Don’t forget your red coat!

The VP48 “Red Coat Club” (left to right) Pete McKay, Charley Hahn, Ken Carter, Alan Hardie, Arnold Fox, Jim Chambers and Cliff Henne.

It started when guest speaker Ken Carter came to the stage in a brocade red dinner jacket and told the tale about how he bought that very jacket in Hong Kong when he first was in VP48 Patrol Squadron. So at the next VP48 reunion, a bunch of guys came in their “red coats.” So if you ask how you can become a member of the “Red Coat Club,” the answer is: buy a red coat and wear it to the banquet.

Military reunions are a time to remember and reacquaint ourselves with old friends and memories. The crewmembers of Patrol Squadron 48 flew seaplanes (PBMs, P5Ms, transitioning to P3 Orions) during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The VP48 has a reunion every two years at locations throughout the US. They have met three times at Holiday Inn-Bayside in San Diego, California.

A memorial service was held at the Veterans Memorial, high above La Jolla at Mount Soledad. This is a one-of-a kind Veterans Memorial site, 900 feet above sea level, with a 360-degree view of San Diego and the blue Pacific. A flowered wreath on a stand bore the legend “VP48,” there was a color guard, names of departed shipmates were read, and Taps was played. Following the service, the group visited the Stephen Birch Aquarium and La Jolla Riviera for more spectacular views.

Found in the Pigboat Express, newsletter of the VP48 reunion