ClickOkinawa.com - The Hyatt-Amari Collection
The Ronald Hyatt & Louis Amari Collection
The 9th Air Vehicle Repair Squadron
Gallery last modified: Apr 7, 2014


Ronald Hyatt
What started out as a couple of photos and an e-mail message from Ronald Hyatt has turned into this massive array of photos and memories from members of the 9th Air Vehicle Repair Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, in the 1950s.

Before long, Lou Amari pitched in and I was hopelessly hooked on getting this terrific collection going. Through Hyatt & Amari's persistence and cheer-leading efforts, there are now offerings from no fewer than twenty-one members of the 9th AVRS.

My hat's off to these warriors from a previous generation of airmen who played a key role in making Kadena Air Base and the US Air Force what it is today. Equally valued and respectfully acknowledged in this Gallery are the surviving family members of those 9th AVRS alumni who have passed on.

In this Gallery you will find photos taken by these young airmen and NCOs as well as present-day reflections of their lives after the 9th.

I have high regard and unflagging respect for these guys.


Louis Amari

PHOTO CREDITS: Please let me know if any photos are inaccurately credited. Thanks, Mick.
9th AVRS Reunions
[1993] - [1994] - [1995] - [1996] - [1997] - [1998] - [1999] - [2000]
[2001] - [2002] - [2003] - [2004] - [2004] - [2005] - [2006] - [2007]
[2008] - [2009] - [2010] - [2011]


9th AVRS Membership Roster for 2012 (MS Word document download)
Ken Godwin and daughter, Diana's visit to the WW II Memorial in D.C.
"9th AVRS. After sixty or so years, I finally discovered this web site. So, Hello. If there is anyone left out there, from the early fifties, Congratulations ( If you are, I hope you have good medical insurance). I'm 84 years old now. and I live with an 80 year old woman I've been married to for 59 years. my Air force career of 26 years began in 1948 and ended in 1974." (Al Baird, 7 April, 2014)
Welcome to Al Baird and I'm happy that you finally found us! Congratulations to you and your bride!
Mick McClary, webmaster ClickOkinawa.com

Leo Groth has provided some nice photos and says:
"This is a 1951 Dodge M-37 3/4 ton cargo carrier. I purchased this in 1992 from Vintage Power Wagons in Fairfield, Iowa. I sand blasted it and had a friend paint it. If you will notice on the hood the number is 4671307. That is the number I had on my 2 1/2 ton GMC that I drove back and forth from the 9th AVRS Squadron Area to the mess hall. As you can see, I have the 20th Air Force emblem on the doors and bumper. I have the letters KAB for Kadena Air Force Base and the letters FEAF, Far Eastern Air Force. This vehicle rolled off the assembly line December 26, 1951."
I had the pleasure of meeting with Leo Groth, October 25th, 2010, at the Cattleman's Cut Supper Club, when he was in Great Falls to buy cattle. We spent a few hours enjoying a few beverages and then a whopping great steak dinner. It was immense fun to see Leo again after having finally met him in person in September when the 9th AVRS had their annual reunion in Nashville, Tennessee. Trust me, men and women of the 9th, you have truly made me feel like a welcomed member of your association!

THANK YOU!!!!

"Many Thanks" to Ron Hyatt and to Lou Amari for their generous contribution to the upkeep of this website. Your support is greatly appreciated by your humble webmaster! Mick McClary, April 20, 2008

Another huge "Thank you!" goes out today to Joe Menno and to Ken Godwin for their check received today. You guys are all great and this is going to guarantee that the 9th AVRS Gallery will live on! Mick, April 26, 2008

Time is long overdue for me to say another "Thank you!" to Frank Iava, and to Frank Cintolo, and to Don Ziter for their contribution. Thank you, gentlemen!! Mick, May 22, 2008

One more big shout-out of "Thank You!" to George Hickok for his generosity. As always, I appreciate your support! Mick Aug 28, 2008


Jan 6, 2009: Happy New Year! The time is 11:00p.m. and that means that I've now been retired (for the second time) for all of 30 and 1/2 hours!
So, now I'll have a little more time to attend to this feature. I've added Vin Bricca's photos, so go look at 'em!
Love ya guys! Mick

Who, from the 9th AVRS is on-board with this Gallery?
In alphabetical order: Louis Amari, Mrs. William Anderson, Vinnie Bricca, John Campbell, Ward Colbree, Lou Corea, James Cotter, Chet Dukat, Ken Godwin, Leo Groth, George Hickok, Ron Hyatt, Mrs. Edward Hyde, Frank Iava, Phil Ivey, Cheryl Lip (daughter of Chester Dukat), Robert 'Bob' Mack, Joe Menno, Harold Smith, Lloyd Sterns, Donald Ziter and Julian Walterscheid.
How'd these guys look back then? And how about now?


Amari

Hyatt

Colbree


Iava

Hickok

Godwin

Anderson

Menno

Smith

Ziter

Sterns

Hyde

Walterscheid

Dukat

Groth

Bricca

Corea

Campbell

Ivey

Cotter

[Picture Pending]
Mack

Click your browser's BACK button after viewing these photos
[Click here] to see the 3453rd Student Airman Class 07091, Oklahoma (submitted 9-30-2011 by Joe Menno)
[Click here] to see where most of us graduated before we went to Okinawa. (Frank Iava 3-16-08)
[Click here for Large photo]
[and here]... After basic training at Sampson AFB this was the first school we were sent to. Auto body and welding.
From here we were broken up into two groups - one group went on to Oklahoma for auto mechanics
and the other went on to Texas. I wish I had a list of all the names.
I bet Menno could name a lot of these guys. (Frank Iava 3-16-08)
[Click here for Large photo]
Class #68 Eta Jima Specialist School, December, 1952. Photo provided by Don Ziter.
There were two of us from the 9th AVRS, who attended the Eta Jima Specialist School; myself, A/2c Don Ziter,
front row center; and to my immediate left A/2c Paul Bahjar (pronounced, Bay are), from Phoenix, AZ.
The course of study encompassed the various methods of vehicle repair and retrieval under adverse conditions.
Others in the school came from units of the Army, stationed on Okinawa, Korea and Japan.
Don Ziter, July 6, 2008.
Lou and Mary Ann Amari then
August, 1952
Lou and Mary Ann Amari now
October, 2007. - Life of Riley!
Lou's Story
Ron Hyatt & Naomi Conlee then
January 1, 1950
Ron & Naomi
Oct, 2007
Ron's Story
More from Ron
Ward Colbree (on left)
Ward and Lorraine Colbree
1951
Ward and Lorraine
2007
Ward's Story
Frank Iava - then Frank & Shirley - 2006
Frank Iava - 2006
Frank's Story
Ken Godwin - then Ken & Iris Godwin - 2006 Ken's Story
Joe Menno - then Joe Menno - now-a-days story pending
George Hickok - then George Hickok - now-a-days story pending
Harold Smith - then Harold Smith - now-a-days Harold's Story
Leo Groth - then Leo & Coleta Groth - now-a-days story pending
So, you guys asked for pics of me and my wife, eh? Mick's Stories
After feeding the horses and Mick with daughter, Ashley and my lady, Debb
See more about Ashley's 4-H activities at ClickMontana.com "Ashley's Awesome Adventures"
Check out my "work" website: TeamGeezer.info, a collection of useful medical information.

after viewing each photo,click your browser's "Back" button


What do guys of the 9th AVRS have to say about this feature?

  • "I think it's fantastic. I had been searching for years thru government sites, etc., but could not come up with any history of the 9th, due to the records fire they had in St Louis in the 70's. Now we have a little bit of history for everyone to review & enjoy."
    Joe Menno (19 Oct 07)

  • "This site has been great to try to recall the old days. Thanks for all your work."
    Ward Colbree (27 Oct 07)

  • "Mick, You are our historian and we will be forever grateful."
    Joe Menno (27 Oct 07)

    You guys have bestowed upon me the honor of trusting me with your images and your memories. My job is to display it all here and then sit back and just enjoy the exchanges among you all.
    With respect, Mick

  • "Hey Mick, I think this is just as much fun for us as it is for you, except that we didn't do all this work."
    Ward Colbree (10/28/07)

  • "You are officiallly part of the 9th AVRS. I said so!"
    Ron Hyatt (28 Oct 07)

    Thanks, Ron! I'm proud to accept, sir!
    Mick

  • "Hi Mick,
    I just wanted to take time to thank you for all the work you have done on behalf of the 9th. I think it turned out really great. What a great opportunity for guys like me to look back on some pretty good years. All those wonderful photos that the guys sent in really sparked some fine memories of what a great outfit the 9th really was. I made some good friends there, even though Okinawa was not exactly a tropical paradise. I remember the men of the 9th got along, and looked out for one another. They were a special group. I'm hoping that more of them will find the website. It sure would be nice to get in touch with more old friends. Again, and I know I speak for all of us when I say thanks. I'm fowarding a copy of this email to all the others that I have in my address book."

    Lou Amari (31 Oct 07)

    Thank you, Lou!
    I hope that you can understand how much it means to me to read your words.
    All of you guys I admire and respect so much. You might have been a generation of airmen and patriots ahead of me but I recognize that it was you who cleared the path, who did the heavy lifting to make a tour on Okinawa as much fun - and a fairly "cushy" assignment - as it was for me and my family.
    Things were, in my opinion, pretty austere during my first tour on island. But, seeing what you had to deal with it makes it seem like I didn't have it so bad when I was there as a newly-wed three-striped buck sergeant.
    I first went to Okinawa in 1972. I went back again in 1986. There was a big change in many ways in that 14 year interim. But, there were so many things about Okinawa that hadn't changed a bit - especially up North.
    Kadena Air Base is like a modern-day community now - housing and facilities very modern. When I look at your pictures and see what it was like living and working out of quonset huts it just makes me appreciate, just that much more, how it was you who broke the ground and paved the way to the modern place that it is now.
    Much as you might admire the guys who first did the hard work in the 1940s I recognize and admire what you did in the 50s. Without your contributions it just wouldn't be the place it is now. Actually, I don't have a clue what it's like now since I stepped off the island in 1990 and haven't had the pleasure of going back yet since then.
    What I do with my website is to share my love for the islands and to serve as a means by which others might learn about Okinawa and, of course, to give folks like yourselves a forum with which to showcase your experiences - those years of your life that you gave to the people of Okinawa and for the citizens of our country through the early Cold War years. God bless each and every one of you!!
    It is my hope that I can get someone at Kadena, the Air Division historian for example, to take a look at your gallery and that it helps to fill in some of the blanks that might have fallen from modern-day memory.
    *Snappy Salute*
    Mick

  • "Hello Mick,
    I was really thrilled to see the Okinawa web site you created for the 9 AVRS. I had a lot of good memories from my tour there. I arrived in November of 1951 and rotated back to the States in October of 1953. I was assigned to the GMC shop and lived in barracks 1481. Got to meet a lot of great guys and to this date we still get together once a year. For the last 14 years we have been meeting in various cities through out the USA. A few have passed on and some can't make the trips for various reasons. But I guess when you get up into the 70s or 80s, that is to be expected.
    Thank you and Joe Menno for posting my pictures to this web site."

    Frank Iava (2 Nov 07)

  • "Hi Mick,
    I, too, wish to thank you for all your hard work in making this web site what it is today for all the veterans of the 9th AVRS. I also want to thank Frank Iava for sending his e-mail message that made me aware of the web site. I had searched on and off for years to make contact with anyone from the 9th."

    George Hickok (2 Nov 07)

  • Hi gang,
    I just got finished reviewing the new additional photos to our web site. I see that they're mostly of me. Although I'm flattered, I wasn't that important. Surely you all must have more photos to share. Dig them out! Looking back is a great source of joy for me, as I'm sure it is for you guys also. Let's keep them coming, as long as Mick doesn't mind posting them. It would be nice if we could find more members of the 9th out there in cyber space. I'm sure we're not the only members with computers. Maybe VFW magazine will post some kind of an email address in an issue or something like that. There's got to be a way to get people to go to the site.

    Louis Amari (18 Nov 07)

  • Hi Mick. We want to thank you for being with us at our reunion. I hope you could be with us for our next one. We all knew you from our emails that we sent back and forth, but being there in person -- MICK YOUR AN ALRIGHT GUY. I want to thank you for that disc of all the pictures of the gang. You did a great job of putting it all together. We all will treasure it.
    Good friends, Lou and Rose Corea. (11-11-10)




    Featured Video
    Missions out of Kadena AB, circa 1950s


    Thanks, Joe Menno, for sending this link. Excellent video!

    The Last Bomb - 1945
    Academy Award-nominated documentary, which shows
    the 21st Bombing Command and its role in the B-29
    bombing of Japan and the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO).

    Begin your journey down their Memory Lane ... [Click Here]


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    1996-2012 ClickOkinawa.com
    S.A. Mick McClary P.O. Box 6245, Great Falls, MT 59406 The 9th AVRS Gallery
    2009-2012 ClickOkinawa.com
    S. A. Mick McClary, P.O. Box 6245, Great Falls, MT 59406