The Michigan Company of Military Historians and Collectors!

MEETINGS take place the second Monday of every month at the:
Downtown Holiday Inn, 310 Pearl NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504  (Free parking)
Socializing begins at 6:00, dinner at 7:00, business meeting, 7:15 and program at 8:00


MCMHC Open Mess

November 11, 2017

Colonel Charles Kettles, who was awarded the Medal of Honor
last year for his actions in Vietnam, has agreed to be the 2017 Open Mess Speaker.  
He is a Michigan resident and has an impressive bio:

open Mess 2017.jpg


You are cordially invited to attend the 2017 Open Mess of the Michigan Company of Military Historians and Collectors.  Join us for a unique social evening patterned after a traditional British regimental “Ladies Dining-In-Night,” with a bit of ceremony, a piper and a round of toasts, along with a great dinner, good company and an entertaining guest speaker.



THE DATE:                           Saturday, November 11, 2017|
THE PLACE:                         Boulder Creek Golf Club
                                            5750 Brewer NE
                                            Belmont, Michigan 49306
THE TIME:                            Cocktails at 6:00 PM
                                            Dinner at 7:00 PM
THE PIPER:                          Rev. Thomas Bradley
THE DRESS:                         Gentlemen: Suit or Jacket
                                             Ladies: Semi-Formal Attire
THE SPEAKER:                     Lt. Colonel Charles S. Kettles-U.S. Army-Vietnam
                                            Medal of Honor recipient

Vietnam. The very name conjures up various images, memories and opinions in Americans. One of the images associated with America’s involvement in Southeast Asia is the helicopter. For the first time in military history the helicopter was used on a massive scale. True, the helicopter had been used in Korea but it was in Vietnam that it came into its own. Whether being used as a modern cavalry mount for combat infantry, as a method of medical evacuation or as an air to ground weapon, the helicopter has become an iconic symbol of the Vietnam War. From the beginning of the conflict to the final evacuation from the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, the helicopter will be forever linked with that conflict.
Our speaker knows more than a little about the helicopter. A native Michigander, Charles Kettles became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army in 1953 and graduated from Army Aviation School. After serving in Korea, Japan and Thailand, Kettles returned to civilian life in 1956. In 1963, Kettles re-enlisted due the Army’s need for pilots. He eventually became Flight Commander of the 176th Assault Helicopter Company. Kettles completed two combat tours of Vietnam in 1967 and 1969-70. It was during his first tour where he would perform truly heroic deeds on May 15, 1967 during the Battle of Duc Pho at the Song Tra Can riverbed. The official U.S Army account of Kettles bravery can be found here:  There were 44 men that Kettles saved in this extraction of elements of the 101st Airborne on that day. For his actions in May, 1967, Kettles received the Medal of Honor last year. Please honor this American hero by attending this year’s event.

Please download the response form here

Check out the "For the Good of the Company" page for a
great series of videos on British Mess traditions!

The Michigan Company of Military Historians and Collectors (MCMHC) is a private organization dedicated to the observation and study of military history and to the memorialization of those involved in some of those historical moments. Our membership is composed of a cross section of society which includes combat veterans, non-veterans, professional and amateur historians, modelers and collectors.  Membership is by invitation and election only. Some of our members are distinguished and recognized authorities in their fields of military history, others have experienced first hand some of the most momentuous times in military history, and the rest of us just wish we had. Military history as a discipline suffers from a kind of stygma. It is more often than not misunderstood as the realm of war lovers and warmongers.  And yet, there is not one aspect of human history which either directly or indirectly can escape the study of military history. Many of our past and present advances in technology, medicine, and even our present social organization are connected in one way or another or due to some aspect of human conflict the subject of which is military history .


Members in good standing are welcome to invite prospective members to visit this website. As stated in our by-laws and constitution, "The purpose of this organization shall be to advance its members study and enjoyment of military history in all its facets."

For membership information please contact Kingman Davis, Chairman of the Membership Committee at

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The Current Cannon Report in PDF Format:
October 2017

The Cannon Report; previous issues:

Open Mess Speakers

1978 - Steve Richie - Vietnam Ace
1979 - Shigeo Imamura - Imperial Japanese Navy, Kamikaze Pilot
1980 - George Gay - Sole Survivor, Torpedo Squadron 8, Battle of Midway
1981 - Jack Hilger - Deputy Commander Doolittle Raid
1982 - Matt Urban - Most decorated US Serviceman
1983 - John Singlaub - USA Chief of Staff, Korea
1984 - Hanns Scharff - Chief Interrogator, Luftwaffe, WWII
1985 - Edwards Park - P-39 Pilot, Pacific Campaign
1986 - Werner Prange - Wehrmacht Infantryman, Eastern Front
1987 - William Billings - RAF Spitfire Pilot
1988 - Walter Scott - Battery Commander on Corregidor
1989 - William Sefton - 501st PIR, 101st Airborne, Normandy and Bastogne
1990 - Rev. George Wood - Chaplain - 82nd Airborne
1991 - Robert Ross - Dive Bomber Pilot, Pacific Campaign
1992 - Berendina Eman - Member of Dutch Resistance WWII
1993 - Ed Foster - 32nd Division, Buna Campaign, New Guinea
1994 - Ralph Hauenstein - Chief of Intelligence SHAEF
1995 - Don Jandernoa - USAAF, B-24 Pilot, 454th Bomber Group
1996 - Robert Johnson - USAAF, P-47 Ace, 56th Fighter Group
1997 - Joe Beyrle - 101st Airborne, Normandy, POW Escapee
1998 - Doug Canning - USAAF, P-38 Pilot, Admiral Yamamoto Mission
1999 - Horst Petzschler - Luftwaffe, ME-109 & FW-190A Ace
2000 - Walter J. Konantz - USAAF, P-51 Pilot, 55th Fighter Group
2001 - Donald R. Burgett - 101st Airborne, Normandy and Germany
2002 - Gordon J. Van Wylen - USN, USS Hardhead, Pacific
2003 - David “Tex” Hill - USAAF, P-40 Flying Tiger Ace, AVG!
2004 - Milo Flaten - USA, E Company, 116th Regiment, 29th Inf. Div, ETO
2005 - Joe Volmar - AHY, Luftwaffenhelfer, ME-163 Trainee
2006 - Roger Hall - OSS Instructor and Operative, ETO
2007 - James Campbell - author of The Ghost Mountain Boys
2008 - Mike Kuryla - USN, Coxswain and survivor of the USS Indianapolis
2009 - Karl Gelbke - 7th Fallschirmjäger Division, WWII
2010 - Chuck Pfarrer -USN, member SEAL TEAM 4 and 6, 1980s
2011 - Al Johnson - OSS Operative, ETO and China
2012 - Benjamin Busch - USMC, 4th LARB, Iraq 2003-2005
2013 - Brian Castner - USAF, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer, Iraq
2014 - Lieutenant Colonel Wickliffe “Wick” Walker (U.S. Army, retired)
2015 - Felix Rodriguez, former CIA operative.
2016 - Jack D. Segal-Major-USA (ret.) and Consul-General of the USA (ret.)