Fred (Derf) Johnson

Fred (Derf) Johnson: Navy  Vietnam Veteran 1959 to 1983, Born 02/06/1940 passed on 11/14/2018. Laid to rest at Bakersfield National Cemetery on 11/11/2018.

Loved by all, will miss you Derf


Ben Nickels

2/23/58 to 3/17/18


Sadly to say we lost a good friend and brother on Saint Patty`s Day.

Ben joined the American Legion Riders Chapter 507 in 2010 and was always a teem player. 


He was always a fun guy to be around and a great rider.

Ben will be missed by his wife STACEY and HIS KIDS and FAMILY and his adopted family ALR POST 507 and THE VFW in CAL CITY.

May your soul rest in MOTORCYCLE HEAVEN.

Rick Rutan

January 11, 2018

Rick was one of the founding members of the Merced American Legion Post 83, holding various positions within the post.

Rick served honorably in the United States Air Force attaining the rank of MSGT E-7 with tours of duty with the Strategic Air Command, Minot AFB, Thailand & Vietnam as an in-flight fuel specialist ...performing maintenance on B-52 aircraft. He was awarded the AF Commendation Medal, Outstanding Unit Award, AF Good Conduct Medal, NDSM, RVN Service Medal, RVN Campaign Medal, AF Overseas Longevity Service Medal w/3/Bronze Clusters, and the AF Training Ribbon. After his discharge from the Air Force, Rick worked as a supervisor at the Castle AF Base Museum in Atwater, restoring aircraft at the museum. He also played music in several local bands. Rick was one of the founding members of the Merced American Legion Post 83, holding various positions within the post.


This email was approved by Vince Cole, President of ALR, Chapter 83


Rob Carrier

Ride Captain/Safety Officer

Bruce “Buck” Rohde

March 11, 1948 - Sept 26th, 2017

Bruce “Buck” Rohde member of 509 American Legion and American Legion Rider passed away Sept 26th, 2017.

Bruce was born on March 11, 1948, in Santa Maria and moved to Fresno, Ca in 1958. He graduated from Hoover High School in 1966. Bruce played defensive end for Hoover high school in Fresno in which Hoover High won their first ever NYL Championship fall of 1965. In 1967 Bruce started Fresno City College which he earned AA degree in Industrial Technician in 1969.

Bruce entered Military service on Jan 30, 1970. He was with the U.S Army as a Military Police ASA / NSA. He spent 21 months in Japan. Was honorably discharged in 1973. Bruce started working for the City of Fresno 2002 as Engineering Construction Inspector. He retired from Fresno City in 2014. 

Bruce was a member of American Legion Post 509 in Fresno Ca. He also was an active member of American Legion Riders Chapter 509. Buck participated in many rides, volunteer work, and flag lines. Buck loved his Harley Davidson street glide. 



Bob (Too Tall) Pittenger

1/9/1959 to 4/24/2017

Obituary for Robert O. Pittenger

Robert O Pittenger, (Bob); (Too Tall) 58 of San Jacinto, CA passed away on Monday, April 24, 2017. Husband, father, and grandfather, he was born on Friday, January 9, 1959 in Oswego, New York to Betty Pittenger and the late Owen Pittenger. He was married to Dee Pittenger for 6 wonderful years. Bob is a proud US Marine and loved serving and assisting all veterans. He was a member of the American Legion Post 848 Riders where he was very active in many charity events. Robert worked in the Steel Industry for many years and was Project Manager for Able Iron Works in Pomona CA. His family describes him as smart with a quick wit, had a big heart, caring, gentle natured and his presence would light up a room. Preceding in death was his brother Bill Pittenger and father Owen Pittenger. Surviving is his wife Dee Pittenger, daughters Alissa Pittenger and Angie Morrow, sisters Jean, Jennine, and Sandy; grandchildren Lainey, Owen, Sean and Jovani.

Bob Too Tall, passed on April 24, 2017. A charter member of Chapter 848 was a three year President, one yr sgt at arms, one yr road captain. He was very active in supporting all rider events and enjoyed riding out to other Area 5 posts.  Attended ALR Conventions where he made life long friends from all areas of Calif. Bob was a proud veteran to represent the American Legion riding patch on his back.  He loved riding long and hard. He truly has been missed and will be in our hearts and many of his friends thoughts

David Allen Higgins

11/06/1957 to 12/23/2015

Sgt. At Arms Chapter 136

SSGT US Air Force / SP4 US Army   Served in the Persian Gulf.

Buried at Section 17  Site 117  Bakersfield National cemetery.

He will be missed.

Duane Harte

Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer U.S. Naval Reserve

Longtime Santa Clarita Valley resident Duane R. Harte — a man remembered as a tireless volunteer, a stalwart community advocate, a loyal friend, a true patriot and an American Legion Riders Chapter 507 past president — died early Monday morning of a heart attack. He was 68.


To all our ALR friends. Chapter 507 lost a dear friend and brother. Duane was not only a ALR member but also  a PGR rider. The 507 wants to thank Riders from Chapter 48 and 483. Your support and attendance displayed the kind of ALR Brotherhood one expects from a great organization like ours.


With respect to Duane and his Family. We will miss you.

Ken Hamilton


Randy Rendon

USMC Veteran, RFTW Veteran, Retired Deputy

I am very sorry to report that one of our former members, Randy “Cisco” Rendon passed away on Monday.  Although he has not been an active member of the chapter for several years Cisco still looms larger than life for us that had the pleasure to know him.  A Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran and a San Diego County Sheriff Deputy, Cisco was one of the nicest guys you would meet and one of the first friends that I made in this Chapter.  Cisco rode a Wide Glide and was a veteran of the Run for the Wall.  He will be missed.
A memorial service is being planned for November 18th on the back patio of Post 149.  We will then escort his ashes to Fort Rosecrans for internment.
Best Regards,
Scott Newell
President, ALR 149

Wayne Cloukey












Wayne Cloukey
Killed in MVC 7.29.15
Robert “Wayne” Cloukey
Posted: Monday, Aug 10th, 2015

On July 29, 2015 we said goodbye to Robert “Wayne” Cloukey.

Born November 6, 1946 in Athol, Massachusetts. He graduated from Samuel Ayer High School in Fremont, CA where he wrestled and played football before joining the service. Wayne was very proud to serve his country in the US Navy as a Seabee. He did two tours in Vietnam where he was known as “Red”.  After his time in the service he went to work for Lockheed Martin where he started as a janitor and worked his way up to maintenance manager. While at Lockheed he acted as a shop steward. After 37 years he retired.


He lived life to the fullest and enjoyed a special relationship with his father. They enjoyed many adventures once as a cowboy on the family ranch. Then they built a commercial fishing boat from scratch (fishing it for years) and racing cars at Watsonville Speedway. He was past president to the American Legion Riders District 28. The first Area 2 Vice President and Assistant Commissioner for the Legion Riders State of California. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, and Past Commander of American Legion Post 593.


Wayne enjoyed football (Oakland Raiders), Nascar, and riding his Harley Davidson with friends. He seemed to know someone everywhere he went. He rode many places but multiple times to Sturgis and participated in the ride to the wall (Rolling Thunder) where he paid tribute to the fallen soldiers.


The Man, The Legend, The Friend to All. He will be deeply missed. He was preceded in death by his father Leonard Cloukey, his mother Monica Cloukey and sister Gail Corona. He is survived by his partner and best friend in life Koni Dearman, and her son Dustin Dearman; his niece Tracy Scott (Jason Scott); grand-nephews Nathan and Jacob Scott; and numerous friends.


George Campos

9 November 1945 - 9 May 2013


Wednesday May 8th,   67 year old George Campos, Road Captain for the Southern California area Patriot Guard Riders was  leading a funeral procession along Route 78 in Temecula when suddenly and without warning, slumped over the bars of his Harley Davidson.  His bike veered off the road  striking a curb, throwing him from the motorcycle. Campos had suffered a massive stroke. 

According to American Legion Riders President Mick Sobczak, ”Before he went down George leaned back and gunned the throttle to move him and his bike away from other riders potentially keeping other riders from being injured.”

He was taken to Palomar Hospital in Escondido where he passed away on Thursday. George Campos was the founder of the Legion Riders Post 852 and served as its President from 2010 to 2012.  George served his country in United States Marine Corps and was a Vietnam veteran.  He continued to give back to  his country, community and fellow veterans through the American Legion Riders and the Patriot Guard Riders until the last moment of his life.

Mr. Sobczak said “George has been on too many Patriot Guard missions to count, over 1000.  He was a true leader that continually gave back to other veterans and will be deeply missed, he was like a father to me, but he left this world doing what he loved to do.”

George is survived by two sons. Taylor 27, a former United States Marine, now serving as a contractor in Afghanistan will arrive back home today and Nick of Murrieta, 22.


D.C. “Smoke” Murphy

2-14-1923 – 4-22-2013



Smoke was born near Carthage, New York, and grew up on the Tughill Plateau in upstate New York. Smoke joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and served as a B-17 Radio Operator with the 397 Bomb Squadron. Smoke left the military in 1947 and became a carpenter, Smoke continued in the carpentry trade until he was 83 years old. He lived many years in Downey, CA, moved to Temecula and lived there more than 20 years, and then moved from Temecula to Escondido in 2012. Smoke spent the last week of his life in the LaJolla VA Hospital Hospice care. 

Smoke bought his first Motorcycle in 1993 when he was seventy years old. He rode on “Run For The Wall” for the first time in 1995 and rode or participated in 15 more cross country runs. He joined the American Legion Riders Chapter 149 of Escondido in 2001 and was a rider with them until his last ride on March 11,2012. He sold his bike, a 1993 black Harley Davidson Heritage Classic with 240,000 plus miles, to one of his best friends in Lead Hill, Arkansa. Smoke leaves his sister, Norma Irwin who resides in upstate New York to this day. His wishes were to be sent home to join his family in their final resting place in Copenhagen, New York. As you read this, his wishes are being carried out, may God Bless Him.

The American Legion Riders Chapter 149 are hosting a “Celebration of Life Memorial” on June 30th, 2013 from 1:00 PM until around 5:00 PM at the American Legion Post 149 Patio Grounds located at 230 East Park Avenue, Escondido, California 92025. The Patriot Guard Riders and the “Run For The Wall” participants and alumni have also been invited.  There will be plenty of food and drink for everyone.




American Legion Rider since 2001

SSgt USAF 1953-1957

329th Bomber Squadron

93rd Bombardment Wing

Korean Conflict




Jon Dressler

12/09/84 - 08/01/12


A 27-year-old motorcyclist who died in a crash Wed. night  Aug. 1st 2012 on the southbound I-5 has been identified by the Orange County Coroner´s Office as Jon Dressler of Laguna Hills. Jon was a member of American Legion Riders Chapter 555 and was a Marine who had survived 4 combat tours. Please join the Legion Family in support of his Wife and two small children. 

Seal Team 6

8/8/2011 Wardak


Budd Ray

July 16, 1947 - Feb 8, 2011



Budd Ray July 16, 1947 - February 8, 2011 Budd Ray was born July 16, 1947 and passed away February 8, 2011. He graduated from North High School in 1965. He served in the United States Army and was a Vietnam Veteran. He was an active member of the American Legion Riders Chapter 26 and was currently serving as Vice President. Budd was a 30 year employee of Chevron. He is survived by his wife, Carol; sons, Buddy Ray (Laurie) and Scott Masi (Gina) and grandchildren, Chelsea, Chase, Katie, Frankie, Krista and Kallie.

Post 141 in Glenwood, Iowa

 Three American Legion Riders from Post 141 in Glenwood Iowa  were killed in motorcycle accident on I-29.  Dennis Chaney, Steve Benscoter and Dale Aspedon were killed near Little Sioux, IA while returning home from Sturgis.  A suspected drunk driver crossed the center line hitting them head on.  Dennis Chaney leaves a wife, 2 adult children and grandchildren, Steve Benscoter leaves a daughter and his mother and Dale Aspedon leaves a wife and two young girls.  Please remember these Brothers and their families in your

Michael Miller

ALR Department of California Chapter 826 President



Michael Miller was a big man both in stature and commitment. He was a Vietnam Veteran who was presented with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star and had many operations which caused him to spend a year to repair a shattered leg in the VA hospital.  He has for a long time been the Honorary Mayor of Woodland Hills Ca. In this capacity he was involved in many community organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Warner Center Neighborhood Council , a proud member of  American Legion Post 826 and the president of the posts American Legion Riders contingent. He ran the largest State Farm insurance agency in Woodland Hills and at the time of his death was to be  presented with the State Farm Crystal Excellence Award, which is the highest  award presented to the corporations agents. Mike was a fine man who would walk that extra mile to make things happen and we will miss him. Michael Miller died after suffering a heart attack. He was 62.Miller.  He was survived by his wife Jennifer, a daughter Montana, and son Chandler.


Stuart `Stu` Greenfeld

Greenfeld, Stuart "Stu" Frank, passed away August 25th,2009. Stu was born December 6th, 1938 in New York City. His parents were Anna and Edward Greenfeld. He is lovingly survived by his wife, Aleesa of West Sacramento and daughter, Dr. Andrea Greenfeld, son in law Dr. John Anderson, granddaughter Juliet "Julsie" Emma, all of Palmer, Alaska and his daughter´s mother, Joan Diamond. Also brother, Alan Greenfeld and his wife Judy, nephews, Ricky, Michael and wife, Cantor Judy, and Bob and wife, Victoria, great nephews and nieces, Samantha, David, Elijah and Marina Greenfeld, and many other loving family members and friends. Stu was born in the Bronx, NY but grew up in Ventura, CA.

    His family was one of the founding families of Temple Beth Torah and the long time proprietors of Ventura Furniture Mart on Main Street. Stu graduated from Ventura High School and Jr. College. After continuing his education at UCLA and UC Berkeley he interrupted his studies to serve a tour of duty inthe U.S. Navy on the USS Coral Sea. Following his time in the service, he completed post-graduate work at the University of Calif. at Berkeley. Stu´s passion was for the kids of California and fighting for "the little guy" and "what is right". He was a leading force in the field of education and spent a good part of his career with the California State Department of Education. He was especially proud of his achievements as the acting Superintendent of Schools in Coachella, California and most recently as Superintendent of Schools for the Washington Unified School District.

    After his retirement, Stu was elected trustee of the Yolo County Board of Education. For the last two years he has been president of the Yolo County School Board´s Association. Stu was jokingly told that he was flunking retirement. Stu liked people and they liked him. He was involved as Post Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion and was one of the original founders of the West Sacramento Neighbor Fair. For the past two years he enjoyed writing his column for the West Sacramento News Ledger. He also loved to ride his motorcycles with his friends and established the American Legion Riders for the region. One of his great pleasures was time at home with his wife, travel, and visits with his new granddaughter, Julsie. He was definitely a family man and always stayed in touch with his many cousins as well as close family. He had the "gift of gab" and one of his great pleasures was discovering peoples´ stories and finding common connections. His wife lovingly said, "he was a man who knew no strangers". We will never forget his smile and the glimmer in his eyes. We have established a scholarship in Stu´s name for deserving West Sacramento students.

    Please send donations to the West Sacramento Rotary Foundation-Stuart Greenfeld Memorial Scholarship, PO Box 288, West Sacramento, California 95691. Graveside services will be: Friday, August 28th at 2pm at Ivy Lawn Cemetery, Ventura California. A celebration of his life is being planned in the Sacramento Region at a later date. Stu will be terribly missed by not only family members, but his largegroup of friends who filled his heart with happiness throughout his life.

Donald Mark Lichliter

JUN 6, 1956 - JUL 23, 2009

Carl Scott

This is just a note to let all our Department of California Riders know that the Area 3 Vice President Jerry Scott´s father Carl Scott passed away 2.17.09.  He went home to be with his wife and the lord, he was a proud WWII Vet 1943-45.  When he received the call to serve his country he went, he was stationed in the Philippines and Japan during his service to the United States.  He was blessed to live to be 90 years old. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this tough period as he has transferred to post everlasting.


Ed Freeman

You´re an 18 or 19 year old kid. You´re critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley, November 14,1965. LZ Xray , Vietnam . Your Infantry Unit is outnumbered 8 to 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the medevac helicopters to stop coming in.

You´re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you´re not getting out. Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you´ll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.

Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see a Huey, but it doesn´t seem real, because no medevac markings are on it.

Ed "Too Tall" Freeman is coming for you. He´s not a medevac, so it´s not his job, but he´s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the medevac´s were ordered not to come. He´s coming anyway. And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, they load 2 or 3 of you onboard, as they drop off much needed water and ammunition. Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.

And, he kept coming back......13 more times.... and took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.

Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman died Wednesday Sept. 3, 2008 at the age of 80, in Boise, Idaho .
Thanks Ed...... Blue Skies.

Jesse Torres

Jan 30th 2005


January thirtieth two thousand five, Set aside to help victims of the La Conchita Mudslide. The day dawned bright, the air so clear, The thought of death, seemed nowhere near. Friends gathered with bikes, to go for a ride, And Jesse showed up, Elva by his side. The group departed the Post, at eight fifteen, To ride down south, with stops in between. We rode into Lompoc for breakfast for all, We filled the room from entrance to wall. Other riders showed up there to go on the Run, To share in the food & enjoy the fun. The food was great & the camaraderie even better, Three groups were riding, for the first time together. At nine forty-five it was time to depart, So put on your leathers, get that engine ready to start. So down the road we would continue to ride, Brothers & Sisters, all riding side by side. The purpose of this ride was to help those in distress, Jesse was there to help with the rest. A stop in Buellton for some gas that day, A short time later we were on our way. The ride down the coast was beautiful as could be, The mountains on the left, on the right was the sea. A group of riders with a mission to do, Jesse didn’t know, the minutes remaining would be so few. Through Santa Barbara & Summerland we all rode, We’ll soon be there & off this road. We were all so close to the exit that day, At eleven fifteen & a half mile away the Angel came to say, “Jesse, it’s time to go, you are the one, Come to heaven with me, to be with God & his Son.”

 Jim Banakus February 7, 2005

Phil Gobel

September 22, 2007

Phil Gobel passed away due to a sudden heart attack on September 22, 2007 at the age of 68. He was a member of Orcutt Post 534 & a Charter member of ALR Chapter 534 since June 2000. Phil is remembered by all that knew him as a man who loved life, laughed often and heartily and gave enthusiastically to all with whom he came in contact.
He loved his country & served in his professional life for 49 years at Vandenberg AFB and was cofounder of the Santa Maria Railroad Museum.
Phil is riding in the wind now but will not be forgotten".

Jim B.

Larry "Ghost" McCormick

July 15, 2006

Larry "Ghost" McCormick passed away on July 15, 2006. Larry had served as our Road Captain, Treasurer, and Chaplain. In addition to being active in the Riders, he was a ride coordinator for the Patriot Guard Riders. Larry suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized for a brief period prior to his passing.

Lawrence "Sun-Soul" Mosley

February 25, 2006

Lawrence Sun-Soul Mosley died peacefully in his sleep at approximately 2 AM on Saturday, February 25, 2006. In accordance with his Hopi ancestry, his remains were cremated and transported to the Hopi reservation in Arizona for proper disposal.

Sun-Soul was active as a motorcycle rights activist through Abate Local 6 and served as our Road Captain prior to his passing.

Robert Lewis Howard

Dec 24, 2009

Honored Comrades