CHAS Guests

Châteauroux Air Station
 Châteauroux, France


Updated:  August 25, 2010

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ARCHER,  Eric H.  
Carson City, NV

2-20-06  Seeking information about a Major NOBLE who apparently served in Silk Purse EC-118 aircraft sometime between 1961 and 1965. I am a USAF vet but did not serve at Châteauroux. I am doing some historical research and am simply trying to identify Major NOBLE whose first name began DA-----. Thanks!

 [jpnote:  excerpt from Eric's email to Jerry Parker (7322nd CAMS) with whom I connected: 

2-24-06I enlisted in the Air Force after grad school and was discharged in 1967. My active duty was entirely in the Air Training Command at Lackland and at the Medina annex. I have been a gun collector since I was a teenager. For seven years I have been collecting USAF firearms, holsters and accessories, AF pubs about firearms, and photos of Air Force personnel with small arms, especially pistols and revolvers. I did not know about Chateauroux Air Station until September 2005 when I won an Aircrewman revolver holster in an eBay auction. Attached to the holster I found a fragment of an address label. Only this text remained: Major Da P.O. Box Silk Purse ContAPO 10, New Later I found NOBLE neatly marked in blue ink inside the holster flap. I quickly learned that APO 10 New York was established in 1951 to serve Chateauroux Air Station and related units. I also soon learned that Silk Purse Control Group was the name of a mysterious Airborne Command Post operation, based first at Chateauroux, then at RAF Mildenhall, and finally at Lajes AB. Major Noble likely flew in one of the EC-118 aircraft assigned to the 7120th ACCS at Chateauroux between 1961 and 1965.


7-31-07Just a note to say that I recently visited Chateauroux with Claude and Bob Portelle. Claude is a native of Chateauroux and Bob is a Massachusetts native who served at Chateauroux. They now own an apartment in town and have been there for 2 months this summer. I stayed in a Chambre d'Hote in Coings/Cere with a view of the airbase. The Chambre d'Hote is called: Altelier Welter in Coings/Cere. We had dinner one night at Joe's which is now Tex-Mex. It was fun to learn about the base and the American community in town. This was all new to me. I lived in France for two years (with a Raytheon contract) that's when I met the Portelles.  We all live now in the Greater Lowell, MA area. I didn't see the new "airbus" but I was told that pilots practice landing and take-off at the base.  We visited the Cathedral at Bourges and other medieval churches in the area. Something we are all interested in. I practiced my French and I think I did pretty well. It was harvest time, lots of wheat and a plant called Calzo. There had been a lot of rain in early July. But by the middle of the month things had improved. I enjoyed it very much. I especially enjoyed my last day in Paris, my favorite place.  


12-7-05 My name is Damien, i live in Déols, and i'm very happy to see your internet site. I'm so sorry for my english is very bad. We've got 1 point in common, we love déols. If you want, one day, it's possible for me to take some photos and i send us by the net. For the moment I live in Bourgogne, but i'm coming frequently in Déols, my family live in châteauroux.  Best regards... Damien Boutillet

BURTON, Richard 
1956 @ Toul Rosieres, France
San Antonio, TX

11-09-09 Valerie Gay Burton, a cute little redhead, was born at Chateauroux AB hospital in 1956.  We were then stationed at Toul Rosieres AB near Nancy in Alsace Lorraine.  She grew up on Air Force bases - Torrejon AB, Madrid, Spain; Biggs AFB, El Paso, Texas; Moron AB, Sevilla, Spain; and Tinker AFB, Oklahoma.  [I] and Helen Burton, retired from the Air Force in 1970.  [I then] taught high school English, history, and Spanish in Oklahoma City until 1993.  [We are retired and live in San Antonio, Texas.]

Dick & Helen in Corpus Christi - September 2009






8-9-10  Helen, Valerie and Richard joined us at dinner in San Antonio, TX during the Mike Gagne' Trip to the States.


Richard Burton & Jenelle


GAGNE, Joe "From Maine"  - Joe's son, Mike's email address listed below.

Joe celebrated his 84th birthday 9-29-05.

[jpnote:  Joe From Maine is still open and serving those great cheeseburgers and chili we all ate with American gusto!  Joe's daughter, Annette, operates the bar/restaurant these days.  Joe and his wife are happily retired and living in Châteauroux.  Son, Mike's entry below.

Janine & Joe - 2002




[jpnote:  Every G.I. and every Chad High Student has a special memory of you and your Joe From Maine Restaurant.  There are many who send you best wishes and would like to thank you for helping them pass many lonely hours whiling away the time at your establishment while they were so far from home.]

GAGNE, Mike - Chad Class of 1968
(son of Joe "From Maine" Gagne)
Châteauroux, France
05/25/2002   Hello to all!  Actually, I was just a student at high school  but I think a lot of you must have met my Dad "Joe" who ran the "Joe From Maine" at the time.  I am vice-president of the France-USA Association here in Châteauroux and we are trying to keep alive the spirit of the Air Base and relationship between the U.S. and French people who worked at the base until 1966.

GARCIA, David  - misplaced David's email address
@ Chas:  TDY 1963
20th ATS from Dover AFB Delaware
Brea ,CA 

02/27/2003 Comments:  We flew to Chas often.  I loved it! My wife and I now visit France to see our granddaughter in Nancy.  On our next trip we'll visit Chas first.


Baseball Pitcher -Milano, Italy

1-4-2005 Email written to John Doyle - [printed with permission]

As a pitcher with Milano I met the Sabres at Châteauroux, Milano and Parma in the spring of '62, and in Nettuno in the spring of '63. Strictly speaking, I don't belong to the Sabres Veterans Club but I am still very proud of the CHAS patch on the blazer Evo Mini gave me - probably in appreciation for my stubborness as eternal losing pitcher when facing you guys. The Sabres played a great role in disseminating the game in Europe. In fact you should put together your pictures and scrapbooks and write the story of a fantastic team. Great times indeed also for us green ballplayers from Italy when meeting USAFE teams. I have the fondest memories of those days, in particular of CHAS in the springtime. I am sorry that Marty Martinez passed away. I would like to hear about the other Sabres - Col. Burley, Jim Ledbetter, Bill Boatman, Rusty Draper, Steve Karsh, Glenn Vessel... and, you guess, about the unbelievable Evo Mini, whom I last met in Boulder, Colorado in 1968. If you have a chance to get in touch with them and the other members of the 1962-63 teams please give them and their families my very best wishes for a happy New Year. Thank you.

Saumur Signal Depot
Bloomington, IL

8/10/00 The air base was a nice place to visit. I drove the HS students down from Saumur a few times. Your page is a great place to find old friends. We have a yearly reunion in Saumur with the French Workers and their family.

JOHNSTON, Charles 
1961-1962 @ Chize, France
611th Ord Co  (U.S. Army)
Fort Worth, TX

1-30-05  I was stationed at Chize.   I remember Châteauroux well.  I was riding the (Electric Bumper Cars) in Niort. When I got hurt, had to go to Châteauroux for a cracked tail bone - worst pain have had.  I was stationed in Germany 1964 and on my way to visit some friends in Niort, I stopped at Châteauroux PX and had the best hot dog and chili there...Nice city, I still go every year to Niort, France to visit my friends, 39 years, just about every year. I still enjoy the visit there.. Thanks CJ

Photos taken  1964 - Zindorf, Germany
Motorpool - Hd 4th Artillery


[3-3-05 jp email connected with Ted Tinnes]

3-1-09  I am still searching for American Gi's that were stationed with the 611th Ord at Chize.  I have found a few more men,  and now we have about 50 on our list.    I have met some of the French workers who worked at Chize and around the area and maybe Chateauroux back in the late 50's and early 60's.   I met them last year at Niort.   I go back to Niort every year to visit all my friends that I have met since 1961. Niort is my Home away from Home.  I enjoy the French people very much.   They have been such dear friends for 48 years.

I know that you all had a reunion there awhile back.   I know it was a complete success.  I am planning in the near furture to have one in Niort for the 611th Ord Co. to visit Chize Ammo Depot and some of the small towns around.

The local newspaper in Niort has written several articles and wrote an article about me coming over there and etc.  It was a very good article  and I had a chance to give my side of the story.

I still write Ted Tennis that you sent me is e-mail address for the last 3 years.

My Webpage is  Thanks again for your Webpage.  Charles Johnston - Fort Worth, Texas. - Texan by Birth, French at Heart

Julien - Guest  
Châteauroux, France

2-13-04  Comments:  I am neither an american vet or a french guy living at the same [time] as the "americains"...Actually I am 24 years old but I heard so many stories about the "american time" in my city. I would like to thank you for all you did for my town which is now almost dead...please come back!!

[jpnote:  Julien, thank you for the invitation to return.  Much nicer than what we used to see on every wall and sides of buildings 1951-66.]

Sallie Wren '52 photo

KEITH, Jack L. USAF (Ret.) 
15 October 1957
10th Fighter Bomber Sqdn
Toul Air Base France
Miami, FL

1-24-04   Read Jack's Memory "No Sweat"    [jpnote:  This is a very interesting memory of the unknown heroes in the control tower at Déols.]

Sacramento/Roseville, CA

07/29/2000  Comments:  Actually, I am a remote relative to Garland Starnes and he invited me to your site. I too was in the Air Force in the same period as Garland and he knows I appreciate military memories

LAVERGNE Family of Châteauroux 

Hello, my name is Nathalie, I'm 23 years old,I leave in france, in Châteauroux, near to "Touvent" my grandmother often tell me about the american base because she used to work for americans people, she was doing housework for them and she keeps lots of good remerbers.  My father used to play with american children, he also keeps very good remembers. Americans offered him a teddy bear wich he gave me and I always keep it. I think my father and my grandparents would be so happy to find someone they have known during this period. So if someone recognize them, please write grandparents are named Marie Louise and Fernand Lavergne and my father, Patrick (moreover he was liked for his name because of the st patrick)

MCCRAY, Jimmie L. 
1955 thru 1960
Ammo Supply Depot - Chize, Fr
Linkoping, Sweden

2-6-09  Searching anyone who served at Chize during the time frame cited above.  Fond memories of the forest during spring and summer and of the surrounding area, La Rochelle, Niort, etc.

MCCUE, Paul  

I'm a British writer researching British secret service (SOE)/French resistance operations around Châteauroux during WW2.

I came across your (very impressive) web site and wonder if you can confirm if Déols and La Martinerie are two different sites - or one and the same. They are both listed as the subject of British-inspired French resistance sabotage attacks in 1944. I'm also aware that a German Luftwaffe fighter unit was based at Châteauroux, Jagdgeschwader 103...again, Déols, La Martinerie or both? Any clues?

[jpnote:  Paul & I have exchanged emails and information.]

Molinicos, Spain

11-28-08   Searching anyone who remembers our group playing as house band (1966) in the NCO club. We were known as the San Antones, and we were from England. We played country music

 Thierry,  Christian  

[jpnote:  Christian's father was assigned to La Martinerie as part of the french gendarmerie who worked alongside the 7322nd AP at La Martinerie.  Christian is searching Harold Conner from California.]

  French air "gendarmerie" being installed in CHAS AP building from 1951 to 1967.  This picture date maybe father, beginning on the left is the tenth air gendarme.

 My father's family  lived in  "cité des jardins" for 13 years.   I remember also many American MP's invited by my father inside our house but I didn't know their names.

Christian's father - 1962




 Note from Son, Christian:

  Before my engagement in french Air force as pilot  (1964-1966) I  worked as a "clerk" inside CHAD for NATO depot.

  During that time, I was living every day with American way of life.  It marked all my life; the print is always here, 45 years after.

Many thanks for your really interesting net site.






Below:  Son, Christian


Resides in Chateauroux

5-16-08  Just to let you know, if any of you are in need of ANYTHING from Chateauroux, I'd be glad to help out.  from an ex pat. LIVING IN CHATEAUROUX

WOERNER, Rev. & Mrs. Elie  
@ Chas:  1962-1966
First Baptist Church
Alexandria, LA

02/01/2003   I was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Châteauroux. Would love to hear from former members of this Southern Baptist Church. The church closed in 1966 when the base closed.

See Photos and Memories

ZABUN, Halit - Turkish Air Force 
@ Chas:  1955-1956 - Supply Inspection Course
Resides in Luxembourg
1-1-06  I was stationed in La Martinerie attending Supply Inspection course. I remember there were officers and NCOs from other nations like Yugoslavians.  We had several instructor I don't remember them all except one Miss Jump. She was not only a very knowledged Instructor but has been a mother for us, five young NCOs from Turkish Air force.In the short period I was in Châteauroux I managed to meet a young french girl, got married in Ankara and have been marfied since. It is going to be 50 years next November. I was in Châteauroux for Christmas period, Most of the buildings in Déols and La Martinerie are still as same as when we left them in 1966 - 1967 . Countryside is still beatiful and peaceful. I wish to all of you and your families a Happy, Healthy 2006 and God Bless you.

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Jenelle Peterson
Dallas, TX