I have gone over in my mind my World War II experiences for many years. My copy of our book about the 54th Troop Carrier Wing, "Morsby to Manila," is nearly worn out from use. This book was produced by our headquarters public relations officer, Richard Jacobson, and printed in Australia in 1945, before the war ended.
I had kept in contact with only two of my army buddies through the years. One was William Lockman, with whom I had shared a tent for nearly three years. My wife and I were fortunate to visit "Lock" and his wife twice in the 70's. When we met the first time, after nearly 30 years, we each cried. How we enjoyed visiting about those days in Australia, New Guinea and other places on the way to the Philippines. Not long after our last visit, I received a note from Lock's wife with the sad news of his death.
It was then that I decided we should have a reunion while some of us were still alive.
Stanley Zakheim was my other friend with whom I had exchanged holiday greetings through the years. I decided to start my search for 54th Troop Carrier Wing (TCW) guys with him. He had about 25 names. We wrote to them and some of them knew other names and addresses. Since "Zak" and I were in the headquarters group, the names we got were those in our group.
Working on that mailing list was not only fun, but also had its sad aspects as we discovered how many had died since the war.
Interest grew in the reunion idea and some sent money to help with mailings and other expenses that we would have as we made all the necessary plans.
Someone suggested Las Vegas and we went to work setting
a date and contacting a hotel. We sent a notice to the American Legion
Magazine announcing a reunion for the 54th TCW, HQ. That got some more
names for our files.