54TH Troop Carrier Wing

December, 2002

Reunion news from groups serving under the 54th Troop Carrier Wing:

The 2nd CCG, 6th CCS will be meeting at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1515 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ, 85008, October 1-5, 2003. They plan to meet every other year. Their scribe is Tilson King at 848 Silver Oak Ave, Lady Lake, FL 32159, phone 352/750-2014, or e-mail tilsonking@aol.com

The 2nd CCG, 7th CCS had a great reunion last October at the Bay Beach Hotel in Pensacola.Of the 55 present, 34 were families and friends.Having the young people among the “oldies” really sparked up the time. They visited the Naval Air Museum which has a C-46 parked outside.Their banquet speaker was retired General L P Farrell, Jr, son of one of their 7th members.A plaque was presented to Jessie Metsker Grimes in appreciation to her and husband Bill Metsker for hosting their first reunion in 1981.Curtis Krogh was given a framed color picture of X-683, a C-46 he had flown often.It was to thank him for dedicated service to the 7th.He publishes their Newsletter. (Two nice ideas)Plans are being made for a reunion in San Antonio next year.

The 2nd CCG, 8th CCS reunion last October at the Lawrence Welk Resort in Branson was all they had hoped for.Fifty-two members and friends enjoyed the Lennon Brothers and Lawrence Welk stage shows, as well as a back stage session on how shows are produced.The Dinner Theater cruise aboard the Branson Bell was a highlight with a good show and excellent food.According to Harold Henneke—The good Lord willing and if the creek don’t rise---they will go to Bay Beach Inn at Pensacola, FL next October where the 7th met this year.Bert and Hammy Stumpe will be hosting and are making some great plans.

The 317th TCG, which now includes the Hq, the 40th and the 41st TCS’s, after a year’s delay because of 9/11, held their Washington, DC reunion last September.It was a big success due to the excellent leadership of Ellen McCoy Comstock.Tentative plans are being made for their 2003 reunion to be in Long Beach, CA, which will be their first on the West Coast.

374th TCG, 21st, 22nd and 6th Squadrons seem to have given up on reunions.However, last June some members of the 21st attended the 60th Anniversary Celebration at Travis Air Force Base of their squadron, now called the 21st Airlift. Philip Eckberg and Israel Valdez sent us details of the event.Other charter members of the 21st who attended were Benjamin Boyd, Paul Brogden, John Cox, Edward Kott, Edward Lenhardt, Russell Marsh, Allen Marshall, Charles Miller, Jr, Wayne Flaherty, James Gibson, Alan Weiss, and Joe Eken.The main event was held in a C-5 hangar.They had nosed a plane into the hangar as background. About 300 enjoyed a delicious meal and well-planned program.The next day a picnic was held in the parking area.They even sang the Air Force Song as originally written: “Nothing’ll stop the ARMY AIR CORPS!” in honor of the charter members.

The 374th TCG, 33rd TCS, held their 19th reunion last June at Aurora, CO. They even had Bill Owens, Governor of Colorado, to issue a proclamation declaring June 22nd, 2002, as 33rd Troop Carrier Squadron Day!!!Twenty veterans came.Family members and friends swelled their numbers to 69 for their banquet. Their speaker was Grant Malensek, who discovered the wreckage of one of their C-47’s, EARLY DELIVERY, in 1988 in the Owen Stanley Mountains.He showed slides of the plane and surrounding area. Happy times were spent in the hospitality room visiting, enjoying lots of goodies supplied by host Earl Kohler, and looking at photos dating back to their first reunion in 1965.B J and Naomi Plog are planning the 2004 reunion.

Forty-four 375th TCG, 55th TCS members, family, and friends met at the Clarion Hotel in Charleston, SC, last October.They gave high praise for the outstanding job the hotel staff did in taking care of them. The first day they enjoyed a tour of Charleston, including the Battery, downtown and Old City Market. The next day they visited Patriot’s Point and had lunch on the Carrier Yorktown.Tentative plans are for a reunion in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area next fall.

The 375th TCG, 58th TCS met last September as planned at the Amerisuites Hotel, Fort Wayne, IN, which had great rooms at a good price.However, since the hotel wanted $200 for their banquet room plus too much for the meal itself, they made a wise decision.They found two nearby places for their two evening meals, Old Country Buffet and the Lone Star. (Good idea!) Seventeen members plus family and friends made a total of 30 who, according to Bill Woznek, were stuffed after the meals and wished they could take home “doggy” bags.Their 2003 reunion will be at Dayton and they look forward to visiting the Air Force Museum to see the new additions.

The 433rd TCG scribe and chairman, Carmen Kight, reports that sixty members, family and friends had a wonderful reunion last September at the Chateau LeMoyne, French Quarter, New Orleans, LA.Many used canes and two were in wheelchairs, but they were there! (What great role models)Several honored ladies received Mardi Gras parasols.Hosts Major Kight and Frank Nash were given sequined top hats. There were many door prizes from the French Market. The hotel staff, expecting old WWII vets to have a quiet dinner and dance, got a big surprise watching the group kick up their heels, sparkle and shine to lively forties tunes.

Under the leadership of Glenn Mayer, the 433rd has raised money for a memorial bench in the Wright Patterson Memorial Gardens in Dayton.The dedication ceremony for the bench will be at 10am, March 21, 2003 and the 433rd expects to have a min-reunion at that time.They will still hold their usual yearly reunion.It will be in October, 2003, at San Antonio, TX, headquarters for the 433rd.


The 333rd SC had no meeting this last year.They plan to meet only every two years.They seem to like the Chicago area and will be there again in October, 2003.No further details at this time.

Unfortunately, according to Don Willey of the 415th Signal Battalion or Signal Corps, they feel too few of them remain to keep on having reunions.Don’s e-mail address is willey222@webtv.net. If any of you would like to decide to try again, let him know.

Wondering how the 820th MAES’s Salt Lake City reunion went.The Newsletter, “The Flying Duck”, from their scribe, Sal Mistretta, probably will arrive just a little too late so we’ll expect a report in June. 

Notice: If your group and/or squadron is not mentioned in the previous paragraphs, please remedy that situation before the June edition of the Newsletter.Remember, even if you don’t have reunions, your friends would like to hear about what is going on in your life--your jobs, hobbies, anniversaries, trips, favorite new books, etc.

A Middle East proverb:Don’t let old age be the winter of your life.Let it be the harvest

Bob Moody, who was in the 375th TCG, 57th TCS, found us through Gene Diemand and wrote that he would like to hear from any other members of the 375th.His address is 3 Eleanor Rd, Walpole, MA 02081—e-mail rvmoody@uno.com.His boss was John Pennock, who became chief justice of the New York Supreme Court. He and his wife Helen are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary this month.Congratulations!

Remember—In aviation, gravity is a law not subject to repeal.

Gene Auxier, who is continuing to search forinformation about his father, 2nd CCG, 8th CCS, has found an “Army Aviation buddy finder” web site. Those of you who have computers might try looking for someone you have been missing.It is http://www.kmobrien.com/aviation.

Five stages of life: (Which stage are you in?)

To Grow Up, To Fill Out, To Slim Down, To hold it In, To heck with it.

Robert Stenglein, 433rd TCG, 68th TCS, has written a book, “The Poignant Sky”, about going back to where he was in the Pacific and reliving his war memories. The price is $17.95. His address is 394 Via Hidalgo, Greenbrae, CA 94904, phone 415/ 925-0222.Carmen Kight recommends it highly.