Dedication of 71st SOS Memorial Stone

 Nancy J. Warren, President of the Columbus board of Aviation and James E. Pyle, 71st SOS Commander

Governor Whitcomb, General Hoff, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is truly a pleasure to me to be with you today representing the Columbus Board of Aviation and Airport Administration. As President of the Board, it is my privilege to participate in this ceremony that honors, with this memorial stone, the 71st Special Operations Squadron for their AC-119 gunship operation in Vietnam, one of six major military operations they have participated in. First, however, I want to extend my personal and heart-felt congratulations to all of the members of the 71st Special Operations Squadron for a job well done under adverse, extremely challenging, and dangerous conditions. As a pilot myself, I'm especially impressed by the fact your missions in Vietnam were all flown at night. Over 6,000 hours of combat flying represents a tremendous amount of night flying.

At this time, I would like for Squadron Commander Jim Pyle to join me at the podium for the dedication of this memorial stone. Colonel Pyle, may I again extend my personal congratulations to you and your aircrews in Vietnam. As I pass this memorial stone to you Col. Pyle, I hereby dedicate it to all the brave men of the 71st Special Operations Squadron, to serve as a lasting reminder for all who pass this way that your duty in Vietnam was a significant contribution to world peace. In the words of the memorial stone, "dedicated to the only Air Force Reserve unit activated to fly AC-119G combat missions in Vietnam. Activated May 13, 1968 and returned to Bakalar Air Force Base June 6, 1969. We thank you so much Colonel.

Nancy J. Warren, President, Columbus Board of Aviation and Airport Administration