Our 2015 Open Mess Speaker is:
Felix Rodriguez, former CIA operative.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Boulder Creek Golf Club
5750 Brewer NE
Belmont, Michigan 49306
Cocktails at 6:00 PM
Dinner at 7:00 PM
Rev. Thomas Bradley
Gentlemen: Suit or Jacket
Ladies: Semi-Formal Attire
As a member of the 2506 Brigade, Felix I. Rodriguez infiltrated his native country of Cuba in preparation for the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. In 1962 President Kennedy commissioned Felix as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army. In 1967 he was made an advisor to Bolivian forces that captured Ernesto “Che” Guevara. He was the last person to interrogate Che Guevara before the latter’s execution. In the Vietnam War he flew numerous helicopter missions, being shot down five times. He received nine Crosses for Gallantry from the South Vietnamese government during that conflict.
In the 1970s he was assigned to the Special Activities Division (SAD) in the Caribbean for the Central Intelligence Agency. After his retirement, the CIA employed Felix as an advisor to the Salvadoran Air Force. In that capacity Felix flew 298 helicopter missions including combat, medevac, transport and supply missions. He was awarded the CIA Intelligence Star for Valor (awarded for “voluntary acts of courage performed under hazardous conditions or for outstanding achievements or services rendered with distinction under conditions of grave risk”). Only a few dozen people have received this award (most posthumously) making it one of the rarest valor awards bestowed by the United States.
Felix is a highly sought after speaker, having spoken at major command staff colleges for the U.S. services and various universities. His book “Shadow Warrior” quickly became a best seller and is out of print. Fortunately we will have a limited number of Felix’s book for sale at the event. While there are many Hollywood “cloak and dagger” characters, Felix is the real deal. Be there!
The Michigan Company of Military Historians and Collectors!
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 .
Former member Bob Blackwell died on his 90th birthday, August 12, at the GR Veterans Home. There will be a memorial service sometime in October when his ashes will be interred at the facility’s cemetery. Bob was a B-17 crew member in the ETO. On one mission his plane was so disabled that everyone had to bail out. Bob was the only crewman that landed in Allied territory, the others landed in German occupied Holland and were captured. Bob is survived by his wife Mary and numerous children.
A Life Well Lived
Celebrate his life as we mourn the death of
Robert Charles Blackwell
August 12, 1925 - August 12, 2015
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015; 2:00-5:00pm
American Legion Hall 305
9548 Cherry Valley Ave SE, Caledonia, MI, 49316
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-445-5668
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 email@example.com
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.