Sunday, March 25, 2018 Noon 12 start, 1 pm Lunch, 2 pm Presentation
Join us for the next LECTURE & POTLUCK March 25th with the Golden Gate Wing of the Commemorative AirForce.
GUEST SPEAKER: Lawrence W. Palma, USAF and US Army
|Sunday, March 25, 2018
Social 12 pm; Lunch 1 pm; Speaker 2 pm
Naval Air Museum, 2151 Ferry Point, B-77, Alameda CA
Members: $10; First time guests: Free!
Please bring a prepared dish that will feed five. And remember to ‘pre-cut’ your meat dishes.
Please bring enough food to feed 5 people and extra if you bring a guest.
Lawrence W. Palma, USAF and US Army
Larry was born in 1944 in Boston, Massachusetts, the seventh son of a seventh son; he had
nine brothers. His father was a house painter; his mother was a housewife. He attended
East Boston High School and graduated in 1963.
His early flying experience began at Tumac Airport near Tewksbury, Massachusetts; he
earned his private pilot’s license before he was licensed to drive. After two years at Howard
University in Washington, DC, he entered the Air Force Bootstrap (Educational Leave of Absence)
program and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1966.
Larry’s first assignment was to Air Traffic Controller training; 18 months at Fort Meade, Maryland.
He completed Air Force pilot training at Kelly Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas.
After his nephew (a Navy SEAL) was killed in Vietnam, Larry transferred to the Army for initial
helicopter pilot training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, followed by training in gunships, Hughes
300A LOCHes, and Cobras plus a stint test piloting Apaches.
In Vietnam during 1970-71, Larry was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, a blocking force
in I Corps just south of the DMZ. Flying gun platforms, his combat missions included:
— reconnaissance to draw hostile fire from enemy troops near friendly forces
— identifying and marking enemy positions for destruction by our troops
— providing close and dangerously close fire support for friendly ground forces
— evacuation of wounded and dead troops under fire in hot landing zones (LZ’s)
— battle damage assessment.
His military awards and decorations include 202 Air Medals.
At Fort Lewis, Washington in 1984, he left active duty to join the Army Reserve.
As an airline reserve pilot, he flew B-727s for Air America and Braniff.
Larry’s extensive civilian helicopter experience includes:
— aerial photography
— animal herding / tagging / tracking
— building aqueducts, bridges, dams, power lines, and ski lifts
— carrying external loads
— fire suppression with water and retardant drops
— glacier operations
— Heli-Torch (jellied gasoline drops)
— lifting logged trees out of national forests
— over-water operations
— ping-pong ball fire dispenser (PSD)
— pouring concrete footings for power line towers
— search and rescue
— conducting seismic operations for oil exploration
— setting steel towers
— snow operations (deep snow)
His geographic areas of operation have included Alaska, Asia, Beaufort Sea, Europe,
Gulf of Mexico, and North Sea.
Aviation positions Larry has held include:
— Air Traffic Controller
— Check Pilot
— Chief Pilot
— Director of Operations
— Ground Trainer
— Rotorcraft test pilot for Bell and Sikorsky aircraft
— Safety Pilot.
— Bachelor of Arts at St Mark’s college in Olympia, Washington
— Master of Military Science at Army Command and Staff school at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Larry married his first wife in Boston in 1966; she died soon after he returned from Vietnam.
His second wife is Patsy Riggs who was the first female President of Kroger.
The couple has three children and three grandchildren. The couple resides in San Francisco.