Hells Angels: a story about, made by an Elder of the SL HAMC community

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Hells Angels: a story about, made by an Elder of the SL HAMC community

Post by Liberty on Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:22 am

Below you find a description of the Hells Angels made by a author in the early days of SL, part of the HAMC in SL, and whoms name I deliberately will not mention. I will not out of respect, and not being sure if the owner of the Notecard really was the the Author.


The Hells Angels are based on four fundamental values: honesty – reliability – respect – freedom.

Every charter is structured as follows:

President - leader of the charter
Vice-President - deputy of the president
Secretary - administration
Sergeant at Arms - responsible for conduct
Treasurer - treasury
Road Captain - organisation of the bike convois
Member - regular member
Prospect - candidate for member status
Hangaround - candidate for prospect status

HISTORY

The myth and legends surrounding the military lineage of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has, for decades, been cited as being from former members of the Hell's Angels Bomber B-17 Group from World War II. This myth has been aided by incorrect reporting by authors who deemed it appropriate to align the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) with ex-service members returning from a war where excitement and adventure had become their lifestyle. Authors and newspaper correspondents, from a wide assortment of daily, weekly and other periodicals have made statements, not founded in fact. It has been stated that these former servicemen were alleged to have been drunkards, military misfits, and generally speaking substandard soldiers that would not adjust to a return to a peacetime environment. If any person, regardless of their association, considered the content of the statements and inferences made, they would find these to lack any rational thought or concern for truthful reporting.

A historical review of the exploits and accomplishments of the implied Bomber Group, 303rd Bombardment Groups (Heavy) (303rd) European Theater of Operations (ETO) show's that this bomber unit did not tolerate malcontents, drunken pilots or aircrews. Such individuals, had they existed, would have seriously hindered the effectiveness of combat operations and would have been dealt with harshly and promptly. Documented records of the 303rd can be found in "Might in Flight", Daily Diary of the Eighth Air Force's Hell's Angels, 303rd Bombardment Group (H), by Harry D. Gobrecht, LtCol, USAF (Ret). One of the 303rd's most famous B-17's serial number #41-24577, commanded by then Captain Irl Baldwin, was named "Hell's Angels". This aircraft was unnamed until it's fourth or fifth mission. The crew decided to adopt the name "Hell's Angels" after the 1927 "Hell's Angels" WWI fictional Fighter Squadron movie by Howard Hughes. On 13 May 1943 the 303rd's B-17F "Hell's Angels" became the first 8th Air Force B-17 to complete 25 combat missions. This feat has wrongly been credited to the"Memphis Belle" B-17 including the 1943 and 1990 "Memphis Belle" movies. The "Memphis Belle" B-17 was the first to complete 25 missions and return to the USA. "Hell's Angels" continued to fly combat missions until 13 December 1943, when she completed 48 combat missions it was retired from combat. Shortly thereafter she was flown to the USA, rejoined by members of the Capt Baldwin crew, went on a morale boosting tour of war production plants. "Hell's Angels" B-17F. serial number #41-24577 was dismantled, for scrap, in 1947. On 7 January 1944, by a vote of group and squadron commanders, "Hell's Angels" became the name of the 303rd with "Might in Flight" being retained as the Group motto.

Facts, which have been undeniably proven, show that the 303rd "Hell's Angels" B-17F was only flown by highly dedicated, motivated and mission oriented airmen. They were not malcontents and did not report for mission in a drunken state. Crew pilot and commander, Capt Irl Baldwin, completed a stellar military career, retired as a LtCol, and was awarded numerous valorous and meritorious citations.  

Records show that the 303rd became one of the 8th Air Forces best Bomb Groups. It operated from Station 107, Molesworth, Huntingdonshire, England from 12 September 1942 until 11 June 1945. During this time the Group flew an 8th Air Force record 364 combat missions, 10,721 sorties and dropped 26,346 tons of bombs on enemy targets. The 303rd is credited with 664 enemy aircraft destroyed, probably destroyed or damaged. They sustained 1,748 personnel casualties and lost 210 B-17's on combat missions. The 303rd was the first 8th Air Force Bomb Group to complete 25, 50, 75, 200 and 300 combat missions. With this record doesn't it seem strange that the post war media, more than likely influenced by a law enforcement community biased against the HAMC. Only overzealous sensationalistic reporters, would publish unreliable and malicious comments about 303rd crewmen or any other group, to include HAMC. These tainted reports represent a disservice to journalists that are professional in the execution of their craft. From available historical information at HAMC Berdoo and extensive research by the 303rd reveals that no lineage exists between the HAMC and the 303rd other than both organizations having the same name. HAMC has copyrighted the name Hells Angels (in any form of spelling) in the US and Internationally, along with all variations of the "Deathshead" insignia of HAMC. These trademarks & copyrights are aggressively protected by HAMC, Inc. The name Hell's Angels was adopted by no less that twelve B-17?s throughout WWII, from a assortment of organizations, additionally it was adopted by a B-26 Medium Bomber squadron, a United States Marine Corps fighter squadron and even on a P-38 Lightning fighter.  

The former Squadron Leader of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron "Hell's Angels" American Volunteer Group (AVG), Arvid Olsen, was the only known person with specific military lineage to an actual unit which bore the name Hell's Angels that was affiliated with the foundation of the HAMC, which occurred in Fontana, California in March 1948. Arvid Olsen was an associate of the founders of the HAMC, he never attempted to or became a member of HAMC.

The AVG, or more famously known "The Flying Tigers" (the name is credited to a United Press correspondent named McGrath for a article written on 26 December 1941) were a secret United States military operational  entity, authorized and approved by then President Franklin D. Roosewelt, on 23 December 1940, under conditions of a SECRET Letter of Approval: refer to official file 150, FDR Library, Memoranda 1941. The secret approval was only recently declassified in December 1991, after 50 years, when the AVG was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Additionally the pilots of the AVG were awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses. Ground crew personnel of the AVG were awarded Bronze Star Medals. After all those years the AVG veterans, that were still alive, received Veterans status from a grateful nation! This acknowledgment seems more like an after thought to an intentional oversight, on the part of the government.

As part of this covert operation, which had been requested by Claire Lee Chennault ( a former USAAC pilot instructor and veteran of the 94th "Hat in the Ring" squadron during WWI) on behalf of Chaing Kai-Shek  and the Chinese government, who had been at war with the Empire of Japan since 1937. The AVG were to be equipped, organized and deployed, in China, against the Empire of Japan. The AVG received 100 P-40 fighter aircraft. The P-40's were diverted from a shipment to England. The personnel were recruited from active branches of the War Department: the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Pilots, maintenance, communications, clerical and medical personnel were secretly recruited from active duty units. All documentation, equipment and personnel transfers were processed through and by the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), as approved by the US Government. Nothing could then be traced to the United States government, which was not yet in conflict with the Empire of Japan. Chaing Kai-Shek appointed Chennault Commander of the AVG.

The AVG was divided into four elements: a headquarters squadron and three (3) fighter squadrons. Each squadron selected their respective name, which was the custom of the time for military aviation units. The First Pursuit Squadron (1PS) became the Adam & Eve's. The Second Pursuit Squadron (2PS) became the Panda Bears. Chuck Older, Ken Jernstedt, Tom Haywood and Ed Overend, all former USMC pilots, selected the name "Hell's Angels" for the Third Pursuit Squadron (3PS). Of note is that Charles 'Chuck' Older, became a judge and presided over the trial of Charles Manson. Ken Jernstedt became a US Senator. After deactivation of the AVG Ed Overend returned to the USMC where he commanded VMF-321, a US Marine Corps fighter Squadron, which he named "Hell's Angels" and adopted the "Lady" insignia of the 3PS AVG. Squadron Leader Olsen was not involved in that name selection, however he immediately agreed with the recommendation. The Tiger Shark motif on the AVG P-40 aircraft was the idea of (3PS) Hell's Angels Flight Leader Erik Shilling and (1PS) Adam & Eve Vice Squadron Leader Charles Bond, when they found a British magazine with photographs of an RAAF P-40 in desert camouflage. When the two took the idea to Chennault he wanted the entire Group to adopt the motif. Even today Shilling and Bond claim first for idea and application of the Tiger Shark paint job on the P-40's of the AVG. Erik Shilling actually painted his P-40 first, as Bond had gone off base to acquire the paint, whereas Shilling got paint on the base from Chinese personnel that were painting the Chinese Air Force insignia on the P-40's.  

Each of the squadrons, now with an approved name, designed their respective squadron insignia. The Hell's Angels decided on a red colored silhouette of a very shapely female with halo and wings outlined in white. This design originated with 3PS crew chief Stan Regis in late November or December 1941. Each Hell´s Angels pilot had his own "Lady" painted on his individual aircraft, subsequently each "Lady" had her own personality. Yet the colors of red on white was the standard for the entire squadron. This same motif and insignia is used today by active United States Army, Marine Corps and Air Force squadrons, additionally a fighter squadron of the Israeli Air Force. During the seven month combat operations of the AVG this unit acquired a record of 297 Japanese aircraft destroyed, as confirmed by British and Chinese Intelligence. Other sources have placed the total Japanese aircraft destruction, caused by the AVG, at well over 600 to 900, including aircraft destroyed on the ground during strafing operations. AVG losses were 4 pilots killed in air combat, 7 killed by ground fire, 3 died as a result of Japanese bombing while they were on the ground and 1 missing in action presumed dead. That reflects an AVG to Japanese kill ratio of 50 to 1, a record that has never been  equaled. Chennault reviewed official Japanese war records, after the war. The Japanese reported the destruction of 544 AVG aircraft. Of note was the fact that at no time did the AVG possessed more than 100 aircraft in their unit. The AVG was disbanded on 4 July 1942, at which time few accepted returning into the US Army Air Force, most optioned to return to the US where they returned to active service or other war efforts. The reason many refused immediate return to active service, in China, was the manner by which Brigadier General Bissell, USAAF, presented the option to them. Bissell had been a long time adversary of Chennault and the Flying Tigers. Chennault, who had accepted return to active military service, prior to the deactivation of the AVG, at the rank of Brigadier General continued to command the 14th Air Force in the China Burma Theater (CBT). The 14th Air Force all referred to themselves as "Flying Tigers", even though the real "Flying Tigers" had been deactivated on 4 July 1942  

General Chennault was forced into retirement immediately prior to the Japanese surrender. At the official surrender ceremony, aboard the USS Missouri, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur asked, "Where's Chennault"? As a final insult General Chennault, founder and commander of the AVG, who had fought the Japanese Empire since 1937 wasn't even permitted to be present at the official end of hostilities, of which he had participated in for 8 years, unlike the 4 years of participation by other US officials at that ceremony.

To answer the question of lineage between HAMC and a military organization is that Arvid Olsen, "Flying Tigers" Hell's Angels squadron gave the idea of the name to the actual founders of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, in Fontana, California. The selection of our colors, red on white, is a result of the association of Olsen with the HAMC founders, like the insignia of the 3PS "Hell's Angels". The insignia of the HAMC, our copyrighted Deathshead can also be traced to two variant insignia designs, the 85th Fighter Squadron and the 552nd Medium Bomber Squadron. Frank Sadliek, past president of the San Francisco Chapter, HAMC, designed the official "Deathshead" insignia. Arvid Olsen died 16 May 1974 in Point Clear, Alabama.

They called themselves the Hells Angels because they flew on silk wings into hell itself, bringing a brutal hope for peace with 20 pounds of TNT strapped to each leg. The nickname was a badge of honor, a mark of invincibility, a wartime emblem indicating the toughest of the tough. It was a totem to ward off the worst.

Not surprisingly, a handful of those original Hells Angels - along with many other returning soldiers who had awakened to the nightmare of war - found it difficult to settle into the half-sleep of the American Dream. After living on the edge so long, they found only a depressing fatalism and monotony in jobs, family, mortgages, college, suburbia and cookie-cutter houses with white-picket fences.

And so they rode. Motorcycles were cheap in the mid-1940s, sold as military surplus, and they offered a certain wild peacetime freedom not unlike the wartime skies of Europe. Soon, individuals gathered into groups, sharing weekends when they rode hard and partied harder.

But when Monday came, not everyone went home. Some stayed, turning the weekend motorcycle club into a surrogate family of full-time brothers.

Two of the first such fraternities were the Pissed Off Bastards and the Booze Fighters, groups that established early the notoriety of the outlaw biker image. In 1947, at an American Motorcycle Association convention in the drowsy town of Hollister, Calif., the Pissed Off Bastards rode in drunk, wild and destructive, landing as if behind enemy lines with a belly full of TNT. The local sheriff later described the scene as "just one hell of a mess."

Quick to control the public relations' damage, the AMA denounced the Bastards, saying it was unfortunate that 1 percent of motorcyclists should ruin it for the law-abiding 99 percent. To this day, the 1 percent insignia remains a badge of honor, worn with pride by those who define themselves as not part of that milquetoast 99 percent majority who ride whining Hondas back and forth to the office.

But in the months following Hollister, internal tension among the Bastards and Booze Fighters was mounting, and in 1948 Bastard Otto Friedli broke from the club, splintering the group to create the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Fontana, Calif.

Through the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Hells Angels continued to ride with the other 99 percent, but already their reputation roared out in front.

That reputation crashed into the public consciousness in 1954 when Marlon Brando starred in "The Wild One," a Hollywood sensation inspired by the rumble at Hollister.

That same year, the original Hells Angels chapter merged with San Francisco's Market Street Commandos to spawn the club's second chapter, whose president crafted the intimidating winged death's head that remains the Hells Angels calling card to this day.

Chapters quickly popped up along the California coastline, but there was no organization among the groups, no single vision. All that changed, however, when Ralph "Sonny" Barger helped establish the Oakland Chapter.

Although Barger insists he is not the leader of today's international Hells Angels, he is widely considered so by law enforcement, and undoubtedly wears an unofficial crown. Today, Barger lives in Arizona. George Christie, longtime president of the Ventura, Calif., chapter, is considered Barger's second-in-command and likely successor.

Under Barger's guidance, the Hells Angels chapters came together, hammering out bylaws, codes of conduct, patches, colors, tattoos and club houses. And the myth of the outlaw biker grew. There were tales of mayhem, violence, destruction and, in the early 1960s, accusations of rape in the oceanside town of Monterey.

That high-profile rape case, historians believe, marked the beginnings of what law enforcement now calls an international drug trafficking syndicate. In order to pay legal bills, the legend goes, the Hells Angels made a few drug deals, selling methamphetamines and entering for the first time the world of big-money narcotics.

Whether that version is true, few know for certain and none will admit - proof, perhaps, of the motto "three can keep a secret if two are dead." What is known is that the Hells Angels' defense, however financed, was successful and the rape suspects were acquitted.

It was the first in a long string of high-profile accusations, arrests and acquittals - suggesting either the Angels are slippery or that police like to arrest them despite flimsy evidence. Many believe the truth involves a bit of both.

Regardless, in winning the Monterey rape case the club also won over popular culture, which set the Hells Angels on a pedestal as icons of freedom and resistance to "the system."

The rape acquittals also caught the attention of the California attorney general, who began what would in just a few years become one of the longest running cat-and-mouse games ever played between law enforcement agencies and an established and easily identifiable group.

Infamy bred notoriety, and in the mid-1960s "The Nation" magazine sent a young Hunter S. Thompson off to write about the Hells Angels. Thompson returned to the bikers after completing the article, riding with the Hells Angels for a year while researching his book, "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang."

At the same time, Hollywood had discovered the bikers. Barger starred next to Jack Nicholson in "Hell's Angels on Wheels." Rock stars such as Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead struck up friendships with the bikers, which Garcia admitted was a bit scary, because the Hells Angels were, as he put it, "good in all the violent spaces."

That was proved beyond doubt on Dec. 6, 1969, when the Hells Angels were hired as security for a Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway outside San Francisco.

That night, at the height of the Angels' bare-knuckled stardom, the crowd surged in waves and the Hells Angels braced against it. An irresistible force swept against an immovable object, Mick Jagger sang "Sympathy for the Devil" and everything came unhinged.

An 18-year-old Stones fan named Meredith Hunter rushed the stage, was beaten back, rushed again, was pushed back, pulled a gun, and shot a Hells Angel in the arm.

Barger, interviewed for a recent History Channel special, said that when Hunter fired, "people started stabbing him. The guy killed himself by pulling the gun and shooting it into a crowd. And to me, that's just part of everyday life in the Hells Angels - somebody shoots you, you stab him."

One Hells Angel was arrested for the killing, but later was acquitted, despite the fact that the entire incident was captured on film.

Now, with their bad-boy reputation squarely in place and undeniably earned, the Hells Angels began to emerge as a more sophisticated outfit.

They incorporated, trademarked the infamous death's head and opened chapters around the world.

Their boldness irritated law enforcement, and in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the government tried to pin an official organized crime designation on the group, attempting to prosecute the Hells Angels under laws originally designed to combat the Mafia. The alleged violations of racketeering, influence and corrupt organization laws, however, were never proved, with two hung juries unable to come to a decision on 38 of 44 separate charges.

The $15 million federal prosecution resulted in two mistrials, which prosecutors decried as a miscarriage of justice, while Barger threw a no-holds-barred bash for the jurors.

Perhaps cops chase Angels because Angels are easy to chase. Finding real criminals is much tougher, and would require investigative initiative beyond pulling over every biker wearing the infamous winged death's head.



What does the M.C. stand for ?

The MC stands for Motorcycle Club. The fact of the matter is, it's a Motorcycle Club, not a gang.

What does 81 stand for ?

It's a metonym. It stands for the 8th letter of the alphabet which is an H, and the 1st letter of the alphabet which is an A, HA = Hells Angels.

What does Red & White stand for?

Another metonym, Red & White are the Club's colors. Red letters on a White background.

Why do you call you club vest colors ?


Again, another metonym. Colors or Patch stand for the motorcycle club's (Any motorcycle club) insignia. On the top of the back of the vest is HELLS ANGELS, and the bottom is the Charter's location. These are called rockers. The center is the logo called the Deathhead, and the small square with MC stands for Motorcycle Club. The Hells Angels, as well as most motorcycle clubs have copyrights on their name and logo.

How do I join the Hells Angels ?

As the saying goes, If you have to ask the question, you probably won't understand the answer. The key words are Motorcycle Club, which means they are true motorcycle enthusiasts and their motorcycle is their primary means of transportation. On the average a club member will ride 20,000 mile plus a year, and this means rain, snow, or sunshine. Each Charter varies in their requirement, but if you're really interested you should talk to a member in your area. And if you have to ask where the nearest Charter is to you....you aren't ready to join a Motorcycle Club.

Isn't the apostrophe missing in Hells Angels ?

Should the Hells in Hells Angels have an apostrophe, and be Hell's Angels? That would be true if there was only one Hell, but life & history has taught us that there are many versions and forms of Hell.

How do I start a Hells Angels Charter ?

Another If you have to ask, you won't understand the answer. Motorcycle Clubs consist of a group of people who have ridden together for years, live in the same community, are known by the community, have runs to raise money for local charities, and are a brotherhood. It's Motorcycle Club as opposed to an association such as Harley Owners Group, or Goldwing Riders, which allow anyone to join as long as they have a Harley or Goldwing. Not to say associations are better or worse, just different; they don't ride 20,000+ a year together, or know each other as well as you know your family, which is what a Motorcycle Club is about. If you're already in a Motorcycle Club you know how to start a Hells Angels Charter in your area, and if you're not...well, that's probably why you asked the question in the first place.

Wear and purchase of Club Support items ?

Many people think that you have to own a Harley to wear or display Club Support merchandise, but it's not true. Your purchases show that you support The Club's philosophy of being free, and it also helps the Charter put on runs and events that riders of all makes of motorcycles and even those who don't own a bike at all enjoy.

Retired or Undercover Hells Angels !

There is no such thing as a retired or undercover Hells Angels member & never has been! There are a few of our brothers who cannot associate with us due to our govt. and their parole stipulations.

Do you know my uncle... he might be HA?

We don't answer questions about members

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