These are items of interest to military reunions including reunions that have already happened so others can learn from reunion experience. If you have military reunion news, a story or report about your military reunion or want to add yours to our list of upcoming reunions, e-mail us. If you are listing your reunion, send the reunion name, date, place and contact info. To add your reunion picture, see requirements.
30th Tank Destroyer Battalion reunion
Eleven veterans - out of 650 men who served in World War II as part of the 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion gathered in Savannah. Their stories were about experiences at The Battle of the Bulge and their campaign in 1944 which led them through France and into Bastogne, Belgium to battle the Germans.
They fought in five of the six European campaigns and were often recognized as the "fightingest battalion during WWII." They helped take down Hitler's Panzer Corps and clear the way for victory in Europe.
Bess Ramsey, Savannah, Georgia, whose father Major Gabriel McNair was lost in battle, went to France last summer to see her father's grave in the Normandy American Cemetery and was guest speaker at the reunion dinner.
"It is a beautiful and peaceful place, very historic. A lot of school children visit the cemetery each year," she said. "It is a reminder to the French the price we paid for freedom. There are over 600 graves."
Sarah Summers has attended all 30 reunions. Her late husband, Oscar Summers Jr., kept an extensive scrapbook of his experiences including newspaper clippings of member's achievements and obituaries. The scrapbook is a special feature at the reunions.
From the Savannah Morning News, Savannah, Georgia.
Elite World War II fighter group museum exhibit
The 406th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, flew P-47 Thunderbolts during World War II to provide air support for Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army. There were more than 1,100 in its ranks in 1944, but only 20 attended a recent reunion.
The Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, is the home of the 406th's archives, which curators have been cataloging for 18 months. Materials range from personal military-career documents to personal narratives and military commendations and awards. The theme will be "A Day in the Life of the 406th."
Much of the cost was donated by Maggy Grossetta, wife of the late A.V. Grossetta, the 406th's commanding officer.
From a report by Brian J. Pedersen in the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Arizona.
Nostalgic salute to women of WWII
Brenda Schleunes sees them as an unrecognized part of the Greatest Generation, these women who served during World War II.
She aims to change that with her new play, Star-Spangled Girls, commissioned by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Schleunes, founder of the Touring Theatre Ensemble of North Carolina, used UNCG's Women's Veterans Historical Collection at Jackson Library for source material. "These women were very much an unacknowledged part of the women's movement," Schleunes says.
She read interviews, journals, telegrams and between 2,500 and 3,000 letters by and from women who served during World War II. She narrowed stories to about 35 key tales molded into five composite characters. The framework of the show is a 20-year reunion of the women as they swap stories of their time in uniform. The cast underwent a mini-boot camp with a military adviser who taught them the correct way to do things such as salute and march.
From an article by Leslie Mizell on goTriad.com, Greensboro, North Carolina.
Stalag III-C reunion Former internees at Stalag III-C, Altdrewitz/Kustrin,
traveled to Hershey, Pennsylvania, for their second reunion since
1945. The event opened with an evening reception. The following
day, faculty and students at Hershey High School greeted veterans
with a brief musical program. Eighty advanced placement history
students met in small groups with the ex-POWs and their wives
for discussion and question and answer sessions. A full day in
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, included a morning tour of the Eisenhower
Farm Historical Site and an afternoon tour of the battlefield.
The highlight of the Gettysburg experience was a fireside chat
presented by President Abraham Lincoln. Jim Getty, a Gettysburg
native and Lincoln aficionado.
The final day began with a Service of Remembrance at the
Soldiers and Airmens Chapel at Fort Indianatown Gap Military
Reservation. The group visited the newly dedicated Pennsylvania
Veterans Memorial located in the National Cemetery. The
reunion concluded with a banquet.
from Ex-POW Bulletin
to Fort McCoy Fort McCoy, located between Sparta and Tomah,
Wisconsin, has trained soldiers since 1909. Its a popular
stop for military reunions returning to relive their military
experiences. They offer both step-on guided coach tours as well
as tours of the Commemorative Area, History Center and Equipment
Narrated tours of the installation can be arranged
for groups of 15 or more Monday through Saturday throughout the
year. A tour without stops lasts about one hour and is free. The
Commemorative Area, open only to groups of 15 or more, consists
of five World War II-era buildings set aside to tell Fort McCoys
unique story. These facilities, constructed in 1942, depict life
as it was for soldiers during the 1940s. Administrative and dining
facilities and one barracks represent the WWII era. Other buildings
house informational displays highlighting WWII events, a chapel
display and display of training aids. To make appointments call
The History Center, also open to groups of 15 or more,
displays memorabilia reflecting the installations role throughout
WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Cuban Refugee Resettlement center
operations, Operation Desert Storm and more. Contact the Public
Affairs Office, 608-388-2407; PAO-Admin@emh2.mccoy.army.mil.
The outdoor Equipment Park features historic and present-day
equipment used on the installation, including more than 40 pieces
of equipment from helicopters and howitzers to trucks and trailers.
A park layout guide and information brochure are available onsite.
Ruth West, Community Relations assistant with the Public Affairs
Office, said the reunion groups are her favorites that tour Fort
McCoy. West does all the coordination for the groups and often
serves as a tour guide.
I never tire of hearing their stories,
West said. I learn as much about Fort McCoy back then as
they learn from me about Fort McCoy now.
Contact Public Affairs Office, 100 E. Headquarters Rd, Fort McCoy
Signal Company reunion It all began nearly forty years ago when
Frank De Angelo organized a reunion for the 550th Signal Company.
They were a small, specialized, self-contained company that wasnt
attached to any other Army group. Eight officers and 120 enlisted
men spent a year in Saipan, Marshall Islands, and were able to
supply much needed Signal Corp equipment seven times faster than
The group has met once a year since 1964 and now includes relatives
and friends among their ranks. Les Evory likens it to a family
reunion. Last year Evorys plane left New York City early
on September 11th heading for Atlanta. News broke about the tragedy
and they were forced to land in Augusta, Georgia. Evory rented
a car and drove 200 miles to Charleston, South Carolina.
Although some members werent able to get
flights to attend the reunion, the group made the best of the
situation. There was a boat trip to Fort Sumter and a memorial
service for deceased members. An Army chaplain read names of dead
members and rang a bell after each name as a tribute.
Following up on the 516th
Back in our Spring 1995 issue, we printed an
article about Edward Blinns search for members of his 516th
Signal Company. At that time he was still relatively new to his
search for members, but was having increased success by the day.
In the seven years that have passed, Blinn has
overcome the death of his wife of 42 years, has remarried and
has found many more of the 516th group. It is now known that more
than 975 men passed through the 516th from 1948 through 50, and
772 have been located (495 contacted and a memorial list of 277).
Blinn has had success with Lycos and Ancestors.com, but there
are still 203 persons to be located. If you were part of the 516th
or know someone who was, contact Edward J. Blinn, 526 Krikby Rd,
Elmont NY 11003; 516-358-7852; fax 516-358-6094; firstname.lastname@example.org.