are items of interest to military reunions including reunions
that have already happened so others can find their own reunion
groups. If you have military reunion news, e-mail
us. If you are listing your reunion, send the reunion name, date
and place and the name, address, phone and contact person's e-mail
Ken Frantz, COL USMC (RET), President (MCEA) shared the 2010 reunion & rewards banquet program for the 18th Annual Marine Corps Engineer Association.
History loves company
A heroic story emerged as members of a Marine Corps Fighter Squadron from World War II reunited in Prince William County, Virginia. 20 original members of VMF 422, along with a Navy lieutenant who has become part of their family, began their reunion with a visit to Marine Corps Base (MCB) Quantico, Virginia, where some started their military experiences. It was a chance to tell their dramatic story to 35 relatives and friends and a new generation of Marines who welcomed them. VMF 422, known as the "Flying Buccaneers," lost almost all its aircraft in what has been called the worst accident in naval aviation history.
On January 25, 1944, the squadron was on a flight over the Pacific Ocean, when it ran into a horrific storm and lost six men. 13 aircraft were forced to crash land in rough waters. Survivors spent three days in a dozen life rafts, threatened by sharks and overwhelmed by rain. They fired flares and pistols and were spotted by US Navy Lt. George Davidson and his "flying boat." The group was too heavy for Davidson's patrol bomber to lift, so he called for help. The Marines were eventually taken to safety by a US Naval destroyer.
They found George Davidson in Florida nearly a half-century later and invited him to attend their first reunion in 1991. He and his wife of 58 years, Barbara, have met with the group ever since.
This year's was probably of the last reunion for members of VMF 422 who are in their 80s and 90s. "We hope we can have several more reunions, but it looks doubtful. Most of the original members are getting to the point they can't travel," said Dan Brouse, who organized this year's reunion, and whose father, Jack Brouse, is president of the VMF 422 Association.
still run together
The Marine Corps Mustang Association is made
up of US Marines who served as enlisted men and worked their way
up to the ranks of commissioned officers. There are 1,600 members
in five chapters. Not too long ago on continents not far away,
these men fought for the American way of life. Decades have passed,
but they still enjoy each others company and hold frequent
Florida has one of the largest chapters, which
meets four times a year. Reunions have included riding in amphibious
assault vehicles, visiting the Naval Aviation museum and country
The Florida chapter is sponsoring this years
National Marine Mustang Convention at Daytona Beach, Florida,
in September. Visits to The Kennedy Space Center and St. Augustine
are just a couple of the fun things in store. Membership is open
to Marines who served on active duty as enlisted men, then became
commissioned or warrant officers. The association is always looking
for new members. If you qualify, contact Florida Mustang Association
USMC, PO Box 770787, Winter Garden FL 34777.
is where it's at
by Douglas Bell
I consider the Hospitality Room to be the key to a successful
reunion. It is the focal point of everything the 1st ProvMarine
Brigade, Korea 1950, does except the banquet. A volunteer hospitality
committee sets up the room and runs it themselves. We cater it
ourselves, and buy everything locally. The hospitality room opens
at noon the day before the reunion starts.
Birds" do the leg work, purchasing beer, soft drinks, wine,
chips and snacks. Then we have an Early Bird pre-reunion reception.
On the first reunion day, the hospitality room is used as a registration,
reception and lounge area. The first evening we hold a reception
with cold cuts and salads purchased and set up by the hospitality
committee. It is the event of the evening. The next day we hold
a business meeting in the morning where coffee and pastries are
served, again catered by the hospitality committee.
day the room is the focal point for sea stories and a general
gathering place. The second evening, the hotel caters our banquet
in another room which the hospitality committee decorates. After
the banquet we return again to the hospitality room. Incidentally,
we never close the room as long as two people are using it!
morning, coffee, pastries and general bull sessions are in the
hospitality room while the ladies take off for a mall or outlet.
We hold a farewell party the last evening in the hospitality room
and order in pizza. We keep cold cuts, salads, beer, wine and
soft drinks stocked the entire time.
room expenses are paid from part of the registration fee of $35-40
per person. It pays for the hospitality room, banquet, door prizes,
everything. It sure works for us.
Committee is given a budget and is reimbursed for all receipts.
I pay the banquet cost the morning after the banquet. Our hospitality
rooms are usually complimentary. When pizza is delivered, I pay
for it. I also make sure all bills are paid before I leave because
we want to be welcomed back.
Douglas L Bell, LtCol USMC retired, enlisted in 1945 and retired
February 1972. He served in the Mariannas, Philippines, Korea,
Japan Cuba, Okinawa, Vietnam and many stateside locations. Dog
Company, 2nd Battalion, Fifth Marines, 1st Provisional Marine
Brigade served from the August 2, 1950 landing at the Pusan Perimeter
(Korea) and later joined the 1st Marine Division for the landing
at Inchon Korea on September 15, 1950.