Born: September 3, 1927; Navy Service completed on November 7, 1952 as Electricians Mate Third Class; Private Pilots License issued April 12, 1971; Joined Civil Air Patrol Hawker Senior Squadron 128 on May 1, 1995; Retired from Civil Air Patrol on May 15, 2017
Grade Promotions: 2nd Lt. July 1995; 1st Lt. June 1996; Captain May 1998; Major August 2001; Lt. Colonel August 2005
Staff Positions at Civil Air Patrol Hawker Senior Squadron 128:
August 1997 Scheduling Officer; November 1997 Administrative Officer; November 1, 1999; Squadron 128 Commander, Flight Release Officer; July 1, 2001 Administrative Officer; February 2004 Administrative Officer, Unit Membership and Finance Committees; January 2005 Administrative Officer, Records Officer; September 2006 Administrative Officer, Assistant Finance Officer; January 2007 Administrative Officer
Mon, April 3, Hawker Senior Squadron 128 observed a “Celebration of Life,” for the late Jeri Truesdell who passed away in Feb at the age of 103. The squadron was joined by Pacific Region Commander and former California Wing Commander, Col Jon Stokes, as well as Chaplain Maj Robert Harris, who delivered the invocation. Jeri first joined CAP at the outbreak of World War II, later training female pilots in the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service – or WAVES.
Our own Capt Jenny Lynn Burnett was instrumental in getting Jeri back in the air at age 100 in one of the Condor Squadron’s AT-6s and getting her to Washington to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
At the time, Jeri was given lifetime membership in CAP, promoted to the grade of Lieutenant Colonel and given an Exceptional Service Award for her wartime service.
At our regular Monday meeting on the evening of March 13, Squadron 128 was treated to a couple of special guests, none other than CAP National Commander, Maj Gen Joe Vazquez, along with his wife, Lt Col Leslie Vazquez.
Gen. Vazquez joined in a discussion of ADS-B, providing some valuable insight into CAP’s adoption of NextGen, the FAA’s overhaul of the National Airspace System. He and Leslie both also gave some candid and informative remarks about CAP and their own personal involvement in the organization. Gen. Vazquez commented that attending a squadron meeting was a refreshing experience for both he and his wife, noting that as national commander, he often exists “inside a bubble,” and reminded us that the heart of CAP is at the squadron level.
Gen. Vazquez has been National Commander since Aug. 15, 2014 and first joined CAP as a cadet over 40 years ago. Over the decades he has served as Group Commander, Wing Commander, Region Commander and is still a qualified Check Pilot Examiner. Lt Col Leslie Vazquez most recently served as the CAP’s National Standardization/Evaluation Advisor.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has produced a Runway Safety Video for Van Nuys Airport outlining major safety risks while operating at VNY. To promote awareness, all flight crews utilizing Van Nuys Airport are requested to view the short VNY Runway Safety Video.
Aerial reconnaissance and photography of disaster areas is one of the high tech services CAP provides to the nation.
In 1993 CAP covered the Missouri floods, in 2001, Civil Air Patrol documented the devastation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2002, CAP provided aerial security over the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tested the abilities of numerous agencies. CAP pilots flew over 670 missions in support of the relief efforts. CAP ground team members spent countless hours locating ELTs on boats and going door-to-door searching for stranded citizens.
The California Wildfires in 2007 brought CAP members out again as they searched for stranded residents, staffed command centers, and provided aerial documentation of the aftermath. In 2010, CAP responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster along the Gulf Coast and in 2012 responded to Hurricane Sandy which devastated the Northeast; many members responding were also severely affected by the storm, but continued to serve their neighbors.
Every year, CAP performs approximately 95% of inland aerial search and rescue missions as directed by the USAF. Searching for missing airplanes and lost hikers, CAP saves roughly 100 lives every year. Three of the most covered searches in the last decade profiled CAP’s capability to conduct searches over an extensive area while coordinating with multiple other agencies.
In 1999, CAP assisted with the search for John F. Kennedy Jr.’s airplane, which crashed at sea off the Massachusetts coast. In February 2003, the nation watched while CAP, the USAF, and several other agencies searched for wreckage from the space shuttle Columbia. The disappearance of famous aviation pioneer and millionaire Steve Fossett in September 2007 led to the largest search in CAP history involving several CAP wings and lasting nearly a month.
Capts Yudkowsky, Burnett, Ross and Daniels represented Hawker Senior Squadron 128 at the Bob Hoover Send Off on November 18 at Clay Lacy Aviation in Van Nuys.
Fifteen hundred friends of the legendary airman gathered to honor Hoover, who passed away October 25 at age 94.
Clay Lacy gave a moving testament to Hoover, as did numerous aviation luminaries and close Hoover pals.
The ceremony highlights included some inspiring words from actor Harrison Ford on the importance of aviation education for the young and a memorial flyover including two USAF Thunderbird F16s, Canada’s Snowbirds and a F22 Raptor accompanied by twin F86 fighters.
Hoover’s “Old Yeller” P51 Mustang peeled aways from a vintage warbird missing man formation.
Hawker Senior Squadron 128 held its annual awards ceremony November 7 at its Van Nuys Airport headquarters.
After a call to order and Pledge of Allegiance, Capt Alan Z. Yudkowsky welcomed Lt Col Gregory P. Chase and Lt Col Marc E. Cohen as the Squadron’s distinguished guests.
Lt Col Cohen presented Group 1 Awards to David Gauthier (Professional Development Officer of the Year), Daniel Goldman (Public Affairs Officer of the Year) and Yudkowsky (Outstanding Squadron Commander of the Year).
Promotions earned were:
Major: Larry See
Captain: Bill Daniels, David Grant, Bob Ross
1st Lt: David Gauthier
2d Lt: John Cassidy, Sherwood Richers
Other awards included:
Membership Ribbons and Certificates: John Cassidy, Bill Daniels, Alexander Daunis, Arthur Khayat, Frances Kwan, Dennis Lau, Arek Long, Seth Meriwether, Sherwood Richers and Bob Ross
Recruiter Ribbon: Alan Z. Yudkowsky
Leadership Ribbon: David Gauthier, Dennis Lau, Bob Ross (with Aerospace
Lt. Col Chase presented Certificates of Appreciation to 1st Lt David Gauthier, Maj Larry See and Capt Bill Daniels for pitching in to help Wing Headquarters in securing new office furnishings obtained courtesy of the United States Air Force.