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Forum Home > GENERAL DISCUSSION > Where are they now and what are they doing?

Erich Maas
Member
Posts: 12

It's been many years since I stepped inside a Herkybird. I moved on to other platforms and life went on. I'm sure this holds true for many others that were a part of this community. My question is where are you now and what are you doing? I'll start it off; I retired after giving Uncle Sugar twenty and transitioned to the civilian sector where I currently test jet engines industrial applications. What are you all doing?

July 23, 2011 at 9:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Tony Villa
Moderator
Posts: 19

I did 24 years in the Corps working as a GSE mech, an F4 plane captain, maintenance control in a CH53E squadron and then finally as an FE in the mighty Herk. I am now working as an FE for a defense contractor at Patuxent River with VX-20. Flying in the very same Herks that I did on active duty. 625,626,627 and BOB. (Obviously of the OTIS variety)...

July 25, 2011 at 7:39 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alan Stinar
Site Owner
Posts: 296

Joined in 2003, had the pleasure of working on every model of the herk as a qualified KC-130 F/R/T and J mechanic. Currently a sergeant at VMGR-252 Powerline in Cherry Point.

--

Alan Stinar
Creator, Marine Battleherks
Owner, Lion's Roar Media LLC

July 31, 2011 at 6:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Erich Maas
Member
Posts: 12

Perhaps some of you out there know some of these people or came in contact with them during your career. If so, do you know what happened to them or where they are now. It's kind of ironic I ask this because I can recall a conversation with many FE's around, and one of them mentioned that he wanted to retire somewhere where folks had no idea what a KC-130 was. So, without further ado, these names may jog some memories: Brent Peterson, Gary Ellmer, Rick Parker, Chuck Lee, Frank Dashnaw, Nick Blehm, Bernie Doran, Russ Samples, Mark Dudgeon, SSgt Anderson, GySgt "Nellie" Nelson, GySgt McDermott, "Slim" Ketcham, Bobby Ketcham, and J.P. O'Donnell. I flew with most, if not all of these guys from 1978 to 1982.

August 1, 2011 at 3:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Erich Maas
Member
Posts: 12

A couple more names come to mind; Ed Begley, "Doc" Savage, Danny Weir, and Cary Depew. I do know that Nick Blehm is working for Lockheed in Georgia still flying in the 'J' model. He is the only one I've kept in touch with over the years. Brent Peterson was from Yakima, Wa and for all I know went back there.

Funny story about Gunny Pete; I was on the schedule for the first flight of the day. I had set my alarm clock and made sure I hit the sack early. I was an FE student and wanted to make sure I did everything right. I think the pre-flight was at 0500. Well, the alarm clock doesn't go off. I must have set the darn thing for p.m. instead of a.m. I wake up at precisely 0500 and realize I'm in deep Kimshi. Like a fireman to a three alarm fire, I jump into my zoom bag and drive as fast as I can over to the hangar. I show up to Maintenance Control a half hour late and check for what bird I'm asigned to. I hurry out to the ramp to find GySgt Peterson has already got the ladder out and is in progress on the pre-flight. Needless to say, the man is pissed. I suppose it didn't matter what I said, he was in no mood to hear it. He told me he wasn't taking me up and I could think about the consequences of my actions (or lack there-of). He was a tough taskmaster but the point had been made.

The irony in all of this is that months down the road, I can't tell you how many times the FE was dragging his ass to make pre-flight. Sure we spent the night somewhere with plenty of night life, but that's irrelevant. But that one time with Gunny Pete stuck with me from then on and I was never late again.

August 2, 2011 at 4:14 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alan Stinar
Site Owner
Posts: 296

Erich Maas at August 2, 2011 at 4:14 PM

A couple more names come to mind; Ed Begley, "Doc" Savage, Danny Weir, and Cary Depew. I do know that Nick Blehm is working for Lockheed in Georgia still flying in the 'J' model. He is the only one I've kept in touch with over the years. Brent Peterson was from Yakima, Wa and for all I know went back there.

Funny story about Gunny Pete; I was on the schedule for the first flight of the day. I had set my alarm clock and made sure I hit the sack early. I was an FE student and wanted to make sure I did everything right. I think the pre-flight was at 0500. Well, the alarm clock doesn't go off. I must have set the darn thing for p.m. instead of a.m. I wake up at precisely 0500 and realize I'm in deep Kimshi. Like a fireman to a three alarm fire, I jump into my zoom bag and drive as fast as I can over to the hangar. I show up to Maintenance Control a half hour late and check for what bird I'm asigned to. I hurry out to the ramp to find GySgt Peterson has already got the ladder out and is in progress on the pre-flight. Needless to say, the man is pissed. I suppose it didn't matter what I said, he was in no mood to hear it. He told me he wasn't taking me up and I could think about the consequences of my actions (or lack there-of). He was a tough taskmaster but the point had been made.

The irony in all of this is that months down the road, I can't tell you how many times the FE was dragging his ass to make pre-flight. Sure we spent the night somewhere with plenty of night life, but that's irrelevant. But that one time with Gunny Pete stuck with me from then on and I was never late again.

Nick Blehm, Carey Depew and Doc Savage work for Lockheed in Marietta I think. I don't know where Frank Dashnaw is but his son, SSgt Dashnaw is a KC-130J Crew Chief for VMGR-252. I think "Slim" Ketchum works for Lockheed, and I believe Bobby Ketchum died last year if memory serves me right.

--

Alan Stinar
Creator, Marine Battleherks
Owner, Lion's Roar Media LLC

August 4, 2011 at 5:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ken "SKi" Wolske
Member
Posts: 1

Erich Maas at August 1, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Perhaps some of you out there know some of these people or came in contact with them during your career. If so, do you know what happened to them or where they are now. It's kind of ironic I ask this because I can recall a conversation with many FE's around, and one of them mentioned that he wanted to retire somewhere where folks had no idea what a KC-130 was. So, without further ado, these names may jog some memories: Brent Peterson, Gary Ellmer, Rick Parker, Chuck Lee, Frank Dashnaw, Nick Blehm, Bernie Doran, Russ Samples, Mark Dudgeon, SSgt Anderson, GySgt "Nellie" Nelson, GySgt McDermott, "Slim" Ketcham, Bobby Ketcham, and J.P. O'Donnell. I flew with most, if not all of these guys from 1978 to 1982.

I to flew with just about every one you have mentioned along with "Nick " Dicandia, "Stretch" Grantham,  John Linville, Steve Caudle and every ones favorite Don Raphael. This plavce brings back some old memories and every one a good one. I will have to spend a little more and update my profile. I worked in power line at every one of the Marine KC-130 Squadrons along with being a mech at VMGR-252 & Vmgr-152. I retired in June of 1998 and went to work on civilian planes till 9-11 came along. So I fgured I hauled cago in the air, so now I haul cargo on the ground. I am a owner operator leased on with Dart Transportation. Like flying I got to see the world. Now I get to see the United States. You all take it easy and be safe out there.

GSgt Ken Wolske "Ski" ret.


August 4, 2011 at 8:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Mike Kasko
Member
Posts: 1

Ken "SKi" Wolske at August 4, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Erich Maas at August 1, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Perhaps some of you out there know some of these people or came in contact with them during your career. If so, do you know what happened to them or where they are now. It's kind of ironic I ask this because I can recall a conversation with many FE's around, and one of them mentioned that he wanted to retire somewhere where folks had no idea what a KC-130 was. So, without further ado, these names may jog some memories: Brent Peterson, Gary Ellmer, Rick Parker, Chuck Lee, Frank Dashnaw, Nick Blehm, Bernie Doran, Russ Samples, Mark Dudgeon, SSgt Anderson, GySgt "Nellie" Nelson, GySgt McDermott, "Slim" Ketcham, Bobby Ketcham, and J.P. O'Donnell. I flew with most, if not all of these guys from 1978 to 1982.

I to flew with just about every one you have mentioned along with "Nick " Dicandia, "Stretch" Grantham,  John Linville, Steve Caudle and every ones favorite Don Raphael. This plavce brings back some old memories and every one a good one. I will have to spend a little more and update my profile. I worked in power line at every one of the Marine KC-130 Squadrons along with being a mech at VMGR-252 & Vmgr-152. I retired in June of 1998 and went to work on civilian planes till 9-11 came along. So I fgured I hauled cago in the air, so now I haul cargo on the ground. I am a owner operator leased on with Dart Transportation. Like flying I got to see the world. Now I get to see the United States. You all take it easy and be safe out there.

GSgt Ken Wolske "Ski" ret.


Ken, Good to hear that you are still kicking.  I worked and flew with most of those also.  I got out on the VSI in "92" and went to work for Lockheed Martin as an instructor in Jeddah Saudi Arabia, then worked for Lockheed in Greenville SC, Now With TIMCO Macon as a Planning manager.  (We need some licnsed mechanics, Know any?) Those old memories come back to me nearly every evening as I lay on that pillow.  I can still Hear Don Raphael yelling at early show in the line shack in Cherry point... "WHEN I ASSIGN YOU TO EARLY SHOW YOUR FIRST PRIORITY IS TO MAKE COFFEE.  WHY IS THE COFFEE NOT READY?"  Yup, I miss that guy.  Miss all of Ya'All.  I have a bunch of pictures that I'm trying to get scanned and will upload as soon as I can.  Never seems to be enough time.

Sgt. Mike Kasko

August 5, 2011 at 2:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Tony Villa
Moderator
Posts: 19

Alan Stinar at August 4, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Erich Maas at August 2, 2011 at 4:14 PM

A couple more names come to mind; Ed Begley, "Doc" Savage, Danny Weir, and Cary Depew. I do know that Nick Blehm is working for Lockheed in Georgia still flying in the 'J' model. He is the only one I've kept in touch with over the years. Brent Peterson was from Yakima, Wa and for all I know went back there.

Funny story about Gunny Pete; I was on the schedule for the first flight of the day. I had set my alarm clock and made sure I hit the sack early. I was an FE student and wanted to make sure I did everything right. I think the pre-flight was at 0500. Well, the alarm clock doesn't go off. I must have set the darn thing for p.m. instead of a.m. I wake up at precisely 0500 and realize I'm in deep Kimshi. Like a fireman to a three alarm fire, I jump into my zoom bag and drive as fast as I can over to the hangar. I show up to Maintenance Control a half hour late and check for what bird I'm asigned to. I hurry out to the ramp to find GySgt Peterson has already got the ladder out and is in progress on the pre-flight. Needless to say, the man is pissed. I suppose it didn't matter what I said, he was in no mood to hear it. He told me he wasn't taking me up and I could think about the consequences of my actions (or lack there-of). He was a tough taskmaster but the point had been made.

The irony in all of this is that months down the road, I can't tell you how many times the FE was dragging his ass to make pre-flight. Sure we spent the night somewhere with plenty of night life, but that's irrelevant. But that one time with Gunny Pete stuck with me from then on and I was never late again.

Nick Blehm, Carey Depew and Doc Savage work for Lockheed in Marietta I think. I don't know where Frank Dashnaw is but his son, SSgt Dashnaw is a KC-130J Crew Chief for VMGR-252. I think "Slim" Ketchum works for Lockheed, and I believe Bobby Ketchum died last year if memory serves me right.

Frank is a sim instructor, can't remember for who. In Charoltte I think. You'll have to ask Jonathon.

Slim works for Roll Royce. Bobby did pass last year. RIP.... 

August 5, 2011 at 10:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Erich Maas
Member
Posts: 12

It stikes me as odd that Bobby Ketcham has passed away. When we were both at El Toro, I swear he was about the same age as me; maybe a year or two older. Having said that, I'm coming up on 54 so it is strange for someone so young to no longer be around. Life is funny that way though, some folks with bad habits live longer than we ever thought they would and others who take good care of themselves are taken much too soon.

August 7, 2011 at 5:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Justin Brown
Member
Posts: 2

I can remember Bobby Ketcham like it was yesterday.  I can remember him saying "Ahhh Brown buy me a beer" when I was in FM training.  After I seperated from OKI in 97 I moved home to MN.  But Aircraft were still in my blood.  After a short stint as an Electrician I went back to school.  While at School I worked for BizJet international in Tulsa OK.  Not bad work, mostly corporate jets.  I had the Secret Service confiscate my camera one night on the job because Airforce III was in the hanger.  I also wired in an a new APU one night, turned out to be on John Trevolta's Gulfstream.  After graduation I moved back to Wisconsin with my wife "Corporal Brown" and worked the next 6 years at Mesaba Airlines "Nothwest Airlink".  But after 4 rounds of layoffs and countless nights of not knowing if we would have a job next year I moved on from Aviation.  I currnenty work for GE Healthcare as a Field Service Engineer working on MRI, CT, and Xray.  I miss aircraft from time to time but also love what I'm doing now.  But my memories always bring me back to my days on the old Herc.

Justin

August 15, 2011 at 11:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

P.Ogletree
Member
Posts: 1

What happened to Nick Dicandia ? I remember he was a NASCAR fan and keep hoping to run into him in Bristol.

Like most on this site I am sure that happiest times in my life have KC-130's in them, wish I had never left VMGR-252.

--


August 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jason Reese
Member
Posts: 1

Nick Dicandia,John Linville, Nick Blehm, Carey Depew and Doc Savage work for Lockheed in Marietta as FE on the J model. Rick Parker &Ted Viet work for Rolls-Royce.

I was in 252 from 95-98 as a Powerline Mech working for Gus Ventura on Night Crew. I left the corps and went to college & got my A&P License. I later became the Powerplants instructor there for almost 2yrs. 

Got picked by Lockheed in 2002. Worked at 253 that yr on the legacy aircraft. I was then sent to VX-20 with Nick Dicandia's team to work on the J model during test & eval. In 2003 the LM Contract Field Team (CFT) went to 252.  To set the sqaudron up, training the younger generation of mechanics,  as Lockheed started delivering new airplanes. In 2007 I did the same with 352. In Sept of 2007 I was sent to 152 Okinawa to be part of their CFT. I finally left Oki mid year of 2011. I enjoyed every minute of working with my fellow Marines and the KCs but did gain an insite after many years. "It is easier to be a Marine, than it is to train a Marine"

I am now a Tech Rep. for LM and heading to QATAR to Support their J program.

Still working on the Hercs after all these years and do not see the end in sight for myself. I love the Herc!! From our old broken War Horses to our newest Herc. This will be a 100 year airframe.

Cheers & Semper Fi

Jason 

August 23, 2011 at 12:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Mike
Member
Posts: 2

I was in avionics (66-70), and tended to be more involved in the electronics aspect than the airframe.  I got to fly a lot in Vietnam (as a passenger), and rode on an incredible variety of airframes, but always felt safest on the 'herc.

Even then it struck me as odd that McNamara was pushing so hard for a 'universal' jet, which brought us that white elephant F-111.  Meanwhile the F4 was being flown by the Navy, Marines, Air Force and quite a few other countries.  It was used as a fighter, bomber, recon, etc. etc.  And the Hercules, well I don't think anyone knows all the diffferent uses, users, or even countries that flew this versatile bird.  McNamara had a good concept, but Lockheed & McDonnell had already delivered on the 'Universal' concept.  Sorta like the B-52, the C-130 has had a long life, with no end in sight.

September 1, 2011 at 1:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Jerry Greenwood
Member
Posts: 1

Well I guess it's my turn.  I spent time in 152, 252, and am a plank owner in 253.  Worked as an electrician and flew as a mech when I could get out of the shop.  Retired at the very end of 92 and worked for a job shopper in Havelock till Lockheed picked me up as a Tech Rep.  Worked in Maine for 8 years wirh a USN VR squadron, then in Chile at a C-130 Service Center.  Spent a couple of years at Miramar as the 352 Contract Maintenance supervisor then got another Service Center asignment in Johannesburg.  From there I went to a J model squadron in Denmark and at the moment I'm the Avionics Rep for a USAF squadron in Arizona transitioning to the J from E models. 

--

Maintaining an even slack

September 14, 2011 at 5:14 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Erich Maas
Member
Posts: 12

Anyone out there work with Russ Samples? He and I were together at 352. He was an avionics tech back then. The timeframe is late 1980 through 1982. I worked nights at that time reconciling the VIDS boards. Russ worked nights also and we struck up a friendship. I guess he became an FE and I wonder if he did twenty and is happily retired.

September 19, 2011 at 11:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Nick "Blackcloud" Blehm
Member
Posts: 1

I have been working at Lockheed since I got out of the Corps. With me are Cary Depew, Michael (Doc) Savage, Nick Dicandia, John Linville and Dave Files. We all fly the C-130J and some fly P-3's C-5's and Legacy C-130's. Its a pretty good job, at least I think so, we inspect and then fly first flights on the new J models as they come out of the plant and we go on some deliveries to the customers and also go give training on the systems and operations of the J.

--
September 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Erich Maas
Member
Posts: 12

Nick "Blackcloud" Blehm at September 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM

I have been working at Lockheed since I got out of the Corps. With me are Cary Depew, Michael (Doc) Savage, Nick Dicandia, John Linville and Dave Files. We all fly the C-130J and some fly P-3's C-5's and Legacy C-130's. Its a pretty good job, at least I think so, we inspect and then fly first flights on the new J models as they come out of the plant and we go on some deliveries to the customers and also go give training on the systems and operations of the J.

Good to hear from you Blackcloud. Nice profile pic also. It's great when you can have a career in something you really enjoy doing. I think you've got that in spades. Hope to hear more from you.

September 21, 2011 at 1:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alan Stinar
Site Owner
Posts: 296

Nick "Blackcloud" Blehm at September 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM

I have been working at Lockheed since I got out of the Corps. With me are Cary Depew, Michael (Doc) Savage, Nick Dicandia, John Linville and Dave Files. We all fly the C-130J and some fly P-3's C-5's and Legacy C-130's. Its a pretty good job, at least I think so, we inspect and then fly first flights on the new J models as they come out of the plant and we go on some deliveries to the customers and also go give training on the systems and operations of the J.

Glad to have ya, I've heard many stories from Mike Lamb and Jason Reese about you

--

Alan Stinar
Creator, Marine Battleherks
Owner, Lion's Roar Media LLC

September 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Matt Piliere
Member
Posts: 2

I've flown with just about all the Engineers Erich mentioned... Those were good days and great people.  Where does the time go?

October 3, 2011 at 9:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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