Passing the Torch of Liberty On To Future Generations”

Minutes of the Meeting of February 11. 2009

Pledge of Allegiance: Bob Dugan

Invocation: Pastor Frank Orzio

Binnacle List: Bruce Bauer, Dick Baynes, Dan Huston and Harvey Shaw

Guests Present: Mrs. Howard Bender, Eddie Felix, Ramona S. Hill,

Bud Hohl, Jr., Elena Iliescu, Charles Mitchell. Martha Somers, James Townsend, Dick Tyhurst, John Vasquez, Paul Wilder, and Elizabeth Yee.

Members Present: Jim Baker, Bob Bangston, Howard Bender, Jack Campbell, Jack Cole, Vi Cowden, Bus Cornelius, Bob Dugan, Tom Egan, Eddie Felix, Kurt Ferguson, Jack Ferris, George Grupe, Ronnie Guyer, Sid Hallburn, Jack Hammett, Arnold Hanson, Dale Hanson, Dick Higgins, Bud Hohl Sr.,Cornell Iliescu, David Leighton, David Lester, Syd Lucas, Frank Mannino, Ted Marinos, Dick O’Brien, Don Oldis, Bob Perry, Lou Passemato, Tim Richards, Larry Schnitzer, John Skara, Bob Stoddard, Ted Tanner, Gene Wallace, and Fred Whitaker,

Announcements: Dick Tyhurst announced a special program “Tugs of War” It will be on Monday, February 23rd , at Leisure World, off Moulton Parkway. Enter Gate #3. Call 949-837-0178 for reservations in order to be passed through the gate.

Cornell Iliescu received an award for his Noble Cause organization and his patriotic efforts from the President of the Freedom Foundation. Only 7 medals were awarded last year.

Special Presentation

“Ace in a Day”

Commander Willis E “Bill” Hardy, USN (Ret.)

Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medals, PUC

Commander Bill Hardy was born in California and enlisted in the Navy at San Diego in 1939. After recruit school he was honored by being selected for Machinist Mate School at Norfolk VA. In 1939 the Navy transferred personal by ship. Bill got as far as the Panama Canal when he became sick and was transferred to the Canal Hospital. After recovering, he was made a truck driver while he awaited the next ship north. Finally after arriving at Norfolk, he attended and completed Machinist Mate School with honors. He was accepted in the Aviation Machinist Mate School and after graduating, became an instructor.

Later he was transferred to Sand Point, WA and was promoted to rank of Chief Aviation Machinist Mate. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he applied for Aviation Cadet School and was accepted… After completion of his flight training program he was commissioned as a Naval Aviator with the rank of Ensign.

“Ace in a Day” occurred on April 6, 1945 off the coast of Okinawa. Flying off the USS Hornet aircraft carrier with VF 17 “Jolly Rogers”, his squadron of Grumman F6F Hellcats fighters was alerted to attacking kamikaze planes. He and his wingman spotted and dispatched two “Zero” Japanese fighters. They then attacked 4 “Val” dive-bombers, each claiming two. Then Ensign Hardy flamed a “Judy” dive-bomber in a head-on pass.

That was four planes downed. He was low on fuel and the darkness was gathering, but he was diverted to defend a US destroyer against a kamikaze attack. Flying a split “S” maneuver and with only one machine gun able to fire, his few bullets hit the Judy’s fuel tank resulting in his fifty victory. He later scored one more victory with the “Jolly Rogers, .He completed 5 years enlisted and 15 years commissioned. He has flown both propeller and jet planes. .

Business Meeting

Fred Whitaker , Treasurer, presented the Statement of Income & Expenses for Jan 1 –Feb 10, 2009. He also presented a detailed Budget for FCOC that included 2008 actual and 2009 Proposed Budgets. Check donations are to be made out to Freedom Committee of Orange County.

Tom Egan reported that we are contracting with a new web site host and server that will be more efficient and user friendly. A fee of $300.00 has been paid for a one year service.

The Chair announced that the wife of the Costa Mesa Police Chief Christopher Shawkey is hosting a luncheon for our Committee members at the April meeting.

George Grupe announced the Corona del Mar High School interviews during the month of February will be followed by hosted luncheon on March 19 th. The sophomore class will be interviewing veterans and preparing written presentations. This combines History and English classes in an interesting format

Bill Gibson: announced that his grandson Hank is an E-7 Ranger and is returning for a second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Table Topics

“What was the most useful thing you learned from your military service?”

· Bus Cornelius: What our flag stands for and to be proud when you see it flying.

· Bill Hardy: When times are tough and there are no jobs, the military is a choice.

· Dick O’Brien: How to be an effective leader at all ranks

· Jack Hammett: How to become a man and learning how to learn.

· Larry Schnitzer: the utmost respect for enlisted personnel. An officer should find what has to be done and the enlisted personnel will get it done.

· Vi Cowden: Army Aviatrix, WASP, recognized in a soon to be published book “It’s Just My Job” by Jonna Doolittle Hoppes.

The meeting adjourned at 1330 hours.

To view pictures of the meeting, click HERE

(Minutes of the meeting prepared by Tim Richards)

Respectfully submitted,