PopaSmoke.com is Combat helicopter association.
USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER ASSOCIATION
was begun by a few former helicopter pilots who wondered what had become of the people they used to fly with during the Vietnam War. Like so many, we had lost contact over the years with some close friends that we had made during our combat tours in Vietnam. Therefore, with a couple of phone calls, we began locating people. One thing led to another, and the next thing we knew we were having a reunion in Las Vegas in 1988. Approximately 200 people, representing all of the helicopter types that we flew, attended for a long weekend of fun. It was such a success that we began publishing a directory and a newsletter.
There were so many that were unable to attend the first reunion, having just heard about our new group, we decided to hold another get together just two years later in 1990, again in Las Vegas. This time over 400 people showed up. Our attendance was now open to all who were associated with our in-country helicopter operations. The second reunion included former pilots, gunners, crewchiefs, maintenance personnel, chaplains, corpsmen and flight surgeons. The whole idea was to get together and see old friends while re-telling war stories and reviving the camaraderie that is unique among us.
The idea really caught on, so we held a third reunion in Washington D.C., during June 1992. The attendance was over 600. A fourth reunion was held in September 1994 at Pensacola Beach. The attendance was approximately 1,000. The majority of Marines attended with their wives and many brought guests. It was a casual beach atmosphere for the four day event. The reunions have evolved into a very casual family-oriented event.