Warren and Faye Smith's visit to Hawaii
(submitted 12 April, 2011)

A couple of weeks ago I got a glimpse of our upcoming 50 year reunion with all years of HMM-364 personnel realizing how many of us there are and how spread out we are around the world.

My wife Faye and I were celebrating her retirement from 44 years of teaching by taking off to Kauai for a couple of weeks. We had been to Oahu a couple of times with students and I had been there with the squadron in 1962, but this was going to be a spur of the moment vacation for just us to enjoy. We had been dreaming about this aspect of retirement and were rewarded with a beautiful island and the people that live there.

Where ever we go, shopping seems to be one of the activities that is constant. We were staying in Princeville and decided to drive to a small town south of there called Kilauea. Small towns and villages always seem to have unique shops and this was no exception. We walked into a gift and jewelry shop by name of Banana Patch Studio. I usually try to find either a place to sit down or someone to talk to in this kind of shop. The owner of the shop beat me to it by immediately asking where I was from and had I ever been in Kauai. I responded that I had been in a Marine helicopter squadron that was been in and out of Pearl Harbor in 1962. When Alice Monaghan heard Marine helicopter, she immediately asked, “what squadron”. I was a little taken back because most people do not ask that question, especially female shop owners. My only other experience I had with this was when a young lady at a candy store in Santa Ana asked if I was a Marine and if I was to please get out. When I told Alice I was in HMM-364 she got excited and started to dial a cell phone telling me there was someone I had to talk to. When the phone was answered, she told the person on the other end she had a Purple Fox in her store and handed the phone to me. On the other end of the line was Jeffry Monaghan who served in Vietnam with the Foxes during 1969. I had met Pat Donovan marching with him a number of times in Memorial Day Parades in the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago. I knew Pat was from that same era and asked Jeff if he had ever flown with Pat. He told me that every time he flew with Pat it was if Pat had a magnet attached to him as metal was always flying up at their CH-46.
When I got home I looked up some of the narratives Jeffry had on the squadron website and found he had flown as co-pilot with Pat Donovan when Pat earned his 2nd Navy Cross.    We continued to talk about were we called home in Vietnam, the attributes of UH-34D and CH-46s, and places we flew along with what was happening during our particular years in HMM-364. Jeff said he was looking forward to the reunion in Mesquite, seeing old friends, and sharing stories of those times many years ago.

Warren R.Smith

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