Throw a nickel on the grass…

On 3 December 2015 Warhawk alum Major Benjamin D. “Chex” Meier was interred at Arlington National Cemetery at 1100 hours. Please take a moment to remember Chex, Becky Diane, and their sons Logan and Gabriel, in your thoughts and prayers.

On the morning of September 28th, Ben was hit by a car while running at Edwards AFB, CA.  He sustained massive head injuries and was unconscious from the time of the accident until he passed in the evening of Friday, October 2nd.

From Tom “Tweac” Hayes:  “On Friday Chex made one final gesture of servitude, and used what life he had left in his body to save seven other Americans” (Chex was an organ donor).  “He was surrounded by his family, and passed down a hallway lined with fighter pilots showing their respect and love for the man he was.”

In lieu of flowers, tax deductible donations may be made to 529 plans to benefit Logan and Gabriel Meier.  In response to the tragic loss of Major Benjamin “Chex” Meier, the River Rats, in conjunction with the Air Warrior Courage Foundation (AWCF), have established a college savings 529 plan to accept tax deductible contributions for Logan and Gabriel’s college education.  Anyone wanting to honor Chex, may contribute to funds providing 529 College Savings plans.

There are two ways to give:

1.  Go to, on the right side click the DONATE button.  It will take you to a page with a GIVE DIRECT button. Click it and fill in the blanks. In the COMMENTS block put in “In Memory of Maj Ben “Chex” Meier”.

Recommend using a Visa or MC with this option as there aren’t any fees using Visa or MC.  An American Express Card will incur a small transaction fee using this option.

2.  Or, mail a check to the AWCF, P.O. Box 877, Silver Spring, MD 20918.  In a note or on the check say “In Memory of Maj Ben “Chex” Meier.”

*Your donation will be split evenly between Logan and Gabriel’s 529 accounts.

There is a moving tribute to Chex on a GoFundMe site set up to support Becky Diane and the boys. Please visit and note that there is still a ways to go to meet the goal of financial support.

To get an idea of the kind of man Chex was, read this article.

Warhawk Combat Archer Report

After excelling in the skies of Nevada, the Warhawks moved on to Utah, where they participated in Combat Archer.  480FS CINC Warhawk “Ajax” Berkland reports:

“Warhawks were 4/4 valid Air to Air missile attacks on Combat Archer Day 1 (17 AUG).  3 of 4 attacks resulted in hits, with 2 drones destroyed (1 assassinated).  1 of 4 missed due to drone defensive reaction. Outstanding job by the whole team, casket to splash. Ready-ready-FOX!”


“Last day of Combat Archer (20 AUG) and the Warhawks finished strong.  5/5 valid A-A missile attacks, with 4x AIM-120s and 1x AIM-9M shot.  3/5 resulted in kills. Overall, during the week of Combat Archer the Warhawk Nation remained Great with a stellar Mx and Ops performance:

  • 28 sorties scheduled, ZERO lost.
  • 89% of the deployed Warhawk fleet (9x jets) employed A-A missiles, significantly higher than anything WSEP personnel had ever seen.  We weren’t 100% because the D-model (481) was configured as a dedicated 83d FWS chase line all week.
  • 83d FWS Mx personnel performed 121 “observations” of Warhawk maintainers in action, with a grand total of ZERO discrepancies noted.
  • 100% (15/15) A-A missiles were built and loaded to kill.  Great job by our ammo and weapons pros.
  • Warhawk fighter pilots fired 100% (15/15) valid missile attacks IAW published AF Tactics, Techniques and Procedures.
  • Zero Range Safety violations.

Lots of kills this week as a result of all the hard, sweaty work of building, loading, and firing weapons.  Outstanding job by the Warhawk expeditionary team.”

The best just keep getting better…

One for the Aged!

Oops. I meant “One for the Ages”.  Sorry.

Warhawk Heritage Weekend Reunion 2015
After Action Report

So it’s been a week since we legacy Warhawks departed the fix (LSV/LAS) and RTB’d to our respective domiciles. The proud young men and women of the 480th Fighter Squadron remain deployed, however, proving on a daily basis what it means to wear (and have worn) the Warhawk patch. All of us who attended last weekend’s Reunion, whether in a green bag or a red polo, saw and felt something special.

During past Reunions, we legacy Warhawks spent most of the time remembering (and often reinventing) ourselves through tall tales and “war stories” – you know, “the older we get, the better we were” kinds of stuff.

We definitely did that again this time on Friday night at the Nellis Club. The current Warhawks were engaged in a night war in the Red Flag skies uprange, so we legacy Warhawks did what we always do – drank to excess, told a few outright lies about each other to anyone who would listen, schooled some young-uns in the art of Crud, maybe broke into a Warhawk cheer in there somewhere, and generally ruled the Roost for several hours before putting our teeth in a jar by the hotel bed, and getting five hours of sleep before….

Golf on Saturday morning.

I have no idea what happened at Golf on Saturday morning, at least until after the first Bloody Mary. Amazing current Warhawk “Apollo” organized a great (albeit small) tournament. “Apollo”, “Slander”, and “Havoc” were the squadron POCs, and did a phenomenal job throughout the entire weekend. Good on ‘ya, gentlemen!

Anyway, golf. Oh yeah, apparently all tee shots cleared the ladies tees – there were no “stained” golf shirts, if you catch my drift.

Saturday evening brought the main event. Beer. Road Kill Grill BBQ. Commander’s Call with Kitch and current CINC Warhawk “Ajax” Berkland. Briefing on recent Warhawk deployments to Greece, Poland, Romania, and Afghanistan. Roll Call and Elbow Room led by Slander. Screening of the special heritage edition of Warhawks: An American Fighter Squadron. Jeremiah Weed. LOTS of Jeremiah Weed.

For me, Saturday evening was a unique and powerful Reunion experience. The VFW Hall became, for me, a hall of mirrors. As I looked around the room, I saw me. I saw us. At past Reunions we sat/stood around and talked about our younger selves. On Saturday night at this Reunion I actually saw my younger self. I saw what I was. I saw what made me what I am today. I saw it in the faces, in the swagger, in the professional competence, in the sparkle in the eyes of this next generation of Warhawks. I saw it as Tom Howard, who was a Warhawk in DaNang and FOUGHT A FREAKING WAR, talked to the newest FNG in the current squadron. As Kitch and Ajax, two great leaders, shared the stage. As Slander led the group in the kind of camaraderie we’ve shared throughout the years. Thankfully, some things never change.

As I said at the top, this one was special. This one is how it should be.

The only things missing, were, of course, our Warhawk brethren who couldn’t make it this time. Believe me, wherever you were, you were fondly remembered. Glasses were raised on your behalf, and we hope to see you at the next one.

Some photos of the festivities (including the “pet the jet” static aircraft display on Sunday – thanks, Havoc) are posted to the right. If you have photos you took at the Reunion, PLEASE send them to me in an email (largest resolution possible, please) so I can post them as well. If you have video, email me at – I have a special place to point you to that can handle large-file-size videos.

There is also a link below to the film that chronicles the history of the squadron that was shown at the Reunion. Please take the time to watch the film in a setting where you can turn up the volume, go full screen, and watch it beginning-to-end uninterrupted.

Oh. One last thing. I want to thank Gary “G Ball” Ball for his herculean efforts in organizing the logistics of the Reunion.


Respectfully submitted,
Pete “Zimo” Zimowski

Warhawk 1980-1983.
Warhawk FOREVER.

A “special edition” version of Warhawks: An American Fighter Squadron was screened at the Reunion. This special edition focuses on the squadron’s heritage of excellence and contains never-before-seen footage from all squadron eras. Click HERE or on the image below to go the film’s online home at Vimeo. Please take the time to watch the film in a setting where you can turn up the volume, go full screen, and watch it beginning-to-end uninterrupted.

The full “director’s cut” version will be released later in the Fall.

Warhawk Alpha Roster

We are trying to maintain a roster with an accurate email address (at a minimum) for all Warhawks, past and present.  The purpose is to be able to inform Warhawks of significant events like Reunions and other activities, the passing of Warhawk alumni, and the like. It will NOT be used for advertising and will be held in a secure place online that only YOU and an administrator, which right now is Pete Zimowski, can access. It will not be used for banter – we have the HogLog Google Group for that, which we encourage you to make use of. If you signed up for the Reunion through Reunion Manager, we’ll move your information over to the Alpha Roster. If you haven’t signed up before, just fill out the form below and follow the instructions in the email that will come to you shortly.  Best practice: PLEASE use a civilian, not .mil address.

There are still many Warhawks that are currently MIE (Missing in Email).  Click HERE to see the most recent MIE list.  If you see someone on the list you’re in contact with, please point them at this site and suggest they fill out the form above, or contact


YOU SHOULD JOIN. Simply point your browser HERE. Follow the directions (a major task for some of us) and you’ll be ready to ridicule, abuse, and, yes, sometimes edify, Warhawks of all ages.  DO IT TODAY!

We’ve also conveniently embedded the HogLog in a page on this web site.  No excuses for not joining in TODAY!

Click individual images to see a larger version. You can also move through the larger versions by clicking the arrows to the left and right of the slideshow window.

Check out these other Reunion Galleries…


SIZES:  Available in S thru 5X, both men’s and ladies’ cuts.

COLORS:  Red, White, Light Blue, Royal Blue, Navy Blue, Black, Kelly Green, Yellow (gold), Purple, and in ladies’ cuts only, Pink.

COST:  $45 per shirt, which includes shipping for sizes up to and including XL. For each “X” above XL, add $2. The price is for two locations (squadron patch on right chest and plane with name/nickname on left chest – name can be above or below the plane). Additional locations (i.e. sleeve or back) are $10 each.

TO ORDER: Send an email to with “480 shirt” in the title. Then specify  shirt color (Warhawk red would be a good color), 480TFS patch, F4 or F16, and nickname. If you’re interested in a shirt for another squadron (all Viet Nam era with TFS or TRS and one FIS), the 13th, 555th, 334th, 335th, 336th, 433rd, 496th, 497th, 559th, 38th TRS, 57th FIS, the River Rat crest, the 100 missions in North Viet Nam, and Fighter Weapons School, and at least a couple of others are available.  Just about everything from the F-86 thru the F-35 plus bombers, tankers, and prop job aircraft are available.


1/72 scale die cast model, 6.25 inch “wing span” and 10.5 inches long. Expected delivery time is Aug 2015.  Pete (owner of Pete’s Collectibles) had offered this promo code for a 15% discount at checkout.  Pete has only 36 of the F4-Es (659) and 48 of the F4-Gs (269) left that are coming in August.

Promo Code “Warhawks“. (Spangdahlem F4-G, tail number 269) (Spangdahlem F4-E (from the 480 TFS) tail number 659)