AC-119 Gunships Mail Call

   Mail Call

"Mail Call" replaced our guest book

To post a MAIL CALL entry
email the webmaster at

Put Gunship Mail Call in the subject line
or it may look like spam to me. If you want your e-mail address posted so members can contact you please put it after your name and location. Your message will be reviewed and posted as soon as possible.

Please Take Note:
To help cut down on harvesting of email addresses I will use the word
at instead of the @ sign in e-mail addresses. Remember to change the at to @ when sending an email to someone you want to correspond with.

2015 Mail Call

May 26, 2015 - Ron Hinton Surgery over!

Thank you everyone for your prayers, concerns and encouraging wishes.
I just visited Ron for a few minutes in ICU and he is doing well. He should be back in his room soon. It has been a long day, but with God's help, we got thru it. Please feel free to share the good news. Hopefully it will not be to many days before we can return home. Travel will be so much safer now. I do not think we could have had any better care at home.
Hugs, Carol

May 24, 2015 - Please keep Ron Hinton in your prayers.
The following was sent to Gus Sininger by Carol Hinton.
" We boarded the ship at noon on Monday, Tuesday evening as we were preparing to go to dinner, Ron had a transient stroke with no permanent damage. Went to the ship's infirmary and Wed afternoon when we arrived in Santorini, Greece the ship Dr sent him to a private clinic for evaluation. As a result we were sent by lifeline plane to Athens, Greece. We are now at Central Clinic, a private hospital in Athens and I am able to stay with him. We were expecting to go home on Friday but with one last test, heart ultrasound,the cardiologist looked at his abdomen and found a large aortic aneurysm - large,bad shape and a clot. We are now staying since he cannot fly like this. We expected surgery today, now tomorrow as they are cleaning the kidneys. Please keep us in prayer."

Further updates on Ron will be posted as we receive them.

May 6, 2015 - Got word that gunship brother Neil Taylor has been fighting prostate Cancer since March 3rd. Results of surgery will be known tomorrow. Please send prayers and good thoughts his way that the reults will be good.

April, 20, 2015 - Shadow loss: 17th SOS FE Bobby Pritchard passed away March 3rd. Bobby's wife Wilma informed us he'd battled cancer & heart disease long & hard, with good VA treatment & support.
If you knew Bobby and would like to talk to Wilma (she's in Texas), she would be pleased to hear from you. Email Wayne Laessig at and he'll provide her contact information.

Feb 13, 2015 - McGillis Memorial service
A memorial service honoring Patrick McGillis will be held next Tuesday, 17 February at 2:00 pm at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 605 Clark Street, Deer Lodge, Montana 59722.

Dick Iversen

Feb 12, 2015 - "Cappy" has left Us

Fellow "Stingers," Patrick McGillis has raised the gear for takeoff and has landed at a much better place than earth. He died about 0800 Mountain Time in Missoula's St. Patrick's Hospital following 14 days of fighting a severe stroke.

He was a great man by every measure of merit; as a father, a soldier and a countryman. He will be missed but we will see him again. The best is yet to come.

More details of his service when available.

VR, Iver

Feb 8, 2015 - Latest on Patrick McGillis - The Captain "Cappy" (as family & friends in Montana call him) had a day of rest yesterday.

He was given another CScan that shows damage is substantial; with signs of a severe stroke. He clearly has lost much of his left side and it's Impossible to tell about speech recovery but the part of his brain affected includes much of the area controlling speech.

At the moment things are looking pretty tough for Patrick. Right now we ask that all of you keep sending prayers for a miracle.


Feb 6, 2015 - A note from one of Col Terry's Gunners - I can't believe we lost Terry, I just talked to him this last year. By the way this is Dan Jensen, I was one of the gunners on Terry and Ben Collins crew in 70-71 at DaNang.
I just made contact with Terry about 4 years ago after all those years and we talked about getting together. He never mentioned anything to me about having cancer, in fact he sounded so good on the phone and we talked about his family and how proud he was of them. We talked about Ben and that he had made contact with him after quite a while not talking to him. He said he wanted to thank me for getting him and Ben back together again, and that made me feel so good. Man I am just sick to my stomach that he is gone.
I told Bob Hamorsky about Terry's passing and he was in tears. Bob was one of the other gunners on our crew and I tried to call Ben and got no answer, I am hoping he calls me back so we can talk about what a GREAT MAN he was. I already miss the sound of his voice. What a great pilot and friend he was. I thanked him and Ben both for getting us all home safe and sound! He did and always will mean so much to me and he will always be my friend and he will always be LT. Terry Bott to me!! I loved that man and always will. Thank You for letting us know about our friend.

Dan Jensen 18th SOS

Feb 6, 2015 - Better Day For Patrick McGillis

Update from Dick Iversen - Well, it wasn't quite St. Patrick's Day but damned close. Shortly before noon today, following a bed sheet change, a cloth bath and readjustment of about 36 wires, cords and plugs, Patrick opened his eyes and looked right at me and smiled. I spoke to him quietly and he continued to follow me with his eyes and head movements. When I told him you all were sending warm thoughts, love and encouragement, he raised his right hand and gave me a clear 'thumbs up.' He acknowledged every comment or question I asked him with a head nod or hand signal (right hand only). I asked him if he agreed that Norwegians were smarter than Irishmen and he literally formed a big smile followed by a tear in his eyes. I asked him to squeeze my hand and - holy shit - does he have a grip in those huge meat hooks of his! He wrapped his right hand into mine like a set of vice grips. Even the nurse told me she had noticed his large arms and hands.

The 'grand salami' of the day would shortly follow when son Joey brought Patrick's 6 year old grandson, Keaton, into the room. Joey held Keaton in front of Patrick and Keaton said, "Hi Cappy, I love you!".... and then blew his grandpa a kiss. Patrick smiled slightly, raised his right hand to his mouth and blew a kiss back to his grandson. How many ways can you say, "Thank you God!?" There were about 5 of us in the room at the time and we emptied two boxes of Kleenex.

This was, indeed, a much better day and the first time in two days Patrick has done anything but sleep, moan, grimace and tremor. He did go back to sleep today about 4 pm and was sleeping when Jan and I left at 7pm. Tomorrow they will do a CAT SCAN of the brain and they plan to leave him in the ICU over the weekend and make some decisions on Monday about next steps. My sense is that, if he survives this horrendous trauma to his body, and God we hope he does, the rehabilitation and recovery therapy will be long and hard.
I hope I am wrong about a long, hard recovery but in private talks with two nurses, that is the sense they provided me. Sometimes the reality of life is difficult to endure or understand. So, in the meantime, let us take the good news of this day with the spirit of faith in God's plan for Patrick and all of us. Remember - Prayer is heard and Miracles happen.

Cheers, Iver

Feb 6, 2015 - Terrence William Bott, Col. USAF Ret. - Obituary

United States Air Force Colonel Terrence William Bott (ret) died Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News. Terry, son of William and Virginia Bott of Pittsburgh, PA, was born in 1946 and grew up with his younger sister Janine in Crafton, PA before attending Duquesne University. Upon graduation in 1968, he felt an innate desire to serve his country and joined the United States Air Force.
He married the love of his life, Susan Marie Bott in February of 1969 and immediately they began their adventure together at pilot training where he met the second love of his life, flying. As a young pilot, Terry spent 3 tours flying missions over Vietnam in both AC-119 Gunships and B-52 Bombers. In 1971, while he was still overseas, Susan gave birth to their first child, William. After his service in Vietnam ended, Terry continued his service to the country and in 1974 the family added a second child, his daughter Kathleen.
Throughout his professional career Terry received many honors, and was chosen as the nation's first operational B-1 Bomber Squadron Commander at Ellsworth AFB, SD and served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Terry retired after 27 years with the Air Force in 1996 and settled in the Newport News area. He continued serving his country as a civilian working to maintain the B-52 fleet until 2013 when he decided it was time to spend more time at home and with his grandkids, Jonathan and Jaelie Bott.
Throughout his life Terry was a servant to his country, his family, and to his community. He had a heart for hurting veterans and the homeless and volunteered his time helping in area shelters. He will be remembered for his love of family and country as well as his quick wit and leadership.
He attended St. Jerome Catholic Church and will be honored at W. J. Smith and Son Funeral home on Friday morning at 9 AM before being laid to rest at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery with Military Honors at 11 AM. A loving husband and father, he is survived by his wife Susan; his children William and Jana Bott and Kathleen and Philip Edwards; his grandchildren Jonathan and Jaelie Bott; and two nieces Maura Wilson and Leah Roberts.
The funeral will take place this Friday 0900 at the Smith & Son Funeral Home, 210 Harpersville Road, Newport News, VA 23601 (757) 596-6911 followed by a graveside service (Full Military Honors) at the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery on 5310 Milners Road Suffolk, VA 23434 (757) 255-7217.

Feb 5, 2015 - Great friend and Association member Patrick McGillis is in Providence Hospital (St. Patricks) in Missoula following a severe stroke on January 29. Doctors and nurses are working round the clock to assist his recovery. Initial signs were good as he responded with head nods and hand movement. However, for the past two days, there has been little positive response. It appears that fluid is building in his brain and efforts to combat this are underway. His condition is very serious and family and close friends are holding prayer and watch at his side. Jan and I flew to Missoula on Tuesday and will remain with him and family indefinitely. I will keep you posted on Patrick's progression but in the meantime please send prayers aloft for our great 18th SOS 'Stinger' aircraft commander. More to follow.

Dick Iversen

Feb 5, 2015 - Michael Hutchinson wrote: One of the great ones has left us. Col. Terry Bott (USAF Ret) passed away after a long bout with cancer.
A long time warrior (Vietnam AC-119 pilot), a leader (1st B-1 squadron commander), consummate B-52 advocate (ACC HQ focal point on all things B-52), a bomber mentor and all around good friend,
He was, and will always be, my friend and solid sounding board! I will miss him deeply. Burial arrangements are set for this Friday, 0900. Tip one up for "T Bott" for all that he's given, and for all that he's done for advancing the Mighty Buff into the 21st century.
His funeral will be here in VA. He's survived by his wife Sue M. Bott, as well as a son and grandkids
Rest In Peace, T Bott.


Feb 4th, 2015 -This email from Ray Barradale's wife Sue somehow missed me while I was overseas. I'm both saddened and embarrased I didn't get word our sooner.

"It is with great sadness that I am writing to you to inform you of the passing of my husband Raymond (Ray) Barradale. Ray Passed away on December 29, 2014 after suffering a fall outside of his home on Thanksgiving. As many of you know Ray has been in poor health for the past several years. He broke 5 ribs and had a brain bleed, he put up a valiant fight, but in the end his body was unable to recover.
I would like to take this opportunity to let the Association members know how much we both enjoyed the reunions prior to his health preventing him from traveling.
Susan Barradale."

Ray was a great friend and a staunch supporter of the AC-119 Gunship Association. He will be sorely missed by all his brothers. Our prayers and thoughts to Sue.

January 20th - In case you are bored I have found the "thought to be lost" guest book (now Mail Call) entries from when we started the website in 1998. Missing were 1998-2004. You can now read all the guest book entries from 1998 to present. A few may still be lost due to a few crashes but I believe most of them have been rescued.
I stumbled upon them rearranging and tweaking files today. So much for my everchanging filing system.

Happy New Year to all!
Your webmaster, Chief Bill

We will post any updates as we receive them.

Your Association Crew

Some History  | The Gunships  | Photos

Stories  | AC-119 Cartoons  

Lead Crew  | Favorite Links

Resources | Association

Guestbook  | Feedback


pow_mia flag

Copyright ©1998-2016, AC-119 Gunship Association
All rights reserved