A Gray Eagle goes home.

Glen Vanderford
Dear all,

I received a phone call this evening informing me that our dear friend Glen Vanderford passed away today, May 27, 2020, peacefully at his home. His care provider and grandson were with him. No additional details at this time.  I will share more as I know it and include a memoriam in this months newsletter (out next week).

A true gentleman, patriot, and friend! God Bless. Rest in Peace Glen.


Bill Tharratt

1st Lt Ryan Michael O’Brien (3/19/1922-11/24/2019)

First Lieutenant Ryan Michael O’Brien was born in Los Angeles, California on March 19, 1922. He graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 1941.

In February 1943, he enlisted in the Air Force. After basic training he was sent to the University of Arkansas, then on to Pre-Flight training at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas.

Ryan then attended the Pan American Celestial Navigation School at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. He graduated from there in June 1944 and was then commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Of the 250 cadets in his class at that teaching institution, Ryan was the only one to receive 100% on the final exam covering the theory of celestial navigation.

Ryan then joined a 10 man crew at March Field in Riverside, California and began training in a B-24 in July 1944. His very first mission was on August 15th, 1944. It was the invasion of Southern France and was followed by an additional 34 air missions.

On Ryan’s 35th Mission, his tail gunner shot down the 109 that had fired the 20 MM shells into the gas tank in the wing, but incredibly, those shells did not explode. The shells were all duds intentionally minus the firing mechanism that had come from Oskar Schindler’s ammunition factory in Czechoslovakia. This is what saved their B-24 from being blown out of the sky, thereby adding Ryan’s crew; other American and Allied force crews to Schindler’s list of the 1,200 Jews that Oskar Schindler had saved from the gas chamber.

First Lieutenant Ryan Michael O’Brien was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; 4 Air Medals; the Order of the Purple Heart; and the European African Middle Eastern Medal with 3 Battle Stars. On July 10, 2018, Ryan received the government of France’s highest civilian honor, it’s Legion of Honor Medal. His 484th Bomb Group was also awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their part in the destruction of oil refineries in Romania.

As a civilian, Ryan has called Fair Oaks, California his home for over four decades. During that time, he founded and was the Chief Executive Officer at the Mason’s Association. He was also the lobbyist in state legislature for that organization.

Since retiring, Ryan has continued to remain very active in the community. His organizational affiliations were many and included the American Legion Post #383; VFW Post #6158; Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter #385; American Society of the French Legion as a Chevalier (Knight); Gray Eagles; P-38; 484 Bomb Group Reunion Team ; Knights of Columbus and others.

In his retirement, Ryan also remained very active at the State Capitol as a very passionate advocate for California’s veteran communities. On March 19, 2019, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (Granite Bay) honored Ryan’s service and sacrifice to country as well as his volunteer efforts to give back to the community once out of the Military. With family and friends present Ryan was conferred an official state assembly Resolution presented on the floor by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley.

On March 22, 2019, Senator Brian Jones (San Diego) officially “Introduced” Ryan on the floor of the state senate during session. All Senators present then honored Ryan. According to Senate President Senator Toni Atkins it was the very first time she had to call that moving session back to order.

On November 9th, 2019, Ryan received Special Congressional Honors for his lifetime of Achievements from Congressman Tom McClintock at the 9th Annual “Spirit of Veterans Day...Saluting Community Excellence” Recognition Ceremony. He was also honored again at that Ceremony by Guy Michelier, Consul Honoraire de France.

Ryan was married twice and his children from his first marriage include daughters Erin, Colleen, Patty and son Ryan Jr.   Ryan passed peacefully with family present.  

Respectfully submitted, Candace Hamilton

Here is the pic with Assemblyman Kevin Kiley

Here is a picture with his daughters at the Spirit of Veterans Day event.

One of his Doctors and other honorees.

Raymond D. Anderson  1929-2019

Ray peacefully passed away at home on June 30th at the age of 90. He was surrounded by love of family and friends,
and is survived by his Loving wife Patricia, daughter Susan Wren, and an extended family. The Funeral service was held on Friday July 19th at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church.

Edward Hugh Poteet  1928-2019

Edward Hugh Poteet passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 8, 2019, at the age of 90. He was born August 25, 1928 in Follansbee, West Virginia to Charles and Dulcie Poteet. The family moved to Martinez, California when he was a child and then to Marysville Washington where he graduated from Marysville High School. Ed was in the United States Air Force where he served his country for three years, 18 months of which he was stationed in Korea. Upon his return, his final station was at Davis Montham Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. He enrolled at the University of Arizona where he majored in Agriculture. During his time at U of A, he met his future bride, Janann B. S mith. They married on August 10, 1957 in Peoria, Illinois. They settled in Sacramento in 1960. Ed leaves behind Janann, his wife of 61 years, three children, Jeff, Brandon (Alaire), Mary (Bo), and three grandchildren: Allison, James, and Shaelyn, who brought him much pride and joy. He was preceded in death by his parents and 3 brothers. Ed devoted 10 years coaching his sons' Eastern Little League baseball teams. His other hobbies included gardening, especially growing sunflowers and tomatoes. He also enjoyed woodworking and built many projects which continue to fill our homes. Another hobby Ed had was drying various fruits in the summers. We enjoyed his dried fruit all winter long. Ed was always a dependable and helpful neighbor and friend. He was a truly devoted man who always put his family first. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to Adrian and Nora Berci for their loving care for the last seven months. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. A memorial service was held on Saturday July 20.

Another Gray Eagle has taken off on his final flight. Long time Gray Eagle and USAF veteran, Edward Hugh Poteet passed away peacefullyin his sleep on July 8, 2019, at the age of 90.
A memorial service will be held TOMORROW on Saturday July 20 at 2:00 p.m.at Carmichael Presbyterian Church.5645 Marconi AveCarmichael CA 95608

Winfield Curtis "Windy"passed away today, D-Day June 6,  2019

Winfield Timothy Curtis was born on May 21, 1921 and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps
during WWII as a B-24 pilot.

obituary link: Winfield Timothy Curtis

Services are as follows:

Visitation:              Wednesday, June 12 at  5:30 pm
                            Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home
                            5401 Folsom Blvd Sacramento, CA 95819

Recital of the Rosary:    Wednesday, June 12 at 7:00 pm
                                    Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home
                                    5401 Folsom Blvd Sacramento, CA 95819

Funeral Service:       Thursday, June 13  at 11:00 am
                                Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home
                                5401 Folsom Blvd Sacramento, CA 95819

Burial:            Thursday, June 13  (to follow funeral service)
                      East Lawn Memorial Park,
                      4300 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95819

Family Reception:        Thursday, June 6 (to follow graveside service)
                                  Windy’s House
                                  740 48th Street, Sacramento, CA 95819

map link: Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home

George C. Jordon
July 16,1921 - September 4, 2018

Sad news, a phone call today from Chris Rider, Red's son, who informed us that his father, Robert "Red" Rider passed away yesterday (July 13, 2018).
Chris said he will forward us additional in a few days. No other info.

Paul “Jim” Darghty
December 12,1931 - August 23, 2018

Received this letter (attached) yesterday (4/10/18) from Rose Marie Wood.
Gray Eagle Robert W. Wood passed on March 29, 2018.
Solemn regards,

Mel Chorich

Mel Chorich passed away on March 1 of this year. Born June 27, 1924 to Peter and Sophia Chorich in Perkins, California

Click here for the obit

Taggart, Iris Darlene Foster
Born October 23, 1926. Died January 30, 2017

In Loving Memory
Dola Fay Peterson
January 16, 1933 – December 18, 2016

To Be Remembered
“What I always did for my self
no one has now remembered .
But what I did for others
I hope will always be
remembered . ”
By Fay Pe t e r s o n
Ap r i l 1 5 , 2 0 1 5

Longtime Gray Eagle, Tom Brady has passed away.

Services will be this Monday, November 07, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

Auburn Grace Community Church
3126 Olympic Way, Auburn, CA 95603

I-80 to Auburn
Exit Highway 49 North
Left (west) on Bell Street
Left (south) on Olympic

Click Here for Google Map

Dear Gray Eagle,

Floyd A. "Pete" Peterson passed away at 7:17 a.m. on April 14, 2014.


Lloyd Perisich
March 09, 2016

Carl Burnhardt
April 18, 2016

Lawerance "Larry" R. Poundstone

Nov. 8, 1912 - May 27, 2016

Tom Montgroery Wooton Jr.
Nov. 13, 1921 - May 31, 2016

Russel Henry Menke
Jan. 4, 1917 - July 18, 2016

Billie Evelyn Fitzgerald
April 16, 1926 - July 29, 2016

Robert "Bob" Whithead
July 31, 2016

Thomas K. Evans
September 20, 2017

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