From the Commander

Dear 49ers,

(Email blast to 220 FSA members)

The 49th FSA ’49er to Remember’ program is off to a great start – see attached.

Thanks to Jim Vanlaak for submitting our first ’49er to Remember’ entry.  The subject is Col. Jim Lowe, the 49th Squadron Commander in 1978 when we flew the F-106.  See the attached on Col. Lowe where Jim recounts his personal recollections of Col. Lowe as a leader, pilot, and friend.

We are off to a great start maintaining our legacy through the ’49er to Remember’.  The challenge is on to all members as I would like to publish an entry every month.   I look forward to receiving the next entry of a ’49er to Remember’.  Kudos to Jim Vanlaak for the first entry.

Tony Asterita

49th FSA CC 


Dear 49ers,

(sent to all 220 FSA members)

I appreciate the great feedback and support from many of you about the recent memorial service in France; it’s good to know that our ‘pulse’ is still there.  In fact, several members expressed interest in going to France for the service next year. 

But without reunions or newsletters, we need fresh ideas to further maintain our legacy.  So I solicit your ideas; and here’s mine:

49th members are invited to provide a one-page mini-bio of a family member  or friend who served in the 49th – this would be a parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, relative, friend, etc.  This mini-bio would include when they served in the 49th, in what capacity, and a short paragraph that relates an incident (humorous or not) about the person that stands out in your memory.  Wives and moms are included as their stories are definitely part of our legacy.  A photo or two would be included in the write-up. 

I would prepare a draft based on your input and coordinate with you for the final version which will be sent to all 220 members as the ‘Member to Remember’. Each month would have a new mailing telling the Association about a 49er no longer with us, but worth remembering.

What do you think?  My best to all of you and I look forward to receiving your inputs.

Tony Asterita

49th FSA CC 


Dear 49ers,

Yes it’s been a while since we’ve been in touch,  and I hope each of you are well and enjoying  beautiful Spring weather. The days of our reunions and newsletters are long past, but our legacy lives on.

 Each year we participate in a memorial ceremony in France for 5 pilots killed in action during World War II.  This year it was held on 23 April at Plan de Dieu, France.  This was the site of much aerial combat action in 1944; today it is a most prodigious wine regions in France.

April 23rd was a rainy day in Plan de Dieu.  However our colleague Nico Courtine went ahead with the planned ceremony for our pilots who were killed in action in 1944. We provided a wreath which was placed by the mayors of several local municipalities -Travaillan, Violès, Camaret sur Aigues, and Rasteau. The 5 American pilots honored were Lt. Donald Tracy, Lt. Warren Semple, Lt. Robert Simpson, Lt. Harold Duggleby, and Lt. Hugh Crandall. The tribute was read by the mayor of Camaret and was broadcast. Attending were French Air Force representatives, the National Association of Air and Space Force reserve officers, firefighters, and many veterans.

The attached photos show the ceremony and the dedication of the French people which continues after more than 75 years – The French don’t forget; they even named several roads in the area in honor of the 15th Air Force, within which our squadron was assigned.

The attached photos show the ceremony, wreath, and dedication of all attendees.  We thank Nico Courtine for his devotion and very fine efforts.

Tony Asterita

49th FSA CC


A copy of the Email Blast sent November 8th:

Some of you may already know that Col. William J. (Greg) Gregory passed on 7 October at age 101.  Greg is the last of our 49th

Dear Association members,

Last month Greg joined many of our former members and we remember them all with honor and respect.  Please see details of Greg’s final sendoff – attached. 

He, as well as many others will not be forgotten.

Tony Asterita

49th FSA CC