Messages from Charlie Yates
August 16, 1973
The war is finally over- the last bomb was dropped at 10:44. The last two days were really pretty neat. The 14th I had the Ream go – fly a mission, land at Ream, refuel and go home. I had a navigator in the back seat – his first time into Ream. It gave me one last chance to do some “flathatting.” The beaches down there are just beautiful. We'd get right down on the deck along the beach and pull up to go over the trees…..Only the old heads were scheduled to fly the last day. Every backseat was filled. Woody and I flew together- me in the front, him in the back. Before we took off we briefed with Col Pierson, Powers, and another guy for a four-ship, five-flight fly by – the last FAC combat mission. We were the last ones out of the war zone….. The party that night was okay- we only got kicked out of the club 3 times.
August 19, 1973
One of these days the true story of the FAC is going to come out. If it wasn't for us none of those A-7's or F-4's could have dropped the ‘last bomb.” Just being in on the 3 last days this year really made me glad I didn't take an F-4. I probably would never have had a commander like I have now. There's not guy in the squadron that wouldn't follow Col. Howard (Howie) Pierson, “Blue Suiter,” anywhere. He's going to the FAC reunion so you will get to meet him.
October 29, 2010
Howie, you're my hero, my mentor, my friend, and a brother in Christ. It was indeed an honor to serve with you in combat. Not only did you personify the spirit of Douglas MacArthur….”Yours is the profession of arms; the will to win, the sure knowledge that in a way, there is no substitute for victory.”, but you inspired your lieutenants to follow your lead.
With gratitude and love,
Charlie Yates, Nail 50 & B
“Blessed is the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle….” – Psalm 144:1
1973, combat in Cambodia! We flew hard and took our losses. You were a great commander, mentor, friend, and Bud. You were our leader and we were the young men of summer, strong, proud, dedicated, brave, and beautiful.
Set up the next rendezvous and we will be there. I look forward to once again, being on your wing.
The world has lost the presence of a great man
I feel honored to have served with this warrior on a B-52G crew during my EWO days and he was the CP. When I hear the words, "FLY FIGHT WIN" I think of him. I, along with my dad and brothers had some great golf times with him during those years as well. I was also blessed to have met his Pop. He will be missed by many.
We had the honor of being in Howard's speech class at Tarrant County College. In his own words he did not teach, he “awakened” students to learning. His class was not a speech class; it was a life class in which we gave speeches. We were awakened about respect for others; we were awakened to “never suppress a kind and generous impulse”. We were awakened about God, family, and country. We were awakened about integrity, duty, and bravery. One favorite quote of Howard's was… “I was shot at by experts, take your best shot”. We came to know and love Pop and marvel at Howard's shameless promotion of his father. Howard awakened us on how to honor thy father.
When college was over we have been blessed to maintain a relationship with Howard, Pop, and Gilberta, and to count them as our friends. Howard Pierson blessed this world and we look forward to the day when we will hear his voice again.