Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content
PO Box 7, Mary Esther, FL 32569  •  850.581.0099  •

Tag: acj-photos-extra

In Memory of Col Jimmy Ifland

A Final Goodbye to Col Jim ‘Jimmy’ Ifland

ACA is sad to report the passing of Jim Ifland, Col, USAF, Retired. Col Jim Ifland was a founding member of the ACA. He was the epitome of a true Quiet Professional. He was a tremendous ACA member, leader, and mentor helping form the ACA with then Col Harry ‘Heinie’ Aderholt. Jim was in the very first class of the Air Commando Hall of Fame in 1969. Among his numerous ACA contributions, Jim served as the Secretary of the Air Commando Hall of Fame Committee for many years. He was the official ACA photographer for many years. He was also a master woodworker and craftsman. His handiwork is on display throughout the ACA building. He worked tirelessly designing and building the impressive induction display for the Air Commando Hall of Fame and several other beautiful pieces of custom woodworking art. Jim’s contributions as an Air Commando are highlighted in the Air Commando Journal Vol 8 Issue 2 

He will be sorely missed. RIP Jim.

Visitation for Jim Ifland will be held at 1:00 pm with services at 2:00 pm on Saturday, 16 December at the Fort Walton Beach First United Methodist Church, 103 First St SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.

  • Jim Ifland W Others

  • Jim Ifland

  • IMG 7203

  • ACA Two Trees Social 2013 10 10 025

  • ACA Lunch 7D 2012 06 04 054

  • ACA Christmas 2016 2016 12 11 019

  • ACA Banquet 2013 10 12 249

Continue reading

In Memory of MSgt Ray Bourque

MSgt Ray Bourque Takes His Final Flight

The ACA is deeply saddened to inform our members of the passing of MSgt Ray Bourque. Ray was an ardent supporter of all things Air Commando. His unwavering dedication to the ACA along with his continuous support for veterans groups and humanitarian community efforts was unsurpassed.

A “Cajun Ray Celebration of Life Fish Fry” will be held at the American Legion Post 296, 311 Main Street, Destin, FL. 32541 on February 4, 2023, from 2-5 pm.

In his honor and memory, donations towards an “Outdoor Digital Sign” may be made to the American Legion.
🇺🇸 For God and Country 🇺🇸

We would like to share a sentiment from Ray’s daughter:

When I go to Heaven, I want to depart this world “exactly” as my Dad did.
Pa (Ray Bourque) passed on January 2, 2023. 
Born on Christmas Day in 1929, he was really special and his life reflected that.
He was able to attend his Birthday Party at the American Legion on Dec. 21st with a “full house” of close friends and family!
He was able to have “caring support” from Emerald Coast Hospice.
He was able to pass “pain free” and in his home surrounded by his loving family.
He lived a long and exciting life leaving behind a multitude of friends from all over the world!

Back in 2011, through the generosity of Mr David Krebs, who was a close personal friend of Rays and wanted to highlight Ray’s support of veterans, a scholarship was established in Ray’s name. It is open to senior high school students of the AFJROTC or CAPS who have demonstrated support for veterans groups and humanitarian community efforts.

Volunteering his time not only to a host of ACA efforts, along with veteran and humanitarian programs throughout the community, Ray epitomized the Air Commando ethos of the “Quiet Professional.” 

  • David Krebs Jr, Richard Secord, and Ray Bourque at Two Trees Restaurant in Ft Walton Beach, FL

  • Felix “Sam” Sambogna, Ray Bourque, and Hap Lutz

  • Ray Bourque taking a well deserved break at an ACA event

  • Ray working at the ACA Fish Fry in 2005

  • Mrs Jo Ann Bourque with her husband Ray.

  • Roger Klair with Ray Bourque at ACA Fish Fry

  • ACA-Banquet_2012

  • Ray at ACA Fish Fry

  • ACA-Two-Trees-Social_2013

  • Ray with Mr “T” at Two Trees Restaurant in Ft Walton Beach

  • Maj Gen Dick Secord and Ray during the ACA Banquet in 2013

  • Ray with volunteers at ACA Fish Fry 2004

ACA Blog & Photos

Continue reading

Remembering John Connors

Remembering John S. Connors

The ACA is sadden to announce we lost one of our longest serving members. Our dear friend and stalwart comrade, John Connors, ACA Life Member #70, has taken his final flight. John was instrumental in the early days of the association, he helped with fund raising for the current headquarters building, served in several positions on the board, kept historical records for the ACA for decades, volunteered for countless activities supporting his fellow Air Commandos. He always had a kind word to say, worked side-by-side with fellow members to get the job done, and was the epitome of the “Quite Professional”.

Photo Tribute to John Connors

John Stephen Connors
November 29, 1932 ~ November 23, 2022 (age 89)

Lt. Col. John Stephen Connors, 89, passed away November 23, 2022, at his residence in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. John was born November 29, 1932, in Newburyport, Massachusetts to his parents, John Stephen Connors and Anna Agnes Connors.

A pilot in the United States Air Force, he also held a bachelor’s degree, and enjoyed collecting stamps and coins, as well as gardening and reading.

Catherine Hogg Connors was John’s bride, whom preceded him in death. John is survived by his stepsons, Robert Murphy with wife, Susan, and James Murphy with wife, Lori; stepdaughter, Jane Wofford; grandsons, Ed Wofford, Matthew Wofford with wife, Hollie, and Preston Murphy; as well as, great granddaughters, Ava and Adley Wofford.

John was a member of the Air Commando Association, Air Force Association, and Reserve Officers’ Association; he was also a member of the American Legion for twenty-five years, the Veterans of Foreign Wars for fourteen years, Daedalians for nine years, Retired Affairs Office for three years, and Military Order of the World Wars for one year. He held officer positions in several of the aforenamed and had TOP SECRET SECURITY Clearance until 1982.

Very active in civic organizations, John was a member of Knights of Columbus for thirty years, United Way of Okaloosa County for three years, Fort Walton Beach Bicentennial Committee (1976), Eglin Armament Museum Board Council of Government (1980-1982), Chamber of Commerce (1980-1982), and March of Dimes (1980-1982), as a representative of the Hurlburt Base Commander.

John held a commercial pilot license, including Helicopter; FCC Radio Telephone; and FAA 2nd Class Medical.

A visitation was held on Friday, December 2, 2022, at 11:00 A.M. in the Davis-Watkins Funeral Home Chapel on Racetrack Road, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and the funeral service was at 12:00 noon with Chaplain Charles Albertell officiating. John was laid to rest at Beal Cemetery in Fort Walton Beach, Florida immediately afterwards.

Visit to watch a video of the visitation service.

Obituary courtesy of Davis Watkins Funeral Homes & Crematory.

ACA Blog & Photos

Continue reading

Remembering Felix ‘Sam’ Sambogna

Remembering Felix ‘Sam’ Sambogna

Lt. Col. Felix L.”Sam” Sambogna, USAF retired, passed away on September 24, 2021. He was born in Manchester, CT in 1931 and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in 1953.

  • ► Felix Sambogna’s Obituary

    Lt. Col. Felix L.”Sam” Sambogna, USAF retired, passed away on September 24, 2021. He was born in Manchester, CT in 1931 and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in 1953.

    He is survived by four children: Michael Sambogna and Ron Watterson of Dallas, Texas; Nancy and Michael Shoults of Destin, FL; Patricia and Michael Hardiman of Destin, FL; Felix Jr. and Karen Sambogna of Alpharetta GA; and eight grandchildren: Whitley (wife Rosey), Erin (husband Andy), Samantha (husband Ben), David, Hannah, Jordan, Grace, and Ryan, and four great grandchildren Addison, Alden, Rylan, and Sterling.

    He served 29 years in the USAF as a command pilot, squadron commander, deputy base commander, and staff officer. Overseas assignments included Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Vietnam. After retiring from the USAF, he was employed by Oklahoma State University (OSU) and worked for 17 years at the OSU Field Office on Eglin AFB. After retirement from OSU, he performed as a volunteer for the Guardian ad Litem program for 16 years as an advocate for abused and/or neglected children. Felix was a member of the Air Commando Association (past president), Military Officers Association of America, Air Force Association, the Order of the Daedalians, and Saint Mary’s Catholic Church.

    Granddad Sam loved his family, his country, and the Air Force. His children and grandchildren were the joys of his life. He also loved tennis, racquetball, the NY Yankees and Notre Dame Football.

    He was a force of strength, unconditional love and humility that will be forever missed by his family. Peace be with you dad.

    A funeral mass will be at 10:30 AM on Friday, October 15, 2021 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Fort Walton Beach. Arrangements are being handled by McLaughlin Mortuary. He will be cremated and inurned at Beal Memorial Cemetery following the mass.

    Donations may be made to the Air Commando Association, Hospice or American Cancer Society.

    Published in Northwest Florida Daily News
  • ► Tributes

    “Sam was a constant from the first time I walked into the HQ ACA building. A buddy with John Grove, he had his heart in Appalachian relief efforts, Bless the Children global charities, the John Grove School support, a zillion shipments of goods and medical supplies that went all over our hemisphere as well as supporting Christmas Wish while it endured and supporting fresh water projects in Thailand that started years ago by SOF forces during the SEA conflict. Sam provided steady leadership/management of the McCoskrie Threshold Foundation until its termination this year. He was an inspiration to all of us and a challenge for each of us to run as well as we can, as far and fast as we can for just as long as we can. I will miss that bright light.”
    –Steve Connelly

    “Sam was one of the good guys — a big heart, a true listener, and giving friend to so many.”
    –Norm Brozenick

    “What a blessing and an honor to know and work with him. Always a kind word! Hope next time we are all together we can hoist an adult beverage to him.”
    –Chris Foltz

    “I’m truly saddened to hear this. I always looked forward to chatting with Sam at St. Mary’s Church and we always looked for each other after Mass. I really enjoyed our little chats. We will miss him and he and the family are in my prayers.”
    –Max Friedauer

    “I am also heartbroken to hear this sad news. Sam was so selfless.. involved in so many charities that he never spoke about… just doing things for the greater good and not for the recognition.
    He was truly the “Quiet Professional” working in the background, making things happen for the Annual Memorial Ceremony at the Hurlburt Field Airpark. He will be sorely missed! My prayers for his family.”
    –Heather L. Bueter

    “Thank you for informing me of Sam’s passing. I cherish the memories of the many times I spent with him. He was always a joy to be with and will be long remembered; not only for what he accomplished, but more importantly for the man he was. RIP Sam, fly high.”
    –John Sweet

    “Truly, a good man. Always had the ACA at heart”
    –Harry Bishop

    “So sorry to hear this. Sam was everywhere doing everything at the few Reunions that I have attended. ANY TIME, ANY PLACE”
    –Ed Broughton

    “Sorry to hear that news. I few with at Ben Hoa in 1969 & 1970. He was truly a historical fighter pilot.”
    –R. Wayne Moorhead, Lt. Colonel, USAF

    “So sad. Another stalwart will be very much missed.”
    –Larry Ropka

  • 7D_060

  • ACA_Banquet_2017_10_15_114

  • ACA_Luncheon_2015_07_04_7D_118

  • ACA_Seminar_7D_2014_10_18_002

  • ACA_Seminar_7D_2014_10_18_103

  • ACA_TasteNorthBay_2013_04_25_40D_104

  • ACA-Banquet_2015_10_10_5D3_082

  • ACA-Banquet_2015_10_10_5D3_209

  • ACA-Christmas-2016_2016_12_11_010

  • ACA-Christmas-2016_2016_12_11_024

  • ACA-Lunch_7D_2012_06_04-042

  • ACA-Lunch_40D_2012_07_04__118

  • ACA-Lunch_40D_2012_07_04__119

  • ACA-Luncheon_40D_2013_07_04_0010

  • ACA-Luncheon_2013_07_04_0022

  • ACA-Luncheon_2013_07_04_0049

  • ACA-Luncheon_2013_07_04_0123

  • DSC_0054

  • IMG_0967

  • IMG_4840

  • IMG_4870

  • IMG_4921

  • IMG_4937

  • IMG_7203

  • Memorial_ACA_2019_10_27_172

  • Stage_ACA-Banquet_5D3_2019_10_26_181

  • Stage_ACA-Banquet_5D3_2019_10_26_183

  • Stage_ACA-Banquet_5D3_2019_10_26_184

  • Stage_ACA-Banquet_5D3_2019_10_26_185

  • us-at-the-reunion

ACA Blog & Photos

Continue reading

Jerry Klingaman

Col Jerry Klingaman CAA #9

Photos submitted to the Air Commando Journal to accompany the articles “A Tribute to Jerry Klingaman” by Larry Ropka, Col, USAF (Ret) in Vol 10 Issue 2 and “Origins and Concept of Train-Advise-Assist” by Jerry Klingaman, Lt Col, USAF  in Vol 5 Issue 1.

ACA Blog & Photos

Continue reading

6th SOS

6th SOS Photo Gallery

Photos submitted to the Air Commando Journal to accompany the article “Adaptive Precision Strike: Combat Aviation Advisors put the Finish in Partner Nation Air Forces” by Maj Daniel Jackson, USAF

  • A Hellfire missile streaks from the rail on a CAA-flown Cessna 208 at White Sands Missile Range, February 2020. (Photo courtesy of MAG Aero)

  • Majors Paul Tandberg (left) and Daniel Jackson (right) conduct precision strike training with a Lebanese AC-208 crew in 2020. (Photo courtesy of author)

  • Left to right, Lt Col Will Slotter, Capt Ryan Mayer, Maj Brian Schaf, and Lt Col Steve Vestel preflight their missile-toting Caravan prior to the first live-fire flight on the White Sands Missile Range, February 2020. (Photo courtesy of Brian Schaf)

  • Lt Col Steve Vestel and Maj Brian Schaf took delivery of the squadron’s first CATM on December 1, 2017, and snapped this “proof of life” picture before locking it up for the night. (Photo courtesy of Brian Schaf)

  • The author shoots a Hellfire missile at the Utah Test and Training Range, July 2021. (Photo courtesy of author)

  • A Hellfire missile slams into a CONEX target at the White Sands Missile Range, February 2020. (Photo courtesy of Brian Schaf)

  • Majors Phil Vaughn, Brian Schaf, and Paul Tandberg takeoff in N321NH with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and AFSOC commander Lt Gen Brad Webb in February 2018. (Photo courtesy of Air Force Special Operations Command)

  • Conducting a rocket attack at the Fort Stewart Range, March 2021. (Photo courtesy of author)

  • A Hellfire leaves the rail at White Sands Missile Range, February 2020. (Photo courtesy of MAG Aero)

  • Secretary Wilson addresses CAAs from the 6th and 711th SOS in front of the CATM-armed Caravan at Hurlburt Field. (Photo courtesy of Air Force Special Operations Command)

  • Majors Brian Schaf and Jeff Malinen plot out single- and multi-ship strike tactics on a whiteboard at Destin Executive Airport. (Photo courtesy of Paul Tandberg)

ACA Blog & Photos

Continue reading