The UnOfficial 81st Security Police website recognizes our comrades who have passed away. This page pays tribute to them in the spirit of cybergrace.
Please contact the webmaster , if you wish to have your eulogy, tribute or story displayed here.
Tim Deaver - 1961 to 1981
"Tim arrived at RAF Bentwaters in Nov 1979. Fresh out of SP training at Lackland and not long after high school graduation. He arrived with a group that including myself, Dale Pollack, Ray Vansickle, and numerous others from that period. He was from the Washington, DC area. He was a great kid with the boyish high school look, and had a great sense of humor. He was fond of playing racquetball at the gym, and hanging out at the bowling alley or hitting a good movie at the theater.
Tim was a squared away SP. His uniform always looked crisp and pressed and his boots highly shined. He was never a drinker at Bentwaters unlike some of the other guys. Never out of control. He'd rather play a game of cards with some friends or listen to some tunes than binge drink. He often was part of many "C" Flight events and trips to London, Paris, Sweden and the big "C" Flight trip to an authentic medievel banquet in 1980. One of Tim's accomplishments was becoming a "C" Flight Entry Controller for the WSA.
In mid-Nov 1981 Tim and several other "C" Flighters completed 2 yrs and were ready for departure. On the last night, Tim was hanging with some guys in a dorm room, listening to great music and reminiscing. I distinctly remember Neil Diamonds' "They're Coming To America" cranking on the stereo. It was a great night to be finally heading home, but melancholy because Tim and the rest of us had all been through so much, enjoyed wonderful times together and sad about leaving the only family we had known for two years. (As a side note, Tim had never taken leave during his 2 years at Bentwaters). It was still dark when we boarded the bus and headed out of those gates at Bentwaters. I remember looking back as the base lights slowly faded off in the distance. I remember wondering if I would ever be back again.
After arriving at Mildenhall, we boarded a plane for McGuire AFB, New Jersey. The whole time we were joking, laughing and totally excited about what was ahead. I was heading to Plattsburgh AFB, New York after a month's leave. Tim was heading to Minot AFB after his leave. The last time I saw Tim, we were in the terminal at McGuire AFB and he was with family grabbing his bags off the flight. We all said we would get in touch eventually at our new bases.
It must've been two or three weeks into my leave when I heard from Mark Holt still at Bentwaters. He said that the base had received word that Tim had been killed in a shooting incident while on leave. He was either target shooting or something with some buddies when one of his friends got careless with a weapon waving it around. It allegedly went off accidently and Tim was struck in the head. What a tragedy. I was stunned and it took me a while to fully come to terms with it. To this day, I still think of Tim every once in a while and those days with the 81st SPS at Bentwaters. Lots of wonderful memories. Memories that take me back to a more innocent time. A time I will never forget."
Dave Paine, "C" Flight Security, 1979-1981
Gene Malenga - according to Tony Invergo, Gene Malenga of B Flight Bentwaters around 1980, died in a boating accident.
Jerry Hartman - according to Dale Pollack, Jerry Hartman - formerly of B Flight Bentwaters circa 1980.. died in a motorcycle accident during his second tour of duty at RAF Bentwaters.
Laura Van Selow - June 1981 to June 1985, "B" & "C" Flight LE
"46, Indianapolis, died January 27, 2005. She was born in Naperville, IL. She served in the United States Air Force for 21 years, retiring as a MSgt. Services were held on Monday, January 31, 2005 at Gilliland - Howe Funeral Home, in Greensburg, IN., with burial following in Arlington National Cemetery.
One of the most vivid memories I have of Laura was her ability to go from being a “tough-as-nails” LE Desk Sergeant who would not take anything from anybody, to an everyday woman whom anyone would want to hang around with. She was great at what she did and she enjoyed proving it every opportunity she had. She was successful not only in the military at a time when women were not always given their fair shake, but also in a career field that was normally seen as a man’s world.
But when the shift was over, Laura was a funny, kind and intelligent lady. She was a true friend, with always a kind word and a helping hand when anyone needed. Sit down with her over a few beers, and she would open up and you could begin to see what was behind that toughness she displayed at work.
Before I sent this in for posting, I had asked some former friends and co-workers who knew Laura to share their thoughts with me so that I could better express our thoughts on Laura. Common themes that ran in all the responses were her ability to see the humor in a situation, her fairness and that aforementioned tough as nails attitude in the office. She had a penchant for Pepsi, drinking 6 or more in a shift, keeping LE 1 busy for the night!
Thanks to Don, Kimo, Eve and all the others for their insights into Laura. We miss you!"
Ched Capps, a.k.a. “240”, “B” Flight LE 81 - 83
Burt Hamner - this information was received at the UnOfficial 81st RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge Site on 02/16/2008:
"It was a delight to discover this site and browse the contents. I notice that my father's name (Burt Hamner) is on the missing list. Please post on the "in memorium" section that he passed away in August, 2005, in Northern California. Thank you."
Tim Rowan - Timothy Mark Rowan was my best friend while at Bentwaters. He got there in Dec. 1977. I got to Bent -waters in Jan. 78. He was from Findley Lake NY. Just a little southeast of Buffalo. Tim was rooming with Herb Silva, and I was with Jerry Willingham. When Jerry’s wife came over, me and Tim decided to share a room. We had many great times, and some, not so good. Hanging with Herb, Rick Jenkins, Larry Zack, Tom Rocci, Teddy Green. Just to name a few. We all worked B Flt. I remember all the 24 hour breaks in between swings and mids, coming back to the dorm and emptying out the beer machines, and getting pretty toasted. Tim, Herb and me then moved off base down to a flat in Felixstowe. Two flats from Tom Rocci, his wife Sue and his daughter Nicole. Many late nights partying, loud music, and spit shining our boots. Our neighbors hated us. They called the cops on us a few times. Eventually Tim moved back to base, and Herb found another place. I stayed with Tom and family for awhile, Then found a place with Dave Colburn until I came back to the states. Tim went to Wyoming, and I went to Griffiss in upstate NY. We kept in touch , called each other a few times. It was Christmas 1980, we hadn’t spoke for a number of months. I called his house in NY, figured that I would catch him there. His Sister answered the phone , and when I asked for Tim, she was very upset. She told me that he was killed in a car accident in Wyoming on Sept. 27th. She was glad that she had answered the phone and not one of their parents, because they were so torn by his death. I told her how sorry I was, words couldn’t say how I felt. I think of Tim very often, even now more than 20 years later. He was a real great guy, and friend, taken far too young. RIP Tim,,,,,
Jim Bicknell, "B" Flight RAF Bentwaters
John Stolar - Recently on a road trip we got word that our friend and comrade has passed away. After talking to his wife we learned it was about 3 years ago, a heart attack. John was living and had a business in Palmer, Mass. His wife, a daughter and a son survive him. From what we understand John was quite popular in Palmer and was running for a seat on the village board just prior to his heart attack. For those of us stationed with John, on “C” flight security, in the early to mid 60’s at RAF Bentwaters; we will always remember his great humor and his smile. Without question, he will be missed, but we know for sure that wherever he is, he is making them laugh.
Chuck Sharp - Chuck (NotSo) Sharp worked “C” Flight Security from the late 70’s to 1983. Chuck was a great guy and he lived in Felixstowe with his wife Billie and kids. The fondest memory of him is being woken up by two drunkards (Randy Smith & Chuck Sharp) who I was out with earlier that night saying recall and singing Christmas Carols. Too early for video cameras. That would have been a keeper. They wouldn’t tell us where they had gotten it from, we stayed awake for weeks worrying that the constables were going to be knocking on our door asking about where we got the tree. Don and Linda Laisure were staying over at the time. We still talk about that. Met up with Chuck in late 1991 at Ellsworth AFB had a good conversation and said we'd see each other soon. A few months later NotSo passed at a Diner in Rapid City of a massive heart attack. Thanks for everything Chuck, you are missed.
Dave Young - He was one of the truly good guys. He was at RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge from 81 to 83, "D" Flight Security. After serving for 12 years as a "security guy", he took early retirement and went back home to join the Florence, Alabama Police Department, where he served for 14 years. On May 3, 2007, Dave was tragically killed in a motorcycle crash while on duty. This information is from his wife Donna and the Officer Down Memorial Page . His son just graduated from Marine Corps boot camp.
Marty Vlietstra, "Delta Dog"
Tim "Wali" Whitehead Jr - Tim passed away on March 23, 2006. He was a member of the 81st SPS from 89-93 (may have been 90-93). Tim was a real nice guy and a pleasure to know. Further information about Tim may be seen at the Officer Down Memorial Page .
Bobby Rush, A Flt Security, 1990 - 93
Millard Dee Campbell - served with the 81st SPS at the twin bases circa 1988. Info from fellow 81st SPS colleague Rob Velez indicates Millard was killed on 06/25/1996 in the Kobar Towers terrorist attack. This link recognizes Millard Campbell along with many others who perished in Saudi Arabia - http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/khobar.htm . Rest In Peace.
Raymond "Dale" Kerr - 29 April 1954 to 19 March 2009
Captain Raymond "Dale" Kerr was stationed at Bentwaters from Jan 1976 - 1979. He was Shift Commander of "D" Flight for most of his tour. Dale was formerly from Washington, PA, and passed away in UPMC Pittsburgh from a massive stroke. He served in the Security Police field for 27 years. While at Bentwaters/Woodbridge he met and married AIC Linda E Ponkow (Pass and ID Section) and they had two children Crystal Joy and Capt Raymond E Kerr (Guam). Dale and Linda divorced after 25 yrs of marriage and Dale married Cindy S. Herman 27 Dec 2003. Dale owned and operated an apple orchard in Alquippa, PA for several years prior to moving to South Park, PA. Prior to his death, Dale was a mortgage broker.
Most would remember Dale as the Shift Commander who had to bail most of his flight out of jail on his wedding night.
Linda Barr, formerly
Linda Ponkow (Pass and ID Section)
Terry Grant Hayden - Dec 17, 1945 to Jan 9, 2009
Terry served in the 81st Security Police Squadron during the Vietnam War era from 1966 to 1969. He was a sergeant in the LE. Information on Terry's passing was provided by fellow 81st SPS colleague and then roommate, Joe Hoffer.
Joe Hoffer, "B" Flight Security, 1966 - 1969
Ed Sheehan -
I learned from one of his daughter's that Ed Sheehan passed away in February 1995 of a heart attack. He was at Bentwaters from 1962 - 1965 in "B" Flight.
Michael Gladstone -
Michael Gladstone died from a swimming pool accident in 1979. After his time at the Twin Bases, Michael had apparently PCS'd to Whiteman AFB in Missouri. This information was passed along by SSgt Harvey during a guardmount briefing. If anyone has a photo of Michael Gladstone, please forward to the webmaster. "He was a great guy and very well liked by everyone".
Michael Landi, "C" Flight, 1978 ~ 1980
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Walter E. Carter -
We have received word that our friend and comrade in arms Walter “Wally” Carter lost his battle against cancer on July 31, 2010. Those of us that served with him on “C” flight at RAF Bentwaters in the mid 60’s will remember his quiet nature and sense of humor. Like most people we served with, we lost track of Wally until he was located in 2009. Living then in Mesa, Arizona, we managed to get together. Wally enjoyed his friends, his golf and definitely his cigars. We are thankful to have had him as a friend and we are sure that now he is in a better place, able to enjoy his cigars and numerous rounds of golf.
Phillip Jacques, "C" Flight Security, 1964 ~ 1967
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Lee Swain, 1st SERGEANT -
If you were at Bentwaters around 1980, you'd remember 1st SGT Lee Swain. The UnOfficial 81st SPS website recently learned that Lee passed away after battling cancer for more than two and a half years. He died on September 26, 2001. If you click on Lee's picture, you'll see a Bentwaters Forum article dated January 21, 1981 "Swain named First Sergeant of the Year". Rest In Peace First Sergeant.
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Paul Clay -
Paul served with Bentwaters Security from April 1954 to April 1957. He passed away suddenly on Sunday, September 5, 2010. He is sadly missed by devoted family. RIP.
Information and photograph provided by Mary Clay
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John Wukits -
With deep regret I have to acknowledge the passing of yet another comrade in arms. It came to our attention that John Wukits passed away on April 7, 2011. John was a stationed at RAF Bentwaters from 1963 to 1967 a member of “C” Flight security. John was always happy and had an infectious smile. As I may quote from his obituary, "The world will be a lesser place without him, a better place because of him, and heaven just got a whole lot funnier. He will be missed dearly."
Phil M. Jacques, "C" Flight Security, 1964 - 67
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Bob Morton -
I regret to announce the passing of a dear friend and fellow member of the 81st SPS, Robert A. Morton, 63, of 1101 Edgewater Drive, Westfield, formerly of Mayville, died Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, unexpectedly in Westfield Memorial Hospital.
He was born Oct. 29, 1948, in Salamanca, N.Y., the son of Robert and Irene Burnside Morton.
Bob was a veteran having served in the U.S. Air Force as a security policeman. Bob Served at RAF Bentwaters and RAF Wood Bridge in the UK. Bob worked both L/E and also Security at both bases..Bob served from November 1969 to June of 1973, and was discharged at McGuire AFB in New Jersey.
Bob was a deputy sheriff for the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department in Mayville retiring in 2002. He was a court officer from 2002 to 2009.
He attended the First Baptist Church in Sherman, was a member of the Westfield Moose Club, Brocton American Legion, NRA, and was a exempt member of the Silver Creek Fire Department.
He loved to go for car rides, he would always say he worked in the most beautiful office that anybody could ask for, referring to the roads in Chautauqua County as a deputy sheriff. He enjoyed reading old western books, hunting and fishing. He will be remembered as a kind and gentle man.
He is survived by his mother, Irene Morton of Lakewood, N.Y.; his wife, Joan Biekert Morton; three daughters: Krista Gunther, Brady Morton and Shae Morton all of Silver Creek; two step daughters, Cynthia Bish and Kelly (Shannon) Reynolds, both of Warren, Pa.; seven grandchildren; a brother, David (Dawn) Morton of Centre Hall, Pa.; and a sister, Deborah Hutton.
He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Morton.
A private funeral service will be held at the convenience of the family. The Rev. Paul Sears of the Sherman First Baptist Church will officiate. Burial will be in the Mayville Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Freay Funeral Home, Mayville.
Memorials may be made to a charity of your choice.
Best regards, Bob Peschka, 81st SPS. If anyone would like to contact Bob Morton's wife, please let me know and I will be happy to forward you any information you need. Bob was a great guy, and one of my closest friends.
Bob Peschka, "A" & "C" Flight Security & LE, 1969 - 73
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Charles Heubusch -
I thought you’d like to know that my dad, Col. Chuck Heubusch, who was Squadron Commander of the 81st SPS from 1982-1985 (dates?), passed away on Aug. 26, 2006 after battling an Agent Orange related cancer for almost a year. He’s buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Information about his fight with cancer, funeral, and location of his grave in Arlington can be found at the following URL.
Thanks! Steve Heubusch
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Chuck DiBias -
On Jan 25, 2013 another one of our comrades passed on, Chuck DiBias. He joined “C” flight security at Bentwaters in 1966. Chuck was funny, sometimes loud, but always amiable. It was nice to see him again at our reunion after almost 45 years. He had not lost any of his wit or sense of humor. He was loving life and his family. Sadly, cancer took him away from us way too soon. Those of us who knew him will never forget Chuck. We hope he's in a better place enjoying the company of his daughter Amy.
Rest in Peace Primy!
Phillip "Bloke" Jacques, "C" Flight Security, 1964 - 67
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Larry Miller -
With deep sorrow I regret to report the passing of Larry Miller on July 11, 2010. He was a fellow "C" flight comrade in arms from 1966-1969. Larry served 25 years in the Air Force during which time he married and raised two daughters. After his retirement from the military he spent 13 years in the Civil Service. Those of us who knew Larry will never forget him.
Lyle Taylor, "C" Flight Security, 1966 - 69
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Kevin Banks - 1959 - 2013
Kevin was a friend. We hit it off right away back at Bentwaters because of our shared & open interest in mysticism. After we both discharged from the Air Force, we even worked together in Dallas, Texas for awhile. Although, we went our separate ways from there,, we've always stayed in touch. I was surprised to hear of his early passing, and saddened but hopeful that he is faring well now in the afterlife. See you around, Kevin & take care ,,
Kevin was with Bravo Flight Security at RAF Bentwaters from 1978 - 80 & then PCS'd to Whiteman AFB, MO. He was interred with military honors at Leavenworth National Cemetery.
Ken Kern, "B" Flight Security, 1978 - 81