Reunion news from groups serving under the54th
Troop Carrier Wing:
CCG, 5th CCS
no longer holds reunions, but still the members
do keep in touch with the 5th Squadron Newsletter written by Merl Lehenbauer.
The 2nd CCG, 6th CCS held its "every-other-year" reunion at the
Embassy Suites Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, Oct 1-5, 2003. Those who
attended were very happy with their spacious suites and enjoyed the hotel's
pool, hot tub and exercise room. At their banquet they honored 5
members who had attended all 16 reunions starting back in 1955. Twenty
squadron members plus their families attended. Several brought 6
or 7 family members, or perhaps the family members brought them.
Wheelchairs, walkers and canes didn't keep them home. However, unlike
some earlier reunions, bedtime came about 11pm, and not 2:00 to 4:00am
as in earlier days. Their next reunion? Time will tell!
The 2nd CCG, 7th CCS
held its 17th
reunion Oct 7-9,
at the Crockett Hotel in San Antonio, TX with 15 squadron members
plus 30 wives and family members present. They enjoyed a visit to
Howard's Classic Automobile Museum. In addition to the old cars, there
is a display of hundreds of paintings of aircraft from WWII and later.
During their business meeting, a letter was read from Jean-Marie Otto,
daughter of M. D. King, inviting them to Oklahoma City for a reunion next
fall. Some, feeling discouraged, had previously decided maybe this should
be their last reunion, but after the invitation, and remarks from some
family members that they wanted to keep going, they quickly changed their
minds. So they will meet in 1904!
The 2nd CCG, 8th CCS held its 15th reunion Oct
3-5, 2003, at Bay Beach Inn, Gulf Breeze, FL. Twelve vets plus 18
family members enjoyed the Biloxi Casino and Navy Air Museum with impressive
Imax shows. Music by a Celtic music trio was the high light at their
Sunday dinner. They hope to meet in Phoenix, AZ next year.
The 317th TCG, which now includes the HQ, the 40thand
the 41st TCS's, had a very successful reunion in Long
Beach, CA September 11-14. Jeff Miller, son of Pete Miller, was the
host to eighteen "Jungle Skippers" plus twenty-one family members.
The group visited the Boeing Factory where each got to board and sit in
the cockpit of a C-17 Globemaster III. They also toured the Queen
Mary and enjoyed a luscious Champagne breakfast. In addition, some went
to Catalina Island and/or the local aquarium. Next year's reunion
will be hosted by Leonard & Fran Stolz and their daughter Suzie
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 9-12, 2004.
Just learned that the 317th TCG, 46th TCS
been having reunions. Connie Constantine writes that they
held their 24th this year in Lousiville, KY. They
started with just four vets but kept finding members yearly. In 1986
they had 96 members and wives. However, since then the numbers have
declined until this year they had only ten members and some of them were
in poor health. They have decided to join the 317th
TCG's reunions in the future. Several of their members went to
Australia in June to attend the 60th memorial service of the B-17C crash
at Bakers Creek that affected so many of their group. Col Benson
of the Australian RSL was at their last reunion. He was instrumental
in erecting a memorial at Mackay to the crash victims and is continuing
to hold annual services at the site.
As announced in the June Newsletter, the 374th TCG,
33rd TCS's "every-other-year" reunion will be April
15-17, 2004 at the Adam's Mark Indianapolis International Airport Hotel.
B J and Naomi Plog will be hosting, and they are extending
an invitation to others who might like to join them. Mention
the 374th, 33rd when you call the hotel (800/444-2326)
for your reservation. Rooms start at $70 + 12% tax. Contact B
J Plog to let him know your are coming. His address is
P O Box 332, 4 West Paris, Ridge Farm, IL 61870-0332, phone 217/247-2491.
In more recent notes from the 33rd scribes, they announced
that reservations are coming in from some 6th
and 22nd squadrons members as well as the 33rd
and Headquarters. Maybe the 374thwill become one integrated
Bob Moody, 375th TCG, 57th TCS, says he
knows of no reunions for them. He is in touch with only three
other members. However, in Walpole, MA, his home town, the veterans celebrate
Memorial and Veterans' days on the Town Common. On Nov 11 their celebration
included army vehicles, a fly-over and landing of a Huey helicopter.
The 375th TCG, 58th TCS met last September 26-27at
the Hope Hotel & Conference Center at the WPAFB. They took time
on Friday afternoon for a salute to their Troop Carrier friends at the
TCG memorial. Although only 13 members were present, one
member said it well, "The group was small enough for all of us to have
a good visit with each other---Memories are remarkably good, somewhat embellished
and only the narrator's version is correct."
In Bill Woznek's report on the reunion he included this that
various psychologists have said about memory: Over time people may
forget things that did happen and remember things that didn't---there's
a willingness to recall things that make sense or should have happened
even if they didn't.
Wonder whether these psychologists have attended any veterans' reunions?
TCG held a great reunion Oct 7-13, 2003, at the Radisson Hotel,
San Antonio. TX. Despite rain problems, on the third try, they took
a boat ride on the Riverwalk. At Lackland, the home of the 433rd,
they saw a film about the present 433rd and were swamped with
young pilots who wanted to talk to the "old-timers". They went aboard a
C-5, walked through a Simulator, lunched at the Officers' Club, and visited
Hangar 9, the oldest in the US. Finally, they had the Champagne Brunch
at the Randolph officers' club! What an agenda!
Next year they are going
to DC and carefully picking a date, considering the big election and the
of the WWII Memorial, May 29, 2004.
SC met in Chicago, October 10-11, 2003. They finally decided it had
to be their last as only four members plus wives and one daughter and son-in-law,
and one widow of a member were able to attend. Your editor had loaned
Harrier a copy of "Moresby to Manila" and he had copies made for
the members of his group. What a nice thing to do!
Is your group's report
missing? Don't be leftout! Please contact your editor
between now and June, 2004.
TWO GOOD REUNION IDEAS
1. A son of a veteran helped this year and a daughter
of a veteran will help next year to host the reunions for the 317th
TCG. Some other groups have already learned to call on the younger generation
to keep their reunions going.
2. Call the local newspaper and the Chamber of Commerce and/or Convention
Bureau in your reunion city to let them know you are coming. The
317th did both. They got a nice article and picture in
the Long Beach Press Telegram and a representative from the Long Beach
Convention Bureau greeted them at their banquet and distributed gift bags
of city-themed merchandise.
our US mail, e-mail, and phone calls:
Channell found our 54th website and wrote that his
father, Lynn Channell, was in the 21stAir Service
Group of the 54th TCW. In 1999 Charles went to Biak
to hunt for places where his father had been. He has great pictures
and stories to share on his website--- http://home.earthlink.net/~21st_asg/
(Note: there is an underscore between 21st and asg)
His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Lynn is the
first member of the 21st we have found.
Tienken asks if anyone knew his great-grandfather,
was in the 2nd CCG, 7th CCS. He died
Jan, 1945, and was buried in 1950 at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Brandon's e-mail is email@example.com
Kost, 374th TCG, 6th TCS, found us and isnow
on our mailing list. His address is 4000 Park Newport #311, Newport
Beach, CA 92660. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Rubolina, after finding our website, sent his father's name, hoping
to find someone who knows him---Joseph H Rubolina, 374th
TCG, 22nd TCS, whose address is 907 Greenwich St, Philadelphia,
PA 19147. Jim's e-mail is Jim2450@aol.com.
Ayres, originally in the 374th, 22nd,
under the 54th, 5th Air Force, writes that after
the war he was still in the 374th, 22nd, but later
in the 13th Air Force until at least July, '47. He would
like to hear from any who might have served with him. He also is
looking for aerial shots of Nichols and Clark Fields in '46-'49.
His addresses are PO 5472, Corning, CA 96021 & e-mail - email@example.com
would like to hear from anyone who knows her father, Walter
(Bud) Harrold, who served in New Guinea with the 375th.
Her e-mail address is Lafaneyes@aol.com
Heyn, photographer with the 3rd Bomb Group, 5th
Air Force, wrote after finding our 54th website. He has
been trying to help a friend find about a WWII relative and so far has
batted zero. This led him to plead that all veterans should write
or record their stories before it's too late. He has written
his and is giving copies to family members this Christmas. GOOD
your editor did that last Christmas. Luckily, Glenn wrote his bio
before he became ill and with the encouragement of our children and grandchildren,
I also wrote mine. Remember it's not just WWII veterans that should
tell their stories. Those on the home front also have tales to
tell. (How many of you wish you knew more about your parents,
Veterans Group includes those "Jungle Skippers" of WWII and all who
served afterward through 1993 in the successor groups to the 317th
TCG. A plaque was dedicated in September at the WPAFB in Dayton honoring
all 317th vets. JerryMatarazzo, 317th
TCG, HQ, designed the crest on the plaque.
the plaque honoring the 317th TCG, 40th TCS
was accepted by a general at WPAFB museum in Dayton, Ohio. Herman
Ogren coordinated the project and 69 members participated and contributed
funds. The cost was $1800. Is your group and/or squadron
honored there and/or at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs?
a Vietnam War pilot, has an interest in all "troop carriers".
He has a very extensive website with lots of pictures and a history
of "Air Lift" activities. He includes our 54th
has more interesting info and lots of pictures.
Auxier, whose father was in the 2nd CCG, 8thCCS,
sent a long article on Baer Field which is now the site of Fort Wayne International
Airport. Baer Field was built before WWII and during the war greatly
expanded in size to 1,000 acres, 250 buildings and three runways, each
6,300 feet long. Baer Field's job was the processing of crews and
planes for duty overseas. They dealt with B-26's, C-46's and C-47's.
Long range fuel tanks were installed, the size depending upon the plane's
destination--two 100 gallon tanks for England, four 100 gallon tanks for
Africa, eight 100 gallon tanks for the Pacific. Extra oil was put
into a 50 gallon drum with a hose to each engine through the wing.
When the oil level got low more would be hand pumped into the engine's
oil tank. (I'll wager some of you already knew all about the above.)
Feichtinger found our address and wrote an interesting letter.
He joined the 9th TCS on Saipan, Jan '45 under Naval Command.
Before they could land on Iwo Jima, they flew there to drop blood plasma
and machine gun barrels. They also had C-47's equipped to spray mosquitoes,
flies, etc. on the islands. In Jan '46 he flew into Tokyo to pick
up Japanese army rifles which were given to troops on Saipan as souvenirs.
Before he came home in May, '46, his squadron got some C-46's. He
said the C-47's were being classified as "war-weary". Some of you did
your part to wear them out!
those parachute drops! (see the June Newsletter) Bob Moody, 375th
TCG, 57th TCS, says he can't understand why Nadzab doesn't
count. There are several good pictures of it in their squadron book.
They also planned a glider landing, but it was scratched. Once when
he went back to one of their bases during the war, he saw abandoned gliders
with kunai grass grown all around and through them.
Krogh thinks saying "Corregidor" was the only drop is an insult to
the 503rd Paratroopers, the 11th Airborne
and the 317th TCG. He lists these six drops:
Sept 5, 1943: Noemfoor, July 2, 1944: Tagatay, Feb, 1945:
Feb 15, 1945; Los Banos, Mar, 1945 and Aparri, Apr, 1945.
The Los Banos drop on prison grounds freed 2,146 allied prisoners who had
been there 3 years.
story has been going around about the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier in Washinton, DC. Many of you have watched them march
day and night with metronomic precision, back and forth, until their hour
is over and it's time for the changing of the guard. Last summer
when hurricane Isabel hit viciously, the Regimental Commander, fearing
for the safety of the guards, ordered them to seek shelter. They
the order. One said," I've got buddies getting shot at in Iraq
-- I don't want to be known as one who let them down -- couldn't
stand a light breeze and shirked his duty." When a reporter asked
one guard if he wasn't taking a silly purposeless personal risk, he said,
"I wouldn't expect you to understand. It's an enlisted man's thing."
John W Drahos, 54thTCW,
DeLange, 54thTCW, 2ndCCG, 6thCCS-4/03
Collins, 54th TCW, 374th TCS
John Drahos's son sent a belated note to tell us that John died
in a car accident.
From Phillip Collins' obituary we learned that he had a long, successful
career as a lawyer in the DC area after his service in WWII and the Korean
Amundson, niece of Harry Dingman, is looking for a photo of the
C-47 "Lookin fer Trouble", the plane Harry flew from Hamilton Field, CA
to report to the 22nd TCS in Port Moresby in May, 1943.
Her e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
to read: Curt Krogh recommends "Custer and Crazy Horse" by Stephen
Ambrose, and "Meeting the Enemy" by Arthur Rathburn. JimMoon
says "Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer is equal to "All Quiet on the Western
Book Release: Bob Kelly AFC (Royal Australian Air Force, retired)
after 20 years of research, his completed Vol 1 of "Allied Air Transport
Operations-SW Pacific Area-WWII". It has 400 pages and 80 photos
and covers 1907-1943. It includes operations of the 374th
TCG. The price is $42+$17.50 postage. Vol 2 is due out in late 2004.
Send questions and orders to Bob & June Kelly, PO Box 192, Buderim,
Queensland, 4556, Australia. Their e-mail is email@example.com
Insignia questions: For some reason your editor has
recently received several inquiries (as yet unanswered) about a patch or
insignia for the 54th TCW. After
received a copy of "Moresby to Manila via Troop Carrier", he phoned wanting
to know the meaning of "vincit qui primum gerit" under the insignia on
its title page. The following information was found on the Internet:
"The design is based on the approved aircraft markings and distinctive
insignia of a large bird, carrying a paratrooper holding a tommy gun, representing
the command's mission to deliver quickly soldiers into battle. The
Latin motto translates to 'he conquers who gets there first'. Activated
4 July 1942 at Stout Field, Indiana." Perhaps
editor of the "Manila" book can tell us more.
you editor: A special thanks to all who upon learning of Glenn's
death, sent notes of sympathy and words of appreciation for the Newsletter.
I look forward to your group Newsletters, and all phone calls, e-mail
and "snail mail". Only when I hear from you, can I share with others.
The next Newsletter will be in June, so keep that in mind and let
me hear from you before then.
thought: A good friend is one who sees through you and still
enjoys the view.
My wish for you in 2004 is that you will have many good friends and
other rich blessings!
Darlene McMurry, 8944 Krueger St, Culver City, CA 90232-2437, Phone: