When Captain Keith Droegemeier of the Helicopter Squadron takes on a vast project, he has vast ideas. Take for instance the case of the Squadron scrapbook, a project long anticipated but often pushed to the “do-tomorrow” file because of the press of training, rescues, etc, etc.
Compiling of the material for the book was progressing as well as could be expected. This is where Captain Droegemeier entered the picture.
Being a master with the hammer, tool and punch on leather, he volunteered to prepare the exterior covering. “But it must be 20 x 28 inches”, reminded one member of the squadron. “That's O.K.” Droegemeier responded, “I can handle it”.
And handle it he did. Two to three weeks later the artist appeared at the Helicopter shack complete with an item of workmanship that literally opened the eyes of fellow “coptermen”.
It resembled a large slab of lumber with the boards carefully tooled in, wooden pegs in place, knots showing and imperfections in the wood tooled in expertly. Across the top is the title “Kollege of Kopter Knowledge”.
The center decoration is the most impressive. It is the emblem of the Helicopter School, done in bright colors and showing a sprite riding an egg-beater through the clouds. To the left of the emblem is the ideal copter pilot. He has six arms and six eyes. To the lower right is the official “seal” showing the mammal poking his nose above water. Of course, the emblem is done in bright colors and is raised above the tooled background.
“It took me approximately 45 hours of work to get the cover completed. The squadron provided the leather and I did the work” Captain Droegemeier confessed.
On the inside, are news stories, pictures of squadron accomplishments, rescues, sports victories magazine stores, etc. It already contains more than 30 pages of material and is designed to expand as the history of the helicopter grows.
Although the men of the helicopter squadron may come and go, the work of the talented Captain will remain behind for all to see and admire.
Footnote: This book has been missing since the move of the Helicopter School from Stead to Sheppard in 1965. If anyone has any information as to its whereabouts, please contact the USAFHPA.