Gary Bisson - 81
Gary Bisson passed peacefully at his home on the campus of Shenandoah Vally's Westminister-Canterbury. He was 81 years old. Gary joined Air America in June 1968 in Taipei, and left from Bangkok in September 1974
Charles A. Weitz - 83
Charlie passed away on Friday, October 21 in hospice at Tampa, FL. Charlie served Air America from September 1961 to September 1973. His last station was in Udorn, Thailand. He had previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is survived by his wife Michiko. Charlie graduated from Duquesne University prior to becoming a Marine Rotor Wing Pilot. He is acknowledged to have saved as many as 12 US Aviators who had been shot down in Laos. After Air America, Charlie flew in Indonesia and Kazakhstan. He retired to Tampa, FL in 2002.
The family recommends gifts and donations be make to Father Luke Bouchard's Church. Address is; Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 486 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876 2849. Father B's phone contact is 978 851 7258 ext 254.
Reported by BJ Sheffield, Bill Zeitler, Grant Walters and Steve Stevens
Greer Ann Stock - 75
Greer left this life peacefully at home in Van Nuys, CA. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Roger, son James of Avon, IN, daughter Star, of Honolulu, HI, and daughter Kathleen of Van Nuys, CA. She has two grandchildren, Nathan and Sharaya. She was predeceased by her parents and brother David Rood.
Born in Schenectady, NY to Clarence and Kay Rood. Greer studied at St. Mary's School of Nursing in Amsterdam, NY and earned her RN license in 1961. After working as a nurse for over 30 years she returned to school to become a Chemical Dependency Counselor. Her most rewarding time was seven years spent working with orphans in Thailand. A memorial service was held at Church of the Valley, 6565 Vesper Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91411, on November 25. Donations in her memory may be made to the Church of the Valley Food Pantry.
Roger Stock was an Operations Specialist based in Udorn, Thailand from June 1967 to March 1974. Greer was a Registered Nurse and was very active in the Udorn community especially with the Thai Orphans.
Ray Shourds - 85
Ray Shourds passed away on December 6th at the age of 85. We always said that those years in the 60's in Bangkok were the best years of our lives. After we came back, Ray went to work for Pan Am and I joined Eastern --- both going out of business eventually! Anyway, over the years we thoroughly enjoyed traveling the world. Ray is survived by his wife, Lynda, children Chris, Lisa, Jeff and Steve, six grandchildren, two great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, two aunts, three brothers, and a sister. The funeral mass was held in St. Augustine, Florida, since we recently moved here.
Ray was airport manager for CAT in Bangkok. The staff there handled all of the Air America flights as well as the CAT flights.
Ray grew up in Marshall, MN, worked in the Control Tower during his Navy years and then went to Washington, DC, where he worked for Eastern Airlines. He attended Georgetown University, majoring in International Transportation. He and Lynda met in Washington while both were working for Eastern. After he graduated from Georgetown, he left for Taiwan and then Bangkok. Lynda and their children joined him three months later.
Submitted by Lynda Shourds
D. Larry Fraser - 76
Larry Fraser passed away on Saturday, December 31 in Montana. Larry flew R/W as Captain in Udorn, Thailand from August 1968 until December 1972. He is survived by his wife Tong who lives in Florida and son David who lives in Virginia and a sister who lives in Montana.
Reported by Steve Stevens
Everyone, I am truly sad to say that my father passed away yesterday. Many of you came to visit him while at home, and reminisced about Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Air America, the US Customs, the Forest Service, the Naval Academy, college, high school, your childhood, and many other things. I read him each and every email/text you all sent me over the last month and I know he really appreciated it. Many of them told me of past stories of your adventures with my dad that made him laugh and very happy. These stories made me think of an idea I hope each and everyone one of you can help me with. Please go to his facebook page and post a story (or many if you would like) that you can remember that you had with him…..any story….funny, sad, crazy but true, etc. My family and I would love to hear them during this difficult time. Here is his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dlarry.fraser
Submitted by Dave Frazer
KEGHAM S AJIZIAN - 80
Sam passed away peacefully at his home in Winston Salem, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Born in Damascus, Syria, and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Sam emigrated to the United States in 1954, where he met his beloved wife, Rosemary. They married in Beirut, in 1961, and returned to the United States soon after to start a family. Sam was an accomplished pilot, flying for Air Liban before joining Air America in Laos during the Vietnam War. He went into airport administration, running Allied Corporation's operations at McCarran Airport in the 1980's. Sam was a loving father, husband and grandfather. He is survived lovingly by his wife, Rosemary; sons, Samuel, Michael and Ara; and grandchildren, Jack, Christopher, Bridget, Brandon, Joshua, Calvin and Oscar.
Submitted by Rosemary Ajizian
Editors note: This information was not made available in the LOG in 2014-2015. We are sorry.
William 'Bill' Long - 74
Bill passed on Tuesday January 17, 2017 at his son's home in Everett, Washington. He was 74 years old. Bill served Air America from July 1969 to June 1974 as a flight mechanic in Udorn. He is survived by wife Vimol and son who is a Naval Officer based in Washington state. I spoke to Vimol yesterday and she told me that Bill will be cremated and the family will return with him to their home in Alabama.
I hope to be able to speak with is son in the next few days. Arden Davis believes Bill may have served in Marines, Air Force, and Army. I believe this is true, but would like confirmation.
Personally, I knew Bill in Udorn, but got to know him very well while we both worked for Bell Helicopters in Isfahan, Iran.
He was a gentleman in the classic sense. Great sense of humor and wonderful family man.
reported by Arden Davis
Mike Kandt, Chaplin
Diana Russell Gaddie (9/05/1950 – 12/15/2016)
Diana Russell Gaddie was born in Campbellsville, Kentucky in 1950 while our father, Captain Bill Gaddie, was on furlough during CAT's transition period, 1949 – 1950. Later that year the family moved to Tokyo, Diana's home until 1973. Initially attending Tachikawa USAF Dependents' School, by fifth grade she was attending the International School of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, where she graduated in 1968. Diana went on to Ithaca College in New York, earning a BA degree in History. She then attended Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management along with Perry Smith and Harry Cockrell Jr., where she earned a Master's degree in International Management.
Diana worked for the International Division of the Bank of America in San Francisco before being transferred to London, where her first son, Christian, was born. From London she and her husband, Arveen Romain, moved to Richardson, Texas, and then Los Angeles, California. They had two more children, Mette and Ian, and lived in Seoul, South Korea before moving to Montana to start a business.
Diana loved to read, travel and enjoyed raising her family. Her life achievement and legacy should be that she successfully saw her three children through college, and they have all gone forward to careers and families of their own.
As with everyone who had been fortunate enough to have known her, she truly enriched our lives and we learned much from her. She was loved and cherished by our parents and by her family. If, perhaps, her life choices and luck had been more fortunate, she may have stayed with us for a while longer. Things in America were not what we expected, and not the same as they had been in Japan for all of us, and I believe she deeply missed Japan and our lives we had had there.
It was reported that Diana passed quickly in her home in Bonita Springs, Florida when her heart gave out. She was preceded in death by our father, Captain Bill Gaddie (2004), and our mother, Lera Gaddie (2013). She was a young 66 years old and was taken from us much too early. Diana is survived by her younger brothers, Donnie and David Gaddie, Arveen Romain and their three children, three grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
I like to remember Diana when we were all happy together, living uncomplicated, unique lives all those wonderful years ago which our parents provided us in Japan. She was smart, confident, beautiful, talented with a positive outlook in life. Diana had a warm, caring personality, and I will miss my big sister forever. We were all truly better for having her in our lives.
David Gaddie (brother)
Clyde F. Morehouse - 95
Captain Clyde F. Morehouse, passed away in Jacksonville, Florida on July 21, 2016. He was born on June 3, 1921 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He was serving in the 36th Infantry Division as a Private First Class in 1942 when he qualified for flight school. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon completion of flight school in 1943 and remained in the U.S. Army Air Force and later, the U.S. Air Force, retiring after twenty-eight years of military service. He spent fifteen years in the Strategic Air Command, flying Convair B-36’s and Boeing B-52’s, before retiring as a lieutenant colonel from the SAC Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in 1965.
He went to work for Air America upon his retirement. Flying was his passion and going from the big birds to smaller fixed-wing aircraft was quite a thrill to him. He enjoyed his time in Porters and Volpars flying in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand before the project ended in 1974.
He appreciated the work of all those involved in supporting the missions the pilots flew; the kickers, the spotters and the mechanics and he developed strong friendships with all of the people with whom he worked down through the years.
He and Katie Mae, his wife, who were married nearly 73 years, moved to Alaska in 1974 and Clyde flew for Sea-Air Motive among other flying services until he reached mandatory retirement age in 1981 at which time he began consulting on aviation issues in the private sector. At the time he finished his flying career, he had logged over 25,000 hours of flight time. They returned to their home in Shalimar, Florida in 1989 before relocating to Jacksonville in March 2016.
He remained active in The Quiet Birdmen and was a member of the Order of Daedalians. He was a member of China Post #1 American Legion, the Elks, the Shriners and he was a 32nd Degree Mason.
He will be missed deeply by his wife, Katie, 3 daughters, Denei Morehouse, Paula McAdow and Toni Burley along with the rest of his extended family and friends.
Submitted by Paula McAdow
Richard Brooks O'Connor - 86
Sept. 9, 1929 - Oct. 7, 2015
Richard Brooks O'Connor, the son of Richard J. and Emma Brooks O'Connor, was born September 9, 1929, in Kansas City, MO. Dick died peacefully in his home shortly before dawn October 7, 2015. He was 86 years old. Dick attended the Wentworth Military Academy; Westminster College; and The University of Missouri, where in 1958, he received an Artium Baccalaureus with distinction in Psychology.
Dick joined the Navy for the sole purpose of becoming a pilot. He received his wings in 1955 and was immediately selected to serve as one of 14 members of Fighter Squadron VF-11, the Red Rippers, the Navy's oldest continuously active fighter squadron. He served on the USS Coral Sea. While stationed at NAS Glynco, GA in 1967, Dick was called to Washington, DC, where he was asked if he would serve as a pilot for Air America. He spent the next seven and a half years in Vietnam and Laos flying for the CIA. After surviving many dangerous missions, he returned to the United States and enrolled at Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he finished the work started at Southern Methodist University in order to obtain a Juris Doctor degree. He opened his law office, which specialized in aviation law.
Dick loved spending retirement time at his home in Santa Fe, NM, where worked on his book, Literary Moral Philosophy. Possessing an insatiable curiosity, Dick was a prolific reader of all subject matter from philosophy to history to Larry McMurtry. He was not only knowledgeable in a broad range of topics but had the rare ability to discuss them interestingly and pleasantly with others regardless of their expertise or lack thereof. In addition to his love of flying, books and music, especially Jazz, were passions which led to extensive collections of both. Dick also was an avid sailor and loved driving imported sports cars ... way too fast.
Dick will be loved and remembered by his wife, Judith Kraft O'Connor; his children, Kevin (Kathy) O'Connor, Sean (Buddy) Albro, Kerry (David) Christensen, Courtney Winfield, Christopher (Robin) Woll, and Tracy (Chris) Martin; his grand children, Padraic and Aidan O’Connor; Brian and Margaret Wolfe; Taryn and Keenan Christensen; Avery, Aidan and Maura Winfield; Lauren and Margot Woll; Christian and Stuart Martin; and his great-grand children David, Stephen, Barbara and Connor Wolfe. Burial with full military horns will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. Dick and I were blessed by and grateful for family, friends, and very special caregivers who loved and supported us on this journey. He is missed.
Richard flew as a First Officer in fixed wing aircraft in Vientiane and Saigon from July 1967 to September 1974.
Reported by Gary Edwards and widow Judith O’Conner