to serve in Vietnam and spend the last two years of his military career in Huachuca, AZ. He was Honorably Discharged from the Army in June of 1972. While in the military he was awarded the CIB Medal ( Combat Infantry Badge), the Army National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal, the Army Accommodation Medal, his Paratrooper Wings, the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and awarded the Purple Heart for being shot in his right side hip by an AK-47, and taking scrap metal to his body.

Souther California Quilts of Valor was honored to present a Quilt of Valor to Archie

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

So Cal QOV Presentations

Gerry Casman: Vietnam Veteran

Gerry was called to service in September of 1967.  During his induction, Gerry requested a helicopter program which was offered to qualified inductees.  Gerry passed the testing process and was accepted to Warrant Officer School.

He began his military duties in basic training  at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Basic helicopter training succeeded Fort Polk. Basic helicopter training was performed at Fort Wolters, Texas. This training was completed in 1968 at which time Gerry was given his new assignment to Fort Rucker, Alabama. At Fort Rucker he was instrument rated ,introduced to tactics and went into Huey transition. He was awarded his wings in November of 1968 and rated a Warrant Officer 1 .

Gerry was given a 30 day leave after training completion before being deployed to Vietnam. Flying Tigers Airline flew Gerry to Vietnam where he arrived on New Years Eve, 1968. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne, A Battery, 377th Division Artillery.  His duties were mainly Loach Support. Observation, Target Search, Artillery Calibration, Visual Recon, and any duty required by the 101st Airborne. Gerry completed his tour in Vietnam on December 29, 1969 as a Warrant Officer2.

Gerry returned to Fort Rucker as an instrument instructor. He performed those duties until his release in May of 1971.

After  4 years of Service to his country and 600 flight hours in Vietnam,
Gerry became a civilian once again.

During his four young years in the U.S. Army, Gerald Casman was awarded the following:

National Defense Medal
Vietnam Campaign Ribbon
Army Commendation Medal
13 Air Medals

Southern California Quilts of Valor was honored to present him with a Quilt of Valor

Monday, February 11, 2013

Washington QOV efforts!!

Craft Warehouse and Just for Fun Quilting in Vancouver, WA, joined together in an effort to support Quilts of Valor and the wonderful service they provide to our soldiers!

Craft Warehouse put together a packet of fabric to use to sew a 9 ½” quilt block.  Blocks were then turned in to the store and collected until there were enough to surround 6 of the “Stonehenge Stars & Stripes” panels designed by Linda Ludovico for Northcott.

Volunteers donated their time to piece the tops together, using classroom space at Marcy Shindler’s shop, “Just for Fun Quilting”!  Marcy’s staff also donated their machine quilting skills to complete these quilts!  Other volunteers made presentation cases for these quilts, sewed bindings on, etc.

Many hands make for quick work and within a month, 6 quilts were ready to go to the QOVF!  Currently, they are on display at Craft Warehouse but by the end of the month they will be in the hands of a service member or veteran touched by war.

The need is great for more quilts so Craft Warehouse has extended the program and block packets are still available.  They sell for $3.99 and depending on what pattern you choose to use, you can make 1 or 2 blocks from a packet.

 Blocks can be turned in to the Craft Warehouse Quilt Shop in Vancouver where they will be collected and made into more quilts by volunteers!  Whether you make a complete quilt or just a block or two, every effort is appreciated!

Sumitted by:
Debbie Turner
SWWA/NWOR Regional 2 Coordinator

Sunday, February 10, 2013

MSP Quilting Angels

Every Veterans Service Organization commemorates special days to include -  Fourth of July, Patriots Day (Sept. 11), Veterans Day - Let's add Valentine's Day!

Did you know - Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry?!

Quilts of VAlor

VAlentine's Day

Veterans Administration

VAlentine's Day would be a fun reason to gather, sew & quilt in commemoration of those who defend our freedom and for those thought so highly,  even seven centuries ago! Oh, of course!…there would be chocolate too!

Laura Harris-Gray is shown with her Heart-to- Heart -  Quilt of Valor,  a work  in progress, to be completed before Valentine's Day.

Laura is a member of the MSP Quilting Angels, Germantown MD

Submitted by Jeff Thorne

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pinehurst Quilters

I represent the Pinehurst Quilters in Riggins ID. I wanted to share pictures with you for your blog on a presentation made on February 4th to Doug R. of WhiteBird, a Marine Corps Korean Vet who was one of the first group to land at Chosin Reservoir back in 1950.

 He told me his wonderful story about his tour in Korea and thanked God he managed to escape with his life.

He told me that he would jump with joy when the Corsair's would fly over and start shooting and made a mental note that next go around he wanted to be in the air, not on the ground! He then enlisted in the Air Force after Korea.

What a man.

Sixty three years later he still knew names of his comrades and officers.
The quilt was pieced by June Gentry and quilted by Shirley Stills.

submitted by:
Nightfeather 'Pam' Bogan

PS- from the blogger - google the *chosin few*  It will give you a new perspective - I promise