The Dedication of ZIT 990

Posted on May 20, 2012


In this posting, I will talk about the Ceremony that was held on May 19, 2012 to Dedicate the placement of a US Army Helicopter fondly known as Zit 990 at the Mott’s Military Museum in Groveport, Ohio. However before I get to that let me give you a link to Rob Struck’s Blog where he has the story leading up to the ceremony. In his blog, you will learn the Who, the What and the Why. Take your time and go to this site first. It will be worth your time. The link is: .

Now that you are back to me, let me begin.

My wife, Carol, and I arrived in Groveport, Ohio on May 18th at 3:30 PM. We registered in at the Holiday Inn Express which is located just two miles from the Mott.s Military Museum.

Carol  and I met up with Pete and Gail Guthrie and went out to eat. When we came back to the hotel around 9:30 there were three men sitting outside the hotel in their Cav attire. We went up to them and introduced ourselves. They had driven down from Chicago after reading an article about the ceremony. They said they could not pass up something this special. We sat outside and talked for a couple of hours.

Saturday morning we all met down stairs for breakfast. By then, Titch Titchenell and his grandson Greg showed up. I also noticed a couple of gentlemen sitting there that I did not recognize but they were wearing Cav Gear. One even had a Charlie Troop 1/9 Cav Tee shirt on. I walked over and introduced myself only to find out that it was Al De Mailo and Herb Skinner. I knew them because I had photos of them on my DVD but the photos may have been just a little out dated. I had not meet either one of them before in person.

Al had his lovely wife Lucretia with him and Herb Skinner had his lovely wife, Coney, and their two children, Lavinia and Deltran with him.

After breakfast we all headed to Mott’s Military Museum for the ceremony. The Mott’s Military Museum is a small museum but don’t let that fool you. She has an awesome display of military equipment from the Civil War up to today. This is all kept in a building that is easy to navigate with enough room for everyone to move about easily.

On the outside, you can find the various vehicles that have been used in war time. It is here where ZIT 990 has found her home. She sits on a concrete slab in an area that is well maintained. Today she had the sun glistening off of her highlighting her beauty. Nate and his friends had done a fantastic job on Zit. She looked just as she did in Vietnam. You could almost hear the blades turning and feel the rotor wash.  You can also find the 1/9 Memorial area which includes the a tribute to all of them men who sacrificed all during the Vietnam War.

The ceremony started with the usual dignitaries to include the State Congressman (MR Stivers) who was instrumental in aiding Nate at getting 990 and to bring her home. On the stage was a survivor of Pearl Harbor, Nate Shafer, Bruce Campbell, Russell Hauser, Herb Skinner, Barry Sipple and Greg Jayne. Bruce Campbell was the pilot of Zit 990. Russell Hauser was the Crew Chief and Nate Shafer was the door gunner. It is not very often that one can find the crew who served on one helicopter (40 years esrlier) but to get them all in one place at one time was very special. This was a very special day. As I looked around, I saw many Stetsons and most of them wear bearing the 1/9th Crossed Sabers. I also notice that from the very young to the more chronologically challenge were present.

The ceremonies began with an opening statement, the National Anthem was sung and the invocation was said. A speech was given by Congressman Stivers. It was a speech only about the trials of getting ZIT 990 and mentioning all of the people who helped along the way. No political statements.

Now it was Nate’s turn to talk. Nate was short and to the point letting everyone know who helped in Zit 990 and making it possible to bring her home. Nate gave special recognition to his beautiful wife TIZ who backed his every move. Then he asked Bruce Campbell to say a few words. Bruce addressed the crowd eloquently. He told the crowd what a Pink Team was and how Zit 990 fit into it. He explained some of the missions that 990 participated in. Bruce did an excellent job at explaining to those who had no concept of what actually took place in Vietnam. Then Greg Jayne, Russ Hauser, Barry Sipple and Al De Mailo took turns at adding comments. After the speeches, the men of the local DAV firing squad rendered the 21 gun salute and then Taps was played.

Nate has made it very clear that he did what he did ( bringing Zit 990 home, repairing her and then donating her the Mott’s Military Museum ) to Honor all of his Brothers who did not come home. He said he wanted to honor all Charlie Troopers.

I may forget some names but I hope not. The following C Troopers were there: Nate (Tiz) Shafer, Pat (Carol) Bieneman, Pete (Gail) Guthrie, Dave (Cheryl) Farrell, Al (Lucretia) De Mailo, Herb (Connie) Skinner, Greg Jayne, Bob and Debbie Andrews, Barry Sipple, Russell Hauser, Walt “Titch” Titchenell, Tom Walker, Stephen Da Costa and Bruce Campbell. From Alpha Troop was Vernon Ortenzi, his lovely wife Sandy and their granddaughter Molly.

We should take a moment to drop Nate a line and “Thank” him for what he has done to Honor Charlie Troop. This “Gift” will be displayed long after all of us has reached Fiddler’s Green.

I am posting many pictures taken at the ceremony. If anyone would like a copy of these photos and can’t download them off this site send me an email and I’ll send them  to you. I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you ever get a chance to come to or pass by Groveport, Ohio make sure you stop in to see the Mott’s Museum it will be well worth your time. It is only 2 miles off of I70.

Nate and Zit 990 in Vietnam

Zit 990

Zit 990 Door Gunner side

L 2 R Bruce, Russ and Nate

Pilots, Door Gunners and Crew Chiefs

Titch and his grandson Greg

Herb, Connie, Deltran and Lavinia

Tom Walker

Nate, Pete and Pat

Charlie Troopers

Charlie Troopers and Guest

Charlie Troopers and Zit 990

Al De Mailo

Al and Lucretia De Mailo

Herb Skinner

Greg Jayne

Barry Sipple

Bruce Campbell

Russell (Russ) Hauser

Dave and Cheryl Farrell

Titch Titchenell and Doug Walton. Doug’s dad was Louis Walton KIA in 1965

Nate and Stephen Da Costa

Pat and Carol

Tom Rowe

Some of the crowd

The three men who drove from Chicago just for the Dedication

The Pearl Harbor Survivor

Future 1st Cav. Look at the Jungle Boots

Part of the 1/9 Cav area

















































































Nate Shafer has given the People of America and all members of Charlie Troop 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry something so special and something that will last forever. I render a Stiff Hand Salute to Nate and a tip of the Stetson to Tiz.