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2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

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  • 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

    Back by popular demand!

    Hello All!

    We are starting planning for the 3rd Bi-Ennial Heavy Haulers Gathering in
    Laughlin, NV at the Colorado Belle in October of 2011.

    That's about a year away, but since the location has become so popular to
    us, we are looking at doing it again.

    This would involve ALL Heavy Hauler folks from both HMH-462 & HMH-463.

    Actually, it involves ANY and ALL folks that have ever driven or laid hands on a CH-53.

    In past gatherings we have had folks spanning a 30 year coverage of 53 activity.

    We will also arrange for another Color Guard from Miramar again.

    We would like to see about 100 former member attendees this time. We
    had about 70 last year.

    Also we will set a goal to exceed $2000 for the Wounded Warriors. We
    donated about $1950 last year.

    We don't have a date as yet, as we are just beginning the process, but all
    of you block out a week or so toward the end of October 2011 for this.

    We hope to see a bunch of you there!


    Hoot Gibson, Rick Brohmer & Mike Amtower
    Last edited by Mike Amtower; 09-18-2010, 17:19.

  • #2
    2011 heavy hauler gathering!

    Hi Mike ...

    Thus far, my wife and I are planning to attend the HEAVEY HAULER REUNION 2011.

    I checked into HMH-463 March 1975 as a Co-pilot on the '53' and deployed with the squadron on the HANCOCK for both 'Frequent Wind' and "Eagle Pull" and was assigned to S-3. During my time with HMH-463, I became OIC S-2 and Training Officer for S-3. I remained a member of HMH-463 until January 1979 (did quite few of out-squadron activities during that time) at which time I transferred to Pensacola, Florida for Fixed-Wing Flight Instruction Duty until June 1982.

    Look forward to meeting with you and other members of HMH-463.


    Stephen Maxwell
    Capt. USMC
    now Retired Airline Captain!


    • #3
      Heavy Haulers 2011


      Thanks for the early notice.

      Please keep an eye on the:

      site, using the "Reunion Info" link, for details when they become available.


      • #4
        Heavy Haulers

        Its Great to be able to go to so many reunions. Hate they are always on one of the coasts, and not in the center. To all, have a good one. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.


        • #5


          Laughlin is not quite "on the coast" It is on the
          Nevada/Arizona border.

          About due south of Las Vegas.


          • #6
            Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering



            Please check out the above link.

            Planning is going well for the October gathering in Laughlin. Registrations are rolling in.

            We have also added a link to an M1 Garand Raffle we are having to raise funds for the
            Wounded Warriors.


            Please check it out. Also the registration details for the gathering.

            Last edited by Mike Amtower; 09-25-2011, 04:57.


            • #7
              Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering --- final update


              Folks, check out the above link.

              This is a "last chance" update on the October gathering in Laughlin, NV.

              Look at the left hand column for info on two raffles and some Oatman pics.

              The good deal on room rates at the C-o-l-o-rado Belle comes to a close at the
              middle of September. So if you are still procrastinating, let me push you
              over the edge.

              We've got a good group gathered up, but more are always welcome!

              See you there!


              Last edited by Mike Amtower; 09-05-2011, 04:40.


              • #8
                Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

                Moved back to active viewing.

                Please see the previous post in this thread.


                Last edited by Mike Amtower; 09-05-2011, 04:33.


                • #9
                  Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

                  HI Mike ...

                  Can't find the 'particulars' on the 2011 RE-UNION ... MY WIFE AND I MAY ATTEND!

                  I was in HMH-463 (off and on) 1975-1979 and aboard USS Hancock ref. 'Frequent Wind and Eagle Pull' ... also S-3 Training Officer and S-2 Intell Officer during that time!

                  Any info and particulars please e-mail ( or msg. via POP-A-SMOKE!

                  Thanks and Big 'SEMPER FI'!!!

                  Steve Maxwell (now Retired Airline Capt,)


                  • #10
                    Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

                    Three posts above this one you will find the link to the HMH-463 web site and
                    all the available details.

                    Hope you can make it.




                    • #11
                      Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

                      Had a GREAT gathering in Laughlin!

                      Had about 50 old Heavy Haulers from all eras in attendance plus spouses and guests.

                      Had three of the original crew that hadn't been seen in 43 years!

                      Also some other new faces that found old crew mates.

                      I've got a ton of pics rolling in and will get busy collating them and posting them soon.

                      It was a worthwhile effort put out by Hoot Gibson to plan and host this our third
                      biennial Heavy Haulers Gathering.

                      In the pic are Hoot Gibson and Ed Steuber outside the C Deck hospitality suite at the C-o-l-o-rado Belle.

                      AAR being generated, but in a nutshell, we more than doubled the 2009 Gathering receipts
                      with $4415.73 raised for the Wounded Warriors. OOH-RAH!!!

                      The funds will be split evenly between Wounded Warriors East & West and the Burn Center in San Antonio.
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by Mike Amtower; 11-04-2011, 07:02.


                      • #12
                        Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

                        All Marines

                        After Reunion Report

                        To all hands, the reunion wound down the morning of 21 Oct. 2011 with everyone departing Laughlin and headed back to colder climates. This year was similar to the 2009 reunion, with nice warm temperatures all week. The following Tuesday it turned cold and windy on the river, so the timing was perfect.

                        This year was slightly larger than in years past, we seem to be growing at a slow and steady pace. Most of the old hands keep returning and new ones are coming. This time Fred Widder who was with Det. A was there with his daughter and her husband along with a couple of grandchildren. One of the lads had to get back to Wyoming by Sunday; he was headed to MCRD San Diego. He had a positive attitude and was looking forward to Boot Camp.

                        Three other new faces included Mike LaRusso, Joe Rossi & Pat Murgallis. Some of us had not seen these three in 43 years!

                        Mike Amtower will be posting photographs on the 463 web page if he has not already got them posted.

                        s were posted before dinner on Wed. and retired after dinner on Thurs. The Guard was from Miramar and again we had picture perfect Marines. The ado Belle again shut down the casino music and played Semper Fi and the Washington Post March as the Guard marched the s thru the casino. There was a lot of applause and go Marines etc. Kind of lifts you spirits to see the support given by everyone on the casino floor.

                        To those who attended and were impressed by the Guard, I would like you to communicate you thanks to MGySgt. Goniotakis at the following e-mail address The MGySgt. was unable to secure a government vehicle and paid for the gas to have the Guard to come by POV. Letting him know how impressive these young Marines were is the least we can do.

                        You should start making plans for another reunion around the third week of October 2013. As you know these are off year reunions from Pop-A-Smoke so we do not draw from their attendance.

                        Now for the good news!

                        Thanks to the generosity of everyone in supporting the reunion even if unable to attend we met our expenses for the Guard, hospitality room and came out a little ahead. That little ahead came out to the tune of $4415.73 (Yes that’s right Four Thousand Four Hundred Fifteen Dollars and Seventy Three cents.) that will be going to Wounded Warriors. One third will be going to Semper Fi West, one third to Semper Fi East and the last third to the Burn Clinic in San Antonio.

                        The majority of these funds were the result of the M-1 Garand raffle and Charlie Chase is to be thanked for donating the M-1. By the way the winner was Bernie Wood, who is giving the rifle to Larry South an old HMH-463 member. The two CH-53 models we raffled also brought in a fair share as well. Remember that this amount could not have been achieved with out the donation for the Guard expenses. Those of you who donated to the expenses make this high figure possible. There is one problem I see for the next reunion, which is how are we going to have another raffle that will bring in the funds this one has. If any one knows where this a WWII jeep that is not heavily guarded and someone who is good at altering serial numbers, then the problem may be solved.

                        Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

                        Last but not least thank you for coming. Without those who attended there would not be a reunion. We had a few that had to drop out because of illness and that makes it just that much more necessary to have these. Seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

                        Thanks Again and Semper Fi



                        • #13
                          Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

                          I've got nearly a thousand pics that I am searching thru to post on the HMH-463
                          web site, but here is the group on the stairs at the C-o-l-o-r-ado Belle after our
                          Thursday night banquet.

                          Bare with me as I work on the names. There will be seven rows, starting from
                          the left and reading bottom to top.

                          The four Marines: Cpl Kim Solarik, Sgt Brian Washington , Cpl Noah Brown & Cpl
                          Jake Thibodeau

                          Row 1: Glenn Turley, Frank Barbosa, Dale Clark, Larry South, Jean Gonneville & Jim Parrot.
                          Row 2: Behind Cpl Solarik, Mike LaRusso, Charley Chase adjusting his hat, Dave Danford, Rick Brohmer, Bill Timmreck & Frank Trejo.
                          Row 3: Behind Sgt Williams, Errol Ortego, Ed Steuber, Lennis Larson, Glenn Richards and above rt Almus Dean.
                          Row 4: Behind Cpl Chavez, Mike Amtower, Bob Martinson & E.K. Cannon.
                          Row 5: To rt of Cpl Thibodeau, Jim Batt, Joe Rossi, Bill Cowperthwait, Carl Damon, Skip Burns, unk in black hat, Gary Bisplinghoff, & Bill Keller.
                          Row 6: unk Belle employee, Dale Gibson, Doug Hagen, Steve Pollard, Brook Stevenson.
                          Row 7: Fred Widder, Paul Bulman, Damian Knight & Steve Maxwell.

                          All of you out there, please help me with the unknowns.
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by Mike Amtower; 01-07-2012, 05:30. Reason: .... fixing unknowns


                          • #14
                            Re: 2011 Heavy Haulers Gathering

                            All Marines & attendees!

                            I've got 12 pic pages up and online at the site.


                            They each contain 9 thumbnail links to another page, for a total of 108 picture

                            I hope you all enjoy them. I CERTAINLY enjoyed seeing all of you again.

                            Including all the new faces. Some of whom many of us had not seen in over
                            43 years!

                            We had about a dozen first timers too Laughlin this year.

                            That is why we have these gatherings!

                            Ooh-Rah! & Semper Fi!
                            Last edited by Mike Amtower; 01-03-2012, 17:27.