Low Country Warbirds meet, encourage new members

The Low Country Warbirds group met for its 46th annual meeting on Saturday at the Litchfield Beach Fish House.

Each year, the group meets on Peal Harbor Day for a couple hours to see old friends, meet new ones and share stories.

Several war veterans who came to the meeting sported decorated jackets with squadron badges, name tags, and pairs of wings.

Bob Mimms is one that still wears his wings, which date back to the time he served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War.

"My mom pinned these wings on me. Here I was a 20-year-old brand new military pilot," Mimms said.

These wings also act as symbolic reminder of his service.

"I'll never forget my first combat mission. I was scared to death the whole time," Mimms said.

Admittedly, he said it was an exciting time, too.

These raw emotions and memories Mimms shared on Saturday, were also shared by other members of the Low Country Warbirds, including Chuck Houseman.

For 24 years, Houseman, a retired Lt. Col., served in the U.S. Marine Corps He served once in the Korean War and three tours in the Vietnam War.

His first solo-flight was one, poignant memory that still sticks out in his mind.

"I was doing pretty good with my instructor in the back. And one day, he said pull over and jumped out and said 'come get me in about 30 minutes.' So I took off, and no one was back there

and running their mouth, and it was a really great feeling, Houseman said.

On Pearl Harbor Day, an event like this means so much more to the men, and so are the friendships they've cultivated through the group over the years.

"It's just a good thing. It makes me feel good to be able to be around these people. The roads they've walked down. Some of them are extremely interesting," Mimms said.

"These times we can get together and reminisce. I think it's good. People look forward to it. Not only for part of our group, but people on the outside learn more about who really participated in the Warbirds organization adnd who really participated in the active duty service for our country. Sometimes they know who you are, but don't know the rest of the story," Houseman said.

The Low Country Warbirds group has been around since 1955.

Existing members are encouraging past and present active military aviators, both males and females, to join.