Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Yesterday I tried to wish the same to Chris and Alison (someone will have to remind me how many years), but I couldn't sign in. Kept getting the message saying my password wasn't recognized. Today I had the same trouble, so I went throught the process of resetting my password. During that process, I was asked the URL for the blog site, but couldn't remember it nor find where I had written it down. If you know it, let me know.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I've been noting birthday anniversaries here. Eileen told me today that there was an actual birthday on Thursday. Noel Lee Anding was born June 16, 2011.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

College...sort of

So the first great-grandchild (Hannah) of the first grandchild (Sarah) of the first child (Mike) in this family has taken off for the next 3 weeks for college. She is attending the Commonwealth Honor's Academy which takes place at Murray State in Kentucky. It is a huge honor and will keep her very busy (and she gets 6 college credits!). They even get to go to St. Louis this week (Whitney!!) to the Shakespeare festival and the Fine Arts museum. But as I was alone in her room putting the sheets on her dorm bed while she was checking in and Richard was getting luggage I got that feeling... "how did I get here?" I feel like I just made my OWN bed at college. HOW can I have one ready for this? I know next year is the REAL year but this is our test run.
I know you've all done it before me so think about me in the next 3 weeks and any advice is welcome! Prayers too!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Let this posting serve to express my appreciateion for the great pictures of two very special events in the Anding family. Very nice. Also, this posting will apologize for not posting another important Anding family date - June 1st - 37th wedding anniversary. And on the 3rd I should have posted birthday greetings to Mike Jr. Seems as though I've missed as many as I've posted since I started doing it. My "excuse" has been that my time really hasn't been my own with Mom's Care Center admission and establishing her on hospice. Seems like someone was wanting me to sign something, ask me or tell something every time I turned around. Hope most of that kind of stuff has been completed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Morgan graduated from Fransican University in May

Morgan graduated from Fransican University in May. She is in Chicago this summer teaching and will go to Ann Arbor in the fall to get her Montessori certification. We're very proud of her!

Heather came into the Catholic Church on Easter

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May 30, 1971

This post and the following should have been posted on Memorial Day, but we had several power outages, and then I had chemo yesterday.

May 30, 1971 40 years ago today, I took off from DaNang Air Base, South Vietnam on what I thought would be a routine psyops mission dropping leaflets on known and suspected North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong positions. The US and South Vietnamese Army Intelligence units identified the locations and developed leaflets for each target. For example, they may have safe conduct passes for the Viet Cong units since they were from the local area. For the North Vietnamese Army units, they would develop leaflets such as the Wandering Soul that played on the Vietnamese belief that if you died and were buried away from your home, your soul would wander forever and you would have no peace.

We left DaNang and headed north to the town of Quang Tri and then turned west and flew along the DMZ, dropping 10,000 - 20,000 leaflets per target of which there were around 80. At Quang Tri, we turned west and flew along the DMZ towards Khe Sanh where there had been numerous battles including a 3-month siege by the NVA against Marines manning Khe Sanh. We were nearing the Laotian border and turned south towards the A Shau Valley. The A Shau Valley ran along the border with Laos and was a major infiltration route for the Ho Chi Minh trail from North Vietnam into South Vietnam. It had also been the source of numerous battles dating back to the mid-60s.

As we entered the valley, I was looking down at the pock marked valley floor when I noticed some red tracers coming towards us. A tracer is a pyrotechnic round that allows the person firing a weapon to see where they are shooting and make adjustments. There is typically one tracer for every 5 rounds of ammunition. The red tracer told me it was from a small arms weapon such as the AK-47. We were flying at 2,000 feet above the ground at 120 knots, so we were a pretty easy target.

As I turned to tell the other pilot that we were taking small arms fire, a stream of white traces was coming at us from the front of the aircraft. Then a stream of yellow tracers came up from the right side of the aircraft. At about that time, the loadmaster called from the rear of the plane and said, “you won’t believe what is coming at us from the rear. It looks like a fireworks show.” We were obviously under fire from 4 or 5 antiaircraft artillery (AAA) sites. If they got our altitude, airspeed, and heading right, we were in big trouble. So, the best thing we could do was to make that difficult to do.

We began a series of violent maneuvers climbing, diving, hard left turns, right turns, and speed changes. We kept that up for 10-15 minutes until we were able to exit the southern end of the valley.

We decided to skip the rest of our targets and return to DaNang. Upon landing we discovered holes in the tail, fuselage, and wings, but nothing that would cause serious damage. That was the beauty of the C-47. It would take a direct hit on an engine, in the cockpit, or an exploding round into a fuel tank to cause serious damage. Our squadron put me and the other pilot in for the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving the aircraft and crew. Although I have no proof, I believe the guy who opened fire on us with the AK-47 probably caused the other AAA sites to start firing before they were done computing our position so that they could put their rounds right where we were headed.

Memorial Day

Pete Moriarty was the training officer for my pilot training class. Our class had 50 student pilots, and Pete was our den mother. It was his job to oversee all aspects of our rigorous schedules as we participated in training flights, academic classes, and physical conditioning. He would sit in on some of our classes, fly with each of us as an instructor pilot, and participate in the various athletic events we had. Pete left Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia about halfway through our yearlong class. He had volunteered to go to Viet Nam to fly F-100s. Pete said he was a fighter pilot, and flying fighters in Viet Nam was what he had trained for.

I next saw Pete a couple of days after I arrived in Viet Nam in early April, 1971. He was stationed at Phan Rang Air Base, and that was where I was first assigned to. We exchanged hellos, and then had dinner at the Officers Club. Pete was well into his yearlong tour and said he loved what he was doing. Two days after our dinner, I was attending my initial intelligence briefing. As the intel officer was talking about the various threats we would face while flying in Viet Nam, I looked up at a “loss board” on the wall. This board listed the aircraft lost to enemy fire or other causes. The names of the aircrew members were also listed. Pete’s name was the latest entry on the board. He had been shot down over Laos while on a bombing mission. The last entry after Pete’s name said “no beeper, no chute”. This meant that his wingman watched the airplane crash but never heard an emergency radio transmission or saw a parachute which would have meant Pete was able to eject from his airplane. The diamond next to his name on the wall means his remains were never recovered, and he remains "Missing in Action" (MIA) over 40 years.