USAF Helicopter Pilot Association

Reunion 2000

Reunion 2000 Information

Reunion #9 – October 16-21, 2000 – Tucson/Phoenix, Arizona

Who said chopper pilots didn’t like "Toofers"? Well, that’s what we got at this reunion. First, there was the "Pre-reunion" at Tucson, then the "real" reunion in Phoenix.

Nearly 90 members participated in the Tucson "Prequel" to visit or return to their old haunts in the Tucson area. Registration began Monday, October 16th, and golf for those who wished. That night was a Western Round-up Dinner buffet at the hotel and open Hospitality Room.

Tuesday saw visits to the 305th Rescue Squadron featuring the HH-60 "Blackhawk" helicopter and informative and interesting briefings by crewmembers. We were also treated to a visit to the AMARRC (Boneyard) at Davis-Monthan AFB, followed by a trip through the Pima Air and Space Museum.

That evening many of the members traveled to the La Fuente Mexican restaurant for a dinner of southwestern cuisine.

Wednesday morning, many were off to the Titan Missile Museum for a tour of the only "open to the public" missile silo. Next to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum provided a look at the Arizona environment and its flora and fauna. This concluded the Tucson activities. On to Phoenix.

Well, as they said in "Field of Dreams", build it and they will come. Well, we "built" a reunion and they came! The members started arriving on the Monday before and were still coming in on the final day’s activities on Saturday. We had 313 registered attendees, which made all the Arizona members that worked for the reunion very happy.

Activities started with the opening of registration on Wednesday, October 18th, with gangs of folks from all over including the contingent that took in the Pre-reunion activities in Tucson.

Thursday morning nearly 100 members loaded onto busses and were off to Goldfield, an old former mining town out in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains. No one located the Lost Dutchman Mine, but nearly everyone found some gold flakes and small garnets in the bottom of their pans while panning for gold. The high point of the day however was the rainstorm we scheduled to arrive just as we were leaving. (Just kidding but rain can be unusual here in Arizona).

Friday morning at 0 Dark 30, the intrepid golfers were off for their outing at the Falcon Links at Luke AFB. The golf course, while quite new, is reported to be one of the best in the Air Force. At 9:00 the tour departed for Wrigley Mansion, one of the homes built by the chewing gum family. Shortly afterward, another bus left for Taliesin West, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. That night about 250 of us made the trip to Rawhide, an old west replica village complete with live gunfights and old time shops. A hayride took us to our site in the desert for a dinner of charbroiled steak or chicken. Following dinner there was dancing under the stars and the humorous humiliation of a couple of our members. The ride was good, the dinner fine and dancing under the stars in the midst of the desert was certainly different.

Saturday morning about 180 members attended the general membership meeting. The highlight Saturday evening was the Roundup Banquet with 300 members and guests. It opened with the Luke AFB Honor Guard presenting the colors, followed by the association members singing the National Anthem. By the completion, there was not a dry eye in the place.

Our after-dinner speaker was Sergei Sikorsky, who made a sterling presentation of the history of aviation as seen through his father’s eyes.

The formalities closed with the withdrawal of the colors, followed by dancing in the ballroom.

Sunday morning coffee and doughnuts were served in the Hospitality Room as people made their departures. And the Arizona Roundup closed.


Information taken from newsletters and other sources. Kyron Hall, historian.

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