AC-119 Gunships Mail Call

   Mail Call

"Mail Call" replaced our guest book

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Previous Mail Calls 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015,

2016 Mail Call

June 7, 2016 - the 18th Special Operations Sq and the AC-119 Gunship Association has lost another Brother.

We sadly announce the passing of Robert W. Johnson, 17th and 18th SOS FE/IO. Bob succumbed to a heart attack on May 12 in Las Vegas, NV. His wife Kay called to pass the news to his gunship brothers. Bob was Association Life Member 222. Please pray for Kay and her daughter. There is a planned Memorial Service in Colorado and we will provide more info as we receive it.

June 7, 2016 - Don Hiers has taken his Final Flight.

TSgt Harris "Donnie" Hiers Jr, USAF (Ret), 67, of North Charleston, South Carolina, husband of Mary Jane Hayes Hiers, entered into eternal rest Thursday, May 12, 2016. His funeral service was held May 17, 2016 followed by interment with military honors in Evergreen Christian Church Cemetery, 1701 Bells Highway, Walterboro, SC.

Donnie retired after 23 years with the US Air Force. He was a member of the Church of Christ and Life Member 149 of the AC119 Gunship Association. Donnie enjoyed guns, guitars, golf and fishing.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Mary Jane Hiers; son, Harris "Tripper" Hiers III, both of North Charleston, SC; daughter-in-law, Kellie J. Hiers, granddaughter, Kennedy Hiers both of Summerville, SC; brother, Terry Hiers (Julie) of Loxachatchee, FL, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his son, Christopher Shane Hiers.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Charleston, 4975 LaCross Road, Suite 200, North Charleston, SC 29406-6531, American Diabetes Association, Inc., 107 West Park Boulevard, Suite 220, Columbia, SC 29210 and/or American Heart Assoc. of SC Memorial Processing Center, 4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA 23060.

A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting the website at

May 22, 2016 - Just a note about Jimy Grant, concerning word on his recent fall. From what I was hearing he was pretty beat up and I certainly didn't expect a call back from him. Lo and behold Jimmy called me the other night. Nothing the the Gunship brotherhood and being old roomies to keep the connection alive. Jimmy is a tough Georgia boy and he took a Nasty fall going into his house. Knocked himself out cold and messed his face up a bit but he says he's still handsome dude. I think he broke his sternum as well. He's in good spirits and still the Jimmy I love to laugh with.
He says he doesn't need any surgery and it will just be a slow healing process. He thanks all the guys and gals who have sent prayers and thoughts his way. Keep them coming as they will speed his recovery along. More later if I hear anything.

Chief Bill

May 14, 2016 - Keep the Hiers family in your prayers and thoughts - Don Hiers had a severe heart attack a few days ago. Mary Hiers says that the doctor's say there isn't anything more they can do for him. They've moved Don to hospice. Mary asks to let his brothers in the AC-119 Association know about Don and asks for your prayers and thoughts. Don was a valuable member of gunship Maintenance with the 71st/17th SOS Shadows, 1969-1970.
More on Don as soon as we recieve word

18th SOS loses two more brothers

Stinger Pilot Hugh Matheson (11-21-32 to 04-17-16) died peacefully in his sleep and was welcomed to heaven on Sunday, April 17, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Virginia, his son Rod, and daughters Cindy and Pattie; grandchildren Jesse, Sara, Elizabeth, Tyler, Katherine; and great-grandchildren Ethan, Makena, Cooper, and Deane. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the restoration fund of the Titan Missile Museum, 1580 W. Duval Mine Road, Green Valley, AZ, 8561

Stinger Pilot William "Bill" Rueben Burress, Jr (9-16-35 to 3- 31-16) age 80, passed away March 31, 2016. He was born in Branchville, SC. He retired from the USAF, after 22 years of service. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War as a pilot and a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was preceded in death by daughter Jennifer Burress. Survivors: son, Philip Burress (Lori); grandson, Fletcher Burress; sister Mae Claire Burress; niece Angela Chapman; nephews Howard Rhame Chapman and Ashley Chapman; and first wife Marie Martin and her husband Glenn Martin, with whom he rekindled a friendship with in recent years, based on the love of their children. Memorial contributions have been established with the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.

Our hearts are heavy after hearing of the passing of Royce "Roy" D. Price on February 21, 2016. Roy was a gunner with the18th Special Operations Squadron "Stingers" from 1970-71 and a life member of the AC-119 Gunship Association. Please join us in prayers and thoughts for his wife Kathy and family.

RIP Bobby J. Dixon Sr. We sadly announce the passing of Bobby J Dixon. Bobby was a Gunner on the AC-119G Shadows, 1969-1970. He also flew on the AC-47 Spookys and the AU-23 and AU-24 and Hueys.

Viewing will be Tuesday, Feb 16 at 5 to 8 PM and Wednesday after 11 PM.
A service to celebrate the life of Bobby will be held Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. from Ponders Melrose Chapel, with Rev. Chris Dixon officiating. Bobby Dixon will be laid to rest at Chattanooga National Cemetery, Thursday February 18, 2016 at 10:30 a.m., with Military Honors.

The family will receive friends, Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and from 11:00 a.m. Wednesday February 17, 2016 until the service hour. It's the family request, that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 922 E. Morris St, Dalton, GA 30721.
Funeral arrangements provided by Ponders Melrose Chapel, Dalton, GA. (706) 226-4002

Bobby J. Dixon Sr., age 80, of Chatsworth, GA, went to be with the Lord, Sunday, February 14, 2016. Bobby was born August 24, 1935 in Dalton, GA. He was the son of the late, Melvin Dixon Sr. and Tessie Borders Dixon. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Rev. Melvin Dixon Jr. Bobby was the owner of Ellijay Pawn and Sporting Goods and retired from the United States Air Force after 22 years of service, serving during the Korea and Vietnam conflicts. Bobby was a member of the American Legion Post #167 of Chatsworth, GA and also a member of the VFW.
Bobby Dixon is survived by his wife of 30 years, Carla Dixon; sons, Bobby and Heather Dixon; Bryan Dixon, all of Dalton GA; brothers, Jimmy and Wilma Dixon of Ringgold, GA, Billy Dixon of Dallas, TX and Jack and Gloria Dixon of Dalton, GA.

Our association lost another great man on Monday, January 4. Following are the details and the website with Dale Stickles, (CMSgt, USAF Ret) obituary.

Gentlemen, It is with sadness I report the passing of another 71st SOS member and good friend to many. Dale Stickles passed on Monday, January 4, 2016 in Chino Hills, CA. Dale was 87 years old. Dale was the Flight Engineer on Col. Earl Scott's crew at Phan Rang in the spring of 1969 and stayed on active duty.

via Jim Alvis

Obituary of Owen Stickles

Chino Hills, CA – Owen Dale Stickles, 87, of Chino Hills, CA, formerly of Columbus, IN, died Monday, January 4, 2016 in California.

Born February 16, 1928 in Bedford, he was the son of George and Mary (Smale) Stickles. He married Ruth E. Luttrell on September 2, 1945 and she preceded him in death on April 11, 1992. He was a high school graduate. He started his military career in the U. S. Navy during World War II, he then served in the U. S. Airforce during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He flew with the 71st Special Operations Squadron. He retired from the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve after thirty-seven and one half years of service as a chief Master Sergeant. He received the distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal w/80LC, Combat Readiness Medal w/30LC, AF Good Conduct Medal w/50LC, WW II Victory Medal, Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal w/2BSS, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Award, NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon w/10LC, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, RVN Campaign Medal, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon w/30LC, Armed Forces Reserve Medal. He was a member of Garden City Church of Christ, a member of the American Legion Post in Edinburg, IN where he served as past commander and a member of the Air Force Assoc. After retiring, he volunteered at Hospice of South Central Indiana for 20 years.

Survivors include five grandchildren, Amy (Rick) Malson, of Seymour, Michael Stickles, Jr., of Florida, Susanne (Patrick) Meyer, of California, Katrina Smith, of Texas and Lyndzee Stickles, of Kokomo; eight great grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; a sister, Carol Taylor, of Bedford and a daughter-in-law, Sara Stickles, of Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, three sons, Owen Dale Stickles, II, Michael D. Stickles and Jerry A. Stickles; a daughter, Judith Ann Stickles; one brother, Ralph Stickles and a companion, Cris Howard, of Columbus.

Funeral services will be conducted at
12:30 pm on Saturday, January 16th
at the Garden City Church of Christ in Columbus, IN
with Pastor Brian Gilroy officiating.

A committal service will take place at 3:30 pm on Saturday, January 16th at the Beech Grove Cemetery in Bedford with military rites by members of the Edinburgh American Legion Color Guard.
Visitation will be from 10:30 am until the hour of service on Saturday, January 16th at the Garden City Church of Christ in Columbus, IN. The family asks that friends consider memorial contributions be made to the Alzheimer's Association or Hospice of South Central Indiana at 2626 East 17th Street, Columbus, IN 47201 or 1-800-841-4938 ext. 8000. Family and friends may express condolences at

We will post any updates as we receive them.

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