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NEW:  2014 Spectre Reunion "Spotlight"


Spectres,  stuff has been hectic here trying to plan 69's Boneyard trip.  Here's an update to the timeline.


On the afternoon of 26 May, we will have some sort of retirement ceremony with MG Hicks at Cannon. We will depart Cannon AFB, NM early on 27 May and arrive at DM around 1000 Pacific Time. We will park the aircraft at base ops the evening of the 27, and taxi her into the boneyard early morning 28 May.  The change in date is to accommodate MG Hicks' schedule so he can be the officiating officer for the retirement ceremony.  If there is interest, we will still try to have escorts for folks here at Cannon and out at DM for all who want to be in attendance.  If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know!







Comm: (575) 904-5667

DSN: 640-5667

NEW:  Great story about the new aircraft coming SOON:  http://breakingdefense.com/2015/03/afsoc-rebuilds-air-burning-fleet-under-new-co-lt-gen-heithold/

SAD NEWS:  Please check the Deceased Spectres Page as we got word of a few passing's in the past couple of years and they are updated for the info we know.

Sonny Beach passed away at 7:08 pm 03/11/2015...Yet another Spectre Legend has gone to the final reunion in the heavens: Sonny's visitation is on Sunday Mar. 15th @2:00 pm;
The funeral will be on Mon. Mar. 16th @ 2:00 pm.
At Chapelwood Funeral Home. 1015 N.Kings Hwy. Nash Tx.


Newport News - United States Air  Force Colonel Terrence William Bott (ret) died Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at River­ side Regional Medical Center in Newport News.  Terry, son of William and Virginia Bott of Pittsburgh, PA, was born in 1946 and grew up with his younger sister Janine in Crafton, PA be­ fore attending Duquesne University.  Upon graduation in 1968, he felt an innate desire to serve his country and joined the United States Air Force.  He married the love of his life, Susan Marie Bott in February of 1969 and immediately they began their adventure together at pilot training where he met the second love of his life, flying.  As a young pilot, Terry spent 3 tours flying missi.ons over Vietnam in both AC130 Gunships and B52 Bombers. In 1971, while he was still overseas, Susan gave birth to their first child, William.  After his service in Vietnam ended, Terry continued his service to the country and in 1974 the family added a second child, his daughter Kathleen. Throughout his professional career Terry received many honors, and was chosen as the nation's first operational B-1 Bomber Squadron Commander at Ellsworth AFB, SD and served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield.  Terry retired after 27 years with the Air Force in 1996 and settled in the Newport News area.  He continued serving his country as a civilian working to maintain the B52 fleet until 2013 when he decided it was time to spend more time at home and with his grandkids, Jonathan and Jaelie Bott.  Throughout his life Terry was a servant to his country, his family, and to his community.  He had a heart for hurting veterans and the homeless and volunteered his time helping in area shelters.  He will be remembered for his love of family and country as well as his quick wit and leadership.  He attended St. Jerome Catholic Church and will be honored at W. J. Smith and Son Funeral home on Friday morning at 9 AM before being laid to rest at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans  Cemetery  with Military Honors at 11 AM A loving husband and father, he is survived by his wife Susan; his children William and Jana Bott and Kathleen and Philip Edwards; his grandchildren Jonathan and Jaelie Bott; and two nieces Maura Wilson and Leah Roberts.

Ron Heath Sr. He was part of WR-ALC SOF SPO Gunship section. He was Senior Equipment Specialist for several years for the AC-130 Gunship and spent considerable time visiting Hurlburt Field among other places as it related to modifying the Gunship. He passed away February 7th 2015. He was cremated.  He loved the aircrews as much as if they were family, in fact when I asked him once why he hadn't already retired, he told me that the nation was at war and he had a few very important things to finish before he felt he could leave.
- Ron Heath Jr.


Colonel C.O. Hopingardner :  Former commander of the 16th SOS.  #12. Colonel C.O. Hopingardner December 73 to September 74

 "Hop" passed away on 17MAR2013 as a result of complications from a fall and COPD.  He had thousands of hours in the C-130, which he flew out of Clark AB to Vietnam from 1968 - 1972, before transitioning to the Gunships.   It was by far his favorite aircraft and he was immensely proud to have flown the AC-130 and commanded the 16th SOS. 


Retired Air Force Colonel George F. Shipp of Gladys, passed away Wednesday, September 3, 2014, in his daughter's home in Fayetteville. He was born on January 14, 1941, in Concord, Massachusetts, to the late Frederick E. Shipp and Genevieve Shipp. During his 28 years of service in the Air Force as a pilot, he completed three Southeast Asia tours and commanded the 16SOS, AC-130 Spectre squadron. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor J. Shipp. He is survived by daughters, Christy Shipp of Dallas, Texas, and Robyn S. Rodriguez, husband Raymond; and son, Jacob of Fayetteville. The funeral service will be at a future date at Arlington Cemetery in D.C.  Memories and condolences should be sent to George's daughter, Robyn ("Cricket") at rodshipp01@gmail.com or Robyn Rodriguez 4752 Rockabye Lane Fayetteville, NC 28312-7413


AC-130 H Gunships 'Spectre'
Vol 3, Issue 2



Date:  6 May 2014
Location:  Canon AFB, NM
Guest Speaker:  Lt Gen Fiel

Ceremony was awesome!  A special Thank You to the men and women of the 16th SOS for hosting this great event and all the super hospitality to the former Spectres that attended.  The highlight was the dedication of Acft 69-6572 at the airpark




Special THANKS to Ed Metz for his $100 Donation to the Spectre Scholarship Fund in Memory of his buddy (and all of ours) Gunner Larry Hickey.  Thanks Ed as well for the Photo of Larry's Memorial

More Prayers Needed: Bob Pike has Lung Cancer. He is in Tucson Medical Center, they are going to do biopsy on him 3/7/2014


NEW!!!  1st Spectre Association Reunion Original Newspaper Article!  From (then) SMSgt Jim McHale.  Thanks Jim for sharing!

NEW!!!  Compliments of grimriper2u@yahoo.com and BOB WOLFE
EVERY Version of Ghostriders in the Sky!!!  Just click the "Play" VCR Button Below and the forward and back buttons for next versions...enjoy!!!

SP Hotel Korat Article
Spectre guys doing what Spectre guys do!

Jan 18, 2013 Hurlburt Warrior Newspaper
"The most fearsome weapon is evolving" featured on pg. 14

And DON'T MISS our President, Bill Walter, featured on pg. 4 as well!
Thanks to Don "The Chief" Beardsley for sending this in!


NEW BOOK:  SPECTRE GUNNER:  This is the true story of  Master Sergeant David M. Burns, an aerial gunner assigned to the deadliest squadron in air force history. Aboard the AC-130 Spectre gunship, he flew a total of 287 combat missions over Laos, South Vietnam, and Cambodia, in pursuit of the truck traffic coming down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. His squadron destroyed more than fifteen thousand trucks loaded with war munitions destined for South Vietnam and Cambodia. Despite heavy and constant anti-aircraft and missile fire, the loss of six aircraft and the lives of fifty-two men, the crew never wavered in its dedication to the mission.

BLAST FROM THE PAST!  First Flight Engineers at Ubon
Photo from MSgt Chuck Beasley (FE) & Charlie Spicka (AC)


U.S. Air Force Col. Bill West, 27th Special Operations Group commander, Lt. Col. Tracy Onufer, 16th Special Operations Squadron relinquishing commander, and Lt. Col. James Mott, 16 SOS commander, stand as they commence the 16 SOS change of command ceremony at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 9, 2012. The 16 SOS flies the AC-130H Spectre gunship and provides air support. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jette Carr)

NEW!!!  New Videos from Ubon 1972 Donated by Larry "LiL Pete" Peterson...Thanks LiL Pete! AND 1970 "Sockey Game"
Photos of Spectre -v- Special Forces

 We also now have the capability to take in your donations via any Major Credit card
and PayPal as well. 
Please contribute to help out the Spectre Association today! 
Click on button below to make a Donation and THANKS for supporting the Association!


LOTS of NEW Spectre Pride & Vietnam Photos...check them out!
(Don't miss the Lang Metzger Memorial Page as well)


Recently Declassified Report on
Fixed Wing Gunships in SEA!


Also NEW:  LOTS of NEW Photos of Rescue of "Spectre 22" and...
A Night to Remember Rescue of Spectre 22

...by Gunner Bob Jacobs

NEW Aircraft Audio from March 30, 1972
Spectre 22 MayDay
Spectre 22 Rescue

Full Page of NEW 1969Ubon Photos

from Gunner Len Johnson

Also...May 25, 1969 Ubon Stars and Stripes Article on the Loss of #629

A small Christmas Gift from us all!  Downloadable Christmas cards to email to your friends.  Just click on the small image then right click, "Save Image as" to save to your computer and email away!  Merry Christmas!!!

A-Model H-Model
ATTN SPECTRES:  The 16 SOS Commander (Lt Col Onufer) is asking for crew nametags/Crew/Morale Patches to be proudly displayed on the new 16 SOS Patch Wall (click on Photo at Left to view Large) at Canon AFB, NM.  We already have a bunch of old name patches that we'll get added this week, but if anyone wants to send theirs, the more the merrier!  Anyone interested can mail their patches to: 

16 SOS

608 Liberator Ave

Cannon AFB, NM 88101  ATTN:  Patch Wall

United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Commander Admiral Eric Olson inducted Air Commando       Chief Master Sergeant Bill Walter (SPECTRE GUNNER) into the USSOCOM Commando Hall of Honor, Monday, 16 May at MacDill, AFB, FL. Click to visit page





Ret CMSgt Anthony (Tony) Denoi was honored this year at the Mercer Memorial Day 500 on Memorial Day May 30, 2011.  Please congratulate Tony if you know him!

Link to Photo Page

NEW BOOK!!!     
Callsign: Spectre

By Jeff Noecker

Callsign: Spectre is the true story of a young man from a small town in Pennsylvania who grows up and enlists in the United States Air Force at nineteen. Nearly forty years after the fact, Jeff Noecker recounts his combat flight experiences from the Vietnam War flying in an AC-130 Spectre gunship. The story follows him from his initial air force training to being accepted into an unusual Special Operations unit.


The 16th Special Operations Squadron has it's FIRST Female Commander! 

Congratulations to Lt. Col Tracy Onufer who took Command of the
16 SOS on 22 Feb 2011

"Spirit 03" Gulf War, Jan 31, 1991 (Aircraft 69-6567)


Shot down near the Kuwaiti border while supporting the Marines during the first Iraq offensive on January 31, 1991. The Air Force's biggest single lost of the Gulf War (14 out of 20 Air Force Personnel killed in the Gulf War were from Spirit 03).  See more info on Spirit 03 Page

Both the Litho and Poster above are awesome "MUST HAVE" remembrance of the loss of these brave heroes ALL proceeds (100%) go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation
for the families of fallen Special Operators (Click on their logo at left to see the wonderful things they do).  See Litho and Poster order info on our online store page

"Gunny" R. Lee Ermey on the 40mm!
Download the Bill Walter Article
Fact vs. Folklore; the 40mm "L-60" Bofors Gun

Dave Burns Account of his "Trip to Tchepone"
(with photos Dec 2010)

Need Help with Names on all Photos for accuracy.  Please send me your inputs.  Start with brand new crew photo on lower Vietnam Pg 14.  Thanks!  ALSO, check out the funny stories under Spectre History, Hootch Stories.  -PJ Cook

Cool Spectre Tribute knife from a proud nephew of a Vietnam Gunner

16 SOS Has Moved to NM!

Click on Hurlburt Warrior Pic to read more.  We will miss you guys & gals and of course, the

NEW!!!  Clearance Items are available in limited quantities

Now you can get all the Spectre Merchandise Goodies, we are now set up on PayPal to take your major credit cards and PayPal payments directly.  You DO NOT have to have a PayPal account to use your credit cards to make payments on this site.   We also now have the capability to take in your donations via PayPal as well.   Please contribute to help out the Spectre Association today!.  You can even click here  to make a direct donation to the association!  

Send in your Photos wearing Spectre Items all over the world.  We have a page dedicated to you showing your Spectre Pride.  Got the idea from the Steeler's Terrible Towel photos across world shown all over the Internet so send in those Pics!


WAR STORIES! (or even Hootch Stories)...send them in and we will make up a special page for them to share the memories!

Welcome to our new Website look and feel!

As Always PLEASE Keep checking the "What's New" on the menu for new additions to the site!  We have worked hard to develop a new menu system located on the left of each page to assist you finding your way around the website.  It is clean and mean like a brand new airframe  (we hear even a Navigator can't get lost using it)!  If you want to return to the main page at any time, click the large banner on top of all pages...How easy is that?  Try it out and let us know what you think!

You asked, we deliver...On Time, On Target!

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