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 wasn’t 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 before.
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 Evory’s 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 weren’t 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.