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On 16 Jan. 2009, I was contacted by a lady named Terry Mathews. Terry

is the daughter of Albert Hamilton and was only 18 months old

at the time of her father's passing. The following email correspondence

between Terry and I is catalogued in chronological order; latest to

oldest. Also posted is a remembrance from Dr. Kermit Keeley.

_______________________________________________________________________

 

On 18 July 2009, Mike Perry SAYS:

 

Okay Terry, we're finished with this page for now. I'd email you but

you'd respond and I'd have to post it here. :) It would never stop!!!

I've enjoyed posting our conversations and stuff about your dad. I know

that we'll keep in touch.

 

Regards,

 

Mike

 

On 18 July 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

I was going to ask you to clarify...

 

On 18 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Mike:

My bad.

It's PRICKETT. Kirby Prickett ... not Pritchett!

 

On 18 July 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Terry,

 

I wouldn't dream of going that way without letting you know.  Would love to meet with you and your husband as well.

 

We've hit a rough patch here too, but we'll pull through.

 

Now leave me alone so I can finish your Dad's page...   :) :) :)

 

Mike

 

On 18 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

You must let me know if you do. Would love to bring my husband and mom and join ya'll.

We've had a really hard summer here at the newspaper ... hopefully, I can contact Keely again in the fall.

T
 

On 18 July 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Hope so...  :)

 

On 18 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Nevermind. I found the site here at work! Looking good. Proud of all your work.

Any chance you'll get out here to have dinner with Keely ...???
 

 

On 18 July 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Terry,

 

You bet.  The quick link to your Dad's page is:

 

http://flyingfiendsinkoreanwar.com/Pilots-Crew/Hamilton%20Family%20and%20Friends%20Correspondence%20-%20Remembrance%20page.htm

 

Without this "quick link" you could reach your Dad's page from the Home Page

 

www.flyingfiendsinkoreanwar.com

 

by clicking on the "Service Members List" link.  There, the 36th FBS service members are listed in alphabetical order. 

The list is not all inclusive, and will continue to grow as long as there are family members willing to provide information

on their loved ones.

 

On 18 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Can you send me a link?

Also, you might want to put "Buddy" in the name ... he was rarely called Albert. That was his dad.

 

On 18 July 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Hi Terry,

 

I enjoyed reading your blog.  I have started posting our correspondence on a page I've called "Family-Friends

Remembrance - Correspondence Page."  I'm doing this for future generations of 36th FBS family members who

wish to read about their "ancestors." This should save them a lot of time, don't you think?

 

Anyway, I do want to know that I have your permission to post these emails and a picture of yourself on the web

site.  I'm sure it's not a big deal to some folks, but it might be to others, so let me know if you're okay with the

postings.

 

I'll be posting to the web site throughout the day. So each time you log on, you may see additional posts.

 

Regards,

 

Mike

 

On 17 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Terry Hamilton Mathews, Buddy's daughter.

 

http://www.myssnews.com/blogs/theres-something-good-here/6053-theres-something-good-here-bittersweet-phone-call-unites-two-families-56-years-after-tragedy-.html

 

On 5 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

I found it ... it was bookmarked on my machine.

 

On 5 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Okay ... give me your website again ... I'm on a laptop in the hotel!

 

:-)

 

On 5 July 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Terry,

 

You can contribute any stories of your dad or others that your mom might be willing to share, and we can build a

"Bio" page on your dad and or others. I'll be sure to attach Mr. Pritchett's photo and any stories or remembrances

of his, on your dad's page.

 

I'm new to this "web authoring" thing and I'm learning as I go.  I'll try to create a "Guest Book" where folks can log on

and post comments about the site.

 

I'm glad you're getting to meet up with Mr. Pritchett.  Give him my best regards.

 

Mike

 

On 5 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Mike.

 

So great that this email would arrive today ... we're in Salado ... will meet Kirby, his wife, daughter and her

husband tomorrow for lunch.

 

Thanks!

 

Terry

 

On 5 July 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Terry,

 

That's great!  I found another 36th FBS pilot.  His name is Bert Mori. Bert's phone # is unlisted, so I wrote him a letter.

Bert said that when he got the letter he said, "I don't know any "Mike Perry." After showing the letter to his "kids," they

said, "Oh Dad, you've got to get in touch with this guy."

 

Bert arrived at K-13 sometime in mid-May of 1953. He may have briefly crossed paths with your dad and my uncle,

but he does not remember them. Bert was in "RTU" (Replacement Pilots Training Unit) at that time and when the war

ended, so he was likely not yet assigned to the 36th when the Globemaster went down.

 

Bert was quite in awe, thrilled, and honored by the work I've done on the web site.  I told him it was my pleasure to honor

their service. Not many did, or do today. Be sure to tell Mr. Pritchett for me, that their are those who are honoring their

service and keeping their sacrifices alive.

 

I've just finished posting "Bob Veazey's Memoirs on the web-site. Whew! Lot of work! Very fascinating reading. Check

it out when you get a chance.

 

Regards,

 

Mike

 

On 5 July 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Are going to meet Kirby Pritchett and his wife, Sue, for lunch in Salado tomorrow.

Will send you photos.

 

On 16 June 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Hey, there. Thanks so much!!!

 

On 8 June 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Hi Terry,

 

I learned how to "scale down" pictures using Adobe Photoshop so they are viewable without "downsizing" them.

Here are the modified, more "viewable" pics of your dad.

Regards,

Mike

 

 

On 8 June 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Another one.

 

Buddy and Dick were in Aluet flight.....Mouton was in Sally Flight

 

On 8 June 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Here's the response I got from my mom. Book's not lost. She has it. :-)

 

Yes.....Dick B. was in this class also as well as George Bud Day.  Found Raoul Mouton, nicknamed "mouhaggan"...but I don't

remember him....was  he married then....those Bachelors stayed elsewhere while we had to walk the streets in Hondo to find a

room w/kitchen privileges.  Red Campbell and Nita lived in Castroville, and Dick and Barbara lived in Uvalde.

 

Do you have the classbook?

 

On 8 June 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Ok.  By the way, I'm not sure of why, but you have to view the pictures at 100% size for them to appear "clear." 

I'll have to experiment with different scanning parameters...

 

Mike

 

On 8 June 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

No hurry. I appreciate the offer.

 

Take care ... will let you know how the meeting goes!

 

On 8 June 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Terry,

 

It's my pleasure to help anyway I can. Great news that your mom is able to open up about your dad.  The scanning

of the class book is going to be a long and arduous process (scan time at hi-res), but I will definitely send you a DVD

copy once I'm finished.

 

Great hearing from you again.

 

Regards,

 

Mike

 

On 8 June 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Mike:

 

How SWEET you are. The book has been lost, along with his high school yearbooks, much to my dismay ...

I grew up pouring over those photos. Having them on a DVD would be just wonderful.

 

Until we started emailing, I don't think I knew about your uncle. My mother has stayed friends with Dick and

Barbara Baldwin (Dick's at the far left of the group shot you sent) all these years. The Baldwins were my only

connection to his military life when I was growing up.

 

Kirby Pritchett - the man who called me about 2 months ago. He was there the day my dad's plane crashed ...

and had kept all the horrors of the crash to himself for over 50 years - and I are going to meet sometime during

the week of July 4th. He and his wife are coming to Texas to visit their daughter ... I can't wait to meet him and

give him a huge hug.

 

One by-product of all of this is that my mother is beginning to open up about her life with my dad. She recently

found a box of letters and has put some aside for me, along with his personal effects that were mailed to her

after his death.

 

She finally confessed to me ... "I just blocked it all out. I shut down emotionally."

 

This is the first time she has acknowledged not telling me about him. It's a huge step in our relationship.

 

Thanks for helping me put all the pieces together.

 

Terry

 

On 8 June 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Hi Terry,

 

I've recently returned from a trip to my hometown in LA.  I managed to "wrest" my Uncle Jr.'s Flight Training

Classbook from his brother, my Uncle John Mouton.  I'm currently scanning the classbook to put on DVD for my

family. I don't know if you have your Dad's classbook or not, or if you are aware that your dad and my Uncle Jr.

were in the same class.

 

In any case, when I got to your dad's picture I thought of you and decided to email you (3) pics of your dad, just in

case you don't have them.  If you do not have your dad's classbook, let me know and I will send you a DVD copy

when I'm finished.

 

Regards,

 

Mike Perry

 

On 6 Feb. 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Michael ... I am so sorry about not responding sooner. We were in the midst of changing out computers and

somehow, your email was stuck in the account that was still on my husband's machine ... I just now found it.

 

I think I'm going to try to hook up with Keely and his wife ... and if you get to North Texas, please let me know ...

we'll drive up to Honey Grove for dinner.

 

Thanks again  for everything.

 

On 18 Jan. 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Terry,

 

Kerm is just the best.  He and Fick Henderson sold real estate in Scottsdale, AZ. after they got out of the Air Force

in 1955.  One of Kerm's friends convinced Kerm that he would make a good dentist. Kerm did go to dental school

and practiced dentistry for 40 years. I have had the pleasure of dining with Fick Henderson and his wife a couple of

times. They are just the nicest people.  While I have not discussed it with my wife or Kerm and his wife, I would very

much like to make a trip out Honey Grove way to meet Kerm.

 

Im so glad that he wrote to you and in fact, I knew he would. Perhaps with you being so close to him, you could meet

up with him.  My Uncle Raoul, your Dad, Kerm, Fick and the veterans of their era are some of the last, true American

heroes we have left.  I am of course, proud of the men and women who currently serve in our armed forces, but it seems

that the Korean War veterans were the last to do their duty without complaining about it, if you know what I mean.

As a veteran myself, I can really appreciate their sacrifice. Apart from being away from my family for the better part of

nine years, I was fortunate enough to serve in peace time; with 3 hot meals a day, a hot shower every night, and a warm

bed. Plus..., I never got shot at!!!

 

If you get a chance to meet Kerm Keely (not Kelly) and his wife Pat, by all means take it. You'll get to meet a true

American hero.

 

Best regards,

 

Mike

 

On 18 Jan. 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Kermit Kelly emailed me yesterday. He was so nice .... and he lives in Honey Grove, which is only about an hour from me.

Stay in touch.  :)

 

On 17 Jan. 2009, Dr. Kermit Keeley writes to Terry Mathews and Mike Perry:

 

Hi Terry,

 

I just received your email to Mike Perry inquiring about your Dad.  We were in the same flight and in fact, bunked next to

each other in "Mike Flight's" hut. He was in Korea a couple of weeks before I arrived. Its been a long time so memories

fade but I do remember "Ham" well. He was very out going and personable, just one of the nicest guys in the world. We were

about the same size then, two of the largest pilots in the squadron so we often wore each others uniforms as our house boy

mixed them at times.  I don't know what else to tell you except Ham was a good pilot and a good friend. I got to fly his wing on

several missions . His loss was a great shock to all of us.  I wish I could help you more.

Respectfully,

 

Kermit Keeley

 

On 17 Jan. 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Oh goodness yes.  You are "Ham's " daughter all right.  :)

Mike

 

On 17 Jan. 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

I meant to attach this to my email ... recognize the smile?

 

 

On 17 Jan. 2009, Terry Mathews writes:

 

Thanks so much, Michael ... you'll never know how much this means to me. My mother remarried when I was 5

and put that part of her life behind her. She wouldn't talk about him ... My paternal grandmother died when I was

8 ... she lost both of her sons to war (my uncle Lawrence was killed in WWII .. also a pilot ... buried in England).

She never saw their graves. My dad is buried in the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. I've been there

twice. My paternal grandfather died when I was in high school. He didn't talk about this loss. He just drank his pain

away. As the mother of one son, I can't imagine the horror those two people endured.

 

Am so glad to hear my dad was as happy as his smile. I look just like him. Seriously. It must have been very hard for

my mother to look at me every day. There's nothing of her side of the family in me ...

 

I've been in touch with the young flight surgeon whose duty it was to identify and autopsy the victims of that crash. He

was so kind. Then, the Escalle guy sent me the reports. My mother was horrified, but to me, it was comforting to know

just exactly what happened to my dad and exactly how he died. It gave me some closure.

 

Thanks, again.

 

On 17, Jan. 2009, Mike Perry writes:

 

Hello Terry

 

I will happily pass along to you any information that I receive about your father.  I have talked to a number of pilots who

served with "Ham."  All say that he was well loved among his fellow pilots.  In every picture of "Ham" that I've seen, he

just seems like the most likable sort of guy; i.e., with that big smile, you can't help but like him.  I think my Uncle Raoul

was the same kind of guy.

 

I'm going to pass your email along to a couple of pilots who stay in touch with me regularly.  Perhaps they have something

to add about "Ham." Some of the pilots seem to me, to prefer to leave the memories of Korea in the past, so I don't bother

them any more.

 

I have a lot of home projects that I'm in the middle of right now, but I will get back to the web site soon and add a photo

gallery to each service member's page.  Feel free to contact me at any time.  It will be my pleasure to help you find out

anything new about your father that I can.

 

Best regards,

 

Mike Perry

 

On 16, Jan. 2009, Terry Hamilton Mathews writes:

 

Just found your site

My father was killed in the globemaster crash ... I was 18 months old and have no memory of him other than photographs.

If you have any information to share, I would love to hear from you.

Terry Hamilton Mathews