Welcome to The Cat House

282nd AHC Black Cats Guestbook

ray jennings - Thursday, 10 November 2016 10:08

I would like to thank all the Brothers of the 282nd AHC a Happy Veterans Day and a Happy Veterans Day to all that served out Country. Welcome home Brothers.

Heidi Atanian - Monday, 12 September 2016 18:49

Judy - Thank you so much for posting these pictures. As you know I was in the hospital or I would have gone down for David's funeral. Dave and I spent a lot of time together while in Vietnam. He was always so happy. I will miss him dearly. Be well my brother world has lost a special person.  

Judy B. Lee - Sunday, 11 September 2016 18:35

We honored the memory of David Howington on Saturday, September 10th, 2016. Below are some photos from the funeral, including a picture of members of the Black Cats in attendance.

Pictured left to right: Dave Parkhurst, Bob Tallent, Jody Summers, Bob McQueen, Danny Williams, Ray Jennings, Lennis Lee, Jerry Staggs

ray jennings - Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:16

Services for David Howington is Saturday September 10th at the First United Methodist Church in Milledgeville, GA. Visitation is at 1:00pm followed by the service at 2:00pm. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Vietnam Veterans of America, 8719 Colesville Rd. Suite 100, Silver Springs, Maryland 20910 or Georgia War Veterans Home, 2249 Vinson Highway, Milledgeville, Ga. 31061

ray jennings - Tuesday, 06 September 2016 14:08


Brothers I have some sad news to pass along. David Howington passed away Sunday night Sept 4th. I do not have any details but I think he passed away in his sleep. Walter Burch who was the CO 70-71 passed away August 16. 2016. Donna Elliot is recovery from brain surgery and is doing well. Unfortunately is having to go radiation treatment for lung cancer and we wish her well.

Christa Burch - Sunday, 04 September 2016 21:43

Hello to the Blackcat family –


It is with tremendous sadness I write you to tell you my father, Blackcat 06, Lt. Col. Walter M. Burch, USA, Ret., died on 16 August 2016. He commanded the Blackcats for a portion of his second tour in Vietnam between 1970-1971. He rarely spoke about himself, or his past, but he always mentioned the Blackcats with fondness and pride, and I know he’d made an effort to reconnect with several members during the last decade of his life. His health declined sharply in 2013, keeping him largely housebound, but he found escape, solace, and entertainment beyond these walls through his relationships with the Cats. Thank you for brightening his days!


If the Cats would like to read Dad’s obituary, you can find it online here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/walter-burch-obituary?pid=1000000181158311


If anyone would like to send condolences to his wife, Eydie Burch, she can be reached at Dad’s email address, whitebarktree@sbcglobal.net.


If there’s some kind of distribution list for the Cats, please share news of his passing there; I found a spreadsheet with a lot of separate addresses on his computer desktop, but didn’t know if I should write them all individually, or ask for a collective notice.



Christa Burch (daughter) and Eydie Burch (widow)

Raymond Caryl - Saturday, 18 June 2016 15:37

I was Catkiller 3-2 from July '67 to Feb 2 '68 then became Catkiller 4-2 and moved to fly the DMZ. I was pretty close to CWO Bart Coburn and knew CWO Dick Messer.

I wrote a story about your little O-Club and the day a Donut Dolly stepped on the Cat. You can fine it at our Catkiller website: www.catkillers.org.

Go to History Index, scroll down to 1967, then find the title: Captain Wonderful, The Donut Dolly and The Three Legged Cat.


ray jennings - Tuesday, 03 May 2016 11:11

Staggs is doing a lot better. The doctor has lowered his oxygen lever and according to Letta he is getting back to his old self and being grouchy.

ray jennings - Monday, 02 May 2016 16:57

Jerry is home but not doing well. His oxygen is still low. Letta's sister is a RN  and is keeping an eye on Jerry.

ray jennings - Thursday, 21 April 2016 16:30

No new news on Jerry Staggs he is still in the hospital. If you wish you can send him a get well card at:

Harris Methodist Hospital

Richardson Tower Room 476

1301 Pennsylvania Ave

Ft. Worth, Texas 76104

ray jennings - Tuesday, 19 April 2016 15:58

Jerry Staggs update:

Jerry slept well last night. Oxygen levels stayed in the 90's. Got a new Pulmonary Dr. yesterday, ran an overnight test and will run more tests today. His pain level is bearable (he has a very high pain tolerance) just needs pain meds once or twice a day now so he is getting restless. That is all I know for now. Will let you know more when I do.

jchrishaney@yahoo.com - Monday, 18 April 2016 17:52

anyone remember McBrides copilot and when he died ..or if...my memory is getting soggy....seems like last time I saw Mac his copilot had been KIA down south of marble mountain in the same vil I had gone on mission with he and crew ....maybe left door gunner had taken a round in the mouth ..cheek....could someone tell me their names....anyone know if Mac died of natural causes or accident ....wish I had found him before...crazy that I lost touch with so many good men for so long....for people that I never even told I was in DaNang and didn't really care....thanks Seabee Chris Haney

ray jennings - Monday, 18 April 2016 06:25

Jerry Staggs is still in the hospital recovering from his accident. He is still having breathing problems. He hopes to see a breathing specialist today to see what can be done to help his breathing.

ray jennings - Friday, 15 April 2016 15:04

Just returned from visiting Staggs in the hospital. For those of you who does not know, Staggs crashed his helicopter last Friday April 8th. He failed to unlock the tail rotor so when he lifted off he started spinning with no control. On crash landing he broke his back. He is having a little trouble breathing so he is hook up to oxygen. The doctor said today that they will try to take him off the oxygen so he can walk a little more each day and if he is breathing good the doctor hopes to release him Monday. When Jerry crashed he clipped the corner of his house and knocked the top of a tree that Letta has been wanting him to cut down the last couple of months. Letta said that was an expensive tree trimming. The xray technician after looking at Jerry's xrays, said it look like he had been in a war zone. Heck I told Jerry he was safer in Nam. I will post any updates as I receive them.

ray jennings - Friday, 25 March 2016 09:42

Visitation for Bill Phares will be tonight March 25 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home and grave side service will be March 26 at 4:00pm at the Evergreen Cemetery.

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter>

ray jennings - Thursday, 24 March 2016 08:47

I just learned that Bill Phares passed away March 20, 2016. Our condolences to Bill's family and friends. May you rest in peace Brother.

Randy Hays - Wednesday, 23 March 2016 01:59

got your message. Sent contact info. Good to hear from an old friend

Bob Wilz - Wednesday, 23 March 2016 00:06

Sorry Randy didn't leave my address e-mail it is bobwilz51@hotmail.com also remember you Fred Sepeda.

Randy Hays - Wednesday, 23 March 2016 02:02

good to hear from u. check your hot mail for my info.Nice to hear from an old friend

Bob Wilz - Tuesday, 22 March 2016 23:56

Randy Hays, contact me, I have been looking for you Buddy

Kelly Simmons Bethel - Monday, 07 March 2016 21:03

Just found this site. I am the daughter of Black cat 21, Joel Simmons. I went to 2-3 reunions with dad and mom when I was younger. It is interesting to see pics and information again. 

Thank you all for all you did for America. It makes me so sad, and mad, how things are going here now. Hang in there, guys.

Kelly (Simmons) Bethel

Bruce Strege - Monday, 29 February 2016 18:25

I'm all for suggestion Ray, don't know anyone in particular who would need the support so can we just send in an extra membership or two and let the keepers of the membership roles apply where needed?

ray jennings - Thursday, 11 February 2016 17:20

I just received news that Larry Geer passed away today 2/11/16 at 5:08pm eastern time after a long battle with lung cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with Linda and the rest of the Geer family. May you rest in peace brother.

ray jennings - Monday, 08 February 2016 09:35

I received a letter from Tommy Toborg (Gunner 69-70) with a great idea. Here is his letter. "To my Black Cat Brothers I make this challenge. Since we are mostly all old timers with many issues, Let's do this. All of us who can pay our dues to the Association, pay also for a Brother who cannot, yearly or life time if possible. We are all blessed."

I think this is a great idea. If you wish to pay the dues of a Black Cat Brother, let me know who you are paying the dues for so the Association can send them a Membership card.

D Jarvis - Sunday, 07 February 2016 20:47

Hi there,

I was with the 129th AHC the last three months of 1971 and was crew chief on a UH-1B 65-09532 that came from the Alley Cats. I flew with it to Cam Ronh Bay on New Years Eve and turned it in at the Navy base. It was a Mike model when I flew it. I'm just wondering if anyone has any information/stories on it's history or maybe its whereabouts.

Best regards, SP-5 D. Jarvis

George Reischling - Thursday, 04 February 2016 18:19


I came upon this site while surfing the net and knew that the above statement would have special meaning for all the men who served with the brave and courageous assault helicopter teams.  Without the support that they provided many, many more American soldiers would have died in Vietnam. I served with 3/22nd, 25th Infantry Division out of Tay Ninh as an infantryman.  Fought the NVA on the slopes of Nui Ba Den twice with numerous firefights in and around the area bordering the Cambodian border.  After 5 months in the field, I was pulled to the 93rd Evac at Long Binh to work with soldiers suffering from combat fatigue.  Over the last 10 years, I chronicled my tour of duty and the response has been overwhelming.  With your military background, you may find it interesting. There are presently over Ninety 5 Star Reviews.

This is the true story of the fight for Nui Ba Den and the struggles and sacrifices that the soldiers who served their country in Vietnam endured. Thousands of Vietnam Veterans have proudly endorsed these memoirs. Please check out the website at courageonthemountain.com with the accompanying introduction and pictures and you'll gain a new respect for all the men and women who served our country during the Vietnam war.

I proud that you made it home brother! Thank you for your service and May God Bless!
George Reischling