The USAFHPA held its reunion at Wright-Paterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio, May 15-17, 1992. (see Reunions Page). This reunion was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of U.S. military helicopter flying and the opening of a new Air-Sea Rescue exhibit. On 18 May 1942, Igor Sikorsky and Chief Pilot Les Morris delivered the first XR-4 to Wright-Patterson Field.
The USAFHPA dedicated a plaque and tree in remembrance to all USAF helicopter pilots. The memorial dedication occurred on a beautiful warm day at the Air Force Museum. As I passed through the crowd, I heard a few voices murmuring about the ceremony being "no big deal". But once the formal ceremony had been completed and the plaque unveiled, the crowd was noticeably prouder. Special thanks to Red Lemke for designing the plaque. And thanks also to Carter Harmon and Col. Bill Zins for being the official unveilers. The line to take pictures next to the memorial after the ceremony was long, long, long. For those of you passing through Dayton, be sure to stop in at the Museum to visit it. Share the pride.