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----- Original Message -----
Sent: 2/8/2005 4:11:58 PM
Subject: Closing The Book

Hand Salute...
Hi Ollie...
How come you settled in the Hull- Athens area, foregoing a return to Trent, SD?
In early March 1962 I "bummed" a ride from Harlingen AFB, TX to Athens, where I spent the night before going on to my hometown...Winston-Salem, NC...and ultimately to my next assignment as a one-striper at Lockbourne AFB, OH.
The person who gave me the ride was a brand-new butter bar, a graduate of an aviation cadet UNT class. I had recently been an aviation cadet, but I had washed back two classes...and then washed out. I "just couldn't get it together", to use one of my daughter's expressions.
I spent the night at a hotel relatively close to the University, but not before taking in a movie, and having supper with actives/pledges of the local chapter of a national fraternity. I had joined the fraternity in 1957 at High Point College in North Carolina.
In early September 1997 I sat down at my oldest son's PC and began searching for some former college classmates, mainly members of the fraternity I had known in the late 1950s. I also began looking for former aviation cadet classmates. By mid-July 1998 I had been asked to maintain and update the alumni directory of my fraternity's chapter at my alma mater. In April 1999 I began searching in earnest for the former members of the two aviation cadet classes which I had been in at Harlingen AFB in south Texas.
Some 44-45 guys were in 62-13A1/A2 between the time it was constituted in March 1961 and graduation in late January 1962. Some 33 guys were graduates of 62-13N. I have accounted for all 44-45. Except for a few deceased members I have personally conversed with all but two of the guys...and have left a message for one of the remaining two.
Some 31-37 guys were in  62-15B1/B2 (Bong Squadron), my second class.  Around 24 were graduates of Class 62-15N. I have accounted for 31 of the 37 guys who were in the class/flight. Of the remaining 6, I have a fairly good idea where four of them are. Some folks just aren't good at returning calls.
All together I have email contact with around 38 members of the two classes, with the most recent email address being added 1/12/2005.
One member of Flight 62-13A1 was KIA in 1969. One member of 62-15B2 is/was a POW-MIA returnee.
I was commissioned via OTS, Class 63-E, with 918 other OT graduates on 5 Feb 1963. It was also my R.I.P. day....I got married then.
Five years ago I began using TROA's THE RETIRED OFFICER Magazine as a source for helping ex-GIs with their searches for former comrades-in-arms.  The magazine was my starting point for searching for members of OCS Class 58-B. I still have open books of a couple of other OCS classes
My most gratifying experience came in mid-2004 when I helped a lady in Escondido, CA return a 1946-letter to its author. The letter was written in Honolulu by a Navy officer and sent to one of his buddies. The recipient apparently left the letter in a book which was found on a destroyer during the Korean Conflict. The finder, Leland Neil Burnside (b 1918 in Texas, d 1991 in San Diego), had been a member of the USS Missouri's shakedown cruise in August 1944.
Leland's widow Sylvia widow placed an "ad" which appeared in the January 2004 issue of MOAA's RETIRED OFFICER Magazine, as follows:
Lt. j. g. John Shillito, USN, or Lt. j. g. B. H. Wetzel, USN — I have a letter written by Shillito to Wetzel, in 1946, from Hawaii to the USS Brush (DD-745). Anyone interested in this letter should contact me. Contact: S. Burnside, 955 Howard Ave., No. 9, Escondido, CA 92029.
John Shillito came from a prominent mercantile family in Cincinnati and is a retired neurosurgeon from Boston living in Pittsboro, NC.
John's hobby since age 10 has been photography. Besides taking pictures, he also has instructed at two local community colleges and assorted venues. Here is a sample of his work:
The recipient of the 1946-letter Blair Wetzel, now age 83, is in a retirement/assisted care facility in the Baltimore area.
And dear Sylvia Burnside, in her mid-80s, sent me a picture taken on the USS Missouri...ostensibly including her husband observing/participating in an "abandon-ship drill".
In the lower right quadrant of the picture are what appears to be a group of 3-4 officers...two in light uniforms and "wheel hats". Sylvia believes that one of the two was her late husband.  


I have attached several photos of me. The zipped folder contains 5 photos.

1) "62-13HTNR" was taken for the Air Force's Hometown News Release program in mid-1961. Lots of other guys held the same helmet on the day that the picture was taken. Most of them wound up wearing similar navigators. Some became pilots after their initial "navigator" commitment.

2) "Old Geezer" is included as a gag. Perhaps I'll be looking like that in 10 or so years, if......!


3) "Speight-051974" dates to the year before I and about 10,000 other junior grade , mainly reserve, officers were involuntarily released from extended active duty. At the time I was assigned duty at the National Security Agency (NSA). 

 4) "Mathusalem" was taken at Cave des Vignerons de Buxy, Les Vignes de la Croix, Buxy, France, in August 2002. My youngest son has lived in France since mid-1989. A 1988 graduate of Wake Forest University, he teaches English on a contract basis. His principal employer is "Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de l’Essonne", located at Evry. Many French chambers of commerce focus on educating the citizens for jobs. Whereas, in the U.S., chambers of commerce are tourism-oriented.

While in France, my wife and I, along with my son and his family, traveled from Juvisy-sur-Orge (near Orly Field) to Montceau-Les-Mines in the Burgundy region to visit my son's inlaws. Buxy is about a 20-30  minute ride east of Montceau. It is situated at the SW corner of the Burgundy region of France.
I had visited the winery in 1991 and 1998. I thought of buying the 6-liter, "Mathusalem-sized"  bottle of Burgundy. However, I didn't have a plan for getting it transported back to the U.S.

5) "Dub-072004" is more recent, taken in mid-2004 via my webcam.


Clegg D. "Dub" Speight
Captain, USAF-Retired
Myrtle Beach, SC