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Taps: Tom Wolfe 1931-2018

From the Air Force Magazine website

Tom Wolfe, the journalist and nonfiction author who wrote the book—and coined the term – “The Right Stuff,” died May 14, at age 87. Wolfe’s book, published in 1979, stylistically chronicled the history and culture of US military test pilots, following their exploits through the end of the Mercury space program.

A film treatment of the same name with an ensemble cast, directed by Philip Kaufman, was released in 1983 to great critical acclaim, winning four technical Academy Awards. The book and film caused the US to re-discover its rocketplane-era test pilots, particularly Chuck Yeager, who Wolfe portrayed as the prototypical cool-headed ace and aviator, and John Glenn, who in the same year as the film’s release unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the US presidency.

Affecting a white suit and responsible in large part for the “new journalism” trend of writing factual stories in a novelistic fashion, which he called “literary journalism,” Wolfe also invented what he called “saturation journalism,” in which the reporter shadows his subject, usually a politician, for an extended period of time, to be on hand when major events take place involving that person. He also famously wrote “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and coined the terms “The Me Decade” and “Radical Chic.” —John A. Tirpak

The term “The Right Stuff” continues to describe military pilots. The film presented the stress of being a test pilot and the how these pilots handled it. 

Famous Veterans: Chuck Norris

off the internet

Chuck Norris is well known martial arts practitioner, and movie and television actor. But his martial arts training began during his military service.

Chuck Norris joined the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman in 1958 and was sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea. It was there that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck and began his training in Tang Soo Do (tangsudo), an interest that led to black belts in that art and the founding of the Chun Kuk Do (“Universal Way”) form. When he returned to the United States, he continued to serve as an air policeman at March Air Force Base in California. Norris was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in August 1962. (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia bio

Decorated Commander Has Just Been Nominated to Head Pacific Air Forces

From the Air Force Times website

Lt. Gen. Charles Brown Jr., who led the air war against the Islamic State before becoming the deputy commander for U.S. Central Command, has been nominated to receive his fourth star and be the next commander of Pacific Air Forces.

Brown has been deputy commander of CENTCOM at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida since July 2016. Prior to that, he served as the head of Air Forces Central Command since June 2015.

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Charles Brown Jr. Bio

JTF 5-0 formation in response to lava

Yesterday, there was a media conference announcing the formation of Joint Task Force (JTF) 5-0 in response to the ongoing lava emergency on Hawaii Island. BG Kenneth Hara will serve as the JTF commander.

Because the television coverage was very limited, view the entire conference here.

Check Six: Memphis Bell – 75 years ago

From the This Day in Aviation website


“Memphisbellenose” by Manassehkatz – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

May 7, 1943: The flight crew of the B-17 Memphis Belle completed their combat tour of 25 bombing missions over Western Europe with an attack on enemy submarine facilities at St. Nazaire, France. The bomber was a U.S. Army Air Force Boeing B-17F-10-BO Flying Fortress, serial number 41-24485, assigned to the 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy), 324th Bomb Squadron (Heavy) based at Air Force Station 121 (RAF Bassingbourne, Cambridgeshire, England). The aircraft commander was Captain Robert K. Morgan.

The daylight bombing campaign of Nazi-occupied Europe was extremely dangerous with high losses in both airmen and aircraft. For a bomber crew, 25 combat missions was a complete tour, and they were sent back to the United States for rest and retraining before going on to other assignments. Memphis Belle was only the second B-17 to survive 25 missions, so it was withdrawn from combat and sent back to the United States for a publicity tour.

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Air Force transitions to a single combat uniform

From the US Air Force website

Air Force leaders announced the service will move to a single combat utility uniform, adopting the Operational Camouflage Pattern, or OCP, already in use by the Army and Airmen in combat zones and in certain jobs across the Air Force.

Starting October 1, 2018, Airmen who have serviceable OCPs may wear the uniform, and Airmen can purchase OCPs at Army and Air Force Exchange Services at the following locations: Aviano Air Base, Italy; Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina; Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina; and MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. These initial locations will allow uniform manufacturers to produce additional stocks for other locations, eventually outfitting the total force in the coming months.

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How Much Do I Need to Retire?

From the Go Banking Rates website

A lot goes into figuring out how much money you need to retire, but one common piece of advice is that you need about $1 million — and some sources suggest even more. In fact, 16 percent of people believe you need at least $2 million, according to a recent Transamerica study.

You can spend your golden years living on less than $1 million — and still live well. To figure out how much you’ll need to retire, you must assess your lifestyle needs, understand your risk tolerance, consider the effects of inflation and most important, learn how to create a budget and follow it.

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2018 Memorial Day Ceremonies


Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony

* When: Monday, May 28, 1018
* Time: 0830
* Where: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl)

Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery

Governor’s Memorial Day Ceremony

* When: Monday, May 28, 1018
* Time: 1300
* Where: Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery

Boeing 737 MAX Flight Deck

Click on photograph to enlarge


Harvard scientists say these 5 things can prolong your life by a decade

From the MarketWatch website

Want to live 10 years longer? You may have to revamp your lifestyle.

There are five habits that, when done together, could add more than a decade to your life expectancy, according to a study released Monday by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The good news: 10 years is a lot of extra time. The bad news: You’ll have to cut out junk food and being a couch potato.

Here’s what the study recommends you do:

154 MSG Change of Command Ceremony

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Brig Gen Gregory “Woody” Woodrow, commander of the154th Wing, officiated a Change of Command ceremony for the 154th Mission Support Group. The ceremony took place on Saturday, May 5, 2018 in Hanger 19 on Hickam Field.

Congratulations to Col Joyce Merl on her command. Aloha and Mahalo to Col Christopher Jarratt for his service.

The Best (and Tastiest) Foods for Your Heart

From the Everyday Health website

Great heart-healthy foods that include antioxidants, lean proteins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your lipid levels in check for better heart health. And best of all, they taste good, too. “Most people know that heart-healthy foods are a big part of heart health. The key is educating them on how to make changes in their diet,” says Cindy Neels, MPH, RD, LDN, a dietitian with the cardiac rehabilitation program at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass.

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Webmaster Comments 18.0515

Important Correction: Yesterday’s post on Galen Nakahara’s funeral services incorrectly listed Sunday, May 4, 2018 – it should be Sunday, May 3, 2018.

Thanks to Randy Tom for pointing out the error.

More Corrections: We are currently reviewing the drop down menu posts on the maroon bar below the masthead photograph. Retiree News followers reported that two of the website links had changed. If you run across a website link that does not work, please send us a email at

Ground Aircraft Colission

Off the Airline Geeks Twitter feed

Anyone who was/is involved with airplanes will cringe as you watch this video. The “Watch link” has a longer version of the incident.